As we prepare to head into summer after one of the most challenging years in memory, where should you go for some fresh air, sunshine (or stars) and a meal? In the time of COVID, eating outdoors is not only a personal choice but health-related, too. And the one positive we can take out of this pandemic is a lot more options when it comes to outdoors dining. So where to go in Raleigh for a great outdoor meal or beer? There are lots of choices ranging from patios, sidewalks and even rooftops. Here are some great dining options to go au natural with your meal…
One of my favorite patio’s in downtown Raleigh is at Humble Pie in the Warehouse District. While inside Humble Pie it feels hip and urban, the patio is a whole different ball game. A large wooden deck with covered tables and a tiki bar, Humble Pie makes for a great way to start your weekend! Humble Pie specializes in small plates and big flavors. Try their spinach tart with goat cheese and parmesan or maybe their grilled andouille sausage with jalapeno bread pudding, yum! And on Sunday they do a nice brunch complete with biscuits and sausage gravy, shrimp n grits and of course the ever-popular bloody mary. Humble Pie is a great spot for a larger group, service is solid and there’s plenty of space to stretch out in.
If you’re looking for a patio AND a view, look no further then the new Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing. Located in the old Boynton Bridge Brewpub, Wye Hill has an upgraded patio with that same stellar view of the Oak City skyline but adds a nicely curated menu of Southern eats. Add in the beer brewed onsite and you’re in for a special evening!
Whiskey Kitchen is a classic in downtown Raleigh and I love, love, love the space. While the bar-restaurant is plenty large for a ton of people, I’d just as readily sit out on their patio under the lights. Enjoy their small menu of artisanal Southern eats and a cocktail. Watch the people go by on this busy corner. Tons of fun, lots of charm and great eats for Whiskey Kitchen and it’s outdoors seating.
The tried and true Hibernian Pub was renovated at the end of 2013 and sports both its old sidewalk seating along with a beautiful rooftop patio! Either spot is great for people-watching and a pint of Guinness. On Friday and Saturday nights, Glenwood South will be crushed with people so be aware!
Across the street from the Hibernian is the new country-western bar, Tin Roof! Serving up beer, bar eats and a delectable patio on the second floor. They’ve also got indoor seating by the windows with a great street view. Enjoy some live music and tater tots to get your evening started.
Out in the Oakwood neighborhood is the Station at Person Street! With an outdoor bar and fireplaces, the huge patio at the Station is probably its key feature. With a menu of pub food and small list of beers, it’s an easy place to hang out for some conversation and quick eats. And the dog-friendly nature of the space means you can enjoy it with your furry friend, score!
Moving on to a Mediterranean theme, the Barcelona Wine Bar is one of my favorite dining options in Raleigh and just so happens to have a pretty cool patio in addition to their bar and dining room. The primary patio is a garden setting tucked in front of the restaurant but due to COVID, they have expanded to the larger, Dillon patio beyond the restaurant. Not sure if this situation will stay the same over the course of 2021 but take full advantage of it, right now!
The Taverna Agora on Hillsborough Street dishes out great Greek food along with sunshine and fresh air. Their rooftop patio is wonderfully decorated in a garden setting and looks really inviting. I’ve done several meals up here and highly recommend Taverna Agora’s brunch. The cooler weather for brunch just makes for a fabulous dining experience.
In a category all of its own is the expansive patio at Mulino Italian Kitchen! Grab dinner by the reflecting pool or a cocktail at the outdoor bar on a nice evening and you’ll be in heaven. Their menu is accessible Italian eats and they offer up a great selection of wines and cocktails if you want to just drink. On Fridays and Saturdays you may need a reservation so beware!
Over at Hargett and Wilmington you’ll find the roof-top patio for the classic, Raleigh Times Bar! Known for its pub food and great beer selection, the Raleigh Times has expanded down the block and upstairs to give you an option for some fresh air dining. Enjoy the nice view of Hargett and Wilmington with a side of cheese fries…
For other outdoors eating and drinking in the Triangle, definitely check out the Top of the Hill, Mellow Mushroom, Moonlight Pizza, the Flying Saucer and Milltown. And check out my posts for other Triangle areas: Outdoors Dining in Durham for the Bull City and Chapel Hill-Carrboro!
Given the choice I’m always outdoors when it comes to a sit-down meal. And with all this great weather in North Carolina it’s hard not to get excited about eating outside. Happiness is some sunshine, blue skies, good company and great food! Just drop those Ray-Ban’s down, it’s time for a beer and bon appetit!
Great Outdoor Patios and Dining in the Triangle!