Mulherin's Pizzeria's outdoor courtyard
The outdoor courtyard at Mulherin’s Pizzeria.

GuidesPhiladelphia

The Resy Guide to Outdoor Dining in Philadelphia

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Some people love the great outdoors; others love a great outdoor meal. For those in the latter camp (with us), dining al fresco is how we mark the return of beautiful weather. It’s a chance to enjoy the breeze over some eggs Benedict, admire the swaying trees while sharing a plate of fries, or simply slow down with a cocktail as the city speeds by on the street.

From a classic Philly sidewalk café to secluded leafy gardens with Middle Eastern brunch fare, here are 11 of the best spots in Philadelphia where you can dine outside. And if you want more inspiration, don’t miss our full roster of outdoor options.

Little Nonna’s Midtown Village

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Photo courtesy of Little Nonna’s

Secret garden vibes rule at Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s red-sauce joint right off 13th street in the Gayborhood. You’ll wind through the restaurant to access this twinkling, covered courtyard with seating for 40. In a city full of Italian BYOBs, this one has a full liquor license, so you can sip a Negroni or glass of cool Vermentino with your al fresco dinner.

What to order: Reenact “Lady and the Tramp” with spaghetti and meatballs. Save room for a hazelnut cannoli with dark chocolate ganache.

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Photo courtesy of Little Nonna’s

Booker’s Restaurant & Bar West Philadelphia

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Photo courtesy of Booker’s Restaurant & Bar

The biggest restaurant on West Philly’s busy Baltimore Avenue comes with a very cute, covered sidewalk section full of dangling paper lanterns and flower pots. A great place for groups, Booker’s is known for American comfort food with a southern flair.

What to order: At brunch, fried fish and grits stands out, or go lighter with a nice strawberry salad. At dinner, a Creole vegan jambalaya or hot chicken sliders should set you right.

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Photo courtesy of Booker’s Restaurant & Bar

Jansen Mount Airy

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Mt. Airy’s hidden gem, Jansen, is known for chef-owner David Jansen’s seasonal, French-leaning cooking. Its large, covered patio only adds to the fine dining charm. Green bistro chairs pair with the colorful plantings that dot the landscaping in this idyllic setting. An all-year destination, the patio is also heated in winter.

What to order: The menu here reflects seasonality and our tastes as the weather changes. For example, winter’s Beef Wellington special gives way to Dover sole with truffle fumé cream for two in the summer. Trust the kitchen and go with whatever is in season.

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Liberty Point Old City/ Penn’s Landing

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Photo courtesy of Liberty Point

One of the newest outdoor hot spots in town is also the biggest. Liberty Point has room for 1,400 in its completely outdoor, riverfront location with three levels and five bars. This place is a summertime dream, meant for lingering at big tables with friends in the sunshine.

What to order: It’s hot out, so get a frozen margarita or any local beer (like a Mainstay Liberty White Ale, brewed mere blocks away). If you’re new to Philly, cheesesteak egg rolls are always fun. For everyone else, a fried shrimp roll should do the trick.

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Photo courtesy of Liberty Point

Rouge Rittenhouse

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Photo courtesy of Rouge

Back in the dark days when Philly didn’t have outdoor dining, Rouge broke the mold with an outdoor section right on Rittenhouse Square — perfect for people-watching. That was 1998 and now, our fine city is full of streetside dining. Thanks, Rouge! This American bistro is still going strong with lunch, dinner, and brunch, plus a pretty bar.

What to order: Go for the classics, like the Rouge burger, oysters with Champagne mignonette, and the Niçoise salad.

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Photo courtesy of Rouge

Stina Pizzeria South Philly

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Chef Bobby Saritsoglou’s South Philly BYOB may be best known for its wood-fired pizzas, but there’s so much more to the menu. At the tables in the umbrella-dotted streetery in front of his restaurant (which you can book on Resy), you can sample Mediterranean-inspired dishes like pide (Turkish flatbread) filled with a mix of braised swiss chard, feta, and egg, plus hummus and plenty of housemade za’atar-dusted pita for dipping.

What to order: Don’t skip dessert. Saritsoglou puts his own spin on dense walnut baklava, with cardamom and orange, soaked in local honey.

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Mulherin’s Pizzeria East Market

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Mulherin's pizza
Photo courtesy of Mulherin’s Pizzeria

Find the cutest outdoor section in town at the new Mulherin’s Pizzeria in Center City. Set on a pedestrian plaza just off of Market Street, it’s got a private atmosphere, while still being part of the scene. The patio is covered and full of greenery. As the sister restaurant to popular Wm. Mulherin’s Sons in Fishtown, this new spot is already a hot ticket.

What to order: You won’t go wrong with pizza here. It’s cooked in an 800-degree wood-fired oven. However, you should know the crispy octopus is also excellent, as are the pastas and salads, like the little gem Caesar with watermelon radish and fennel.

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Mulherin's pizza
Photo courtesy of Mulherin’s Pizzeria

Bloomsday Headhouse Square

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Photo courtesy of Bloomsday

Opened in 2019, Bloomsday is many things: wine shop, coffee shop, prime happy hour destination, all-day restaurant, and now, sidewalk café. Tables spill out of the beautifully designed space onto the street in view of historic Headhouse Square. Diners can order from the diverse drink menu, with cocktails, a well-curated wine list, draft beers from some of the city’s finest breweries (Dock Street, Second District), and Ploughman cider, made with Pennsylvania apples. The outdoor section is walk-in only, but you can book indoors on Resy to be safe, and ask to sit outside if there’s room.

What to order: For brunch, pastries, or how about a pizza-pretzel bagel? At dinner, make a meal out of snacks like the array of Spanish tinned fish, all served with crostini and olives.

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Photo courtesy of Bloomsday

Harper’s Garden Center City

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Harper’s Garden is a delightful outdoor oasis tucked among the bustling streets of Center City. Its patio, shaded by a canopy strung with twinkly lights, is a perfect place to take a break. In the winter, the team encloses the space and heats it.

What to order: A cocktail — preferably one made with a locally distilled spirit like Bluecoat gin — paired with a burger, or a cheese board.

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Laser Wolf Philadelphia Kensington

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Inspired by a shipudiya, or Israeli skewer house, nearly everything on the menu at Laser Wolf is made over the open-fire grill, from the ingredients in the salatim to the impossibly tender guava-marinated chicken shishlik. Reservations can be tough to come by, but sign on eight weeks in advance and you can book an indoor table or cute purple table outside of the restaurant.

What to order: The fixed-price menu comes with salatim for the table — little silver bowls of salads that include delights like cauliflower tabbouleh, kale babaganoush, and hummus — plus a choice of grilled skewers of sizzling meat or vegetables, including Romanian beef kebab, eggplant, and whole dorade. Dessert is a simple and perfect soft-serve or sorbet.

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Suraya Fishtown

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Suraya spread
Photo courtesy of Suraya

Just steps from bustling Frankford Avenue, Suraya’s secluded backyard garden is one of the loveliest spots in the city. Luckily, you can book a garden table for dinner or a transportive weekend brunch; order a rosewater and lemon-infused spritz or apricot cardamom mimosas to complete the illusion that you’re on vacation somewhere far from Fishtown.

What to order: For a taste of classic Middle Eastern brunch, get ful mudammas. The stew of spiced fava beans comes with poached eggs and a sprinkle of cashew dukkah. And for the table, a basket full of treats from pastry chef James Matty, including a beautiful rose-scented cruller and a green-cardamom kouign-amann.

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Suraya spread
Photo courtesy of Suraya