(Updated September 2017) With summer just around the corner, where to go for some fresh air, sunshine (or stars) and a meal? After dealing with the cold, summer nights in San Francisco for five years, it was fantastic being out here in North Carolina watching the fireflies light up the evening air. There’s just something about eating outside that makes for an amazing meal when you’ve got a warm summer’s night! Fresh air, the humidity on your skin, it all just makes me happy and ready to eat. So where to go in Raleigh for a great outdoor meal or beer? There are lots of options ranging from patios, sidewalks and even rooftops. Here are some great choices 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.
Whiskey Kitchen is a newer restaurant in downtown Raleigh but 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. And don’t miss the Hibernian’s $5 Burger special on Mondays.
The new Tupelo Honey Cafe down by Cameron Village has a great sidewalk patio. Mixed seating for dining or stuffed chairs for lounging, you can watch all the people on Oberlin Street with a relaxing cocktail or full meal, your choice! Lights are strung overhead creating a romantic setting. I’ve consistently been impressed by the food and service at this restaurant so enjoy it…
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!
The new and re-located 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 in the Triangle!
Humble Pie– Raleigh
Hibernian Pub– Raleigh
The Station at Person Street– Raleigh
Tupelo Honey Cafe, Cameron Village– Raleigh
Taverna Agora– Raleigh
Raleigh Times Bar- Raleigh
Mellow Mushroom- Raleigh
Moonlight Pizza- Raleigh
Flying Saucer- Raleigh