Welcome to beer garden season! This year we've seen an unprecedented number of outdoor drinking spots open up around the city, and that's a very good thing. Here's where to get your alfresco beers, frozen cocktails and chilled glasses of white this summer.
Colorful umbrellas and tented bar areas make this 500-person deck on the Delaware a cool place to sip suds even when the sun is beating down, and it’s even hotter after dark, when the pier rocks with DJ-spun vinyl. Nicholas Elmi is in the kitchen this year, making the spot a good bet for food as well as brew.
221 N. Columbus Blvd.; 215-279-7134
"More hammocks" and "more food" are the mantras organizers followed when planning the revival of this ultra-popular riverfront garden and park. An impressive 15 taps will pour beer, and four Garces Group–run stands will be joined by Federal Donuts (with fried chicken sandwiches!), Shane Confectionery and Franklin Fountain for food.
121 N. Columbus Blvd.; 215-629-3200
The folks behind South Philadelphia Tap Room and American Sardine Bar has partnered with Fair Food to turn the empty lot at Tasker Street and Point Breeze Avenue into a beer garden oasis. It’ll be open Thursday–Sundays and serve draft beer to go with eats from various food trucks, and a portion of proceeds will be donated to Fair Food.
Just off of Cheesesteak Vegas this seasonal pop-up, decorated with bicycle wheels and planters made from repurposed vinyl records, offers food and drinks from the folks behind Cantina, Royal Tavern and Khyber Pass. South Philly–inspired plates are complemented with a selection of craft drafts and fresh juice cocktails.
This season the always-packed pop-up is showcasing beers from Barren Hill along with a sausage-centric menu (don't worry, there are pretzels too), plus a signature cider from York brewery Wyndridge Farm Brewing.
The newest addition to the outdoor drinking scene is coming from the folks behind Brü Craft & Wurst. Taking over the 9000-sq.-ft. patio of the BYN Mellon Bank building, the bar selection is heavy on beers with six drafts and a dozen craft cans, plus seasonally appropriate cocktails like margaritas and stone-fruit sangria. An on-site kitchen will be turning out small plates like pulled-duck sliders and sausage sandwiches.
Michael Schulson’s alfresco destination across from the Liberty Bell is back with a brand-new menu from corporate executive chef Leo Forneas. Rotisserie chickens are now on the food list, as is a bucket of fried chicken and a host of new sandwiches, all perfect pairings with 20 beers on tap and plenty more in cans.
100 S. Independence Mall W.; 215-922-7100
This urban backyard refuge behind Opa in Midtown Village actually stayed open all winter, but now the tents and heaters have been retired and it’s back to open-air fun. Look for drafts pouring from eight taps along with Greek-style snacks and ice cream sandwiches.
1311 Sansom St.; 215-545-0170
No need to drive an hour to the shore — find your escape in Midtown Village when Fergie’s Pub reprises its outdoor bar, complete with picnic tables, giant Jenga and a draft list as good as you’d expect from the bar that was a Philly craft-beer pioneer.
1214 Sansom St.; 215-928-8118
This Kensington beer bar kicked off its seventh season with a whole new menu for the on-site food truck. No longer just hot dogs, snacks to soak up your craft canned beer include fried clam rolls, burgers, jackfruit fritters and even a superfood salad. The garden is open Thursday–Sunday evenings.
2331 E. Cumberland St.; 215-425-4460
Tilt back with a beer in hand and take in a great view of the Ben Franklin Bridge outside this Columbus Boulevard brasserie. As of right now, two taps are pouring and there’s plenty available in bottles and cans. Within the next two weeks, Peter Woolsey will be done building his outdoor kitchen, so expect a whole new menu of items off the grill.
140 N. Columbus Blvd.; 215-375-7744
The large enclosed patio next to this Northern Liberties diner/lounge rocks the beer-garden vibe in warmer weather with a covered bar, umbrella-shaded tables and strings of lights. Look for DJs spinning on weekend nights and happy-hour specials throughout the summer.
435 Spring Garden St.; 215-592-8838
The sun may set on Stephen Starr’s Fishtown beer haven, but the party never stops, as the gravel-covered, picnic-table-lined garden is open year-round. It’s definitely best when the weather is warm and you can cool off from rounds of Ping-Pong with giant steins of German brew.
1210 Frankford Ave.; 215-634-3338
Popular roving market Franklin Flea is setting up under the Headhouse Shambles this season, and every second Saturday it will be accompanied by a beer garden run by one of South Street’s restaurants. Food trucks will also set up each week, so there will be plenty of choices to pair with outdoor beer and wine as you shop.
Open: July 11, August 8, September 12, October 10
Headhouse Shambles, Second St. and Lombard St.
In the beginning of the season, this outdoor space in front of the Art Museum will host an impressive art installation called Future Sensations, but come July, the beer garden will be back, providing sips and bites to go along with movies, games and other family-friendly activities.
This year chef Michael Schulson has taken the reigns of this outdoor commuters' paradise. There's a rotisserie food truck for lunch seven days a week, plus a bar cart that's pouring beer and mixing up cocktails.
2955 Market St.; 215-243-0555