By now, you might be familiar with the One-Two Punch. It’s what we like to call any two-stop itinerary that has been expertly planned for maximum enjoyment. We’ve already given you our best one-two punch date nights, and now we’re back with another round.
What you’ll find here are two-step plans that are perfect for summer, whether you’re looking to just eat and drink or maybe get some activities going. Use these combinations for date nights, group hangs, entertaining out-of-town visitors - or for when you just need an excuse to get the hell off the couch and do something with your weekend. (Walking to your fridge doesn’t count.)
THE ONE-TWO PUNCHES
We really can’t say enough good things about having dinner outside at Red Cow. The patio just consists of one row of picnic tables, but sitting out there under string lights feels like going to a country barn wedding where steak frites and short rib croquettes are on the menu. Add this to your al fresco bucket list immediately.
If you’re not following Red Cow with drinks in the garden at Bottlehouse, you’re doing summer all wrong. This is our favorite wine bar in the city, mostly because the patio situation here is really good and the servers are generally knowledgeable about the wines on offer. If you’re in more of a cocktail mood, you can do a frozen one made with white wine, rosemary, and grapefruit.
The patio at Chavez in Capitol Hill isn’t the biggest, but sitting under the sun overlooking a dining room that seems like it was plucked from Venice, CA is what we’d like to be doing with our summer. Tacos and margaritas should be in the picture, but even if you just do a couple rounds of chicharron guacamole and palomas, your outdoor dinner experience will be far better than eating a sad sandwich on your stoop.
Switch from tequila to vodka and drink some mules with tart homemade ginger beer in the open-air space at Rachel’s. The best part about hanging out here (other than the big mural, abundance of plants, and fries from Sunset Fried Chicken’s takeout window) is the sheer number of drink options. Not only are there about a dozen ginger beer flavors ranging from tangerine turmeric to cucumber tarragon, but you can get your cocktail on the rocks, in slushie form, or as a spiked float with vanilla soft serve.
Reckless Noodle House has amazing Vietnamese food that you can eat on their very chill, plant-lined patio with colorful tables, hand shuffleboard, and good music. We love the whole menu, but we recommend the Reckless fried rice and literally anything involving their braised beef cheek.
Right across the street from Reckless Noodle House is Standard Brewing. The house beers here range from classic blonde ales and stouts to more experimental types with things like guava and berries. Drink a flight on the bamboo-covered patio under an umbrella with your friends (and their dogs).
San Fermo is a restaurant in a renovated old house where you can eat delicious pasta on a porch and momentarily forget you’re in a city at all. The menu changes daily, but if an amatriciana makes an appearance, that’s what you want. You also want the saffron spaghetti bolognese and a chickpea flatbread.
Percy’s is the cocktail spot to visit with your friends who really like plants. The patio has picnic tables, a huge open skylight, and (as mentioned) lots of greenery, so sit there and order apothecary-themed cocktails with things like dill-infused tequila, lavender tinctures, and serrano honey. (For the record, those aren’t all in the same drink.)
This massive gravel-patch-turned-bar serves alcoholic slushies and great rotisserie chicken with sauces like chimichurri and garlic aioli, plus sides like grilled flatbread and duck fat potatoes. Spread out on a picnic table with a few orders of homemade hummus and baba ghanoush, and keep the aforementioned spiked slushies coming.
Let’s be clear on something here - the food at this tequila bar is not amazing. But the drinks are tasty, and the back patio, with its plants and string lights, is an enjoyable place to spend time. So unless you want to stay at Bar Ciudad drinking slushies (also not a bad plan), keep the night going with some margaritas here.
Bar Del Corso makes some of the best Neapolitan pizza in the city. So the fact that they also have a great back patio is a big bonus. While we like this place for a date, it’s also a good place to gather with some friends and post up for the night. Just make sure you arrive at 5pm when the restaurant opens, since they don’t take reservations. Order whatever you want, and by that we mean to say that you should order the fried rice balls, a margherita pizza, and an affogato to cool off. There you go - you’re welcome.
The only thing better than sitting outside drinking pints after pizza is sitting outside drinking pints next to a fire pit after pizza. You can do this at Perihelion, where they have great homemade beer that pairs well with the smell of fresh campfire smoke. If you’re not planning a Golden Gardens bonfire by the time you’re done here, we don’t know what to tell you.
The back patio at El Camino is the townhouse roof lounge you didn’t know you needed in your life. There are benches with pillows, string lights, and colorful hanging paper lanterns, and it’s far removed from Fremont’s main drag. Food-wise, we like the shrimp tacos here, but you also can’t go wrong with some mole enchiladas, a stiff margarita, and guacamole with plantain chips.
When you first walk into Stampede Cocktail Club, it feels like an old-timey parlor, but then you turn a corner and a T-Rex’s head juts out of floral wallpaper. It’s wacky and fun and they serve excellent cocktails, like a fresh blueberry mule and a passionfruit-pineapple margarita.
You might be looking at the photo here saying, “OK, you guys are liars - this is The 100 Pound Clam.” And you’re right. But at 3pm, the same Lake Union patio space becomes part of their sister spot, The White Swan Public House. Sit on a big picnic table overlooking the water and grab some chowder, fish and chips, brussels sprouts caesars, crab mac and cheese, and fresh oysters.
Walk off the seafood for a brisk half-mile to get to M Bar, and finish up your drinking there. Yeah, it’s a whole thing finding the entrance, getting inside, riding many stories up an elevator, and walking down a comically long hallway, but once you get to the rooftop bar, you won’t care about all the effort you had to put in. Sit on a swing and look out at the city skyline while drinking wine or cocktails. Or both.