Outdoor dining and dog-friendly dining go hand in hand. In Philadelphia, there is no shortage of either. With neighborhoods like Northern Liberties and Rittenhouse Square, both beacons for dog owners, a Philadelphia resident is not hard-pressed to find establishments that allow patrons of the canine breed to come and “sit” outside.
The Piazza at Schmidts is a sprawling square surrounded by restaurants and shops that is tucked into the up-and-coming neighborhood of Northern Liberties (NoLibs), and is a frequent destination for a large number of dog owners. In fact, the entire apartment complex surrounding the square is dog friendly, catering to over three hundred inhabitants. PYT is a brand new bar that boasts a hipster vibe and is known for its burgers, shakes, and separate DJ dance room; it sits on the eastern border of the Piazza and offers around twenty simple aluminum tables outside with plenty of room for your leashed mate. Other restaurants on the Piazza include Swift Half Pub, Vino, and Darling’s Diner.
Directly across the street from the Piazza is Liberties Walk -- a Santa Monica-inspired promenade lined with specialty shops, cafes, and restaurants -- offering a few more options for pooches out with their humans. El Camino Real is a Tex-Mex sports bar with a comforting feel that shares outdoor wooden picnic tables with its neighbor to the south, Bar Ferdinand, a Spanish tapas restaurant. Both are equally acceptable options for guests with pets in tow.
In addition to these two new facets of the NoLibs scene, the majority of the restaurants that line North 2nd and 3rd Street have outdoor seating available. North third, which is probably one of the most revered spots in Northern Liberties and Philadelphia in general, never has a shortage of diners with dogs – they never have a shortage of diners, period. The rustic wooden outdoor tables are always brimming with locals enjoying a pint of the latest brew or a bottle of wine from the North third list. Among the other dog-friendly spots in the area are The Abbaye, Cantina Dos Segundos, Kong, and Honey’s Sit ‘N Eat, just to name a few. It’s not difficult to see why this neighborhood is a natural fit for dining with your dog.
In the more refined Rittenhouse Square area, restaurants with outdoor seating envelop the park that runs from 18th and 19th Street south of Walnut Street, giving urban diners a substantial list to choose from when it comes to finding a place to bring their pup. Canines big and small can be found lounging between the outdoor tables of Parc Brasserie, a French Bistro that looks out upon the park from the East. Boasting sophisticated appeal, Parc is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and features open-air seating in the warmer months. A few doors to the north, both Devon Seafood Grille and Rouge offer the dog-friendly option. On the west side of the park at 20th Street, 20Manning offers cozy outdoor seating complete with mist makers for hot summer days: a pet’s dream. This is the Asian-fusion sister to the famed BYOB restaurant, Audrey Claire, which sits further south at 20th and Spruce.
Another Rittenhouse hot spot worth mentioning is Alma de Cuba, a recent creation of renowned Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr. Boasting Cuban inspired dishes crafted by Chef Douglas Rodriguez, this Chestnut Street eatery is sure to provide guests with not only an excellent dining experience, but an education on Cuban history and architecture. During the warmer months, you’ll find ample sidewalk space outside for your furry friend. Other notable eateries in the Rittenhouse ‘hood include Tinto, La Viola, and Pietro’s Wood Fired Pizza.
In addition to dog-friendly bars and restaurants, Philadelphia also has a number of hotels that allow guests to bring their dogs. The Sheraton Society Hill Hotel at Penn’s Landing has a sprawling lobby with a skylight ceiling where dog owners can relax and take in the aura of colonial Philadelphia. Loews Hotel is a posh top-of-the-line spot for business travelers at 12th and Market, and also allows dogs.
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