Al Fresco Summer Dining in Philadelphia
Best Restaurants to Dine Al Fresco in Philadelphia: South Philly
Passyunk Avenue has it all: New York Times-certified “hipster-ready cafes” and a streetscape that’s copacetic to plein-air partisans. From a crispy baguette stuffed with brisket and pepperoncini jam on the sidewalk at Birra (1700 East Passyunk Avenue, 267-324-3127) to James Beard semifinalist Joe Cicala’s ethereal (and affordable) pastas on the patio at Le Virtù (1927 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-271-5626) to Lee Styer and Jessie Prawlucki’s doubly Beard-recognized French fare and pastry magic at Fond (1617 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-551-5000), there are more ways to go right than wrong.
But there’s more to South Philly.
Bistrot La Minette (623 South 6th Street, 215-925-8000) serves regional French classics on an atmospheric back patio festooned with strings of Christmas lights. Hawthornes (738 South 11th Street, 215-627-3012) combines pancake brunch, a bottle shop and street seating like literally no one else. And The Sidecar (2201 Christian Street, 215-732-3429) did more than give the Graduate Hospital ’hood a hub for high-gravity beer; it transformed a notorious drug-dealing corner into a sidewalk-dining institution whose supporters flooded City Council chambers when its permit was threatened.
Which goes to show that al fresco dining can go beyond summer pleasure. It might just be your civic duty.
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