The Best Restaurant & Bar Patios In Seattle
The all-time best places to eat and drink outside in Seattle.
At some point in the history of time, the sun sat Mother Nature down over drinks and demanded some PTO. “You can’t expect me to shine bright everywhere, all the time,” they said. “Moving forward, I’m not going to shine in Seattle every year from late autumn until summer. Also, buy me this beer. I don’t have a wallet because I’m a G-type main-sequence star.” It’s no wonder the sun is really good at burns.
Because Seattle is gray and (mostly) wet for seven months out of the year, we take our outdoor dining very seriously when the sun gets back to work. In this guide, you'll find our favorite warm-weather places where you should get as much Vitamin D as you can. There's a good mix of patios, rooftops, and decks that almost make you forget about how you have to wear soggy Vans the rest of the year.
Marination Ma Kai
So, you want to go to Hawaii this summer and spend a week getting pruney fingers at an infinity pool swim-up bar in Maui, but you forgot that you have houseplants that depend on you. If an island trip isn’t in the cards, Marination Ma Kai is a solid backup plan on the mainland. Their waterfront view pairs nicely with excellent Hawaiian food, and it’s the best outdoor place to go when you’re entertaining out-of-town guests or just want a free tan with your lunch. We like the patio best during the day accompanied by a lychee margarita and some miso ginger chicken tacos, but it also works well when the sun goes down and the cool night air calls for kimchi fried rice.
Dreamland Bar & Diner
If you’re looking for a serotonin rush without having to snuggle a puppy or pop a molly, just spend some hours out on Dreamland’s balcony patio, a.k.a. Carnelian Bay, for a drag brunch, friend hang, or any other occasion. The whimsical space-galaxy-jungle-grotto surroundings make this diner feel like a hazy movie mashup of Jurassic Park, Alien, and Xanadu in the best way possible. There are $99 large-batch margaritas served in disco balls alongside salty pucker powder-rimmed glasses, frozen grasshopper slushies, Jell-O shots that taste like homemade jam straight from the jar, and some of the best bar snacks in the city—like vegetarian chicken strip baskets, pimento cheese slathered on fried saltines, and a gooey Happy Hour steamed burger that can do no wrong in our eyes. Very much like the title track of Xanadu.
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The cafe interior at Citizen in Queen Anne is a pretty small spot for coffee and crepes to fuel a sleepy morning catch-up. But the exterior? It’s a full-on party. Their beer garden is one of the largest patios in town, with astroturf carpeting, fire pits, and a separate outdoor bar. There, you can grab great drinks ranging from prickly pear Aperol spritzes and cucumber lime coolers to a frozen rosé that tastes like skydiving into a rosemary field, followed by tasty Korean-Mexican food like bulgogi nachos, bulgogi tacos, and bulgogi burritos. If it wasn’t clear, Citizen serves some delicious bulgogi. The best part about the whole operation is that the space is so huge that you could feasibly take it over with your entire group of friends with little to no notice.
We’re not saying that drinking a boot of frosty beer in July while whispering sweet nothings to the warm breeze isn’t an activity. It is. But sometimes, your friends need something to do, too. Which is why we love the outdoor biergarten at Rhein Haus. During the not-summer months, this place is just a rowdy German beer hall. But by day in the summer, the biergarten is a relatively tame place to party and play bocce until you discover which of your friends are sore losers. While they have a good variety of beers, you should be taking advantage of the outdoor-only, deceptively strong frozen rosé. Order a giant pretzel to snack on, too.
After you’ve gotten through all of the wine bottles that were hiding in your fridge, it’s time to go to one of our favorite wine bars in town: Bottlehouse. The whole establishment is in a retrofitted house, so the garden patio feels like you’re trespassing in somebody’s backyard. That is, only with special appearances from the friendly neighborhood cheesemonger who pairs charcuterie and cheese with whatever you’re drinking—be it tangy natural bubbles from Slovenia or a peppery Columbia Valley Syrah. And during our yearly week-long heatwave, Bottlehouse's wine-based cocktail slushies like “frosecco” or “friesling” hit the spot.
Seattle has just about nothing in common with Miami or Los Angeles' Westside, except for the fact that we have a restaurant located right on the sand. Sure, it's only one, and Bongos' patio is in a renovated gas station parking lot instead of an actual beach. But the suspension of disbelief is very real at this Caribbean spot, where you can have tostones, spicy shrimp plates, and Jamaican fried chicken po'boys while barefoot. Summer vacation isn't complete without at least a handful of lunches (and pineapple wheat ales) here after a lap around Green Lake.
Humble Pie is the epitome of the Pacific Northwest. It’s catty-corner to a chicken coop, the plates are compostable, many ingredients are organically grown on-site, and the patio is loaded with picnic tables under string lights. You’ll have dinner and cans of hard cider while listening to the ambient clucking of the hen whose egg is on your arugula pie, but it totally works. Plus, the pizza, with a yeasty chew and charcoal-dusted crust, is excellent. Get the margherita with fresh mozzarella if you’re feeling classic, and the Whole Hog (with prosciutto, bacon, and pulled pork) if your overall mood is “salads are for tomorrow.”
Fremont Brewing Company
Fremont Brewing Company is everyone’s favorite place to day drink in the summer, and we’re not arguing. The urban garden is like Disneyland for craft beer nerds, but there’s something for you here even if you couldn’t care less how hazy your IPA is. It’ll be hard to find a seat, but just send one person to stalk tables with their best passive-aggressive face on while the rest of your group waits in line for a drink. Bring your own takeout from RoRo BBQ, The Masonry, or Pacific Inn here, but if you forget to do so, there’s a huge bowl of free mini pretzels with your name on it.
The seafood at Ray’s is good, but where you eat it is important. Skip the tacky cabin-like interior during the colder months and get yourself out onto their patio. When the sun comes out, it’s a different restaurant—a feel-good situation with a massive balcony deck on the water, plenty of tables, string lights, and coastal cuisine that can check a box. In other words: Seattle summertime gold. Sit outside with all of the other happy people, split a bottle of overpriced Sauvignon Blanc, throw some ice cubes in there, and eat tasty crab cakes and fish and chips while enjoying the view of the Puget Sound.
The porch at San Fermo feels like you’re at someone’s country home: there’s a rickety wooden floor, white siding, exposed brick, and plenty of shade. Maybe it’s just like your own porch, but with way more pasta, and definitely without any raccoons playing with cans in the recycling bin. We love San Fermo for a date, or for gathering the social circle together to drink chilled brown liquor cocktails and eat a lot of carbonara and charcuterie. If nothing else, an order of farinata and a fizzy coupe of sparkling wine are all you need.
Agua Verde Cafe
This is the one restaurant that we look forward to the most when the hot sun pops out unannounced like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Once it's nice out, we teleport to Agua Verde's lakeside deck to go to town on tacos with fillings like baja fried fish, cheddary smoked brisket, and roasted yams covered in avocado cream—alongside plenty of prickly pear margaritas. It doubles as a paddle club, so what better way to end a day of stand-up paddleboarding (or repeatedly pulling yourself out of the water after falling off) than to have a plate of spice-rubbed chicken nachos? We can't think of one.
Seattle's patio nightlife doesn’t include many places where you can strap on some heels with a full face of sweat-proof makeup and go somewhere to drink classy summer drinks. That is, except for The Nest. It’s a gorgeous rooftop bar with a view of the pier, overpriced (but refreshing) cocktails, and the occasionally-available frosé. While you’ll probably see a lot of people taking photos of their arm raising a highball glass to the skyline, we endorse booking an outdoor table next to a firepit so you can sit and drink until sunset when you figure out what to do next. If you’re in a big group, the $150 large-format cocktail that’s served in a large metallic flamingo is excessive and exactly what you should order.
The White Swan Public House
Welcome to The White Swan Public House, where there’s a toddler throwing french fries at their mom on your left and a picnic table full of Sperry catalog models on your right. The patio at this Amazon-adjacent seafood shack is perfect for a casual dinner, especially if you decide to shove every document off of your desk and leave work two hours to make the Happy Hour that starts at 3pm. Once you get here, fish and chips are yours for the taking.
The Pink Door
The Pink Door is one of the best restaurants in Seattle, and its patio is a big reason why. There are plenty of seats, views of Elliott Bay, a deck that might as well be overlooking a Tuscan vineyard, and a mannequin on the adjoining rooftop that will become more realistic as you get closer to finishing your bottle of prosecco. But most importantly: this Italian food is fantastic. Eating the best lasagna on one of the best patios in the city is a special experience everyone needs to have at least once.
If you still want something more upscale than a space that feels like someone’s makeshift townhouse patio or herb garden, M Bar is an ideal rooftop choice. With a skyline view that’d perform very well as a postcard photo, highlighter-colored lawn furniture, and great Middle Eastern mezze (like green pea falafel and labneh, eggplant croquettes, and harra frites with really good za’atar mayo), this place is perfect for dates, group parties, and anything else you’d like to celebrate 14 stories up. Sip something fizzy like a pisco spritz or pink cava, and be glad you’re here.
Wood Shop BBQ
We love this BBQ spot all year, but come summertime, it’s one of the city’s great happy places. Their gravel patio is lined with picnic tables and games of cornhole, and there’s the occasional live music performance to keep the good vibes coming. As you and your friends gnaw on ribs and barter rogue hunks of brisket for fried jalapeño mac and cheese balls, you'll probably think to yourself, "life is good." Pork meeting smoke is indeed a great chemical reaction, but so is dopamine meeting your brain—and you can thankfully experience both at Wood Shop.
The Flora Bakehouse
The Flora Bakehouse is not just a great place to grab a cheddar-chive scone, pink-frosted fudgy vegan brownie, or double-baked almond croissants so flaky that you should consider avoiding if you have trypophobia. (But devour them if you don’t). This Beacon Hill spot also happens to have a fantastic u-shaped rooftop that’s perfect for an afternoon work session al fresco. And by work session, we hope you know that we mean leisurely iced cardamom rose latte on a picnic table in the sun while doodling in the Moleskine journal you purchased with your company card.
Bar Del Corso
Some things just make sense, like jogging in exchange for endorphins, Bill Hader playing a hit man on television, and eating a fresh margherita pie out on the Bar Del Corso backyard. This Beacon Hill spot consistently serves some of the best Italian food in town by way of blistered Neapolitan pizzas and stellar small plates like mozzarella-stuffed tomato suppli, octopus with corona beans, and refreshing chicory caesars with Parmigiano Reggiano and a jammy egg. And there’s no better way to experience this place than stopping by for an al fresco party fueled by a lot of cheese.
The hidden back deck at Jerk Shack is stacked with string lights, vines, and wood beams, which alone would make for a great place to hang out. But the Caribbean food here helps to set the scene, from dry-fried jerk chicken to fry bread sandwiches stuffed with soft shell crab and aioli. If you close your eyes, sip rum punch, and tune out the sounds of the software developers at the table over, a meal here almost feels like a vacation.
photo credit: Westward
In case you missed it, waterfront institution Westward was purchased by the team behind The Walrus And The Carpenter back in 2018. The result? A slick, coastal-inspired place to slurp briny oysters with a view that reminds you where oysters come from. Their small plates are better than the entrees, so consider Westward an A+ spot for sipping sparkling wine while snacking on potato chips with spicy clam dip, grilled gem lettuces with tomatillo caesar dressing, and baked oysters with 'nduja butter and melty beef lardo (courtesy of Bateau). Bonus points if you do all of your snacking while sitting in a water-facing Adirondack chair.
You probably already know that Loretta’s serves one of the best burgers in the city. The double-stack in question is always charred gorgeously, with gooey yellow cheese and special sauce seeping throughout each grilled patty. But what you might not know is that if you make your way past the bar, you’ll hit a stone-covered backyard with a bunch of tables and an outdoor fireplace complete with piles of logs. Hanging with some friends out here is kind of like partying on a tricked-out campsite—only with cold beer, way better burgers, and a significantly lower chance of getting poison oak.
Sure, eating smoky Peruvian rotisserie chicken with a pile of crinkle fries chased with cold pisco sours is an activity that can be completed in the winter. But when you can do those things in a yard with sunshine, picnic tables, astroturf, and flower walls, it's best to exercise that option. Don Lucho's in Maple Leaf is a great place to post up for anything from a casual weeknight dinner to a huge group birthday lunch on a Saturday, and their food is excellent—from lomo saltado sandwiches and crunchy empanadas to ceviche and the aforementioned chicken. Whatever you do, order a lot of aji amarillo and passionfruit pie.