The Best Patios for Eating and Drinking Outside in Seattle
For outdoor dog-friendly drinking and patios with live music, these are your best bets for al fresco dining in Seattle.
It’s been a long winter here in the Pacific Northwest, and after suffering through many months of rain, cold weather, and general gloominess, we’d be remiss not to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Spring, after all, is all about renewal—at least symbolically. Practically speaking, however, it’s about getting outside, sitting on sunny patios with friends, and drinking spritzes, because, well, they remind us of summer.
All that to say: This list may never be more important than it is right now. Armed with this rolodex of 17 restaurants, bars, and cafés, you’ll be more than adequately prepared the next time the sun comes out (which, here’s hoping, will happen a lot more often starting, like, now). Ahead, the best places to eat and drink outside in Seattle.
Marination Ma Kai
Along with its two sister restaurants, Super Six and Marination on 6th & Virginia, Marination Ma Kai is the result of a classic Seattle food truck Cinderella story, where one mobile food operation gave birth to a whole slew of delicious restaurants. Visit Ma Kai on Alki Beach in West Seattle for Hawaiian-Korean fusion fare, plus stunning views of the city across the water (we recommend going at sunset).
Named after a “ne’er do well” conductor on the trolley line that connected downtown Seattle to West Seattle in the early 1900s, Endolyne Joe’s has been serving up a rotating selection of dishes from North, Central, and South America since 2004. Entrees like Joe’s Breakfast Burrito, Mulberry Street Skillet, Fauntleroy Fish & Chips, and Gnocchi al Pistacchi are currently on deck—and the patio is heated and covered, spring rain be damned.
Grappa’s Mediterranean menu is full of classics—like Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata, Seafood Risotto, and House Focaccia—plus some house specials, like “Grappa’s Famous Paella”, Homemade Gnocchi, and Saganaki (pan-seared imported graviera sheep cheese, brandy, lemon juice, and grilled pita). Our advice? Come hungry, try it all, and don’t be shy about dessert. It would simply be a crime to leave without ordering Mama’s tiramisu.
Agua Verde Cafe
Nestled on the southern edge of the University of Washington campus, Agua Verde is a humble waterside operation specializing in Baja-style Mexican food (think burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, etcetera). They have a whole vegetarian/vegan menu for the non-meat-eaters among us, and a sprawling patio that looks out over the marina.
Baker’s is everything you’d want in a neighborhood restaurant: It’s cute, it’s cozy, and its rotating menu is full of items like Lamb Meatballs and Olive Oil Cake. A word on their cocktails, too: They’re delicious, and some of the most unique in Seattle. Pull up a chair on their backyard patio, where there are heaters (and booze, and food) aplenty.
Pablo Y Pablo
Named in honor of the friendship between artist Pablo Picasso and poet Pablo Neruda, Pablo y Pablo is home to one of the largest (and best) tequila and mezcal selections in Seattle, which you can peruse at your leisure from their very chic concrete patio—try the Mexico City Sour (blanco tequila, lime, cane sugar, spiced wine float) or the Oaxacan Old Fashioned (reposado tequila, mezcal, demerara, grapefruit, and chocolate bitters) to start.
Oddfellows Cafe & Bar
For an exceptional latté and a stylish cafe in which to while away the afternoon, pay a visit to Oddfellows. The Capitol Hill institution, which has been serving up coffee and food for over a decade now, debuted a “permanent street patio” earlier this year, meaning that their outdoor COVID setup is here to stay (and yes, their backyard is still open, too). Take your laptop for an afternoon of work, or bring a date for a romantic evening of simple, delicious food; either way, this “all-day, all-night” eatery will become a fast favorite.
U District is a neighborhood typically reserved for college students, but Mountaineering Club serves as a strong exception to the rule. Perched atop the Graduate Hotel, this rooftop bar is incredibly well decorated and, thus, incredibly chic. Pay a visit for classic cocktails at sunset for seemingly endless—and unparalleled—views.
Captain Blacks’ nautical décor is extremely endearing, but it’s actually the Southern fare that keeps us coming back to this bar, which boasts not one, but two decks overlooking Capitol Hill. This is an excellent spot for two important things in life: people watching and fried chicken.
Now that the weather is looking up, the time is right to pay this rooftop establishment a visit and settle in for an afternoon beer or two. The best part of MBar is arguably its view—with sweeping views of Lake Union, it’s the kind of place that encourages slow, easy summer living (which, I might add, is just around the corner).
Monsoon added a rooftop patio to its already excellent setup a few years ago, and now, there’s perhaps no better spot at which to dine on contemporary Vietnamese—in Capitol Hill, at least. Come for views of the neighborhood—or rather, of 15th Avenue—plus dishes like Pork Spare Ribs, Fried Oysters, and Drunken Chicken.
The best way to experience Pike Place Market is to completely avoid the crowds all together, pull up a seat at Maximilien, and simply take in the scenery. From here, you’ll get sweeping views of the Puget Sound and the Olympics, with none of the chaotic energy that usually accompanies a trip to the market. Order the oysters—it’s only right.
If there were ever a competition among themed bars, Linda’s Tavern—which is like one giant ode to the Wild West and its mythical cowboy—wins. Ranch décor abounds in this neighborhood haunt and the outdoor patio provides the perfect spot to sip on a spiked Topo Chico. Sit back, kick up your cowboy boots, and stay awhile.
Eden Hill Restaurant (and its little, less bougie sister, Eden Hill Provisions) has been a staple of the Queen Anne neighborhood since 2015, serving up New American food with a twist. Since COVID times, they’ve transformed their facade to include some streetside outdoor tables, for a DIY sidewalk patio that’s functional, festive, and the perfect backdrop for a springtime (or summertime) date.
For what is probably the most authentic Italian experience you can find in the city of Seattle, you’ll need to spend an evening at Picolinos. There, you’ll be seated in their garden courtyard, and treated to the kind of food that is the epitome of indulgence, like Homemade Ravioli, Chicken Marsala, and Grilled New York Steak. Oh, and if you’re looking for a full night’s worth of activities, might we suggest grabbing pre-dinner drinks at Baker’s (which is, conveniently, right across the street), then popping over to Picolinos for the main event.
Tippe & Drague Alehouse
If 16 rotating taps of regional craft beer sounds like your idea of a good time, Tippe and Drague is probably a good place to become a regular. The alehouse, which is super family-friendly and focused on local, sustainable food (in the form of entrees like Hangover Hash and Buttermilk Pancakes), is open for both indoor and outdoor seating. Check out their live tap list here.
Bar Vacilando spent much of the pandemic completely closed to the public, but now that they’re open—for lunch and dinner—the ball’s in your court. The restaurant, which specializes in small plates and “polished” cocktails, also happens to boast a gorgeous, sun-drenched back courtyard, complete with white brick walls, plants for days, and rustic wooden tabletops. Need we say more?