An Insider’s Guide to the Best Seats at Parc

Parc Restaurant on Rittenhouse Square / Photograph by Jumping Rocks/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Parc, one of Philly’s most beautiful restaurants, is also one of its most popular. In fact? It’s one of 2023’s most successful indie restaurants in the U.S. Which means you can’t always pick where you sit, allows general manager Lauren Shandelman — but sometimes, the planets align, and you get to sip your sancerre in the seat where a president once dined, or in the banquette most requested by the Rittenhouse elite, or at the most coveted two-top in the city at this, the grand dame of Philly. Here’s our insider’s cheat sheet to Parc.

best seats parc rittenhouse

A. If you can’t get a table: The bar serves full meals — and constantly turns over. You can also, in a pinch, stand at the pillar by the bar with a drink.

B. Even the high chairs (rattan, naturally) have been special-ordered from France. Bien sûr.

C. The most sought-after seats: Shandelman says the comfortable banquettes closest to 18th Street — in the midst of all the action — are the most requested seats in the place. Tables 110, 81, 82, 84, 85 & 86.

D. Best views (indoor): Tables 108, 109 & 91-95, which look right out onto Rittenhouse­ Square, offer the best people-watching­ (18th Street foot traffic).­ If you have a choice, 94 & 95 offer more leg room, Shandelman says.

E. Best views (outdoor): Trios, take note — these highly sought-after outdoor two-tops (301-308), some of the best plein air seating in the city, actually can be arranged to fit three (plus, if you wish, your pup).

F. For peace: “Parc is not a quiet restaurant,”­ Shandelman admits. But tables 27, 35 & 53, cushioned and buffered as they are from foot traffic,­ are typically the quietest.

G. The most romantic seats in the house: It’s sweet to “sit cutesy” (that’s side-by-side) in a banquette, Shandelman notes, but she prefers the two-tops — 16 & 17 — under the twinkly­ lights of Locust Street. “Less foot traffic, more intimacy.”

H. Winter warning: You don’t want to sit by the doors — brrr! — if you can help it. Tables 11 & 95.

I. A “secret” view of the Square:
Outdoor tables 201-207 & 701-704 are some of Shandelman’s favorites. “It’s gorgeous, and there’s less foot traffic than on 18th.”

J. Parc’s most private spot: This cozy banquette, tucked in a corner. Table 53.

K. No reservations? These two-tops are saved for walk-ins.

L. Here’s where you’ll find the loudest seats in the house.

M. President Biden sat here! Table 43.

To get the full effect, check out our cheat sheet of Parc, here.


>> Click here to return to The Best Seats in Philadelphia

Published as “The Seating Chart: Parc” in the July 2024 issue of Philadelphia magazine.