Beer Gardens in Philadelphia: The 2017 Lineup

Our roundup of the best spots for outdoor drinking is bigger and better than ever.

Spruce Street Harbor Park’s floating beer garden | Photo by Douglas Bovitt

Philadelphia loves its pop-up and permanent beer gardens — and this year, you’ll have plenty of places to add to your beer-garden bucket list, including a few great spots in the suburbs. Here’s everything you need to know about the city’s full lineup of beer gardens for the 2017 season, from where you can go for outdoor drinking now to insider details on beer gardens opening in the coming weeks.

Beer Gardens That Are Open Now

Memphis Taproom Beer Garden and Hot Dog Truck | Photo via Memphis Taproom

Memphis Taproom Beer Garden and Hot Dog Truck | Photo via Memphis Taproom

Uptown Beer Garden
Center City

Uptown Beer Garden has returned for its third year in the courtyard of the BNY Mellon Bank Building on the 1700 block of JFK Boulevard. This year, chef Craig Meyers and Steve Lindabury of BRU Craft & Wurst (also owned by proprietor Teddy Sourias) are in charge of the kitchen, and additional seating plus another bar with eight more beer taps have been installed. Look for: Uptown’s designation during Philly Beer Week as the official Philly Loves Beer garden, which will focus on beers made within 100 miles of Center City.

SkyGarten
Center City

This patio beer garden on the 50th and 51st floors of 1717 Arch Street (3 Logan Square) offers German and craft beer plus wine and cocktails. Chef Jeremy Nolen of Brauhaus Schmitz designed the menu of light, German-inflected bites. Look for: Some of the best views in the city.

Center City Sips at Dilworth Park
Center City

City Hall’s public plaza will host a weekly happy hour beer garden every Wednesday as party of this summer’s Center City Sips series. The first session is June 7th from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., with the weekly pop-up continuing throughout the summer with live DJ sets and drink specials, too.

Brews and Views at Parkway Central Library
Logan Circle

The Free Library’s Parkway location boasts beautiful views of the city from the rooftop space outside its Skyline Room, and they’re inviting everyone to ooh and aah over craft beer, wine, and cocktails plus snacks from Brûlée Catering. Access to the space is free, and food and drink are pay as you go. The library will host Brews and Views every Thursday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. through June 29th.

Drury Beer Garden
Midtown Village

Open year round, the comfortable beer garden behind Opa is back for a new season of Jenga and board games. The new food menu will feature street food favorites; on Tuesdays you’ll find a happy hour barbecue. Look for: The six-person feast. Give 24 hours notice and get a table for a pig roast or bottomless mussels.

Llama Tooth
Poplar

The perfect spot to meet up with friends before or after a concert at Union Transfer, Llama Tooth offers beer, wine and cocktails to quench any thirst. Look for: Check out the building-sized murals by artist Frito Bastein.

Franklin Square
Market East

The Dragon Beer Garden pops up during the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square through Sunday, June 11th. The beer garden is open seven days per week starting at 6 p.m.; last call is at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Beer, wine and cocktails by Cooperage, as well as eats from SquareBurger and Roe Thai and Japanese Cuisine, will be available. The festival is a ticketed event, and tickets are required for the beer garden. Look for: Brightly illuminated dragons that will wow young and old.

Independence Beer Garden
Washington Square West

Michael Schulson’s (Sampan, Izakaya, Double Knot) beer garden on Independence Square is open from lunch till late seven days a week through fall. Shuffleboard, giant Jenga and lounging will also be back for the season. Look for: Classic American fare like fried cheese curds, burgers, and pickle chips.

Spruce Street Harbor Park
Society Hill

The Harbor Park brings together a handful of Philly’s favorite restaurateurs to set up shop on the boardwalk and the Barge each summer. This year? Eats from Federal Donuts, Chickie’s & Pete’s, Franklin Fountain, and Jose Garces, with the latter debuting his new Harborside Pizza to go along with Distrito Taco on the boardwalk and Froman’s and Village Burger on the Barge. Look for: Movie nights and the Art Star pop-up craft market all summer long, plus live smooth jazz every Friday night in August.

Haas Biergarten at La Peg
Old City

The Seafood Shack at La Peg’s beer garden serves up chef Peter Woolsey’s roadside New England favorites like lobster rolls, fried clams, crab poutine and a “fast food” burger on a Martin’s potato roll. Come for the beachy fare, stay for the beautiful views of the Ben Franklin Bridge lit up at night. Look for: Live performances and movie nights all summer long.

Deck at the Independence Seaport Museum
Old City

The Seaport Museum’s patio beer garden will be open only for a few select weekends in 2017: Memorial Day weekend, the last Saturday in June and the first Sunday in July, and the first weekend in September. Those dates just happen to line up with Memorial Day, Wawa’s Welcome America Festival, and Labor Day — when the Deck will be the perfect spot to ooh and ahh at fireworks lighting up the sky over the river. Look for: An exhibition featuring a deep dive into the USS Olympic‘s role in World War I, opening June 16th.

Blue Cross Riverrink Summerfest
Old City

The Penn’s Landing ice skating rink transforms once again into an outdoor roller skating rink and mini-golf course with a “summer camp on the Delaware” vibe, complete with views of the river, on May 26th. A 200-seat Chickie’s and Pete’s Waterfront Crabshack will serve up boardwalk-style fare as well as craft beer and cocktails. Admission is $3 and skating is ticketed (buy tickets there or online), but Independence Blue Cross cardholders get free admission.

Morgan’s Pier
Northern Liberties

Morgan’s Pier has tapped chefs Kevin D’Egidio and Michael Griffiths to run eats this season; acclaimed baker Alex Bois is also providing burger buns, soft pretzels, and “fatbread” pizzas to round out the menu. They’re pushing unique yet approachable items like seafood hush puppies, smoked Jersey carrots with goat cheese and tarragon and the TLT (smoked tofu with tomato and pickled lettuice) alongside burgers,
funnel cake, and other classic bites. Look for: Quizzo and games on Tuesday nights, live music on Thursdays, and DJs spinning every Friday.

Silk City
Northern Liberties

Now a staple of Philadelphia’s outdoor drinking scene, Mark Bee’s (North 3rd, Franky Bradley’s) trippy oasis is still a great space to spend a warm evening. Look for: Weekday brunch is available in the beer garden.

Fette Sau
Fishtown
In summertime, the BBQ hall supplements its spacious interior with an outdoor patio space perfect for kicking back with a beer and a burnt-end sandwich.

Frankford Hall
Fishtown

Stephen Starr’s beer garden is open all year round, but it really gets hopping when the heat lamps are put away. Bring one friend or 30 — the Fishtown beer garden is big enough to absorb all comers. Look for: Five-liter keg cans of Bell’s Hop Slam. The seasonal and fabulous beer from Michigan is available now — reserve one for your party.

Evil Genius Brew Garden
Fishtown

After 18 months of renovations, Evil Genius’s Philly tasting room opened back in March — and with warm weather, so did their outdoor space. Look for: Uncommonly flavored beers with admittedly goofy names like Purple Monkey Dishwasher and #Adulting.

Memphis Taproom
Kensington

After a recent change in ownership back to original partners Ken Correll and Paula Decker, you’ll now be able to get Memphis Taproom’s full menu at the picnic tables on its patio, in addition to the specialty hot dogs and cans served from the stationary food truck parked in one corner. Look for: Real glassware, cutlery, and table service on the patio for the first time ever.

Canstatter Volkfest-Verein Biergarten
Northeast Philly

This German-American club dates back to 1873 and currently boasts the largest outdoor beer garden in Northeast Philly with five acres of picnic grounds. It’s open every Friday through October from 5 p.m until 10 p.m., with live bands (both German-themed and not) and bar food, plus a beer list heavy on the pilsner and lagers (don’t worry, there’s an IPA or two).

Hop Angel Brauhaus
Northeast Philly

The breezeway biergarten at Hop Angel opens to serve thirsty customers when the weather’s good (well-behaved canine guests are welcome, too). Thursday nights are for live bluegrass jams and always a hefty stein. Look for: The TrrrHOPical Seafood Festival — featuring fruity IPAs from brewers like Ballast Point, Green Flash, and Weyerbacher plus a delicious fish-based menu — for the first weekend of Philly Beer Week, June 3rd and 4th.

Bok Bar
South Philadelphia

Our favorite beer garden atop the former Bok Tech building is back for a third season. And this summer, guests can gaze across the city from eight stories above it while noshing on dollar dumplings and scallion pancake “tacos” from brand-new Humble Dumplings.

American Sardine Bar
Point Breeze

The vintage lawn chairs in American Sardine Bar’s backyard beer garden encourage hanging out and drinking watermelon beers while munching on onion rings and bologna sliders. Look for: Special events where the kitchen crew drags out the charcoal grill for some old-school grilling — you won’t be disappointed.

PHS Pop Up Garden at 15th and South
Graduate Hospital

Back for its fourth year at its flagship spot, the Horticultural Society has teamed up with Cantina Los Caballitos to take care of food offerings this time around. The garden will feature live music on Brewsday Tuesdays and a rotating crew of chefs from the likes of Noord and La Divisa Meats will take over the menu on first and third Thursdays.

City Tap House
University City

A green roof on this sizable gastropub at 39th and Walnut includes two outdoor patios, perfect for spending warm, summer nights outside while those pesky Penn students are gone for the season.

William Street Common
University City

This indoor beer hall near the UPenn campus is also a music venue and event space, but its outdoor patio is perfect for al fresco drinking. Note that William Street has done away with the no-tipping policy they experimented with in the past, replacing it with a surprisingly solid list of $3 craft beer drafts as well as a la carte sandwiches and bar snacks.

Rooftop Beer Garden at Cira Green
University City

This new rooftop green space features breathtaking cityscapes, live music, and limited release keg tappings (plus cocktails and wine, too). It’s open every Friday from 5 pm. until 9 p.m. through June 23rd. Look for: The large green sign between Chestnut and Walnut on 30th Street that reads “Cira Green” to access the elevator that will take you to the rooftop.

Watering Hole at the Philadelphia Zoo
West Philly

The Philadelphia Zoo began alcohol sales at a couple of stands around Memorial Day 2016; next came the zoo’s own beer garden. It’s back for 2017 with craft beers, soft pretzels, brats, and flatbreads from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Fridays through Sundays this summer.

Parks on Tap
Various locations

Parks on Tap is back in Fairmount Park and other parks run by the city’s Parks and Recreation department. Avram Hornik’s FCM Hospitality is running food and drink — and these pop-ups are one of the only spots you can taste acclaimed baker Alex Bois’ new Lost Bread Co. goods. Parks on Tap pops up across the city through October 1st — check out the full schedule.

East Falls Beer Garden
East Falls

Sip craft beers under the Twin Bridges every third Thursday of the month from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Brews Under the Bridges pop-up. The beer garden is helmed by longtime neighborhood resident and former Bishop’s Collar owner Megan Keel. The garden also features rotating food vendors (they kicked off with Revolution Taco in May), arts and crafts vendors, and live music.

Manayunk Brewery
Manayunk

For a view of the Schuylkill a few miles north of Center City, hit up this Main Street brewery with an outdoor deck overlooking the river.

Chestnut Hill Brewing Company Beer Garden
Chestnut Hill

This brewery on Germantown Avenue boasts a large outdoor seating area festooned with live plants where guests can enjoy a pint and a wood-fired pizza. Look for: Comfy couches — an outdoor beer garden rarity — in addition to chairs.

Suburban Beer Gardens

Beer Garden at The Creamery of Kennett Square/Facebook

Suburban Restaurant and Beer Garden
Exton

With chef Eric Yost’s bona fides as a former executive chef at White Dog Cafe and Wyebrook Farm, Suburban’s beer garden grub might be the most sustainable in the region: locally sourced cheese, bacon, and produce dot the menu. It’s also one of the most restaurant-like of the beer gardens on our list, eschewing boardwalk-style fare for handmade pastas, a slew of mac and cheese options, and meaty and vegetarian entrees in addition to casual treats like hand-cut fries and sandwiches. Look for: The all-local draft list from the likes of Stickman, Levante, and Evil Genius.

Conshohocken Beer Garden
Conshohocken

Back again after its 2016 debut, this suburban beer garden overlooks the Schuylkill River. In addition to beer, wine, and food from Pietro Restaurant Group’s Bar Lucca, the garden features lots of games — ping pong, giant Jenga, cornhole, and more — plus live music. It’s open from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m Fridays only through the end of June, takes a break for July and August, and opens again on September 8th to continue into October.

The Creamery of Kennett Square
Kennett Square

A creamery built in 1903 and repurposed as an event and gathering space in 2016 returns for a second season of food, drink, lawn games, and music on May 26th. This season, the space will be open Thursday through Sunday with BBQ-style fare, craft beer, and wine.

The Beer Garden at Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square

Early summer, when the blooms proliferate and the heat hasn’t hit, is the perfect time to visit Longwood — especially this year, now that the three-year renovation of the garden’s breathtaking fountain is complete. Their beer garden returns Saturday, May 27th and goes through September 30th. Guests can enjoy live music on Thursdays as well as ticketed showtimes for the Summer of Spectacle fountain experience Thursday through Saturday evenings. Look for: Longwood Seasons: Oro Blanco, a Longwood-only exclusive German wheat beer by Victory Brewing Co. that incorporates the juices and peel from oroblanco grapefruit grown onsite.

Beer Gardens That Are Opening Soon

The Oval Beer Garden/Facebook

PHS Pop Up Garden at uCity Square
University City

PHS came west this year to transform vacant space at 36th and Filbert Streets into an open-air European-style garden with an apple orchard and canopy formed by live vining plants. Jet Wine Bar is heading up the garden, with food from its sibling restaurants Rex 1516 and Cafe Ynez on offer, too. The uCity pop-up garden will debut this year on Wednesday, May 31st.

The Oval
Logan Circle

This “Park on the Parkway” returns to Eakins Oval in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art with events, live music, movie nights and activities for all ages starting at 5 p.m. on July 20th.

Beer Gardens in the Planning Stages

The Porch at 30th Street Station/Facebook

The Porch at 30th Street Station
University City

Our 2016 beer gardens roundup included rumblings that University City District would host a beer garden at The Porch, but sadly, the plan never came to fruition. They’re trying again this year, with a UCD rep telling us that while there’s no opening date for a beer garden at The Porch yet this season, one is “very much in the works” for summer 2017. For now, there’s still food and live music to enjoy (check out the schedule of events).

Tria Wine Garden
Center City

Philly’s resident beer, wine, and cheese experts are expanding their empire once again with this wine-centric concept that will take over the indoor and patio space formerly occupied by Brodo at 18th and Chestnut Streets. The new outpost is projected to open sometime this summer.

Bookmark this page, as we’ll be updating our Philadelphia beer garden guide as more details are announced.

Additional reporting by Arthur Etchells.

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