You already know about Atlanta’s weather: once March comes around, you’re in for six solid months of warm to hot to “I’m sweating just thinking about going outside” temperatures. And while you’ll be wearing a sweater inside most of that time as your coworker makes it a morning tradition of turning down the thermostat, the rest of it will be spent eating and drinking on a patio outside. Here are 19 of our favorite places to do that.
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Located at Krog Street Market, Bar Mercado is a Spanish restaurant with a large, shaded patio that will immediately become part of your warm weather rotation after your first visit. This tapas spot serves great brunch dishes like crispy artichokes, banana bread, and Huevos a la Flamenca, along with bottomless sangria and mimosas. The food here is also super photogenic, so feel free to join everyone else in taking photos of your order, or just have another mimosa and strategize with your friends about how you can make your apartment look more like this place.
Poor Hendrix is a newer neighborhood spot in Decatur with a great patio and a food menu full of things that go great with drinks, like charcuterie, meat skewers, and a grilled cheese with tomato jam. They also have a separate bar menu, where you can get things like salmon tartare with potato chips for under $10. Stop by for a few drinks and a snack, or for a whole meal before you head out for the night, but either way, try to get a spot on their back patio when you do.
Much like the Toy Story sequels, or finding double prizes in a box of Cracker Jacks, the two patios at Beetlecat are better than one. This seafood restaurant is one of the most popular places to eat and drink outside in Inman Park, but you can usually find a spot on one of the patios to have a few tiki drinks and some oysters, even if every person walking by on the BeltLine suddenly has the same idea.
Bone Garden Cantina has one of the largest patios in West Midtown and as soon as spring hits, this place is always packed. Besides the outdoor seating though, this Day of the Dead-themed restaurant serves some of the best Mexican food in the city, along with specialty margaritas and agave cocktails that help stave off the heat once it gets hot enough that you debate going outside before the sun sets. There’s always a wait, but just use the extra time to look over the huge menu (make sure to try the braised goat tacos) and grab a drink.
We’ve all been on a weekend group text when someone chimes in with, “Let’s go to the BeltLine, and then let’s go to Ladybird!” Once the weather warms up, this spot becomes one of the most popular patios in the city. It’s dog friendly, has an outdoor bar inside a vintage camper for when it gets really crowded, and has a cute lodge theme that will make you nostalgic for camp, or Moonrise Kingdom. Besides drinks, they serve food too, with snacks like pimento cheese fritters and homemade jerky, and larger options like the backyard BBQ board for when everyone from your group text decides to join.
If you’re looking for an all-day (and night) patio, check out 8Arm around the corner from Ponce City Market. This bar and restaurant spends the first half of the day as a coffee shop and brunch spot, where you can order things like breakfast sandwiches and smoothie bowls, before switching to a dinner menu at 6pm. The best time to come here, however, is for the late-night l8arm menu, which includes everything from a $70 porterhouse to blueberry cobbler and is available nightly until at least 12:30am. Stop by for a few drinks on the patio, and if hunger strikes, this is the best place in the area for a second dinner.
Yes, Shake Shack. With a huge rooftop space overlooking the city, there’s no better spot in Buckhead to enjoy a cold beer and some classic crinkle cut fries. Since opening in 2014, Shake Shack has had a line out the door, which makes sense since their burgers, custard concretes, and beers are three things we always want once winter is officially over.
This French-inspired bistro in Inman Park is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee and croissant for brunch, or a cocktail on a warm afternoon. Either way, we recommend you do it from the porch that overlooks Elizabeth Street. While not exactly French, quaint, or delicate like Bread and Butterfly’s name suggests, the burger is what you should get here when you want more than just a snack. It’s topped with gruyere, caramelized onions, and whole grain mustard, and will immediately replace whatever you were hungry for when you walked in.
KR Steakbar is an Italian steakhouse that you should go to on a date, with a friend, or just when you’re especially hungry, so you can avoid the conundrum of, “Do I order steak or pasta?” You want both, trust us. Besides the food though, it’s KR Steakbar’s location and outdoor space that keeps bringing us back here. Located between a string of galleries and a park in Peachtree Hills, the entire area is largely shaded by trees, which makes its patio one of our personal favorites. It’s quiet and you can eat spaghetti with clams and a ribeye outside while still staying cool. What’s not to like?
When you’re looking for a comfortable patio to drink a few margaritas on, head to Bartaco on the Westside. It’s spacious, has a fireplace for when you refuse to wait until it’s spring to sit outside, and you can order tiny tacos and rotisserie chicken as you debate the merits of frozen vs. non-frozen margaritas with your friends.
There are plenty of great Thai places in Atlanta, but none of them has a better patio than Bangkok Station in Buckhead. It’s the kind of outdoor space that makes you feel like you might be in the patio section of Restoration Hardware, or on a boat that a friend of a friend invited you on and you’re not sure how you got there. Go to Bangkok Station with a group and have a few tropical cocktails on the patio, along with some boat noodles and massaman curry while you’re at it.
Located inside an old gas station in Decatur, Leon’s Full Service is somewhere that you and your friends will start your Saturday, and then end up staying at the entire day. This laid back spot is a great place to play some bocce ball, snack on some hummus and french fries, and make your way through their list of seasonal cocktails. They have two patios to choose from but both fill up fast, so get here early if you want access to the sun.
JCT Kitchen & Bar opened more than a decade ago, and while the downstairs dining room is fine for when it’s cold out or your allergies are peaking, their rooftop patio bar has one of the best views in the city. Besides great cocktails, the bar also serves small plates and shareable dishes like fried chicken in a bucket, along with the JCT burger from downstairs, which really makes the patio the best of both worlds.
Inside Ponce City Market, there are 30 different places you can eat at, but only a handful of them share the patio space in the center of the complex. Choosing between Bellina Alimentari (Italian), W.H. Stiles Fish Camp (Seafood), Botiwalla (Indian), Jia (Chinese), and Minero (Mexican) is no easy task, but with a huge variety between them, it’s easy to try multiple things from a few different places.
Atop Ponce City Market - next to the mini-golf course and carnival games of Skyline Park - you’ll find 9 Mile Station. This rooftop beer and wine garden has a great view of downtown and is a great spot to bring out of towners, or to just stop at for afterwork drinks. Food-wise, they serve everything from cheese and charcuterie boards, to Alaskan cod with salt and vinegar chips, so regardless of what you’re drinking, there’ll be something that you can claim pairs well with a beer, cocktail, or glass of wine.
Fellini’s has seven locations around town - most of which have their own patios - so you’re never too far from one. With its fountain, neon signage, and haphazardly strung patio lights, though, the Ponce location is our personal favorite. Fellini’s also makes some of the best pizza in Atlanta, especially their thick crust Sicilian pies.
More secluded and private than most patios in town, Barcelona Wine Bar in Inman Park is where you should go when you want to drink some wine outside and finally start planning that trip to Spain you’ve been putting off. There’s an outdoor fireplace and lots of wine to choose from, along with tapas and paella, all of which should inspire you to finally book a flight, or just start coming here regularly.
Edgewood’s Georgia Beer Garden serves more than 100 different local beers and ciders and their big back patio is the perfect place to spend the warmer months working your way through the list. While it started out as just a bar, this place recently started serving food, including sausages, sandwiches, and fries topped with things like chorizo and Kung Pao sauce. Between the backyard, drink selection, and food for when you get hungry after a few pints, this place will quickly become one of your go-to weeknight spots.
Annie’s Thai Castle isn’t here to impress you with its patio, but when you want Thai food last minute and would prefer to eat it outside, this is where you should go. The small patio only has six or so tables, but if you’re lucky enough to score a seat outside, it’s a great spot to watch people make their way to the Buckhead bars across the street. Everything on the menu is solid, but the curries, soups, and especially the basil rolls are a good starting point.