There’s no better way to enjoy the beautiful weather around the Main Line than with an al fresco meal at one of the region’s top-tier eateries. Whether for a casual lunch or a celebratory dinner, these local restaurants welcome diners for a gourmet meal in a beautiful outdoor setting.
The rooftop view is downright breathtaking at this former firehouse. Though East Branch is known for its award-winning beer, the food is a step above typical pub fare. No-brainers include the house-made pickles, brisket noodles, and a mushroom cake made with the shredded lion’s mane variety, sautéed ramps and roasted tomato vinaigrette.
202 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, (484) 593-0815, eastbranchbrewing.com
Tucked away in the quaint historic village of Marshallton, this popular pub-style eatery’s extensive patio is about as dog-friendly as they come. The menu features fondue, shareable plates, rich mushroom and French onion soups, and creative craft cocktails.
1300 W. Strasburg Road, West Chester, (610) 692-4367, thefourdogstavern.com.
This historic inn (with quaint overnight accommodations) is home of the Spring House Terrace, which is perfect for casual cocktail parties and after-work happy hours. There’s also the more intimate Table 1745, a 275-year-old springhouse with seating for up to six guests. Beef Wellington, snapper soup and German wiener schnitzel are among the menu highlights.
9 Old Lancaster Road, Malvern, (610) 296-3637, generalwarren.com
A vintage Volkswagen bus serves as the centerpiece for the bistro’s second-floor Analog Room and Outdoor Beer Garden, with its funky wall art, retro accents, open roof and oversized windows offering bird’s-eye views of downtown Phoenixville. The menu features handhelds, pizza and wings. Live music is the norm on weekends.
212 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 935-7141, bistroonbridge.com
Built right next to a babbling branch of the Brandywine River, the deck of this authentic British-themed pub offers unspoiled rural tranquility. Classics include bangers and mash, Scotch eggs, Welsh rarebit and sticky toffee pudding. The beer list features both local and hard-to-get international options.
1383 N. Chatham Road, Coatesville, (610) 383-0600, thewhiptavern.com
The lush outdoor space at this Mediterranean BYOB is situated between Chester Creek and the historic Glen Mills train station. Specialties include vegetarian byrsa, crispy-skin duck breast and seafood paella.
128 Glen Mills Road, Glen Mills, (610) 444-3277, glenmills.byrsabistro.com
Lunch, brunch and dinner are served on Firepoint’s state-of-the-art covered patio area. With its floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace, 25-seat bar, high-top tables and cushioned groupings of sofas and chairs, it’s part sophisticated lounge, party cozy living room. Menu highlights include steaks, seafood and wood-fired rotisserie chicken.
3739 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, (484) 428-3093, firepointgrill.com
A large open-to-the-sky ceiling caps a festively lit courtyard with myriad textures and colors at Idlewild, one of five new dining spaces at the dramatically revamped Towne House. Inventive shareable plates include Rhode Island baked quahog clams and seasonal wild-game sliders.
117 Veterans Square, Media, (484) 445-2041, townehousepa.com
See this month’s Epicure review here.
49 St. Georges Road, Ardmore, (484) 412-8011, lolasgardenrestaurant.com
The beautiful outdoor patio at Streetlight serves New-American and wood-fired cuisine with a delightful setting. In addition to local craft, ingredients and flavor, they have a happy hour Monday-Friday 5-7 for an after work hangout.
5400 Ferne Boulevard, Drexel Hill, (484) 461-9823, streetlightdrexelhill.com
Sink into soft pillows and enjoy sweeping views of the Springfield Country Club golf course at Tavola. Cozy fire pits, palm trees and shaded hideaways also await. The kitchen specializes in eclectic American cuisine and brick-oven specialties, with live acoustic music most evenings.
400 W. Sproul Road, Springfield, (610) 543-2100, tavolas.com
At Fearless Restaurants’ newest creation, the expansive patio offers conversation-friendly groupings accented by “SIT” and “STAY” pillows—a whimsical spin on a sociable vibe. Standout shareables include Maryland crab dip and smoked trout toast.
981 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, (610) 822-2100, whitedog.com
Normandy Farm Hotel & Conference Center’s historic courtyard oasis has a flagstone floor, water features, a fire wall and form-fitting rocking chairs perfect for unwinding with a cocktail in hand. Delicious farm-to-table cuisine, a full bar and an energetic staff combine to make happy hour and brunch well worth the trip.
1401 Morris Road, Blue Bell, (215) 616-8300, farmersdaughterpa.com
Amid the industrial surroundings of the former Pencoyd Iron Works site overlooking the banks of the Schuylkill River, this cafe patio is a great place to unwind or gear up. Garage doors provide a nice cross-breeze, and menu offers enticing upscale casual fare. Walk or bike off your meal on the nearby Pencoyd Trail to Manayunk.
617 Righters Ferry Road, Bala Cynwyd, (484) 434-8765, thelandingkitchen.com
Draped in white lights and anchored by a converted garage, this unique outdoor space is secluded and intimate. Locally sourced ingredients define a menu that includes signature wings and a hearty vegan ratatouille.
101 E. 7th Ave., Conshohocken, (610) 897-8212, jaspersbackyard.com
On hot summer days, the patio at this Conshy mainstay beckons with wrought-iron seating and tables, a trickling fountain and plenty of shade. Wash down your quesadillas, enchiladas or tacos with pitcher of margaritas.
800 Spring Mill Ave., Conshohocken, (610) 825-3000, coyotecrossing.com