The opportunity to dine and drink outdoors is one of the best things about summer in Philadelphia. Here are nine new ways to catch an alfresco bite and sip, along with suggestions on what to order at each one.
Next to the fountain in front of the Comcast Center, the new steakhouse coming to the ground-floor dining space has launched 11:30 AM-7 PM weekday service at the plaza tables.
Must-Try Outdoor Drink: Cucumber Cooler (Bombay Sapphire, St. Germain, cucumber, lime, tonic, mint; $11)
Must-Try Outdoor Dish: Chicken BLT (with Surry Farms bacon; $15)
1701 JFK Blvd.; 215-567-7111
At the beginning of May, this new Vetri outpost in the Moorestown mall opened its patio, and while the surroundings do include a parking lot on one side, the restaurant’s colorful exterior makes it a pleasant atmosphere.
Must-Try Outdoor Drink: Pirata Punch (Jersey Distillers rum, Solerno blood-orange liqueur, grapefruit, orange, lemon, Amarena cherry syrup, Peychauds bitters; $10)
Must-Try Outdoor Dish: Yellowtail crudo with pomegranate and pork ciccioli ($15)
400 Rte. 38, Suite 1367, Moorestown, NJ; 856-316-4427
Seats wrap around the entire length of this new University City outpost of the Midtown Village pizza and pasta favorite - sit along Chestnut to catch some rays or find a table tucked in the courtyard on the east side of the building for more shade.
Must-Try Outdoor Drink: Savannah (Hendrick’s gin, peach schnapps, cucumber, lemon; $8)
Must-Try Outdoor Dish: Whipped ricotta of the day with wood-oven flatbread ($7)
3200 Chestnut St.; 215-823-6897
Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s take on a red-sauce Italian has been open since last fall, but this is the first spring and summer to take advantage of the adorable back garden patio, shaded by leafy trellises and decorated with a mock clothes-drying line.
Must-Try Outdoor Drink: Sicilian rum punch (rum, amaretto, fresh pineapple juice, lime, blood orange; $10)
Must-Try Outdoor Dish: Baby gem Caesar salad with local radish, charred broccolini and lemon-anchovy dressing ($9)
1234 Locust St.; 215-546-2100
Tables now wrap around the outside of this cantina from the Jose Pistola’s crew. Your view may be Girard Avenue and the el, but with a plate of chef Adan Trinidad’s ceviche and a strong cocktail, you’ll feel tropical in no time.
Must-Try Outdoor Drink: Sancho (Siembra Azul tequila, lime, agave, simple syrup; $7)
Must-Try Outdoor Dish: Tuna ceviche (aji amarillo, red onion, cilantro, tomato, orange juice; $11)
19 W. Girard Ave.; 267-234-3530
Though there’s no outdoor service at Kevin Sbraga’s hopping West Philly joint, you are more than welcome to sip your drink on the cushioned benches and rockers on the wood-clad porch in true Southern style.
Must-Try Outdoor Drink: The Fat Apple (cider bourbon, apple cider, lemon, ginger ale; $12)
3131 Walnut St.; 215-735-1914
While this riverfront deck isn’t entirely new, there is a brand-new chef this year, some new beers and drinks and a whole new bar (making three, total). It’s the place to be on sunny weekend days, if you can score a seat.
Must-Try Outdoor Drink: Watermelon Rickey (Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer over watermelon purée; $7)
Must-Try Outdoor Dish: Grilled vegetable kebab with pita and buttery hummus ($13.50)
221 N. Columbus Blvd.; 215-279-7134
It’s the first spring season for the daytime outdoor tables in front of Ellen Yin and Eli Kulp’s excellently unconventional cafe, and a seat on the bricks of Market Street makes a perfect perch for watching tourists navigate Old City (you might even get the chance to direct them to a *good* cheesesteak).
Must-Try Outdoor Drink: Aquitania Albarino ($11)
Must-Try Outdoor Bite: Ancient Grains Salad (farro, puffed rice, cider-pickled cranberries, celery root, goat cheese, maple mustard vinaigrette; $11)
308 Market St.; 215-625-0988
Walk through the multiple dining rooms of this American tavern in Wayne to score one of the tables on the brick-lined back patio and let your white-picket suburban fantasies run wild.
Must-Try Outdoor Drink: Spicy Pineapple Margarita ($10)
Must-Try Outdoor Bite: Citrus Bacon (braised and seared pork belly with crisp citrus salad; $14)
503 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; 610-964-2588