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Meals With A View, Philadelphia Area Restaurants With Gorgeous Gardens, Green Roofs And More

M Restaurant at the Morris Hotel in Philadelphia's Old City offers one of the most beautiful garden settings for a deliciously local meal. Photo courtesy: M Restaurant

With spring springing, we are eager to enjoy our meals alfresco, and lucky for us, the Philadelphia region is flush with plenty of green-minded eateries. Whether it’s dinner in an urban courtyard, brunch in an antique greenhouse or beer and pizza on a green roof, there are a ton of options for taking in the local flora. Here’s a look at just a few of the region’s restaurants that boast flower power:

The enclosed veranda at The Brick Hotel’s Restaurant in Newtown overlooks a lush, well-tended flower gardens, which are a visual complement to the New American cuisine like line-caught salmon over saffron and pea risotto.

The green roof at West Philadelphia’s City Tap Housea is a garden retreat embellished with succulents and flowering herbs—a picturesque place to enjoy craft beer and thin-crust pizza. 

A Certified Green Restaurant, the elegant 1906 Restaurant overlooks Longwood Gardens’ unparalleled conservatory and horticultural displays, and the sustainable contemporary American fare makes the most of locally grown produce.

A longtime local Philadelphia favorite, Effie’s draws enthusiastic eaters with its menu of traditional Greek food (moussaka, dolmades, avgolemono) and its charming back terrace strewn with vines and hanging plants.

An antique greenhouse is the setting for Terrain at Styer’s Café in Glen Mills. An exquisitely styled oasis within the Terrain home and garden store, the Cafe’s seasonally inspired, vegetable-forward cooking draws from local produce, meat and dairy products.

The tiny courtyard behind the café and cheese hotspot Wedge and Fig is an urban getaway featuring brick walls that are punctuated by potted plants and festive lights. We especially love their cheese happy hour where diners can BYO their favorite bottle and the Wedge staff will customize a cheese plate based on the wine. Pretty fabulous.

Washington Square’s Talula’s Garden takes its inspiration from all things green—the courtyard strung with lanterns and antiques is a perfect respite for urban dwellers. Inside, the terrariums, rustic wood and planters set the stage for upscale organic fare (celery root soup with spiced walnuts, pears and celery salad; roasted Lancaster chicken with buckwheat crepes, pink lady apples and cider sauce).

The 18th-century stone barn housing The Inn at Phillips Mill is lovely on its own, but the patio, decorated with colorful flowering pots, is the ideal spot for a romantic French meal on a spring or summer evening in New Hope, PA.

The Rittenhouse Hotel’s luxurious Mary Cassatt Tea Room opens onto a sunny terrace garden that is as colorful and graceful as its namesake painter’s works. Tea service and cocktails are served indoors and out.

With its burbling fountain, hanging pots and candlelights, the outdoor garden at West Chester’s rustic Italian BYOB Avalon lulls diners into leafy bliss. 

The peaceful ivy-draped terrace at M Restaurant at the Morris House Hotel is an Old City hidden jewel, enclosing shady trees and a well-manicured formal garden—all the better for enjoying the sophisticated cuisine (stuffed quail with chestnuts and hedgehog mushrooms; smoked marlin with baby greens, lotus root, crispy yucca and aioli).

Visitors to Chestnut Hill’s sunny bakery and bistro Cake are seated in the former Robertson’s Flowers’ conservatory, which is framed by an arching glass ceiling and filled with tropical plants and flowers year-round.

BYOB Jamaican Jerk Hut serves up authentic, affordable Caribbean cooking that tastes even better when it’s served in the verdant backyard ornamented with bamboo and hibiscus.

The award-winning garden at Ambler’s Trax Café supplies both ingredients and a scenic overlook for diners. The hyper-local herbs and vegetables find their way into dishes such as free-range chicken with rosemary caper sauce and crab risotto.

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