Sure, the food is important, but just like in real estate, sometimes it’s all about location, location, location! Whether it’s your first date or just a date with friends, what you see while devouring your truffle fries or Bolognese is key—no one wants to stare at the dreary side of a building. Here’s a list of Philly restaurants that have great food and a great view. –Chelsea Karnash
XIX (Nineteen) at the Bellevue
200 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Perched at the top of the Hyatt at the Bellevue, XIX boasts a spectacular seafood bar and a seasonally changing menu. The décor’s not too shabby either—think crystal chandeliers and cushy chairs. But as Philly’s self-proclaimed “highest” restaurant, it’s the view of the city skyline from XIX’s dining room that’s truly phenomenal. Score a window table at sunset, and consider yourself exceptionally lucky.
Water Works Restaurant & Lounge
640 Water Works Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Okay, so it may not be an original choice, but the Water Works is a Philly institution for a reason. While the view of Boathouse Row and the Schuylkill is nice enough in cold weather, there’s nothing like sipping a fruity cocktail outside on the veranda in the summer.
The Valley Green Inn
Valley Green Road at Wissahickon
Philadelphia, PA 19128
Dining at the Valley Green Inn hearkens back to a simpler time…one where patrons ate by candlelight and used words like “aye.” Tucked along one of the many trails and overlooking a gurgling stream in Wissahickon Park, Valley Green was built on land purchased in 1685 and is picturesque at any time of year. Bonus: dogs are welcome at the bar every Tuesday night from 5-8pm, so your pup can enjoy the surroundings (or just chasing the ducks that populate the stream outside), too.
Morris House Hotel
225 S. 8th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Drinks or a meal in the gorgeous courtyard patio at M, surrounded by vibrant flowers and curling vines, will have you feeling a part of the privileged in-crowd, so it’s fitting that the restaurant is situated in Society Hill. By the end of your experience there, you’ll be so relaxed that you won’t want to leave, and you don’t have to—the adorable and historic Morris House Hotel is right upstairs.
401 S. Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Like the Water Works, the Philly Moshulu is a classic city restaurant and a shoe-in for this list. Not only is the food delish and the décor charming, but dining on a boat is a neat experience for all ages. Make reservations for a tad before sunset and stay into the night during any season, and you’ll be impressed. Seriously.
227 S. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
One thing must be made clear: Parc is not Stephen Starr’s best restaurant. However, the food is very good (if not great), and the ambience is as authentic to a Parisian street café as Philadelphia gets. Plus, Rittenhouse Square is right across the street, and views of the city’s ritziest and most famous square are unparalleled. Two words: people watching.
Two Liberty Place
R2L opened in January 2010, but the views from its dining room at the top of Two Liberty Place have skyrocketed it to Philly fame. The décor is sleek and modern with a twist, as is the food, making the place feel like the swankiest lounge in town. The website will even tell you the time of that day’s sunset, so you can make reservations accordingly.