As much as we love a cozy, dark corner in a pub or restaurant, there’s nothing quite like dining and drinking with an incredible view as your backdrop. Whether it’s the glittering lights of city streets spread out before you, or a sweeping hilltop vista, it’s a magical feeling to feel like the world is opening out in front of you as you enjoy a fabulous meal.
Want to immerse yourself in that feeling of grandeur? It’s totally possible, right here in PA! Here are nine restaurants we’ve found in Pennsylvania where an amazing view is the main course:
Floating at 59 stories above Center City Philly, at the top of the Four Seasons Hotel, is Jean-Georges Philadelphia, the newest crown jewel in the city’s fine dining scene. World-renowned and Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten brings his cuisine to this stunning space, which is mostly made of glass to maximize the spectacular view. Service is open from breakfast to late night. In the a.m. hours, find juices and shakes, as well as healthy options, like a vanilla chai bowl and steel-cut oats; at lunch, fresh one-plate salads or the multi-course express lunch provide lots of options; and for dinner, a la carte dishes range from raw bar selections to marinated charred duck breast to roasted Maine lobster. Or, put yourself in the hands of the highly skilled kitchen with the eight-course tasting menu. To enjoy the view with a much less daunting check to face at the end of the meal, grab a spot at the bar and order a glass of wine from the well-curated list. 1 N. 19th St., Philadelphia; (215) 419-5000.
For young, hip vibes with an equally awesome view of the Philadelphia skyline, Bok Bar in South Philly is the place to be. Head to the bar for beer or wine (it’s a can and plastic cup kind of situation), and get comfy in some of the cool, custom-made furniture made by artisans who work in Bok Building, the vocational school-turned-maker-space and office building that the bar sits on top of. Light bites, like fries and falafel, and drinks are hang-out friendly — and the bar is friendly to dogs and kids on Sundays. Bok Bar is seasonal, and after it closes for the summer, Irwin’s, also in the Bok Building, is a good indoor alternative. 800 Mifflin St., Philadelphia.
Assembly Rooftop Lounge, located nine stories up atop The Logan Hotel, may be open to the elements, but it’s open in all weather. The views are lovely: the fountain in Logan Square, the Philadelphia Free Library, and up the Ben Franklin Parkway, the stunning Philadelphia Art Museum. Assembly plays up it luxe environs with an impressive list and fancy cocktails, sparkling wines and small plates, like short rib tacos, veggie flatbread and cheese and charcuterie boards. Happy hour (weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m.) is a great time to go for cheaper drinks and sunset views. 1840 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia; (215) 783-4171.
The Settler’s Inn, featuring a seasonal, farm-to-table food menu, offers outdoor dining during warmer months on its lush garden patio, that lets you feel ensconced in the mountainous geography of the Poconos. The Arts & Crafts style of the charming inn is lovely against the backdrop of Bingham Park, artful gardens, rolling woodlands and the Lackawaxen River. The natural view is especially captivating during the fall, when the many nearby trees show off their changing colors, made even more perfect when paired with a glass of dry red, chosen by the Inn’s sommelier. 4 Main Ave., Hawley; (570) 226-2993.
The interior of Glass Wine Bar & Kitchen in Ledges Hotel is charmingly rustic, with unique glass accents. But its outdoor space is equally as intriguing. Both the multi-tiered decks and the dining room provide stunning views of the Wallenpaupack Creek river gorge adjacent to the property. The hotel and restaurant are seamlessly integrated into the natural stone ledges of the falls and the woodland surroundings, and truly feel one with nature. On Glass Wine Bar & Kitchen’s menu you’ll find elevated pub far, like steak tacos, panko crusted mac-and-cheese and stuffed clams. 119 Falls Ave., Hawley; (570) 226-1337.
The Exchange in downtown Lancaster is an indoor/outdoor 3,500-square-foot space 12 stories above Penn Square that’s open all year long. There are intimate little nooks for meetings or dates, a floating bar for mixing and mingling, and gorgeous panoramic views of Lancaster City all around. During colder months, outdoor firepits help to keep revelers warm, and the handcrafted cocktails from mixologist Frank Fontaine’s beverage program keep spirits high. Running the gamut from traditional to adventurous, like the veggie-forward Pepp in Your Step, with silver rum, thyme, basil, yellow bell pepper, simple champagne vinegar and white pepper. Wine and beer are available, as well, and the food menu from Executive Chef Ryan McQuillan brings big flavors to small plates, plus wood-fired pizzas with local cheese and toppings, and copious vegetarian offerings, like grilled broccolini, spicy tofu bao buns and creamy hummus make for satisfying bites. 25 E. Queen St., Lancaster; (717) 207-4096.
Altana, the rooftop lounge in the 26 East building, combines vibrant nightlife with epic views of downtown Lancaster. An outdoor bar, plenty of smartly arranged and comfortable seating, and a great food and drinks program all make for an awesome rooftop experience. The small plates-focused menu combines bistro favorites, like shrimp cocktail and truffle fries, and heartier options too, including crab cakes, flatbreads and tacos. Cocktails are the way to go here, with frozen drinks for warmer days and cider-spiked mimosas for autumnal feels. 26 East King St., Suite 3; Lancaster; (717) 690-2347.
It’s a penthouse party every night at Terrace on 5th, on the top floor of Buford’s Kitchen, in Pittsburgh’s uptown neighborhood. A large indoor dining room and bar overlooking the cityscape are only outdone by the huge outdoor patio overlooking 5th Ave., complete with lounge chairs and heaters for cooler nights. Terrace is directly across the street from PPG Paints Arena, where the Penguins play, and is a popular stop for before-game drinks and for happy hour (5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday).
Il Tetto, atop Sienna Mercato, is the stuff rooftop beer gardens are made of! During the spring and summer, its sprawling retractable glass roof opens to let the sun shine in amidst the tall buildings of the Cultural District. Il Tetto offers 36 drafts, cocktails, wine, as well as drinking-friendly bar snacks, like olives, nuts, fries and cheese dip. If you’re looking for something more substantial post-drinks, head downstairs to Mezzo for gourmet Italian fare, including brick oven pizzas, pasta and charcuterie, or to Emporio for meatballs. 942 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh; (412) 281-2810.
Where is your favorite bar or restaurant to take in an amazing view in Pennsylvania? Let us know on the PA Eats Facebook page!
- Feature photo: The Exchange Lancaster
- Assembly photo: Assembly Rooftop Lounge