Courtesy of Lagos Tacos
Summer in Minnesota is synonymous with two things: road construction, and the perfect weather for time spent outside. Better yet, time spent outside enjoying a drink with a mouth-watering dish in front of you. We’ve done the homework so you don’t have to and rounded up some of the best outdoor dining the Twin Cities has to offer. All that is left to do is get out and enjoy.
With so many options for outdoor dining, we understand that it’s tough to pick. It’s comparable to bringing a kid to a toy store and telling them they can only pick out one. Check out these patios that run the gamut from culturally infused grub to less than normal atmospheres.
Betty Danger’s Country Club
Who says you need a dump truck full of money to enjoy all the benefits of a country club membership? And would that membership include a ride on the Danger, a vertically revolving patio—a fancy name for a Ferris wheel, or “Mechanical Tree” as they like to call it—while sipping on Ivy League-themed cocktails? Probably not. That, and an eight and half-hole (yes, half) mini golf course full of Betty’s misbehaving, imaginary pets are just a couple amenities you won’t find at those other “exclusive” clubs. If you prefer having your feet on the ground, however, there is plenty of seating available for those who prefer a more classic patio experience.
2501 Marshall St. NE., Minneapolis, 612-315-4997, bettydangers.com
Surly Brewing Co.
Surly was not only voted the Best Brewery in Minnesota, it was also voted one of the Top 100 Brewers in the World according to RateBeer. So, it’s only fitting they have their own patio, right? This deck features outdoor furniture crafted from up-cycled materials and a beautiful one and a half-acre beer garden to accommodate anyone ready to have a good time. Couple that with a sizeable fire pit and cornhole setup, and you are ready for a monster-sized backyard bash.
520 Malcolm Ave. SE., Minneapolis, 763-999-4040, surlybrewing.com
W.A. Frost and Company
Patio might not even be the right word to describe this outdoor space. An enchanting garden is probably better. The ambiance created by the ingrown trees, lush greenery and large fountain make you feel like you are dining in a tranquil oasis. And with sustainable, local food sourcing, they have just as beautiful of a menu.
374 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-5715, wafrost.com
The Happy Gnome
Picture a candy store lined with shelves upon shelves of chocolates, hard candies, gummies and other sugary novelties. Now picture beer instead of candy and you have The Happy Gnome. Their massive selection features 89 taps of exclusively domestic and quality import options ensuring they have something for everyone. Thanks to simple categories of hoppy, double hoppy, sour or funky etc., you can make an educated selection without having a small panic attack in your chair or booth. Their wooden patio surrounded by ingrown trees and hanging lights is the perfect spot to enjoy any of their variety of pints.
498 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-287-2018, thehappygnome.com
Butcher & the Boar
At Butcher and the Boar, it is patio season year round. Thanks to a four-season, heated and air conditioned tent, guests can satisfy their appetite and thirst outdoors on the hottest summer days and coldest winter nights. Pair any of their signature sausages with 30 drafts of craft beer or bourbon, or try their Beer + Brat + Shot—a tasty triumvirate of Summit, bratwurst and Devil’s Cut premium bourbon—for the full experience.
1121 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-238-8888, butcherandtheboar.com
If you are looking to add a little Fresh Mex to your patio experience, this south-of-the-border joint in the Lyn Lake neighborhood has you covered. A half inside, half outdoor bar provides a unique feel, and a bonfire pit is there to make sure you stay toasty even after the sun goes down. Taste and sip on one of their many burritos and margaritas for a great way to spice up your night out.
2901 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-353-6736, lagostacos.com
From humble beginnings straight to the Major Leagues, Hola Arepa has gone from food truck to a bona-fide dining hotspot in the Twin Cities. Their tantalizing Venezuelan stuffed arepas accented with Latin-styled fillings and craft cocktails will leave your taste buds dreaming of packing up and moving to South America. Get to this product of the streets early for a spot on their charming patio full of teal chairs, green umbrellas and overhanging lights.
3501 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-345-5583, holaarepa.com