Skip to main content

New American BYOs, private social clubs serving dynamite Italian classics, vegan fine dining — it can seem like fresh restaurants are opening up in Philadelphia on a daily basis. But what do those chefs (and hard-working food critics) get up to when they get a chance to step outside the kitchen? We talked to Michael Schulson, CEO and founder of Schulson Collective (which includes Philly standouts like Double Knot) and Nina Tinari, his wife and business partner; Jon Nodler and Samantha Kincaid, owners and co-chefs of Cadence, which Food & Wine named America’s Best New Restaurant in 2019; Philly food blogger John Kim and Kae Lani Palmisano, host of WHYY’s upcoming show Check, Please! Philly and a contributing USA TODAY food and travel editor. We also tapped Adam Erace, a food and travel writer and co-author of cookbooks on a couple of the city’s most newsworthy restaurants (including Laurel: Modern American Flavors in Philadelphia). Here’s how all of these big names in Philly’s food scene #OptOutside.

Inspired to make some environmental change after reading about these outdoor destinations? You can join REI on Black Friday to #OptOutside for a nationwide day of action and kick off a year of change. REI will be co-hosting cleanups with Leave No Trace and United by Blue all across the U.S. You can find your nearest cleanup at