Many around Berks County are familiar with Judy’s on Cherry as the closest thing to an upscale Manhattan dining experience you will find in the greater Reading area. Others will be more familiar with the adjacent Speckled Hen Cottage Pub, a unique and historic bar and restaurant that we’ve already written about here. But what less people know is the Plein Air Garden Café that sits behind the two restaurants, serving light and summery food and drinks in a cozy outdoor setting.
On one hand, it almost wouldn’t matter what they serve, because the atmosphere at Plein Air is just so magical. After walking from South 4th Street through the brick walkway, when it finally opens up to the dining area, one feels like Alice stepping into Wonderland for the first time.
But Plein Air is not “all style and no substance.” The menu sits somewhere in between the other two restaurants, with everything from a seafood seviche cocktail and a falafel salad to pulled pork BBQ. As is fitting for an outdoor garden café, most of the food choices are full of “fresh” flavors. And then there’s the creative drink menu, featuring an Early Grey infused Gin Collins, which is just as delicious as it sounds.
For obvious reasons, Plein Air is only open in the warmer months, so hurry out now before the season ends. There’s a free parking lot across Cherry Street, along with a few spaces on 4th Street out front.
Plein Air Garden Café is located as 30 S 4th St, and is open for lunch Tuesday-Friday, 11:30am-2pm, and open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday, 5pm-9pm. Visit their website here, and like them on Facebook here.