Philadelphia may have more than its share of urban outdoor dining spots, but when it comes to rooftop bars and lounges, the city—sadly—comes up short. Still, the pickings aren’t quite slim to none. Here are the best rooftop spots for imbibing this summer. -Chelsea Karnash
102 S. 13th St.
Though we said a mournful goodbye to 13th Street’s APO a few years ago, we were quick to welcome rooftop hotspot The Corner in its place. In addition to unique mixed drinks like the questionable sounding “Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame”–which lists lime and cayenne amongst its ingredients–this swanky spot offers happy hour specials daily and killer views of the bustling streets of Midtown Village.
437 Chestnut St
Stratus Lounge’s Old City location puts it right in the center of Philly’s nightlife scene, which can make for a more crowded bar scene. Still, the rooftop lounge of this chic, stylish, big city-esque drinking spot are worth a trip. High quality drink concoctions and interesting appetizers (truffled popcorn, anyone?) round out your fancy night out.
City Tap House
3925 Walnut St.
At this University City spot, you’ll feel more like you’re in a park than on the roof. With its expansive grassy terrace and numerous fire-pits, there’s really nowhere else like City Tap House in Philly. A beautiful bar to go with a larger group, but be warned: the scene can get quite college-y due to the spot’s proximity to Penn and Drexel.
901 N. 2nd St.
Standard Tap already made our “Top Spots for Al Fresco Dining” list; there’s no way it wouldn’t make this one. The adorable roof deck transports you far from the city, and the rustic décor and old-school building only add to that vibe. At this “bar” (that’s in quotation marks because this place really is more of a restaurant), the vibe is low key, the food is local (and delish!), and the view is lovely.
2525 Brown St, at N Taney St
This BYOB Thai restaurant isn’t technically a bar, but no matter. At Trio, guests who want to chill on the roof deck are free to bring their own alcoholic beverages, which can be a pro or a con, depending on what you’re looking for. Still, the low-key vibe and quiet Fairmount location make this the perfect spot for brunch, or for a casual dinner with friends before a night out.
Skybar at Vango
116 S. 18th St.
If you’re seeking an NYC-style rooftop lounge, you should head to Skybar. Downstairs, indoor Vango has a clubby, international feel (and the bouncers and prices to go along with it), but upstairs, the roof deck offers something of an urban escape. With potted trees and comfy places to sit, Skybar is a nice place for a high-energy happy hour on a sunny day.
200 Market St
This Old City eatery offers an unbeatable rooftop that’s more like a homey deck in the middle of the city. Grab your group of friends and head out for an after-work happy hour of small plates like Spinach Malfatti (dumplings) or meatloaf bites, accompanied by numerous cocktails and warm summer breezes.
1801 Chestnut St.
Yummy food, good drinks and views of Center City—what more could you ask for? Stephen Starr’s upscale diner has a sweet rooftop area, complete with heat lamps and potted foliage.
Rainy night? No worries. Since part of the roof is enclosed in glass, so you can still enjoy the views and stay dry.