With summer starting to wind down, patio dining is becoming more tolerable as the temperatures in the evening fall to comfortable. Outdoor dining has also become increasingly popular since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to be a safer way to enjoy dining out. Here are some of our favorite spots for both delicious food and a great patio ambiance.
Gringo A Go Go
For amazing Mexican food with tons of vegan and vegetarian options and an eclectic ambiance, Gringo A Go Go is a great choice in downtown Raleigh. From the delicious, flavorful margaritas, to the several varieties of chilaquiles, this spot puts an interesting twist on authentic Mexican food and offers a patio with an artsy, unique vibe.
German-inspired Guglhupf in Durham is a great place to enjoy treats from the old world bakery, the Biergarten, and fare that is a fusion of Southern and German cuisine. This is a great place for any time of the day, from breakfast to a late-night dinner. Both the interior and exterior have a German look and feel, with a few modern touches. The patio itself is very cozy and quaint and has the feeling of eating at a European cafe, with a water fountain and plenty of greenery.
Located in a former gas station in Durham, Grub is a great eatery, close to Duke University and the heart of downtown Durham, with an eclectic and fun aesthetic throughout. The restaurant offers breakfast (until 3 PM), lunch, dinner, along with catering and a rooftop bar. Owned and created by two Durham natives, who also own Nosh, Grub prides itself in striving to create delicious dishes from fresh, local ingredients.
Lynnwood Grill and Brewing Concern
The neighborhood bar and grill experience, which includes in-house-made beers, an amazing second-floor patio, and delicious pub food, is encapsulated perfectly at Lynnwood Grill and Brewing Concern in northwest Raleigh. They offer everything from pizza to burgers and have plenty of variety and vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Knightdale Station Park has become a great place for a day out with the family, including the Splash Pad, playground, dog park, Oak City Brewing, fitness classes, and especially one of the anchor establishments, Prime BBQ. While this eatery is well-known for its various BBQ meats, the patio overlooks Knightdale Station Park, which offers a relaxing view on a beautiful day. Plan on going early, because they often sell out of food very quickly.
Rosewater Kitchen and Bar
Located in North Hills, Rosewater Kitchen and Bar is a great date night spot with a romantic patio enhanced by the landscaping. The cuisine is inspired by the finest foods in Europe, and the extensive wine list pairs well with the featured menu items.
Scratch Kitchen and Taproom
With locations in both Cary and Apex, Scratch Kitchen and Taproom is a new restaurant that focuses its menu on Southern cuisine and has a relaxed, family atmosphere on the patio. Operated by the owners of the Mason Jar Tavern and the Mason Lager Company, this restaurant focuses on providing diners with the highest quality food with fresh ingredients.
The Flying Biscuit
A staple in the Village District neighborhood in Raleigh, The Flying Biscuit is a brunch favorite and has an expansive patio for diners to enjoy any of their savory breakfast or lunch choices. The fresh-made biscuits with butter and jelly are a great way to round out any breakfast.
The expansive patio at Whiskey Kitchen is a great spot for some craft cocktails and Southern cuisine in downtown Raleigh. The patio is filled with umbrella-covered picnic tables and is perfect for large groups, date nights, lunch meetings, and more. Whiskey Kitchen is known for its extensive whiskey and scotch selection, but also offers wines and other craft cocktails to fit everyone’s taste buds.
Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing
Located in the historic Boylan Heights neighborhood in Raleigh, Wye Hill offers an unparalleled view of downtown Raleigh, along with delicious food, craft brews, and an extensive cocktail and wine menu. This amazing location has been the site of many memorable occasions for Raleigh residents, including first dates and engagements.