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Post-COVID, outdoor seating is going to play an important role in whether a restaurant will be able to survive or not. From a health stand point, I do not know whether sitting outdoors makes a difference compared to having your dinner indoors (Typically the quality of the air your breathe indoors is a lot better than the quality of air outdoors in major cities like Philadelphia).
I have always enjoyed outdoor seating (I like having a drink or coffee outside compared to having dinner). I am very fortunate to live in an area where there are plenty of options for outdoor seating.
Best restaurants for outdoor seating in Rittenhouse Square.
These are some of my favorite restaurants for outdoor seating. The restaurants listed below are in Rittenhouse Square or in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Ambrosia: Ambrosia is located at the corner of S 24th Street and Locust Street. This restaurant is the farthest away from Rittenhouse Square when compared to the rest on my list. But it is my favorite. This restaurant and the surrounding reminds me of small neighborhood restaurants in Italy. The area is quiet. You can hear the silverware and the wine glasses (Ambrosia is BYOB. There is a wine and spirits shop near 21st and Market). The restaurant itself is small and has an open kitchen.
Audrey Claire: Audrey Claire is at the corner of S 20th Street and Spruce Street (two blocks from Rittenhouse Square. It is a Mediterranean restaurant (Audrey Claire is also a BYOB). It is a small intimate restaurant and everything is open. The outdoor seating is mostly on the Spruce Street side of the restaurant. This section of Spruce Street is fairly quiet. There is a neighborhood feel that you will not get at the other restaurants that are much closer to the square. Audrey Claire is also owned by the same people who own the Rouge and Twenty Manning Grill.
Bar Bombon: Bar Bombon is at the corner of S 18th Street and Moravian Street (half a block from Rittenhouse Square). It is a vegetarian restaurant with a Latin theme (Puerto Rican). It is one of the most popular spots in Rittenhouse Square for margaritas, cocktails and drinks in general. It is a small restaurant and their indoor and outdoor seating is limited. They have a few tables and chairs on Moravian Street (a typical, narrow back street that is full of dumpsters). This makes the outdoor seating at the Bar Bombon very interesting. I like their Cubano Club Sliders and the Peruvian Yucca. I have been to this restaurant more than I should because one of my managers is in love with this place!!
Branzino Italian Ristorante: The Branzino is located at 261 S 17th Street. One block from Rittenhouse Square. They have outdoor seating on 17th Street which is very popular. They also have a small garden/patio where they serve food. It is a very nice and intimate setting. I like their Sirloin Steak and Crab Ravioli. The one disadvantage is that Branzino is a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle). But not to worry, there is a wine and spirits shop at 1515 Locust (two blocks from Branzino)!!
Marathon On The Square: Marathon On The Square is at the corner of 19th Street and Spruce Street (one block from the Square). This restaurant is one of my favorite restaurants for Sunday brunch. They have a variety of brunch options that are fairly priced. If you are sitting on the 19th Street side of the restaurant, you will get a nice view of Rittenhouse Square. Across the street there is the Metropolitan Pizza and Cafe that has very nice outdoor seating as well (seating inside is very limited).
Parc: The Parc (located at the corner of S 18th Street and Locust Street), is the restaurant for outdoor seating. It is one of the many restaurants in Rittenhouse Square that is owned by famed restaurateur Steven Starr. It is one of the most famous French restaurants in the City of Philadelphia (I absolutely love the interior). You should select a seat that is on S 18th Street side of the restaurant (facing Rittenhouse Square). I like their Steak Frites and Trout Amandine. On S 18th Street, right next to Parc, you also have the Devon Seafood Grill and Rouge. On Locust Street, there is a new restaurant that is next to the Parc that offers outdoor seating as well. The name of this restaurant is Via Locusta. Parc has the best outdoor seating among the four.
Rouge: Rouge is at 205 S 18th Street (on Rittenhouse Square). The restaurant opened in 1998 and was one of the first restaurants to offer outdoor seating in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. Park side dining at the Rouge is a great experience. Nice views of the square and a great spot for people watching. It is a place to see and be seen. The restaurant was recently remodeled and the new interior looks amazing. The food is excellent. The Rouge Burger is very famous.
The Love: The Love restaurant is located at 130 S 18th Street (across from Bar Bombon). It is another restaurant owned by Steven Starr. Prior to Love, there used to be a Serafina Restaurant at this location. I was disappointed when the Serafina closed. The Love is a traditional American restaurant with a straight forward outdoor seating. But it is surrounded by other restaurants and bars that also have outdoor seating like a.kitchen, Bar Bombon, Tria Cafe and the Dandelion that makes the whole area very active and vibrant. There is even a Manhattan Bagel that is across the street from The Love that offers outdoor seating (a very nice spot for brunch). There is nothing more All American than Steak and Potatoes at The Love.
Twenty Manning Grill: Twenty Manning Grill is at 261 S 20th Street (same street as Audrey Claire and one block from Rittenhouse Square). It is an American restaurant that has a very nice interior that is also very open. There is outdoor seating, but sometimes when it is hot outside I prefer sitting inside this restaurant with the doors and windows completely open. Their menu offers a lot of options. Pan Seared Salmon and the Pasta Bolognese are some of my favorites. Seating on the Manning Street side of the building is what I prefer because it is quieter.
Do you like outdoor seating?