8 Pop-Up Philly Restaurants That Are the Epitome of Summer

Local beers, top eateries and views: what more could you ask for?

Summer in Philly means the sun is shining, the parks are packed, and seasonal restaurants and bars breathe new life into the city’s culinary scene. From a time-tested riverside hangout to a rotating pop-up party, it’s open season for these seasonal hotspots.

Haas Beer Garden at La Peg

In the summer, the in-house restaurant of edgy theater company FringeArts adds an outdoor beer garden, where patrons take in unmatched views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge while munching on lobster rolls, pulled pork and cole slaw. This month’s Wednesday Movie Nights showing pulls from a roster of classic ’90s action films.

Haas Beer Garden
Haas Beer Garden (Courtesy Haas Beer Garden)

Harper’s Garden

With twinkling lights and fresh greenery, Rittenhouse Square becomes a dreamy backdrop for an atmosphere that’s laid back and sophisticated, complementing an enticing menu of hand-pulled mozzarella, Moroccan lamb meatballs and wild mushroom flatbread.

Independence Beer Garden

Savor delectable bites, delicious drinks and classic lawn games just steps from the Liberty Bell. Carnivorous guests will appreciate ordering meat by the pound for the whole table. And with 40 taps of regional and domestic craft beers, there’s always a brew to pair with your meal.

Independence Beer Garden
Independence Beer Garden (Courtesy Bondfire Media)

Morgan’s Pier

Before Spruce Street Harbor Park and Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, there was Morgan’s Pier, a bar and restaurant on the banks of the Delaware River that opens for business during warm-weather months. In 2018, the alfresco venue welcomes Chef-in-Residence Adam Lazarick, whose original menu includes creative versions of classic favorites like Italian roast pork sandwiches and crispy chicken wings. Keep an eye out for special events like quizzo, bingo, educational workshops and live musical performances all season long.

Morgan's Pier
Morgan's Pier (M. Fischetti/Visit Philadelphia©)

Parks on Tap

On weekends through late September, Parks on Tap sets up in a different location, bringing food, drinks, seating and a festive vibe. All you have to do is dig into a menu featuring dishes including smoked portobello bahn mi, beer can chicken and cornbread with hot sauce butter. This month brings the party to Shofuso Japanese House & Garden, Glendinning Rock Garden, Burholme Park and Pastorius Park. Proceeds go toward supporting Philly’s parks.

Parks on Tap
Parks on Tap (©Zach Fratella)

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Pop Up Gardens

Every year, PHS transforms empty lots into buzzing hubs for tasty cocktails, inspired bites, cold brews and engaging programming, all against a verdant backdrop created by horticultural enthusiasts. For 2018, the fun returns to 15th and South streets, where sun lovers chow down on food and drinks from The Royal Tavern and Friends, which operates popular eateries Cantina Los Caballitos and Triangle Tavern. The menu includes backyard staples like hot dogs and potato salad, plus inventive options like cauliflower hummus and buffalo popcorn. Over at uCity Square, The Jose Pistola’s Group dishes out Mexican specialties like guacamole, grilled corn on the cob, and five varieties of tacos.


This German-style biergarten towers 51 stories above the city offering sweeping skyline views that will have your friends envying your Instagram feed as you tuck into Bavarian pretzels, Bratwurst and—of course—cheesesteaks.

Sky Garten
Sky Garten (Courtesy Sky Garten)

Uptown Beer Garden

Craig Meyers and Steve Lindabury, both of BRU Craft and Wurst, helm the kitchen of this favorite, which returns with updated décor, fun-filled events and six exclusive beers and ciders. Look for an expanded menu of burgers, pork sliders and hot dogs, along with crowd-pleasers like nachos, crab cakes and pierogis.

Uptown Beer Garden
Uptown Beer Garden (Courtesy Uptown Beer Garden)