Being served a slice of cake while the wait staff sings “Happy Birthday” is nice, but with a little planning, you can make any birthday dining experience truly special. Consider menu and ambiance as well as the number of guests when choosing a venue, and check with the restaurant in advance to see if they take reservations or have special birthday party or group packages. Whether topped with a candle, served up with song or partnered with a toast, these five Philly-area restaurants know how to dish it up, says Renee Patrone of Events by Renee, who surveyed her fans, clients and team of party-planning pros for their top picks of eateries and favorite birthday dessert dishes.
789 E. Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085
With just the right blend of city charm and family-friendly atmosphere, Avenue Kitchen on Philly’s Main Line is the perfect place to gather with friends and family for a birthday celebration. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, dishes here include farm-fresh salads, Mediterranean-inspired pizzas and classic American favorites. Comfort food choices abound, like grilled cheese sandwiches, tuna melts and grass-fed beef meatloaf. Dessert choices vary from day to day, but you cannot go wrong with one of Avenue Kitchen’s donuts, Patrone’s fan-base says, and the chocolate mousse, we’re told, puts the “happy” in anyone’s birthday.
276 S. 20th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
This Rittenhouse Square favorite is tucked among classic rowhomes on a tree-lined street, where it has been serving family and friends for almost two decades. Infuse intimacy and charm into your birthday celebration with a group package tailored to your party’s needs, where the creme brûlée is the ultimate birthday dessert, Patrone’s fans say. This cash-only BYOB venue serves up Mediterranean fare seven evenings a week, and reservations are accepted Sunday through Thursday, but not on the weekends. You can check in early and then wait at the bar of sister and neighboring restaurant Twenty Manning Grill for Audrey Claire to call you once your table is ready.
Creperie Beau Monde
624 S. 6th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Patrone’s fans agree that any list of the crème de la crème birthday dessert choices in the City of Brotherly Love must include the sweet crepes at Creperie Beau Monde. Located in the Bella Vista neighborhood of South Philly, this French café serves up as much delicious atmosphere as it does decadent food. This award-winning restaurant has garnered rave reviews for its savory food, wine list, ambiance and dessert. Perfect for intimate gatherings or large groups, Beau Monde has party packages designed for children as well as adults. Reservations are needed for group packages, which can be combined to include some grown-up fun at L’Etage, the night club/cabaret/party space just upstairs from the crêperie.
The Desmond Hotel
1 Liberty Blvd.
Malvern, PA 19355
The Desmond Hotel is a favorite party venue located in the picturesque suburb of Malvern. With multiple dining options for celebrating weddings, showers, birthdays and other special occasions, this venue has it all, from happy hour and tapas to brunch and elegant dinners. Whether celebrating with a few friends or going all out with a themed party or sweet 16 package, everyone will love the dessert, whether it’s a specially themed cookie, miniature cupcakes or pastries designed just for your party. Events by Renee recommends Desmond’s famous bread pudding with rich, warm vanilla sauce.
700 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
With a dress code encouraging casual comfy attire, Jones is the ideal venue for an informal brunch with family, a spontaneous birthday gathering or a late-night birthday party. No reservations are necessary – in fact, they’re not accepted! – just drop into this Chestnut Street hot spot for food, fellowship and fun. Jones serves up old favorites like baked macaroni and cheese alongside soon-to-be-new favorites like pistachio-crusted tilapia. The restaurant also offers the quintessential birthday dessert, Duncan Hines chocolate layer cake, but the peanut butter cup sundae, Patrone says, is also a favorite when it comes to delectable birthday desserts.
Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.