The most endearing quality of these top-rated outdoor bars goes beyond the twinkle of string lights and the novelty of a hammock garden. It lies in the fact that Philly's al fresco season is fleeting. In just a few months' time, temperate breezes give way to blustery autumnal winds, and heat lamps don't quite hold the same charm as candlelight, do they?
Translation: Get to these outdoor spots while Mother Nature allows.
A tangle of English ivy and string lights scales the walls within the verdant courtyard at Talula's Garden, a charming farm-to-table eatery just off Washington Square Park. Back on solid ground, seasonal blooms burst forth from a plenitude of planters, adding a pop of color to a space dominated by the umber tones of reclaimed wood.
Pro tip: Arrive post-sundown, and have your pinot gris and cheese board at the garden bar.
210 W. Washington Square, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Young professionals congregate at this swanky bar and restaurant, perched 11 stories above the ground at the trendy Hotel Monaco. Here, flames from a linear fire feature lick the summer air behind an upholstered banquette, while ambient colored lights cast an atmospheric glow upon martini-fueled evenings.
The Hotel Monaco, 433 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Interspersed with s'more-friendly fire pits, rows of picnic tables beckon to imbibers within the gravel courtyard at this contemporary "biergarten," which is open year-round.
Bartenders fill steins with German brews from behind multiple bars, so the wait for a Hofbräu or a Köstritzer is rarely ever long, while wiener schnitzel and giant soft pretzels provide sustenance to the after-hours crowd.
1210 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19125
A 3,000-square-foot beer garden adds yet another role to the multi-tasking nightclub, retro diner, and cocktail lounge otherwise known as Silk City. When it opens in the spring, the beer garden is a scenic spot for sipping sangria under the criss-cross of string lights. Return in the morning for Silk City's oft-raved-about brunch.
435 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia, PA 19123
The jewel in the crown of Philly's seasonal bars, Spruce Street Harbor Park transforms a stretch of the Delaware River waterfront into an urban "beach" every summer. Instead of sand, however, visitors are greeted by a hammock garden, a boardwalk made from repurposed shipping containers, and pay-as-you-go concessions that span tacos to craft beer.
Once the sun sets, a canopy of color-changing LED lights imparts an other-worldly glow upon the beloved outdoor space.
301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Located right on the Delaware River and able to seat 500 people, the seasonal Morgan's Pier works overtime as a restaurant, beer garden and entertainment venue (think DJs and live music).
Don't depart without trying the bar's popular Watermelon Rickey and snapping a selfie with the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
221 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19123