The Best Beer Gardens in Philadelphia
Where to go for al fresco beers this summer
It’s beer garden season in Philadelphia again and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Beer gardens are the ultimate summertime hangout. Why? For so many reasons. For one, it’s hard to beat being outside drinking beer. But one of the biggest reasons we love beer gardens so much is their versatility. Think about it: The open-air hangouts are perfect for a night out with friends, a happy hour with co-workers, dinner and drinks with the family and even a daytime hang with kids. Seriously, many beer gardens become stroller-central during the daytime. And that’s awesome.
Fortunately, Philadelphia has numerous beer gardens for one and all to enjoy. There are the established favorites like Frankford Hall and Morgan’s Pier, as well as new additions and pop-ups like the Spruce Street Harbor Park, The Oval and the PHS Pop-Up Garden.
So whether you’re looking for a litre of draft beer served in an authentic German beer stein (Frankford Hall) or looking to enjoy a local beer in a waterfront hammock garden (Spruce Street Harbor Park), Philadelphia’s beer gardens have you covered.
Read on for our guide to beer gardens in Philadelphia.
Spruce Street Harbor Park
The hammock-filled haven on the Delaware River
The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s (DRWC) Spruce Street Harbor Park returns for a third year, attracting delighted visitors. Along with ample outdoor seating (including nets suspended over the river), local beer and higher-end grab-and-go food available from cargo containers, the seasonal park features an expanded hammock garden, more arcade games, an urban beach, fountains and a series of barges with lily pad water gardens.
PHS Pop Up Garden On South Street
Two temporary outdoor escapes with food, beer and more
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) offers two Pop Up Gardens in 2016, each with a different vibe via foliage that helps set the mood. One returns to the South Street lot next to Jamaican Jerk Hut, where fragrant herbs, crape myrtles, climbing vines and a tall mulberry tree set a soothing tone. The Khyber Pass Pub oversees the beer and cocktail program, which features a botanical bar, frozen daiquiris and brewery favorites. The menu reflects the diversity of South Philly’s residents via sweet potato summer rolls, Italian charcuterie, and bacon guacamole.
PHS Pop Up Garden at the Viaduct Rail Park
New this year, Garden at the Viaduct Rail Park is the second Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) Pop Up Garden. Landscape architect Walter Hood has merged post-industrial structures with urban green space, blending art, history and red cedars and staghorn sumac. Chefs Jason Cichonski of Ela and The Gaslight and Sylva Senat of Dos Tacos and Maison helm the Bun Box, serving steamed bao and other buns stuffed with tikka masala, Buffalo chicken and more. The garden bar will have six beers on tap (including a special PHS beer from Victory Brewing Co.), canned beers and throwback-to-modern cocktails, from Fish House Punch to blood orange margaritas.
A little slice of Munich in Fishtown
Perfect summer dining and nightlife on the Delaware River Waterfront
Conveniently located next to Race Street Pier, Morgan’s Pier draws people for weekend brunch, weekday DJs with no cover and close-up views of the Delaware River and Ben Franklin Bridge. In a backyard setting with wooden picnic tables, umbrellas, twinkling lights and Liden trees, the laid-back crowd enjoys a hefty selection of canned and draft beers, some mixed into cocktails, along with a refined picnic menu overseen this year by chef James Burke. After dark, Morgan’s Pier hosts musicians and guest DJs.
'Parks on Tap' Traveling Beer Garden Series in Fairmount Park
Beer gardens will pop up at parks throughout Philly all summer long
Concession trucks meet permanent parks during the brand new Parks on Tap. The program takes advantage of lush extant spaces and Philly’s wealth of mobile suppliers to bring two trucks at a time (one food, one craft beer and more adult beverages), along with live music and outdoor games to Schuylkill Banks at Walnut Street Bridge, Penn Treaty Park, Clark Park, Lemon Hill and more. The summer series runs from June 29 through October 2 at parks throughout Philly.
Pop-up park on the Parkway
The Oval returns to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a summer of outdoor fun beginning on July 15, 2016. Along with food, musical performances, movies and mini-golf, visitors can say cheers to a beer garden on Wednesday through Saturday nights through August 21. The Oval’s beer selection varies throughout the five-week run.
Independence Beer Garden
Cold beer and tasty food steps from Independence Mall
Located across from the Liberty Bell Center, the aptly named Independence Beer Garden brings 20,000 square feet of outdoor drinking and eating space to America’s most historic square mile. Helmed by chef-restaurateur Michael Schulson of Sampan fame, the seasonal beer garden serves up an all-American food and drink menu. Think pigs in a blanket, double-decker burgers, salads and strawberry shortcake washed down by a rotating can and tap beer list from breweries such as Victory, Deschutes, Yards, 21st Amendment and Fat Head. Adding to the atmosphere: Adirondack chairs, games, string lights and ivy-covered pergolas.
Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
Philadelphia’s first outdoor roller rink and a seasonal favorite at Penn’s Landing
DRWC expands the fun with Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, complete with Philly’s only outdoor roller skating rink, a nine-hole mini-golf course and plentiful food offerings from Chickie’s and Pete’s Waterfront Crabshack.
Uptown Beer Garden
An awesome beer garden in the center of Center City
After a wildly successful first season, Uptown Beer Garden reemerges for a second summer in Center City. The 9,000 square foot courtyard of the BNY Mellon Wealth building encompasses two bars with a global street food menu courtesy of Jonathan Petruce, plus spirits, wines and beer, including an exclusive IPA concocted for the garden by Pizza Boy Brewing Company.
Haas Beer Garden at La Peg
Take in views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge with a drink in your hand
Offering a stunning view of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, La Peg, which shares a building with FringeArts, offers craft beers aplenty (with prices as low as $3 a can) and live performances on select nights in its picture-perfect beer garden. This summer brings the opening of the Seafood Shack, a quick-service counter dishing up lobster rolls, fried clams and crab poutine.
Enjoy food and drinks 51 floors up
The city’s tallest beer garden, SkyGarten will combine the dramatic views of the uppermost floors of Three Logan Square’s SkyBrunch with the culinary magic of chef Jeremy Nolen. Visitors can choose from four drafts, canned German and craft beers, cocktails and a bar snack menu while enjoying a superb vista 51 floors up.
The Philadelphia Zoo Beer Garden
Pretty soon, adult zoo-goers will be able to roam the park with a glass of beer or wine in their hands. Equally as awesome, a beer garden is in the works called The Watering Hole, to be located adjacent to the zoo's popular lunch spot Eagles Roost. Guests can expect a relaxing beer garden setting surrounded by trees, which of course, will sit just steps away from an oasis of zoo animals.
Deck at the Independence Seaport Museum
One of the city’s newest green public spaces
Celebrating its second full summer season, Dilworth Park enters the outdoor drinking mix every Wednesday (5-7 p.m.) from June 1 through September 28 during the popular Center City District Sips series. On the large outdoor terrace adjacent to the cafe, patrons enjoy discounted wines, beers and cocktails with DJs providing the soundtrack.
Craft beers, creative sandwiches and an outdoor patio
Part diner, part bar and part dance club, Silk City is one of Philly’s coolest night spots.
Heffe Beer Garden
Opa's Drury Beer Garden
American Sardine Bar
Eclectic home for comforting foods
Hop Angel Brauhaus
Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant
Taking the meaning of “Manayunk” — “a place to drink” — quite literally
City Tap House - University City
Evil Genius Brew Garden
Longwood Gardens' Beer Garden
A beer garden inside one of the world's premiere horticulture destinations