The Easy, Breezy, Laid-Back, Super-Relaxed, We-Love-Summer Guide to Outdoor Dining

From Center City to the Shore, our 20 favorite places to dine alfresco Plus: The newest spots for cocktails

For a drink

The newest spots for cocktails, rooftop to poolside

116 South 18th Street, 215-568-1020,

On a nice night, the dance floor of Center City’s sleek Vango is often all but empty; patrons decamp to the spacious third-floor roof deck. While the club’s specialty cocktails (Green Wednesday, Turquoise Thursday, Black Friday, etc.) seem as gimmicky as the big square beds (yes, beds) clustered in the corner, we actually liked them once we tried them (unlike the beds) — especially the Blue Monday, with blueberry schnapps, champagne and a sugared rim.

102 South 13th Street, 215-701-4786,

As it turns out, there might be something better than a bottle of rosé sipped at a sidewalk cafe: a bottle of cocktails on the oh-so-civilized second-floor roof deck at Midtown Village’s new Apothecary. This isn’t the over-the-top and overpriced bottle service of too many chic clubs. These are cocktails for wine drinkers; six-glass portions of bartender-mixed classics (the brandy-and-rum Philadelphia Fish House Punch) and creatives (the shochu-based Kyushu Sour) to be poured into proper old-timey glasses.

The Water Club
1 Renaissance Way, Atlantic City, 609-317-8888,

Sure, enjoying chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s extra-spicy white Bloody Marys (made with tomato water and wasabi) and sweet and kicky dark ‘n’ stormys by one of the new Water Club’s five posh pools will cost you all your poker winnings — and then some. But in A.C., where exclusivity never feels all that exclusive, such truly chic treats are very much worth the price of admission.