Finally, it’s drinking outside season. Though a bottle of wine in the park sounds lovely, it’s a little bit illegal. Try one of these open-air watering holes and avoid the hefty fine.
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Stratus: Best place to look down on everyone
Though its classy décor may make you think you’ve gone Gatsby, it’s Stratus’ rooftop location that will have you looking down on the city. Soak up a summer sunset as you gaze from your location high atop 5th and Chestnut. Or get cozy on one of the swanky couches — just make sure you’ve got a masterfully mixed cocktail in hand.
437 Chestnut St., 215-925-2889, www.stratuslounge.com.
P.O.P.E.: Best place to flirt with hipsters
The outdoor seating at Pub on Passyunk East is limited, but it’s worth getting there early to snag a table. The beer list is extensive and well curated, so you’ll want to take time to comb through it. After a few tastings at happy hour prices, you might have enough courage to chat up the cutie locking up his bike.
1501 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-755-5125, www.pubonpassyunkeast.com.
Graffiti Bar: Best outdoor seating that requires walking through an alley
It not as bad as it sounds. In fact, it’s hard not to feel a twinge of excitement as you slink down the narrow alley off 13th. The payoff is great: communal tables, a full bar, and one of the city’s best happy hour menus. The low price tag gives you a chance to sample several plates of finger food and wash it down with a refreshing cocktail.
124 S. 13th St., 215-732-3501, www.sampanphilly.com/graffiti-bar
Gold Standard Café: Best BYOB (brunch edition)
Gold Standard is right on Baltimore Ave., West Philly’s main drag. And while there are trolleys chugging past and sidewalks fill with families, there’s something about this corner that makes everything slow down. Maybe it’s just the West Philly pace, but this corner, surrounded by blooming trees in spring and summer, is a sleepy getaway from Center City.
4800 Baltimore Ave., 215-727-8247,www. thegoldstandardcafe.com.
Will: Best BYOB (dinner edition)
If you want elevated cuisine, outdoor seating, and the option to bring your own beverage, Will is just the place. The menu is seasonal but the core is always French. With the money that you save by bringing your own bottle of wine, you can feel less guilty about ordering dessert.
1911 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-271-7683, www.willbyob.com.
Last Drop: Best place to drink coffee outdoors
Let’s remember, not all outdoor drinking has to be boozy – though most of it should be. Whether you’re nursing last night’s hangover, or you’re “working from home” on a leisurely Tuesday, Last Drop is a quaint corner coffee shop with decent bagels and pastries for nomming. And when you decide that you want to head into the quintessential windowless dive bar later on, Dirty Frank’s is right across the street.
1300 Pine St., 215-893-9262, www.thelastdropcoffeehouse.com.