Summer is a great time to enjoy dining out in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, especially at the many restaurants that feature seasonal menus, outdoor seating, and cool cocktails to beat the heat. What follows is a guide to five of the best Philadelphia restaurants for summer dining in the city. Whether you want to savor some of the freshest ingredients to be featured in the summer kitchen, or want a great view of the action while dining alfresco, you can’t beat these choices.
1. Devon Seafood Grill
Devon is an excellent choice for a summer restaurant in Philadelphia. This seafood-oriented establishment features always-changing catches of the day, so diners know they are getting the freshest choices available at the moment. One can take his or her meal at Devon while dining outside and taking in the greenery and activity of Rittenhouse Square. The large bar in the front is also a great choice for a light meal, as you can stay inside and away from the heat while enjoying the view through Devon’s large window bays. A cool Strawberry and Baby Greens Salad would be a refreshing summer starter, or perhaps a half-dozen fresh shucked oysters on ice. Follow up with a fresh fish of the day like tuna, grouper or snapper, or perhaps a Lobster Cobb Salad.
Devon Seafood Grill is open for lunch and dinner daily, and serves Sunday brunch as well. Dining at Devon can be a bit of a splurge for the budget, as a full dinner for two plus a bottle of wine or several cocktails can easily run $120 -150. Starters average $7 – 14, and entrees $17 – 45.
2. Parc Restaurant Bistro & Cafe
If seafood is not your meal of choice, consider Parc, which is located right next door on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. Entering Parc is like being transported to a Parisian bistro, and their many outdoor tables provide a perfect setting for a summer restaurant experience. Start with a refreshing cocktail, or a glass of chilled French white wine. A beet salad topped with raspberry vinaigrette or Tomato Tartare would be perfect for a light summer lunch, or perhaps a Tomato and Mozzarella Baguette to enjoy while tomatoes are at their peak ripeness.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served at Parc, with a limited mid-afternoon menu available as well. Most starters, salads and smaller plates run from $8 – 15, and entrees are in the $16 – 30 range. This Philly restaurant surely is a great choice for summer dining, whether one wants a light snack or a full meal, nearly any time of the day.
Matyson is a Philly restaurant that may not feature outdoor dining in the summertime, but its ever-changing menu is sure to emphasize seasonal ingredients. Their summer kitchen celebrates both the fruits and vegetables at their freshest, but also the best ways to prepare them. Along with their changing regular menu, Matyson features a weekly tasting menu, Monday – Thursday nights, with 5 courses offered for $45. Upcoming this June 2010 is a tasting menu celebrating BBQ season, including such summertime delights as Charred Watermelon Salad, Crispy Smoked Baby Back Ribs, and a Grilled Diver Scallop with Summer Vegetable Salad. Lunch options at Matyson run $7 – 16, and for the summer features such treats as a Baby Arugula Salad with fresh corn, blackberries, ricotta salata and tarragon vinaigrette.
Matyson serves lunch Monday through Friday, and dinner all nights of the week except for Sunday. Matyson is a BYOB establishment, so be sure to bring a nice chilled bottle of wine with you to this restaurant in Philadelphia.
4. Pub & Kitchen
This Philadelphia gastropub on 20th Street makes for a great place to relax during the summer months. Enjoy outdoor dining away from the hustle and bustle of Rittenhouse Square, or inside where the large windows open up onto the street yet still provide plenty of cool shade. Relax with a seasonal cocktail like a Blueberry Gimlet, or the daily-changing Sangria. A Market Salad is sure to feature the freshest ingredients to be found in the summer kitchen, or perhaps try the Homemade Truffle Pork Terrine with Radish Salad & Brioche. Light bar snacks are available starting at $3, such as the summertime picnic favorite, Deviled Eggs. Other choices are offered in the $6 – 25 range, typically.
Pub & Kitchen is open daily, with lunch and brunch hours over the weekend making it a great restaurant in Philadelphia to hit either before a Phillies game, or after a long day shopping and sight-seeing.
5. Mixto Restaurant
When the heat gets unbearable, Mixto makes for a great place to cool off in Philadelphia, on Spruce Street in the historic Antiques Row area. Mixto is a Philly restaurant that offers Cuban, Latin American and Caribbean food that is perfect for hot summer dining, whether inside their two-story tropical-style space or outside in their South Beach-themed dining area. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Try the Lomito Pico de Gallo, a grilled pork loin served with grilled pineapple, Peruvian mashed potatoes, and guacamole. Or perhaps a Pan-seared tilapia served with mango pico de gallo, radish salad, and avocado. Cool off with a fruit smoothie any time of the day, or a classic Mojito cocktail.
Mixto’s appetizers and small plates run $5 – 12, and most larger plates are in the $15 – 27 range. Open daily, this Philly restaurant will take you away from the city for at least a few hours, and transport you to a tropical paradise.
Sources and restaurant details
Devon Seafood Grill
225 South 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-6141
Hours: Sunday – Tuesday 11am – 10pm; Wednesday – Thursday 11am – 11pm; Friday & Saturday 11am – 12am; Brunch Sunday 11am – 2pm
227 South 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-6151
Hours: Monday – Thursday 7:30am – 11pm; Friday 7:30am – Midnight; Saturday 10am – midnight; Sunday 10am – 10pm
37 South 19th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-3718
Hours: Lunch Monday – Friday 11:30am – 2:30pm; Dinner Monday – Friday 5pm – 10pm; Friday & Saturday 5pm – 11pm
Pub & Kitchen
1946 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146-1411
Hours: Monday – Wednesday 4pm – 2am; Thursday – Sunday Noon – 2am
1141 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-6035
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11am – 11pm; Friday 11am – 12:30am; Saturday 8am – 12:30am; Sunday 8am – 10pm