Spirit Cruises Summer 2019 Leaderboard

Backyard Beer Garden Morgan's Pier Returns for the Season

Backyard Beer Garden Morgan's Pier Returns for the Season

Starting Thursday, May 9, last summer’s hottest outdoor drinking spot is back for the season. We’re happy to report this year Morgan’s Pier looks better than ever. How did the partners (who also run Union Transfer, The Dolphin Tavern and several other Philly bars) manage to improve on the Delaware River craft beer bar? Read on.

First, and most obviously, there’s a new chef and new dining options. George Sabatino recently left Stateside on East Passyunk, where he shot to stardom after helping Marcie Turney make Barbuzzo a success. He’s now applying his culinary cred to a “refined foodie picnic” fare, upping the eating options at Morgan’s Pier significantly over 2012.

Look for perfectly classic burgers, made with every intention of being like the ones you ate in the backyard with grandpa as a little kid, except with modern techniques. It’s housemade American cheese oozing on the patties, which come “pink” or “gray” after a dunk in the deep fryer post-sous-vide and nitrogen freeze. Fries are hand-cut, salads abound and over a dozen vegetarian dishes make eating easy for everyone. Most dishes are $10 and under.

Slightly fancier dinners are available in $30 prix-fixe format at a step-up dining area that was constructed between the two bars (think scallop crudo, salt-baked chicken and communal seafood plates).

Speaking of bars, there’s one at the north side of the pier featuring 14 all-American craft drafts and several more in cans. On the other side of the deck is the main bar, beneath a tented area next to the vinyl sound system. Look for housemade sangrias and specialty cocktails, along with wine by glass and bottle.

The sound system will be in full effect, with a different DJ each weekday night from 10 PM-close. Wednesday evenings June 5–August 28 bring a free concert, and a $5 cover will get you into most weekend acts, which range from Simian Mobile Disco to Julio Bashmore to James Murphy.

Reservations are now available for the 100 dinner seats, so you won’t be placed out of a meal even if there’s a crowd on a gorgeous night. Space for 300 more means there’s also plenty of room if you just happen to be rolling by the Race Street Pier in search of something fun to do. Bring on the summer breeze, it’s time to hit up Morgan’s Pier.

Photos by Danya Henninger


How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!


Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!