13 Twin Cities patios to visit before summer ends

The warning signs are there: school supplies are piled up in stores, the occasional night breeze has a crisp edge to it, and people cash in vacation time like lottery tickets. There are only so many more precious summer days left, and there are more patios that need attention.

From new restaurants or newly expanded venues to underrated gems that are genuinely worth savoring, grab some friends and clear the calendar for these glorious metropolitan patios.

Guacaya Bistreaux

This new North Loop eatery is a seductive blend of Cajun and Panamanian fare from chef/owner Pedro Wolcott. Facing Washington Avenue in Minneapolis’ North Loop, this courtyard oasis sets the stage for viewing the city’s pulsating rhythms. Use the QR codes on the table to order a host of snacks, like crispy, rich boudin balls and lots of tropical cocktails that go well with a shot of tequila. It is purposely a place without reservation. Just walk in and have a place to relax. 337 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-345-4981, guacayabistreaux.com

Tilia

Surrounded by brick and filled with flowers and plants, the cute patio next to chef/owner Steven Brown’s neighborhood icon is a criminally underrated spot to steal away in the summer. Order a special bottle of wine and some cacio e pepe at this urban haven for a chic evening in Linden Hills. 2726 W. 43rd St., Mpls., 612-354-2806, tiliampls.com

Martina

Martina’s terrace began during the pandemic with only a few tables outside the restaurant, but it has grown into a lovely shaded space next to the restaurant. The clean wooden lines of the seating and the tan and white color scheme carry the restaurant’s modern, simplistic aesthetic outdoors. Order classic Martina dishes to enjoy outside, like the irresistible potato churros or spicy diavolo spaghetti with lobster. 4312 Upton Ave. S., Mpls., 612-922-9913, martinarestaurant.com

Revival smoked meat

The former corner table on Nicollet Avenue near 46th Street has been reborn by the same owners — Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone. Revival Smoked Meats brings a casual vibe and Boemer’s smoked goods (and soon Revival’s fried chicken) to the area. The remodel added many more patio seats and tamed some of the stylistic decor choices. It’s a beautiful setting for a plate of butter ribs. 4537 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-236-4101, revivalrestaurants.com

Sandcastle

This is the last season for Amy Greeley and Doug Flicker’s stand on the shores of Lake Nokomis, so the days of Dog Flickers and watermelon salad are numbered. Stop by for a crisp, local beer or a creamy horchata while the kids play in the sand. 4955 W. Nokomis Pkwy., Mpls., sandcastlempls.com

Centro Eat Street

This just opened restaurant from the same people who brought us the OG Northeast location made sure patio space was included in their plans. Grab the beloved tacos and enjoy their famous margaritas while watching all the activity on Nicollet Avenue. There are also burgers. 2412 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls. 612-452-9785, centrompls.com

Cold Cold

When the sweltering temperatures start to feel like personal punishment, icy treats are in order. Behind Angel Food Bakery in St. Louis Park’s Texa Tonka strip mall is a cool place to enjoy them, and it also has a nice patio. Order gourmet popsicles, ice cream sandwiches and piles of shaved snow, served on a tray of sweets in the beautifully landscaped surroundings. 8100 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park, friofriomn.com

Macanda

It’s not easy to get a seat inside Daniel del Prado’s newest restaurant, but it’s worth jockeying for one. This tropical Wayzata harbor borders the water, with plenty of Lake Minnetonka boats docked nearby. With dishes like ahi tuna tostadas and guacamole topped with sesame seeds, it’s as if Macanda was built for a summer menu. Enjoy a heartily added spa water and enjoy all the beauty – both people and landscapes. 294 Grove Lane E., Wayzata, 952-679-1222, macandawayzata.com

Em Que Viet

The white brick exterior of this new Grand Avenue eatery is covered in eye-catching tumbling wisteria. While there is patio seating on the outside sidewalk, there is also a full patio tucked into the back of the restaurant, shaded and decorated with gardens and greenery. Start with their famous egg rolls and an iced coffee sweetened with condensed milk as you peruse the menu, a mix of classic Que Viet dishes and newer, more traditionally Vietnamese dishes. 1332 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-330-4363, emqueviet.com

Noyes & Cutler

This new restaurant from the Madison group (which also includes Handsome Hog and Ox Cart, among others) aims to be the new modern steakhouse for St. Paul’s Lowertown. Located across from Mears Park, the sidewalk patio provides beautiful views of the park and great people-watching in the bustling neighborhood. Order a New York strip and a Manhattan for a fancy night before taking in a Saints game. 229 E. 6th St., St. Paul, 651-968-1050, noyescutler.com

The burrito

When was the last time you spent an evening being serenaded by mariachi? The expansive patio outside El Burrito is surrounded by Gothic fencing and cheerful Mexican decor. This family-owned St. Paul institution has served the city for generations, but somehow we all get caught up in the elotes of the parking lot or the incredible grocery selection when this time of year the patio deserves all our affection. Grab a group of friends for an evening of margaritas and queso-birria tacos. 175 Cesar Chavez St., St. Paul, 651-227-2192, elburritomercado.com

Mason Jar Kitchen & Bar

Tucked away in an Eagan shopping center is the surprisingly large patio at Mason Jar. This full-service restaurant also has a bakery, so save room for cupcakes. The terrace feels more like a deck at the home of an incredibly hospitable neighbor. Lights twinkle inside Mason jars and the menu is stacked with crowd pleasers. Order a beer can chicken or charred New York strip steak and broccolini to complete the atmosphere. 1565 Cliff Road, Eagan, 651-340-7809, masonry. kitchen

The dock

This Stillwater restaurant only recently reopened with new management and a fresh menu. The fantastic view of St. Croix River is worth planning a day around—and some of the wait times to get a table suggest it might be best to plan accordingly. But once you’re there, you can order a delicious charcuterie board and a classic gin rickey to soak up the waning summer days. 425 E. Nelson St., Stillwater, 651-430-3770, thedockstillwater.com

Leave a Reply