Essential Spots for Outdoor Dining in Chestnut Hill

El Poquito - Outdoor Dining in Chestnut Hill
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Beautiful weather calls for alfresco eats, and in Philadelphia’s Garden District, they’re served with spectacular views. Chestnut Hill’s abundant gardens and greenery make open-air dining extra special, whether you’re treating the kids to ice cream or meeting friends for small plates and cocktails.

While there are delicious menus at every restaurant and bar on Germantown Avenue, some venues stand out if you’re looking for a side of sunshine with your meal. From secret gardens and laid-back cantinas to a historic café in the park, here’s where to get your fill of fresh air and local flavor.

Casual Bites

Craving pizza? Pop into  Chestnut Hill Brewing Company and order a pie to share, where you can take in the historic cobblestoned charm of Chestnut Hill. Go traditional with a margherita pizza, order a zingy Pontz, or create your own masterpiece. To polish it all off, walk down to Bredenbeck’s Bakery & Ice Cream Parlor for a cone of Philadelphia-made Bassetts Ice Cream. Before you take your frozen treat around to the fenced side patio, snap an Instagram-worthy pic of your scoop – or scoops – in front of the mural on the bakery side of the building!

Scenic Sips

When in Chestnut Hill, a stop at the Market at the Fareway is a must. This modern farmers’ market sells local produce, deli sandwiches, and baked goods – and has one of the best outdoor environs around. Grab a craft brew and wood-fired pizza inside the adjacent Chestnut Hill Brewing Company Taproom, then head outside to drink in the spacious beer garden or lounge around the fire pit in an oversized armchair.

Main Meals

It doesn’t get more alfresco than eating trailside at Valley Green Inn, which overlooks the Wissahickon Creek. This historic roadhouse in Fairmount Park has been serving food since the 19th century and remains a welcome respite for hikers and passersby looking to fuel up. Come sit on the Inn’s expansive porch for classic American cuisine at lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch.

Back in the heart of the village, you can dine outside another storied establishment. Chestnut Grill & Sidewalk Café, located at the landmark Chestnut Hill Hotel, features wrap-around sidewalk seating and a big menu of salads, burgers and special entrees like gnocchi with gorgonzola cream and home style beef brisket. Wandering little eaters in the family will be entertained by the colorful art gallery walkway leading to nearby Market at the Fareway.

About a mile down the Hill on Germantown Avenue is Jansen, another upscale yet inviting spot that guarantees you a special experience. The restaurant is housed in a gorgeously restored 18th century cottage, including a serene back patio surrounded by green. Chef and Owner David Jansen is constantly crafting new seasonal menu items that mesh contemporary American with classic French cuisine.

Last up, but definitely not least, is a farm-to-table taqueria that will transport you to Baja Mexico: El Poquito. This popular spot has a huge patio with big wooden tables and bright hanging lights that suit the vibrant flavors of the tacos, empanadas and ceviches served below them. Make it a fiesta and treat yourself to a mezcal cocktail or margarita!

Click here to check out the full list of restaurants in Chestnut Hill.