January 21, 2014
As the snow falls on Philadelphia, take shelter at bars and restaurants offering stellar views of the snowy scenery through large windows and via sky-high vantage points.
Whether overlooking Rittenhouse Square, Independence Mall or the city’s skyline, there are many options for snow-day dining and drinking while watching our city become a winter wonderland.
For those who don’t want to risk traveling out of the city tonight, check out deals on Philadelphia hotels tonight and stay over right in town.
And, as always, be sure to call ahead or check the #OpeninPHL hashtag to be sure spots are open before heading out in the snow.
Our picks for the top spots to watch the snow, below.
• Lacroix: Few spots in the city are more picturesque on a snowy day than Rittenhouse Square. Located on the second floor of The Rittenhouse Hotel, Lacroix features elegant décor, sophisticated dining and drinks, and a broad view of Rittenhouse Square through large windows, making it an ideal spot to while away the chilly hours.
• Smith & Wollensky: Also at The Rittenhouse, Smith & Wollensky is the casual choice for sweet second-floor views of Rittenhouse Square. The steak house-style menu offers belly-filling meals like a coffee-cocoa rubbed filet and a beefy pot pie to ward off any chill.
• a.bar: With sophisticated touches everywhere you look, the new bar at the AKA Rittenhouse Square, offers up a polished bar-going experience. At a.bar, large windows look out over bustling Walnut Street and Rittenhouse Square. Pair the snowfall with an expertly mixed cocktail and a dozen oysters for a warming winter happy hour.
• Parc: With ample window seating overlooking Rittenhouse Square, Parc ranks as one of the best places in Philadelphia for scenic drinking and dining. A bubbling crock of French onion soup and glass of strong red wine ought to pair nicely with views of a snow-blanketed square.
• Rouge: With its prime Rittenhouse location, Rouge has long been a top spot to see and be seen in the Rittenhouse neighborhood. During a snow day, the dining room becomes an ideal spot to watch the snowscape rather than fashion plates through its large windows looking out on Rittenhouse Square.
• Devon Seafood Grill: You can’t really beat Devon’s cushy location right on Rittenhouse Square, especially when the weather calls for snow and cocktails are in order.
• Level 33: In search of sweeping city views to pair with snow-day drinks or dinner? Level 33 Restaurant and Sky Lounge at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel serves up amazing cityscapes and tasty fare as the second highest restaurant in Philadelphia — if only temporarily. On the 33rd floor of the historic PSFS building, Level 33 popped up to serve as a cocktail and dining destination during the Loews’ ground-floor renovations.
• R2L: Perched high atop Liberty Place, R2L features completely amazing 360 degree views of the city. When snow is swirling through the air, the vantage point makes diners feel like they’re in the eye of the storm — with a cocktail in hand.
• XIX (Nineteen): From the 19th floor of The Hyatt at the Bellevue, the building’s top floor, Nineteen (XIX) offers spectacular views of the surrounding city and the falling snow.
• Fountain Restaurant & Swann Lounge: At the Four Seasons Philadelphia, the Fountain Restaurant overlooks the majestic Swann Memorial Fountain sculpture by Alexander Stirling Calder in the center of Logan Square. Enjoy sweeping views of the grand Benjamin Franklin Parkway and its gorgeous Beaux Arts architecture covered in snow from either the elegant dining room or cozy lounge.
• Red Owl Tavern: Situated overlooking Independence Mall, Red Owl Tavern and Stratus Rooftop Lounge at the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia are both ideal spots for an intermission while exploring America’s birthplace. When the snow covers Independence Mall, Red Owl offers great access to stunning snowy views and soul-warming American fare.
• Zahav: In Old City, James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov’s modern Israeli mecca makes an ideal snow-watching spot. At Zahav, large windows overlook Philadelphia’s historic buildings, while the soaring ceiling gives the dining room an open-air quality while the weather swirls outside. Order up a bowl of hummus and a whiskey-based cocktail for winter warming enjoyment.
• Pizzeria Stella: With huge windows looking out on the historic shambles at Headhouse Square, Pizzeria Stella is a casual spot to sit and let the snow fall while noshing on toasty 12-inch pizzas and sipping vino.
• City Tap House: In University City, beer mecca City Tap House has second-floor views overlooking Walnut Street and more than 70 brews on tap to help pass the time on a snowy day.
• Stateside: On East Passyunk, the large street-facing windows at Stateside make a lovely frame for a snowy day on the Avenue. Sup on small plates made with locally sourced products, American-made craft beers, wines and spirits, and keep an eye on the snow-covered Singing Fountain.
• Cake: In Chestnut Hill, greenhouse-style cafe Cake is set to remain open despite the storm, and the windowed dining room offers multiple views of the accumulation.