Suds & Shine: A Guide to Philadelphia's Beer Gardens

Saddle up at a communal table and raise your glass to the City of Brotherly Suds.

When the weather is fine, there are worse ways to spend an afternoon than taking in some sunshine with a cold beer in hand at one of Philadelphia’s many beer gardens. Here’s a selection of some top spots around town, from traditional to modern settings. 

Independence Beer Garden

Independence Beer Garden

Only in Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty, can you find a beer garden that overlooks the Liberty Bell Center and Independence National Historical Park. The sprawling outdoor space offers plenty of seating—snag a seat on an Adirondack chair, picnic table or a boulder in the rock garden.  Two bars feature local and domestic craft brews and the menu offers a range of snacks and plates, from seasoned popcorn to mahi-mahi tacos to fried chicken. 100 S. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA, 215.922.7100, phlbeergarden.com

Frankford Hall

Frankford Hall

Stephen Starr’s Frankford Hall recalls a traditional German “biergarten,” with a modern spin. Counter service, long communal tables and al fresco ping-pong make for a super-sociable atmosphere, as do the huge steins of traditional German and craft beers. Fill up on casual fare like sauerkraut, schnitzel, spaetzle and bratwurst. 1210 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 215.634.338, frankfordhall.com 

Morgan’s Pier

Morgan's Pier

The city was abuzz after news broke that Jim Burke was back in Philadelphia after a stint in New York and would head up the kitchen at Morgan’s Pier, a massive Delaware River waterfront restaurant and bar, this season. Expect great food, cold craft beers and incredible live music to enjoy while taking in the unbeatable views of the Ben Franklin Bridge. I’d start off snacking on black garlic BBQ chicken wings before ordering up a seafood boil, with scallops, oysters, clams and mussels, to share with a friend or two. 221 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA, 215.279.7134, morganspier.com

PHS Pop Up Gardens

PHS Pop Up Garden

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop Up Gardens transform this city’s abandoned lots into gorgeous community beer gardens. Head to Viaduct Rail Park at 10th and Hamilton streets for the PHS's newest location and enjoy craft beer on tap and bar bites. For a bohemian vibe, head to the garden on 15th and South streets, where palm and banana trees set the scene. phsonline.org

Drury Beer Garden

Drury Beer Garden

You’ll find this cool hang out tucked behind Opa Restaurant, a Greek eatery in Midtown Village. The beer list rotates throughout the season, but you can count on a stellar selection of craft cans and bottles, and beer on tap. The bites menu features standard bar snacks like pretzels and cheese fries, as well as Greek-inspired offerings like gyros. Pass the time playing classic bar games like Jenga, ping-pong and Connect Four. 1311 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA, 215.545.0170, opaphiladelphia.com 

Jessica Lopez
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