Food & Drink

The 12 Best Patios in Charlotte

Published On 06/17/2015 Published On 06/17/2015
Courtesy of The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
Courtesy of RuRu’s Tacos & Tequila
Courtesy of The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
Cristina Wilson/Thrillist
Courtesy of Fahrenheit
Cristina Wilson/Thrillist
Cristina Wilson/Thrillist
Courtesy of Rí Rá Irish Pub
Cristina Wilson/Thrillist
Courtesy of Halcyon
Vivace Charlotte
Courtesy of VBGB
Cristina Wilson/Thrillist
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1. RuRu's Tacos & Tequila 715 Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207

RuRu’s has a huge patio that's both laid-back and upscale. When you're here be sure to try a cocktail like “You Talkin’ to Me?” (tequila, jalapeño simple syrup, agave, lime juice, and salt rim) and don’t miss the Long Duk Dong, a Korean style taco with sweet and spicy skirt steak.

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2. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery 4150 Yancey Rd, Charlotte, NC 28217

OMB is the has an outdoor bar, great food, and so many tables you’ll surely be down to lounge. The massive Biergarten is also dog-friendly.

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3. JJ's Red Hots 1514 East Blvd Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28203 (Dilworth)

JJ’s Red Hots has an upper deck, plus great food like The Whistle Pig (bacon, cheese, onions, Weber’s mustard).

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4. Fahrenheit 222 S Caldwell St, Charlotte, NC 28202

Located on the 21st floor of the Skye Condos, this cozy spot serves up New American food with a fusion twist. The outdoor portion of the space stunning city views, fire pits, and a seasonal herb garden the restaurant harvests for its own use. Small, sharable plates are ideal for lunch on the open terrace, and more substantial dishes, like the signature Kobe beef short ribs, anchor the dinner menu along with a range of classic, wood-fired pizzas. The atmosphere here is definitely breezy and classy, but not overly fussy. There's no dress code, but you might want to make a reservation at this popular venue, just in case.

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5. Common Market 2007 Commonwealth Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205 (South End)

This aptly named eatery is an eclectic common ground for locals -- a coffee shop, an all-day dining room, a bar, and a general store, all under the same roof. Offering cuisine for all hours, the market boasts a full service coffee station, a sandwich counter, and a lengthy menu for beer & wine. Browse through trinkets, T-shirts, and vinyl collections while you sip one of the bar's 13 brews on tap, or stop by for some live music on the weekends.

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6. Thomas Street Tavern 1228 Thomas Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205

When it comes to kitsch and corn hole, Thomas Street Tavern is a reliable favorite. With a ping pong table, a fully-stocked bar, and a veritable selection of patio games, the outdoor space at TST leaves little to be desired. After a few hours of high-stakes table tennis and some heavy drinking, however, you may have to abandon your post to duck inside for a plate of "Dixie chicken nachos," topped with fresh guac, salsa, and jalapeños. The indoor space is dim and divey, lined with vintage neon signs and wooden shudders, and you can order drinks and food items from the eclectic menu at the bar. Additionally, the popular neighborhood joint hosts live musicians several times a week, both indoors and out -- a convenient soundtrack for competitive rounds of bocce.

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7. Rí Rá Irish Pub 208 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202 (Uptown)

This inviting pub may be part of a chain, but it’s been a local go-to since opening in Charlotte in 1997. Built from salvaged parts of an 1800s Irish pub, the warmly lit two-story bar fills fast with the after-work crowd most evenings. Its upstairs outdoor patio and frequent live music make it a draw for Uptown revelers on weekend nights. And the recent addition of the sophisticated second-story Whiskey Room, featuring classic whiskey punches served in silver punch bowls, is only making it a hotter spot for imbibing.

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8. The Peculiar Rabbit 1212 Pecan Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205

This three-story gastropub is known for playful dishes like sweet-tea brined wings, plus views from its rooftop deck. The front terrace offers a casual Plaza ambience, but the top level is the place to beat the heat.

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9. Selwyn Avenue Pub Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28209 (Myers Park)

With its polo shirts and pastels, the crowd here can at times feel a little like an adult fraternity party -- especially on summer weekends. But the tree-shaded deck and flowing drink specials at this neighborhood spot have made it a longtime favorite for locals looking for a place to mingle over cold drinks. Much of the bar is outside, so go when the weather is good, but anticipate booze-filled crowds.

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10. Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth 500 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202

This Uptown spot offers an upscale farm-to-table menu and constantly changing cocktails, plus its terrace has a great view.

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11. Vivace Italian Restaurant 1100 Metropolitan Ave Ste 100 Bldg E, Charlotte, NC 28204

Go straight for the patio at this Midtown Charlotte joint — the stunning views of the city skyline serve as a backdrop for some of the most authentic Italian fare around. Come for a killer brunch of gourmet egg dishes, short rib hash and chicken & biscuits, or stop by for dinner to watch the sunset over a cripsy, thin crust pizza, traditional pasta dish or whatever seasonal fish is available (expect swordfish and salmon). You can also get cozy in the sleek lounge for a signature, seasonal or classic cocktail or a glass of wine from its decent-sized collection.

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12. VBGB Beer Hall And Garden 920 Hamilton St, Charlotte, NC 28206 (Uptown)

If you’re going to see a concert at the adjacent NC Music Factory, this laid back German-style beer hall is mandatory for pre or post-show drinks. Inside you’ll find a U-shaped frost bar and snacks (order the jumbo pretzel with house-made beer cheese, trust us), but its sprawling beer garden, where white string lights hang over picnic tables, is the biggest draw. The beer selection changes daily and brews are offered in 12oz, 18 oz, and (Munich-style large) 34oz sizes, as well as pitchers, all perfect for sampling from the 30-tap selection.

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13. Hare of the Dog 1958 E. 7th St, Charlotte, NC 28204

From the owners of Jackalope Jack’s, this spot brings together all of the best things: dogs, beer, and sandwiches..