These restaurants in the Raleigh, Durham, and Cary offer outdoor dining options.
by Cady Smith and Kayla Guilliams
With a Raleigh spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, it’s officially eating outside season in North Carolina. We’ve rounded up 30 bars and restaurants that offer customers an atmospheric outdoor dining experience that’s tasty, relaxing , and socially distanced! From patios, to rooftops, to courtyards, put these restaurants on your radar for sunny, breezy dining.
Bowstring Pizza and Brewyard
This brewyard serves craft cocktails, local beer, and wood-fired pizza out of an 100-year-old garage bar and is open for patio seating. Grab a drink and pair it with their New Yorker pizza, Vegan Flatbread, or Baked Wings.
1930 Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27608 | bowstringbrewyard.com
If you’re in the mood for Asian fusion cuisine and brewed boba tea, head downtown and go to Budacai. Their newly built patio is open for lunch and dinner with a dozen colorful picnic tables that are good for small groups.
120 E Martin St, Raleigh, NC 27601 | budacai.com
Dine on this Tuscan-inspired restaurant’s outdoor patio in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Open for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m., enjoy authentic Italian cuisine like Penne Caprese, Farfalle al Salmone, and Rigatoni con Pollo alla Panna while feeling like you might just be in the Italian countryside.
136 E Hargett St, Raleigh| cafeluna.com
Carolina Ale House
Stop by Carolina Ale House for classic dishes like their Crispy Shrimp Platter or Slow-Roasted Carolina Baby Back Ribs while you sit outside. Pair your food with some of their signature cocktails like the Strawberry Basil Rum Smash, Carolina Min-Tea or Southern Belle Sangria.
500 Glenwood Ave STE 300, Raleigh | carolinaalehouse.com
Cortez Seafood + Cocktail
Open for patio dining, vibrant Cortez on Glenwood South boasts oysters and other seafood dishes made of local North Carolina fish like Grilled Whole N.C. Mackerel and N.C. Snapper Ceviche-the ultimate food group to enjoy outside.
413 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh| cortezraleigh.com
With over 300 beers to choose from, you’re sure to find a brew to enjoy at Flying Saucer. Pair it with one of their sandwiches or appetizers and enjoy it on their dog-friendly patio.
328 W Morgan St, Raleigh| beerknurd.com/locations/raleigh-flying-saucer
Gringo A Go Go
In the mood for delicious Mexican cuisine, including chilaquiles, enchiladas, tostadas, and house cocktails like Fresh Watermelon Margaritas? Downtown Gringo A Go Go’s outdoor patio is open and ready for dining.
100 N Person St, Raleigh | gringoraleigh.com
The Garden of Mayahuel at Gallo Pelón
Mezcal bar Gallo Pelón has converted its hidden patio upstairs into The Garden of Mayahuel, with its signature cocktails and a small menu of favorites from the kitchen at sister restaurant Centro downstairs. Tuck yourself among the potted plants to be transported to another world. (Fridays & Saturdays, reservations recommended.)
106 S Wilmington St, Raleigh| gallopelon.com
This downtown restaurant’s spacious patio, located in the Warehouse district, is open for dinner throughout the week and brunch on the weekend with a selection of savory dishes like Blue Crab Claws, Huevos Rancheros, and a Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich.
317 S Harrington St, Raleigh | humblepierestaurant.com
For a taste of Louisiana in North Carolina, New Orleans-inspired Hummingbird is welcoming customers back to enjoy their handful of tables outside. Try their Soppressata Pizza, Gnocchi, Muffaletta, Pan-Seared Fish, and house cocktails like the signature Hummingbird Fizz.
1053 E Whitaker Mill Rd Suite 111, Raleigh| hummingbirdraleigh.com
Bonjour! Scott Crawford’s French bistro, Jolie, has opened its moonlit outdoor rooftop. Guests can enjoy French cuisine during brunch and dinner such as escargot, egg en cocotte, ratatouille tarte tatin, and chicken fricassée.
620 N Person St, Raleigh| restaurantjolie.com/menu
If you’re looking for evening drinks, head to Longleaf Hotel’s lounge located at the northern gateway to downtown. Relax on their patio and enjoy one of their signature cocktails like the Sloe Gin Fizz or Campari & (coffee) Soda.
300 N Dawson St, Raleigh| thelongleafhotel.com
A true farm-to-fork neighborhood gathering spot, Mandolin has transformed their sidewalk area into a cozy spacious patio with garden boxes nearby so it feels extra intimate. A wonderful spot for brunch or a night out to enjoy their popular Chicken and Waffles or Chocolate Chess Pie.
2519 Fairview Road | mandolinraleigh.com
Downtown Cary’s independent boutique hotel is equipped to seat guests on their picturesque brick terrace full of space at their Verandah restaurant, which offers a mix of classic and contemporary Southern cuisine. Try their duck breast with roasted squash and radish, frisee, and rosemary roasted grapes, or anything on the brunch menu.
301 S Academy St. Cary,| themayton.com/verandah-restaurant
With an ever-changing menu, Margaux’s Restaurant is sure to be a dinner favorite. They are open for an indoor and outdoor dining experience, with a limited number of people being seated due to COVID-19 regulations.
8111 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh| margauxsrestaurant.com
American-style Midtown Grille is an excellent choice for Sunday brunch with Country Benedict, Midtown Omelette, and Brunch BLT. Dine-in on their patio during lunch, dinner, or brunch.
4421 Six Forks Rd #115, Raleigh | themidtowngrille.com
MoJoe’s Burger Joint
Open for patio dining, MoJoe’s is known for their award-winning burgers, wings, and sandwiches. Try their Carolina BBQ Sandwich, Old Raleigh Burger, or Thai-Chili Wings.
620 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh| mojoesburgerjoint.com
Morgan Street Food Hall
Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a wide selection of vendors, Morgan Street Food Hall is sure to have something for your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can take your food and head to their patio for a delicious, socially distanced meal.
411 W Morgan St, Raleigh| morganfoodhall.com
Mulino Italian Kitchen and Bar
If you’re looking for authentic Italian cuisine, head to Mulino. Grab your choice of pizza, pasta, or carne, pair it with a drink off their extensive Italian wine menu, and enjoy your meal outside on their patio by the pool.
309 N. Dawson Street Raleigh| mulinoraleigh.com
Neuse River Brewing
This brewery’s Belgian-inspired beer and European bistro are perfect to enjoy out in the spring weather. Try their Croque Monsieur or Seasonal Risotto for dinner, or go for brunch and try their Duck Hash or Three Egg Omelette.
518 Pershing Rd, Raleigh | neuseriverbrewing.com
Rosewater Kitchen & Bar
Looking for a place to have brunch, dinner, or drinks? Rosewater is now open for dining on their outdoor garden patio. Savor smoked salmon tartine, tri-tip rotisserie, and savor craft cocktails like their signature Rosewater Martini, Rose Fashioned, and Capulet’s Rose.
110 Park at N Hills St, Raleigh| rosewaterraleigh.com
With a selection of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes, downtown Lebanese restaurant Sitti is an excellent choice for authentic Lebanese cuisine. Sit in their beautiful tucked away outdoor courtyard while you experience their classic Hummus Noir, Soujouk, and Samkeh Harra.
37 S Wilmington St, Raleigh | sitti-raleigh.com
This Latin American restaurant has a large variety of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes, making it a wonderful choice for authentic Caribbean cuisine. They are open for dine-in on the patio at their location in Raleigh.
2130 Clark Ave, Raleigh| socaraleigh.com
Sola Coffee Cafe
This family-owned cafe features a wide selection of coffees, smoothies, fresh-pressed juices, and quick bites like sandwiches and salads. Enjoy a pour-over coffee or espresso on their outdoor patio during a cool Spring morning.
7705 Lead Mine Rd, Raleigh| solacoffee.com
The Station at Person Street
With a beautiful patio open for dining and relaxing, try the Station at Person Street’s N.C. Hot Catfish Sandwich, Cajun Crab Dip, and Papaya Salad with Coconut Shrimp.
701 N Person St, Raleigh| stationraleigh.com
Standard Beer + Food
This new neighborhood favorite brewery has a wonderful patio now open to customers. Grab a brew, a bite at one of their food truck vendors, and relax in their family-friendly outdoor space.
205 E Franklin St, Raleigh| standardbeerandfood.com
This downtown oyster bar is open for dinner every day and for brunch on the weekends. Try their Happy Hour Oysters, Core Sounders, or BBQ’d oysters and enjoy in their outdoor dining area.
223 S Wilmington St, Raleigh| strochraleigh.com
For ultimate Mediterranean vibes, this Greek kitchen and bar have a city-favorite open-air rooftop that will have you feeling like you’re on a Santorini vacation. Try their classic dishes like Pastitsio, Moussaka, and Lamb Tips & Orzo, and don’t forget the wine. OPA!
326 Hillsborough St, Raleigh| tavernaagora.com
Trophy Brewing Co.
With 12 beers always on tap along with cocktails and wine, Trophy’s patio is open for business. Their menu features specialty pizzas like Local Celebrity, The Daredevil, and Farmer’s Market along with fresh salads, including Arugula and Greek.
656 Maywood Ave, Raleigh| trophybrewing.com
This French bistro nestled in the heart of Durham has welcomed customers back to their two outdoor seating arrangements: their outdoor garden and front patio. Dine on classic French courses like sauteed salmon dijon and duck confit salad.
2010 Hillsborough Rd, Durham| vinrougerestaurant.com
Most known for their extensive whiskey list which includes bourbon, rye, and single malt, Whiskey Kitchen has opened its outdoor patio seating area. Try the Shipley Burger, Ribs Platter, or Shrimp N’ Grits.
201 W Martin St, Raleigh| whiskey.kitchen.com
William & Company
Relax on the patio at this cozy cocktail bar in the heart of Oakwood. Enjoy a locally sourced, fresh cocktail or high-quality liquor from their ever-changing drinks menu.
616 N Person St #1214, Raleigh| instagram.com/willcobar
Relax on Wilson’s covered patio while you try their popular flatbreads and sandwiches like Grilled Pimento and Steak & Arugula. Wash it down with a locally brewed beer from Lynnwood Brewing Concern.
1053 E Whitaker Mill Rd | wilsonseatery.com
Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing
“Raleigh’s favorite patio” located in the Boylan Heights neighborhood with a view of the city skyline is open and ready for dine-in. With chef-driven bar food, craft beers, and cocktails, Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing is the perfect setting for your outdoor spring dining.
201 S Boylan Ave, Raleigh| wyehill.com