Autumn has officially arrived on the East Coast, and cooler temps are finally hitting Philadelphia.
But that doesn’t mean the end of the beer garden season! Instead, seekers of alfresco imbibing just need to know where to look for outdoor places that remain open through October and maybe even add a little extra warmth to outdoor dining areas with heat lamps or fire pits.
As in the summer, the open-air hangouts are perfect for a night out with friends, a happy hour with coworkers, dinner and drinks with the family and even a daytime hang with kids.
Tons of beer gardens in Philadelphia install heat lamps or light up fire pits for maximum comfort in the chillier months, too. An outdoor brew by a heat lamp or fire pit is sure to keep you just as warm — maybe warmer — as you might be inside a dark bar.
Our picks for the best beer gardens to visit this fall, below.
• La Peg at FringeArts
Waterfront, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard. Just steps from Race Street Pier and the Delaware River waterfront, the sprawling 7,000 square-foot courtyard at La Peg at FringeArts welcomes guests to sip and snack outdoors with awesome views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. For those who are longing for something resembling Spruce Street Harbor Park — here’s your answer! In the cooler months, take shelter indoors (the open floor plan is very airy) or wait for the addition of fire pits to the spacious beer garden. Medium | Fire Pits | MORE INFO
• Independence Beer Garden
Old City, 100 S. Independence Mall West. This past summer, the 22,000 square-foot outdoor area of One South Independence Mall West saw the debut of awesome alfresco space Independence Beer Garden from chef Michael Schulson of Sampan in Midtown Village. The folks at Groundswell Design Group, who are known for creating outdoor spaces like the PHS Pop-Up Garden and Spruce Street Harbor Park, were behind the design, so the space is well-planned, lushly landscaped and very cool. While the beer garden remains open through the end of October, IBG’s sculptural fire pits will keep the early-fall chill at bay. Big | Fun & Games | Fire Pits | MORE INFO
• PHS Pop-Up Garden
Graduate Hospital, 1438-46 South Street. This year’s installment of the PHS Pop-Up Garden has been a super addition to the Graduate Hospital neighborhood at 15th and South streets, right next to the Jamaican Jerk Hut. On tap: a selection of craft beers and tropical cocktails, a rotating roster of food trucks and Caribbean dishes served by the Jerk Hut. The seven-days-a-week spot runs though October 19, so get there before the garden packs up for the season. Big | Fun & Games | Food Trucks | Outdoor Only | MORE INFO
• Frankford Hall
Fishtown, 1210 Frankford Avenue. Located in the heart of Fishtown, Frankford Hall is probably the most authentic-feeling beer garden in town, with indoor and outdoor seating for more than 400, multiple bars, an abundance of picnic tables, and games ranging from Jenga to ping pong. Effectively, the space is usable year-round with the help of more than a dozen heat lamps, a couple fire pits and an overhead heating system. Classic German foods (think pretzels, bratwurst) plus burgers are available at a walk-up counter, as is a hefty beer menu that includes everything from traditional German beers to craft specialties. Big | Fun and Games | MORE INFO
For more ideas on where to extend the beer garden season, see below.
• Opa’s Drury Beer Garden
Midtown Village, 1311 Sansom Street. Nestled between pedestrian thoroughfares, Sansom Street and 13th Street, Opa’s Drury Beer Garden is an ever-popular spot featuring overhead twinkle lights, game nights, food, beer and more. Play games like jenga, connect four and ping pong with a craft beer in hand — well into the fall, too. Expect seating for about 50 people and heat lamps to keep everyone comfortable. Small | Fun and Games | Heat Lamps | MORE INFO
• City Tap House
University City, 3925 Walnut Street. A green roof extending out from the second floor allows for elevated beer garden hanging while enjoying City Tap House’s scores and scores (and scores) of craft, local and mass-produced beer. City Tap House’s fire pits are turned on every night, weather permitting. Take your pick of one of the 60 beers on tap at City Tap House and call it a day. Expect seating for about 60 people. Medium | Fire Pits | MORE INFO
• Silk City
Northern Liberties, 435 Spring Garden Street. One of the longer standing beer gardens, Silk City’s spacious outdoor area gives the feel of the tropics from its Northern Liberties location — even through most of the fall, since guests are kept warm with standing heat lamps throughout the courtyard. With a variety of local and not-so-local beers, the outdoor oasis is ideal for a nightcap. The L-shaped outdoor space has a few nooks and crannies for hanging in addition to immediately visible seating at the bar and at high top tables, which allows seating for about 70 people. Medium | Live Music | Heat Lamps | MORE INFO
• Cantina los Caballitos
East Passyunk, 1651 E. Passyunk Avenue. East Passyunk’s answer to a backyard beer garden, Cantina los Caballitos is an ideal spot for people watching, drinking and eating both indoors and out. One of the biggest alfresco options on East Passyunk Avenue, Cantina annexed the vacant lot adjacent to their building a few years ago and added a tent, seating and colorful decorations making it more visitor friendly than ever before. In addition to a great spot for day drinking and nighttime beverages, Cantina also dishes plenty of Mexican brunch (and lunch and dinner!) options, too. The heat lamps roll out with the first signs of a chill, and are available well into the fall season. Expect seating for about 150 people. Big | Heat Lamps | MORE INFO
• Fette Sau
Fishtown, 1208 Frankford Avenue. Fette Sau’s rustic feel is exemplified in its front yard alfresco seating area, complete with picnic tables and heat lamps, which extends to the sidewalk for ample outdoor hanging out opportunities. Grab a plate of barbecue goodness from the cafeteria-style resto, a beer from the bar and enjoy under the sunny skies. Expect seating for about 60 people. Medium | Heat Lamps | MORE INFO
• Memphis Taproom
Fishtown, 2331 E. Cumberland Street. The narrow backyard beer garden behind Memphis Taproom is a go-to spot for canned craft beer and hot dogs from an on-site food truck. Does the name sound familiar? The bar and restaurant has also been seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The backyard beer garden is open Thursdays through Sundays, and beer garden-goers can expect seating for about 60 people and heat lamps in chilly weather. Medium | Fun and Games | Food Trucks | Heat Lamps | MORE INFO
• Llama Tooth
Spring Garden, 1033 Spring Garden Street. The colorful and mural-clad backyard patio at Llama Tooth is a popular haunt on Spring Garden Street. The bar and restaurant, which is convenient for folks heading to Union Transfer, boasts a huge menu of bottled microbrews in addition to a unfussy food menu with items like barbecue pork mac and cheese and a variety of burgers. Expect seating for about 50 people and heat lamps in a chill. Medium | Heat Lamps | MORE INFO
• Manayunk Brewing Company
Manayunk, 4120 Main Street. Situated on elevated backyard deck that overlooks the Schuylkill River, guests can enjoy alfresco brews through fall at Manayunk Brewery. The sprawling outdoor deck boasts amazing views of the Schuylkill River and the brewery promises a variety of beers brewed on-site. Score a seat by the outdoor fireplace to ward off cool weather. Big | Fireplace | MORE INFO
• BONUS: Fall Festival Beer Gardens
Who needs brick-and-mortar spaces and places? Many of Philadelphia’s fall festivals include beer garden action. From the Midtown Village Fall Festival to Bloktoberfest and beyond, most every weekend between now and Thanksgiving offers up the opportunity to revel in the crisp fall air with a beer in hand at a bustling autumn festival. Big | MORE INFO