Sure, having a few drinks on the patio or seeing an outdoor movie can be fun, but the most memorable thing about summer is... that time she dressed up like Wonder Woman for Seth Cohen, obviously. Well, either that or these 11 Philly foods you should totally eat before summer’s over:
Red Owl Tavern (address and info)
All the summer you could fit in one stew includes shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, Maine lobster, fingerling potatoes, and tomatoes confit, all in a tomato-lobster broth.
Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House (address and info)
Every Monday, all day long, you get exactly what it sounds like: oysters to shoot back at just a dollar a piece. You can also order off the raw bar menu for variations on the Doc’s classic dish with cocktail sauce or jumbo shrimp.
Pulled duck & seared tuna sliders
Uptown Beer Garden (address and info)
The summertime pop-up beer garden from the people behind BRÜ Craft & Wurst is one of the city’s most spacious, and it doesn’t mess around when it comes to sliders: get the tuna with thai basil & wasabi aioli, or pulled duck with apple slaw and porter plum sauce.
Crabby Cafe & Sports Bar (address and info)
This may not be New England, but few things are more evocative of summertime than a bucket of crawfish enjoyed with a cold beer. The only place for this is Crabby’s, where the pub fare is outshined every summer by the menu’s premium seasonal items.
Hazelnut S’more Ice Cream
Little Baby’s Ice Cream (address and info)
Spruce Hill & East Kensington
Really any ice cream here is a good idea, but it’s one of the newest releases that will have you in search of a campfire to sit next to, especially if you opt for the ice cream sandwich version to get the complete graham cracker-chocolate-marshmallow experience.
Lemon water ice & a pretzel
John’s Water Ice (address and info)
Nothing tastes more like a Philly summer than the sweet-and-savory combo of a freshly baked, still-warm soft pretzel alongside a fresh cup of water ice, which is why John’s is not to be missed during its summer season hours.
The Bea Arthur
Big Gay Ice Cream (address and info)
Washington Square West
Now that one of New York’s most fabulous ice cream shops finally found a home in Philly, it’s only appropriate to try the ongoing specials while the sun is high and the sweat’s dripping down your back. The quintessential serving? A cone of this vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, and vanilla wafer blend.
Duroc St. Louis ribs
Fette Sau (address and info)
There are plenty of places to score great barbecue in Philly any time of year, but few offer indoor-or-outdoor seating along with naturally raised meats and classic BBQ sides like smoked corn on the cob, potato salad, and dill chips, like Fette Sau does.
Rex 1516 (address and info)
The dimly lit cocktail bar isn’t only good at getting you tipsy in the classiest of matters, it also rocks an excellent summer menu, complete with this starter of whole chicken wings and your choice of seasonal molasses chipotle, maple mustard, or Nashville hot dill.
Fresh fish of the day
Devon Seafood Grill (address and info)
You can’t go wrong with any of the seafood at Devon, whether you opt for jumbo lump crab or fresh shrimp -- but it’s the fish-of-the-day specials that will have you splurging on the season’s best catches. Plus, the Rittenhouse outdoor seating isn’t bad either.
Luke’s Lobster (address and info)
Sourced from Maine and doused in garlic and lemon butter, the lobster on a toasted bun is the perfect thing to eat while sprawled on a blanket in the park.
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Marielle Mondon is a Philly-born editor and freelance writer, who’s not that worried about fitting in a bikini. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at @MarielleMondon.
1. Red Owl Tavern433 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
2. Doc Magrogan's3430 Sansom St, Philadelphia
3. Uptown Beer Garden1735 JFK Boulevard, Philadelphia
4. Crabby Cafe & Sports Bar1050 N Hancock St, Philadelphia
5. Little Baby's World HQ2311 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia
6. John's Water Ice701 Christian St, Philadelphia
7. Big Gay Ice Cream521 S Broad St, Philadelphia
8. Fette Sau1208 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia
9. Rex 15161516 South St, Philadelphia
10. Devon Seafood Grill225 S 18th St, Philadelphia
11. Luke's Lobster130 S 17th St, Philadelphia
The walk up to Society Hill's Red Owl Tavern, along cobblestoned streets before Independence Hall, is quintessentially Philadelphia, and the food at this upscale Hotel Monaco restaurant is appropriately American rustic, but with some modern updates. The lunchtime cheesesteak synonymous with the city is brought up to speed with Angus ribeye, sharp cheddar, caramelized onion and hot peppers (no whiz, here). Marrowbones are topped with pickled lamb tongues. Venison, cut by the in-house butcher, is augmented by a huckleberry marinade. The zinc-topped bar in the brown and brick dining room continues the patriotic theme, serving up a Penn’s Treaty (bourbon, blackberry, honey, mint, lemon) to thirsty tourists and red-blooded Americans alike.
From the dishwasher-turned-chiropractor-turned-restaurant magnate (and motivational speaker!) behind Kildare's, Doc is a 100-seat ode to the East Coast oyster house, with two stories' worth of distressed woods, high-end patterned upholstries, and a sunlit, brick-floored indoor patio with enough windows to make you want to crash there.
Uptown Beer Garden located in the courtyard of the BNY Mellon Building, is brought to you by the team behind Brü and U-Bahn, is one of the city's largest, with more than 9,000sqft of outdoor drinking space. Apart from offering craft beers, the bar at this rustic hangout spot also serves cocktails, wine, food.
This Northern Liberties spot brings Cajun and Vietnamese dishes on the same menu. We're talking Fried Catfish and Crabby's Gumbo alongside Pho Tai and Pho Bo Vien. The menu also has tons of seafood, Po' Boys, and burgers.
The ice cream here uses dairy 100% supplied by Pennsy cows, is prepped Philly-style (no eggs), and includes all-the-ingredients-in-the-name cart favorites (Earl Grey Sriracha and Bourbon Bourbon Vanilla), plus flavor flavs like Sour Cherry & Honey, Strawberry Pink Peppercorn, and Maryland Bar-B-Que, which's made with BBQ sauce, Worcestershire, and Old Bay.
Ignoring how strange the name of this treat is, John's Water Ice is THE place to get one in Philadelphia.
This Philly outpost of the NYC famous ice cream shop brings the same flavors and vibe to Washington Square West.
Fette Sau keeps it simple. Wooden tables, concrete floors, gourmet BBQ, craft beer and whiskey. No pretense. Sounds like the go-to spot for the most interesting man in the world, doesn't it? Named after the German phrasing for "fat pig," Fette Sau's obviously got pork on lock, plus other delectable, dry-aged and smoked meat comestibles. The Philly outpost of this Williamsburg standby is sure to satisfy.
From the crew behind Jet Wine Bar, Rex 1516 is a breezy 35-seater that pairs an interior reminiscent of a derelict mansion (wrought iron chandeliers, antique mirrors, distressed woodwork) with a Mobile-bred, chef-prepped menu that covers all the Deep South culinary bases. With ongoing whiskey specials and a killer burger (and a home run mac n’ cheese), you get both killer food and drink under one roof.
The seafood at Devon is sourced daily, so it's guaranteed fresh. Options like jumbo lump crab, fresh shrimp, and steaks are always available, but the fresh catch-of-the-day is definitely something to look out for.