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January 3, 2014

Roundup: Our Top Picks For Fireside Dining At Bars And Restaurants In Philadelphia

From fireplaces to fire pits, Philadelphia has many cozy spots where you can thaw out this winter. (Photos clockwise from top left by Matt Stanley for DRWC, courtesy Starr Restaurants, by T. Scheid for Visit Philadelphia, courtesy XIX)

Ready for a winter warmer, Philadelphia? Chilly, snowy weather leaves us longing for warm meals and even warmer environs.

With just a little planning, a cozy fireside seat at a Philadelphia dining destination can be easily had.

Escape the chill and snuggle up by the fire at any of the numerous bars and restaurants around the city that offer dining near a hearth or fire pit.

Remember, though, call the restaurant ahead in inclement weather to be sure the kitchen is open and the fires are blazing.

Check out our top picks for fireside dining, below.

The Dandelion: Rittenhouse, 124 S. 18th Street, 215-558-2500. Where better to enjoy British pub fare — fish and chips, toffee pudding, Welsh rarebit and one brilliant burger — than by the fire? One of Stephen Starr’s most popular restaurants, The Dandelion, offers all of the above along with a deep craft beer list and belly-warming cocktails.

XIX (Nineteen): Rittenhouse, Hyatt at The Bellevue, 200 S. Broad Street, 215-790-1919. Whether enjoying an aperitif before dinner or savoring a warm drink after a decadent meal, the wintertime spot to covet at XIX Nineteen is in front of the fireplace in the library-style bar.

Continental Midtown: Rittenhouse, 1801 Chestnut Street, 215-567-1800. Stephen Starr’s retro-hip Rittenhouse restaurant features a rooftop dining area complete with a toe-defrosting fireplace. Partially enclosed so that it’s serviceable year-round, the deck area at Continental is one of the most popular nightspots in the Rittenhouse neighborhood.

Liberté: Rittenhouse, 120 S. 17th Street, 215-569-8300. Though the palatial lobby and sophisticated dining room may not reveal the blaze immediately, fireside dining at Liberté at the Sofitel Phladelphia can be had off to the left when you enter the lounge. The glass-encased fireplace makes for a lovely complement to contemporary, French-inspired food and hand-crafted cocktails in the urban chic setting.

The Lodge at Waterfront Winterfest: Blue Cross River Rink at Penn’s Landing, 101 S Columbus Boulevard, 215-925-RINK. Though temporary, the fire pits at The Lodge at Waterfront Winterfest, the seasonal pop-up beer garden at the Blue Cross RiverRink, should be sought out for fireside fun. Available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday through March 2 (weather permitting), fire pits light up the courtyard at the RiverRink, perfect for roasting s’mores and warming up with a craft brew post-ice skating.

Swann Lounge at the Four Seasons: Logan Square, 1 Logan Square, 215-963-1500. The warm winter atmosphere at Swann Lounge is one of Philadelphia’s most elegant choices for fireside drinks. Plus, through January the Four Seasons hosts Haute Winter Nights, extending the service of the lounge into the charming outdoor courtyard of the Logan Square hotel, weather permitting, every Friday and Saturday night from 5 to 8 p.m. through January.

Amuse at Le Meridien: Logan Square, 1421 Arch Street, 215-422-8222. Within the chic Le Meridien hotel, score a spot by the fireplace for a French brasserie-inspired meal or drink at Amuse.

McGillin’s Olde Ale House: Washington Square West, 1310 Drury Street, 215-735-5562. A comfortable antique reported to be the oldest continuously operating bar in Philadelphia, McGillin’s features high beamed ceilings and a working fireplace, the perfect friendly spot at which to imbibe.

• Jones: Washington Square West, 700 Chestnut Street, 215-223-5663. Stephen Starr’s take on the The Brady Bunch living room delivers on all fronts in a way that would make Carol proud. At the heart of the dining room, a double-paned fireplaces warms diners snacking on fried chicken and apple pie.

Stratus Lounge: Old City, 433 Chestnut Street, 215-925-2889. More than 10 stories above the street, Stratus Rooftop Lounge, situated on the hotel’s roof, keeps those who want to venture alfresco toasty with a 30-foot fire wall just behind the seating area. And the vistas from the rooftop locale aren’t that bad either.

Serrano: Old City, 20 S. 2nd Street, 215-928-0770. Warm lighting, speakeasy-style atmosphere and a roaring brick fireplace make Serrano an ideal spot to settle in on a winter’s night in Old City. And with a menu of savory small plates and globally influenced entrees, plus a deep list of wine, beer and cocktails, the impulse to linger is strong.

More places to warm up, below.

The Plough & the Stars: Old City, 123 Chestnut Street, 215-733-0300. Old City’s The Plough & the Stars is a great winter watering hole. The ground-floor fireplace, high ceilings, wooden fixtures, and brews will keep revelers warm all season long.

Standard Tap: Northern Liberties, 901 N. 2nd Street, 215-238-0630. This locally loved craft beer bar in Northern Liberties is a go-to in the winter just as much as the summer. Those looking for a killer selection of local drafts and hearty eats to be enjoyed by the fireplace should report directly to Standard Tap.

Frankford Hall: Fishtown, 1210 Frankford Avenue, 215-634-3338. Ever-popular Fishtown beer garden Frankford Hall has battened down the hatches for the winter season, setting up a slew of heat lamps outside complemented by a generally roaring fire pit, as long as the weather isn’t truly frightful. Pair the flames with an alfresco fireside brew, or admire from indoors with ping-pong, juicy burgers and delicious spiked milkshakes.

The Twisted Tail: South Street, 509 S. 2nd Street, 215-558-2471. Bourbon, blues and barbecue joint The Twisted Tail is home to not one, but two fireplaces in its upstairs lounge. Really, though, a warm vibe from rich wood tones envelops the entire bar, so a cozy seat is never far away on either of the two floors of seating.

Brauhaus Schmitz: South Street, 718 South Street, 267-909-8814. One of the premier German beer bars in Philly, the Brauhaus packs in European soccer fans on the regular, but it’s also a top-notch restaurant with modern German cooking and a lovely dining room in the back, which is outfitted with a charming potbelly fireplace.

• Growlers: Bella Vista, 736 S. 8th Street, 267-519-3242. Guests who snag one of the comfy leather chairs beside the blazing fireplace at Growlers might not ever want to move. Fortunately, the bar and kitchen serves up a wide array of comfort food and craft beer daily to keep diners cozy and well fed.

Hawthornes Cafe: Bella Vista, 738 S. 11th Street, 215-627-3012. Soak in the heat from the wrought iron-covered fireplace at Hawthornes, which is an excellent beer boutique and sandwich shop that’s become a popular breakfast-through-dinner spot.

Creperie Beau Monde: Bella Vista, 624 S. 6th Street, 215-592-0656. Enjoy traditional sweet and savory crêpes at Beau Monde, a chic corner spot made even quainter by the cozy fireplace. On weekends, dance off the winter blues upstairs at L’Etage.

Devil’s Den: Bella Vista, 11th and Ellsworth streets, 215-339-0855. At neighborhood haunt Devil’s Den, knock back fireside-appropriate smoked and wood-aged beers or toasty eats like French onion soup and salmon BLTs.

Stogie Joe’s: East Passyunk, 1801 E. Passyunk Avenue, 215-463-3030. Sure, the tomato pie and live music are draws to East Passyunk joint Stogie Joe’s, but in the winter, the warm fireplace might just be the main attraction.

Marigold Kitchen: Spruce Hill, 501 S. 45th Street, 215-222-3699. Nestled on a quiet, tree-lined block of Victorian houses in the Spruce Hill section of University City, innovative American restaurant Marigold Kitchen positions tables nearby the homey hearth. It’s BYOB to boot.

City Tap House: University City, 3925 Walnut Street, 215-662-0105. Featuring extensive outdoor seating on two terraces and a row of five stone fire pits overlooking Walnut Street, this West Philly spot combines great food and great beer in a cool atmosphere. The fire pits, turned on every night unless it’s raining or snowing, facilitate outdoor fun all year.

Han Dynasty: University City, 3711 Market Street, 215-222-3711. Though the deep winter months may not allow for it, the always-popular Han Dynasty University City does offer guests a fireside dining option with its alfresco fireplace on the patio. Should weather allow, indulge in the tasty Chinese food and yummy Scorpion Bowl drinks beside a roaring fireplace.

Landmark Americana: University City, 3333 Market Street, 215-222-4500. Again, though winter weather may keep most diners indoors, University City bar and restaurant Landmark Americana does offer up delicious food and drinks and outdoor fire pits that are turned on full blast when the weather allows.

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Ben says:

Hawthornes is in Hawthorne, not Bella Vista.

Linda says:

You missed Race Street Cafe

The Mildred says:

We have a great fireplace here at The Mildred!