Endless Summer Fun: Eat Out
Yes, the baguettes and onion soup are justly praised, but it’s the open-air approach to dining at Parc that makes this Rittenhouse Square bistro feel so authentically French. Nab one of the rattan seats lining the 18th Street sidewalk — or just one of the tables closest to the windows looking out on the park — order a carafe of the house red wine, and commence lingering.
227 South 18th Street, 215-545-2262, parc-restaurant.com.
Raw Sushi & Sake Lounge
We’ve always loved dining inside Raw: the long black-marble sushi bar; the paper lanterns strung at varying heights; the comfy high-backed booths. Then we sat in the sleek outdoor courtyard. This completely private outdoor lounge is even more cool, more trendy, more New York, than inside. Once seated at one of the low black tables, order the rock shrimp tempura and one of the house specialty rolls — they’re always packed with the freshest catches and affordably priced.
1225 Sansom Street, 215-238-1903, rawlounge.net.
Jamaican Jerk Hut
You can’t shake the island vibe at this Caribbean eatery. Sit at one of the painted red, blue or yellow picnic tables on the Hut’s fenced-in lawn and listen to Bob Marley while you wait for your waitress. At just $1.82 each, the (vegetable, beef or chicken) patties are mandatory, as is the made-for-sharing jerk chicken platter — with leg or breast meat, fried plantains, and a heaping pile of rice and beans.
1436 South Street, 215-545-8644, jamaicanjerkhutinc.com.
Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen
This suburban Asian eatery is now the only place where we can dine on the famed Philly chef’s food — Foo’s original Walnut Street spot closed in June. And while the entire restaurant feels modern and cool, the outdoor courtyard, with its string lights, insulating brick walls, oversize umbrellas and ample greenery (including, of course, bamboo), makes lunching or dinner-ing here feel very L.A. Which means that donning your largest shades, noshing on sashimi and sipping a sauv blanc is mandatory.
555 East Lancaster Avenue, Radnor, 610-688-8808, susannafoo.com.
Gullifty’s There’s no mistaking the casual summer vibe at Gullifty’s outdoor offshoot, the Gaarden. On the walled-in, umbrella-ed patio, waitresses wear tank tops and jean shorts, and the affordable menu consists of some delicious grilled-only eats — like a $9 grilled pizza with bourbon BBQ sauce, prosciutto and pineapple, and a Mexican burger topped with cheddar jack cheese and salsa for the same price. In fact, all the cooking is done outside, on the patio — that’s the Gaarden’s grill back there behind the bar. Which means that minutes after you order that burger, you’ll smell it hit the grill.
1149 Lancaster Avenue, Rosemont, 610-525-1851, gulliftys.com.
Johnnie’s Dog House This hot-dog chain just off Lancaster Avenue is a Main Line go-to for the quintessential — and cheap — summer eat. No matter your taste, Johnnie’s got you covered. There’s the New York classic, with brown deli mustard and kraut; a Chicago-style dog; and even a Philly iteration, a play on the cheesesteak with sautéed onions and melted cheddar cheese. Whichever you choose, the two wooden picnic tables nestled up against the side of the restaurant are the best spots to enjoy. Psst: If you come after 4:30 p.m., you’ll get a free beer with your dog.
11 Louella Court, Wayne, 484-582-0151, johnniesdoghouse.com.