5 to Try: Rooftop Decks

It's hard to admit this, but Philly doesn't have a lot of rooftop bars. Sidewalk cafes and open-window-side tables, yes. Room for mingling while taking in the fresh air and looking down on the city below, no.

But don't despair. This list of spots that do have rooftop decks--or something close to it--includes some of the best bars in the city, inside and outside. So next time you're craving a summer ale high up near the tree-tops, climb on over to one of these moonlit terraces. (Photo courtesy of Vango Lounge & Skybar)

Updated: September 29, 2009

5 to Try

Continental Midtown Restaurant

1801 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

With a spacious rooftop deck, a dedicated bar and a clientele of pretty young male and female things, this corner Stephen Starr destination is place to show off the way your new sundress highlights the tan you've gotten every weekend in Avalon. This A-List restaurant/bar serves a full menu for dinner and a limited menu for weekend brunch while always keeping the fruity martinis flowing.

Vango Lounge & Skybar

114 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

: If you like the way the glittering lights of the city make your glass of Cristal sparkle in the moonlight, the swankiest rooftop bar in the city is the place for you and your bling. Private rooms, king-sized beds, fireplaces, an open-air dance floor and an enclosed lounge and bar make this the summertime draw for clubbers and loungers, and the year-round draw for those who just can't get enough.


401 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Gaze at the city and the Ben Franklin Bridge ? both beautifully lit at night ? as well as the serene Delaware River, from the perch of a grand vessel moored at Penn's Landing. While five decks can be booked for private parties or cocktail reception, the Bongo Bar is the official outdoor deck on which to let out your inner Jimmy Buffet. Bartenders let the rum drinks flow while steel drummers bang a gong and the view and the novelty of partying on an elegant four-masted historical wooden ship almost justifies the drinks with the double-digit price tags.

Standard Tap

901 N Second St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Wait, you mean I can sit in two rooms downstairs, two rooms upstairs OR on the roof? OMG. What to do? If it's a nice night and you enjoy the company of your companions, opt for the outdoor dining room, of course. With heat lamps, a few iron patio tables and a more hushed atmosphere than anywhere else in the joint, this seating option offers a greater ability to deeply contemplate how much you appreciate your local beer and Belgian-style mussels.