Beer gardens are a limited-time treat. They pop up all over Philadelphia when the weather warms, beckoning with Victory Summer Love on draft and frozen margaritas, barbecue and tacos, before closing up shop come September or October. And then there’s nothing to do but head inside and wait until next year. So get to these Philly beer gardens now, as they’re opening, and make the most of outdoor-drinking season. Prefer to take in the views from a rooftop table? Find those here.Read More
A Guide to Philly’s Essential Beer Gardens
Where to drink outside this summer
1. PHS Pop Up Garden on South Street
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s always popular pop-up beer garden on South Street is back with beer, wine, cocktails, and food from the crew behind Royal Tavern, Cantina Los Caballitos, Khyber Pass Pub, and Triangle Tavern. When happy hour winds down and it starts to get dark, the greenery-filled garden is lit up by strands of lights.
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2. Jet Wine Bar
The wine experts at Jet Wine Bar on South Street turned a lot next door into a little oasis for drinking outside. Along with the red, white, and rosé, there are cans of beer and cider, summery cocktails, spiked water ice, and snacks, like truffle and black pepper popcorn.
3. Independence Beer Garden
Michael Schulson’s Old City beer garden, set across from the Liberty Bell, gets the summertime vibe just right with picnic tables, string lights, lots of greenery, TVs, and games. To drink, there are seasonal beers on draft and in cans and cocktails like a tequila cucumber cooler. The food menu includes bar snacks (wings, pretzel bites, chips and guac), plus salads and sandwiches.
4. Spruce Street Harbor Park
Hammocks, trees, floating gardens, colorful lights, live music, Franklin Fountain ice cream, Distrito’s tacos, HipCityVeg’s vegan sandwiches, and multiple bars pouring seasonal brews and draft cocktails, all in a waterfront locale — what more could Philly ask for?
5. Morgan's Pier
Set on the Delaware River, Morgan’s Pier is a sprawling beer garden with water views, a lively crowd, and events all summer long. The food is from chef Adam Lazarick, who uses sandwich rolls and pizza dough from Alex Bois of Lost Bread Co. The cocktails are pure summer, from the watermelon rickey to the frozen margaritas. There’s a party atmosphere at night.
6. The Shack at La Peg
La Peg has the FringeArts theater through one door and the Shack through another. The beer garden is a laid-back spot with unbeatable views of the Ben Franklin Bridge and summery eats from chef Peter Woolsey.
7. Drury Beer Garden at Opa
Inside, Opa is a sleek Greek restaurant with grilled octopus, spanakopita, and stuffed grape leaves. But if hot dogs and cans of Bells Two Hearted (or a quirky new addition to the menu: Wild Tonic alcoholic kombucha) are what’s called for, head out back to the cheerful courtyard.
8. Uptown Beer Garden
Teddy Sourias of Bru, U-Bahn, Tradesman’s, and Blume tucked a seasonal beer garden between office towers on JFK. But this is no cozy nook — Uptown Beer Garden spans 9,000 square feet, with four bars, a grill, picnic tables, and lots and lots of people. There’s a party vibe.
9. PHS Pop Up Garden at uCity Square
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society transformed a vacant lot in University City into what has become a favorite spot for relaxing outside, beer in hand. The theme is urban orchard, with apple trees and flowering vines, and the food is from the Jose Pistola’s crew.
10. Parks On Tap (multiple locations)
This roving beer garden from the city’s Parks & Rec department, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, and FCM Hospitality bounces around to 23 different parks all across the city from now through September, stopping at each for a few days with beer, barbecue and other fare, games, and places to sit and eat.
11. The Urban Green at the Philadelphia Zoo
The downside here is zoo admission is required, so if the plan was all beer, no gorillas, this isn’t the best choice. But for those who want a cold beer and a bite before or after seeing gorillas — or short-eared elephant shrews, pig-nosed turtles, and red kangaroos — this place is pretty much ideal. Three food trucks sell vegetarian fare, fried favorites, and paninis.
12. Pentridge Station
The owners of Eritrean/Ethiopian restaurant Dahlak run this kid-friendly beer garden in West Philly, which comes complete with music, movie nights, games, and food.
13. Frankford Hall
Stephen Starr’s lively Frankford Hall in Fishtown takes its cues from German biergartens with communal tables, beer served in liters, and a menu of wursts, Bavarian pretzels, and wiener schnitzel.
14. Evil Genius Beer Garden
Though it’s under the El tracks, the Evil Genius Beer Garden brings the oasis vibes with umbrellas, wooden seating, a mural, trellises, faux grass, and more. It’s a good spot to try the brewery’s lineup of beers with quirky names like “#adulting” and “The Painting Was a Gift, Todd.”
15. Cannstatter Volkfest-Verein Biergarten
This German-American club in Northeast Philly dating back to the 1870s boasts a giant beer garden. It’s open every Friday evening from May through October, with live music, bar food, and plenty of beer, wine, and mixed drinks.
16. Chestnut Hill Brewing Company
Wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, local brews, and cushy couches are on the menu at Chestnut Hill Brewing Company’s enclosed beer garden, set outside of the Market at the Fareway behind the Chestnut Hill Hotel.