Food & Drink

10 Outdoor Dining Spots to Enjoy in Atlanta This Spring

Patio season has arrived.

Ahh yes pollen, er, patio, season has arrived in Atlanta. Sure, there are still a few nippy days ahead of us that will catch us off guard, but for the most part, the sun is shining and the temps are climbing. So let’s head to the nearest restaurant patio. But a few things to note first.

When it comes to patio dining, restaurants have to ensure that tables are spread six feet apart, but, according to an infosheet put together by the Georgia Restaurant Association in response to Governor Kemp’s latest executive order, masks are not required for patrons. There is no law requiring that patrons wear masks, but patrons should follow the guidelines of the restaurant. Many restaurants are asking patrons to wear masks while moving about the establishment. Here are the CDC guidelines on mask-wearing.

The good news is that vaccinations are now available to a broader group of Georgians—one that comprises about two-thirds of the state. As of Monday, March 15, people age 55 and older along with those with certain health conditions, like asthma, are now included. For specifics, check Georgia’s Department of Health’s website.

So be sure to stay safe, check the weather report, wear your mask, and tip big when you head out to some of the best restaurants for outdoor dining in Atlanta.

A Mano

Old Fourth Ward

A Mano offers full-service dining on their patio where you can enjoy their classic dishes, like the bucatini with beef rage and ricotta. Check out their Instagram to see which pop-ups they have coming up with guest restaurants and chefs.

The Chastain

Buckhead

Are we in Napa? No, but the Chastain might have you briefly thinking so with its swoon-worthy patio that’s large enough to seat almost as many people outside as the dining room does inside. In the morning, you can order coffee and a breakfast treat from the coffee bar and sit anywhere you’d like (may we suggest the fire pit?). In the evening, you can make a reservation for a seat in the tent or you can grab a first-come-first-serve seat on the terrace for dinner and/or drinks.

Forza Storico

West Midtown

Channel Italian street dining vibes from the interior courtyard of Westside Provisions District. Forza serves up classic Roman fare like carbonara and cacio e pepe and appetizers like grilled octopus and pork meatballs. There are also, of course, Italian beverages at the ready, like the spritz and Negroni.

Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Multiple locations

Grindhouse makes a mean burger and delicious accouterments like onion rings, cheesy poofs, and milkshakes. Each of its four Atlanta locations has a killer patio, too. The Brookhaven and Decatur locations also have rooftop patios that are for the 21 and up crowd—so go ahead and add booze to that milkshake.

If you know, you know that Hen Mother Cookhouse is worth the drive from whatever part of Atlanta you’re in. People flock to this suburban gem for breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch. You can't go wrong, but whatever you do, try to order one of the pastries like a strawberry cream kolache or cinnamon bun.

Leon’s Full Service already had a gorgeous covered patio, and now it’s open for lunch and dinner (check website for specific hours and days). Seating is first come first serve.

Nick’s Westside

West Midtown

We know, you’re sick of the word “pivot,” but that’s exactly what chef Nick Leahy did when he realized that his fancy French restaurant Aix wasn’t going to work in this pandemic life. So, he reinvented his restaurant as Nick's Westside, which is more approachable but still features a stunning patio with a beautiful outdoor fireplace. Menu items include baked oysters, roasted beet salad, burgers, and Carolina pork schnitzel.

West Egg Café

West Midtown

Bring on the brunch feast! The beloved breakfast spot is currently reservation-only and that includes tables on their covered patio. Make a reservation, wear a mask, and order up one of the mainstays like the churro waffle or black bean cakes and eggs.

Whiskey Bird

Morningside

Although Whiskey Bird’s dining room is reopened with appropriate social distancing, the patio is a lovely way to go if you want to enjoy its Asian-inspired eats. The Morningside restaurant currently has a limited menu available (try one of the crispy sushi rice treats like the spicy tuna or umami bomb).

Varuni Napoli

Morningside

The Morningside location of pizza joint Varuni Napoli has a serene patio in the back. Order at the counter and make your way out the backdoor for a sweet, shady table to enjoy that bastardo pizza (topped with mozzarella, pepperoni cups, nduja, and pecorino) and a glass of Montepulciano.

Lia Picard is an Atlanta-based freelance writer whose work appears in the New York TimesWashington PostWine Enthusiast, and more. You can keep up with her daily adventures and projects on Instagram.
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