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If you haven’t been to the PHS Pop Up Garden on South Street yet this year, good news: there’s still plenty of time. The outdoor dining and drinking spot is open through at least the end of September.
Located in an open lot between 15th Street and Broad, it’s a perfect place for late summer evenings and afternoons, in both atmosphere and menu.
The decor showcases a riot of plants that go beyond the usual, thanks to the garden being a project of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Among the weathered wood tables, stone floors, and brick walls are statement ferns, tropical-feeling trees, and tons more native plant species. The abundant flowers are specifically selected to encourage foraging of bees and other pollinating insects.
Art is interspersed throughout, and tables with brightly colored chairs beneath trellised roofs sit next to individual garden “rooms” decorated with vines and string lights. It all creates a country store type of vibe.
The menu is a collaboration with the restaurant group behind Cantina los Caballitos, Khyber Pass Pub, Triangle Tavern, and other Philly bars known for great food. The wide variety of snacks and sandwiches include plenty of classics — burger, nachos, hummus, wraps, pretzels — and several vegan, vegetarian, and kid-friendly options.
There’s an extensive drink menu, especially considering all the bartenders are working outdoors. There are refreshing options like the gin-based Cucumber Countryside, a pink peppercorn Paloma, and sangria. Frozen drinks include a frozen mojito with butterfly pea powder, a “Gritty Marg” turned orange with Tang, and “adult water ice” with vodka spiking the familiar frozen slush.
For beer drinkers, the garden offers 10 on tap and more in cans and bottles, including a variety of IPAs, wheat beers, sours, and ciders. A full selection of wines and non-alcoholic options are also available.
The garden is a family friendly environment; kids and dogs are encouraged, with pet water bowls on the grounds throughout.
Private parties and events are available by reservation, and PHS offers a roster of programs and events including plant swaps, terrarium building, flower pressing, and macrame classes.
Another PHS Pop Up Garden is ongoing in Manayunk this season, and proceeds from both help fund the nonprofit’s greening and food supply programs, all furthering its mission of “using gardening to advance the greater good.”
Get a glimpse of what to expect on South Street in the CravePhilly video below.
PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street, 1438 South St.
5 to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday-Sunday