Rustic, cozy and/or covered in twinkling lights. Here are a few suggestions for where to wine and dine in the Philly area if you’re in need of that holiday spirit. – Chelsea Karnash
7620 Ridge Ave (Roxborough)
I (selfishly) tend to keep this spot to myself, mainly out of fear that droves of people will start flooding the place, forcing us loyal customers to wait for a table. Alas, I can’t stay silent about it when it comes to the holidays. For a festive, throwback atmosphere (plastic fish, photo collages and lights are the main decor) and amazing (cheap!) Italian food, GO HERE. Just don’t take my table, k?
18th & Sansom Sts
Located inside a gorgeous old row house, this pub’s dark wood interior, hearty British pub fare and old-school cocktails make it the perfect place to take refuge from the frigid city streets. Stop by for afternoon tea or some bangers and mash and let this Stephen Starr spot enchant you — especially during Christmas time.
20th & Walnut St
The place is red and green and resembles a child’s toy Christmas train. Around the holidays, the outside is decked out in lights. Plus, it’s right near Rittenhouse Square. The perfect spot for casual food and drink with a side of holiday cheer.
2301 Fairmount Ave
This little corner restaurant has tons of holiday and seasonal events and specials, and the lights outside make for a festive vibe year-round.
McGillin’s Olde Ale House
1310 Drury St
Comfy, old-as-dirt and bedecked in Christmas lights. What’s not to love?
PS – Santa stops by on Dec. 21!
227 S 18th St
Spend your holidays as close to gay old Par-ie as you possibly can: at Rittenhouse Square’s Parc, where the views are always gorgeous, but perhaps never more so than during the holidays. Dressed up in red and green and ribbons galore, this French bistro offers prime people watching, views of Rittenhouse Square’s twinkling lights and Christmas tree and even heat lamps for those willing to brave the cold.
2 Liberty Pl, 37th Floor
Want a view of the city’s Christmas lights? You can’t beat R2L’s! But be warned—that holiday cheer comes at a price here.
2nd & Poplar St
This place always seems to make any restaurant list we put together, and this one’s no different. Here’s why: farmhouse-in-the-country vibe, urban location. Lights. And a fireplace. Glorious.
Tavern on the Hill
8636 Germantown Ave (Chestnut Hill)
There’s nothing that’s not Christmas-y about Chestnut Hill during the holiday season, and the cramped quarters, antique décor and live entertainment at this “cozy village pub” fit right in.
Valley Green Inn
W Valley Green Rd (Wissahickon Park)
It doesn’t get prettier than the Valley Green Inn in fall and winter. Take a walk (or a hike) through Wissahickon Park before you stop by this historic restaurant for dinner and a hot toddy or chocolate (by the fireplace!). You seriously won’t believe you’re within city limits.
1403 Hollow Rd
Chester Springs, Pa.
A French-Italian restaurant that shares its location with a post office, Birchrunville has a super loyal following and simple French décor that makes it super comfortable year-round…and especially during the holidays.
423 Baltimore Pk
Chadds Ford, Pa.
Situated in a converted diary barn from the 1800’s, this cozy (but elegant!) restaurant barely needs the strands of twinkly lights to feel Christmas-y. But they’re a nice touch.
Kennett Square Inn
201 E. State St
Kennett Square, Pa.
Try anything and everything mushroom at this quaint 1835 inn set in the state’s (duh) mushroom capital. And when you’re finished? Head just down the road to Longwood Gardens’ Christmas celebration for holiday spirit overload…if that’s even possible.
Piero’s Italian Restaurant
3500 Reading Way
Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
Delicious, reasonably priced authentic Italian food in a cozy setting. What more could you ask for? Their quaint banquet room is the perfect setting for an intimate holiday party or just a great gathering of friends. This BYOB establishment is one of Huntington Valley’s best kept secrets. If you’re not sure what to get, go for the crab cakes, they’re mouthwateringly good!
Pretty much anywhere in South Philly…
Because it looks like someone threw up Christmas on this section of the city no matter where you turn. And that’s a wonderful thing.