The Best Alfresco Restaurants and Bars in the Twin Cities- Part 2

There are so many wonderful spots in the Twin Cities that I am breaking it into multiple posts.  After all the snow and cold, we love being outdoors in the summer and do as much outdoor time as possible in the summer and that includes eating.  So many places around town offer wonderful patio’s, street dining and rooftops that it can be difficult to decide where to eat.  Here are some fantastic spots to visit- a continuation from Part 1. 


Moscow on the Hill- Cathedral Hill, St. Paul

Vodka, pierogies, and patio?  Yes please.  Moscow on the Hill in St. Paul has all of these things and more.  With a great deck tucked out back of this Selby Avenue restaurant which doubles their seating capacity and makes it a perfect spot to go hand out with your friends for an evening of food, conversation, laughs and ….. vodka.  Get it on the rocks, in a cocktail or by the flight. 

DO:  Deck



JAX Café-  Northeast Mpls

Been around in one form or another dating back to 1910, JAX is a NE staple.  It serves fresh seafood and some of the finest cuts of meat in a simple, non-pretentious way. It is a great spot to go for a nice steak dinner to celebrate something special or just because you want beef.   The brick patio is surrounded by a garden and offers a respite from the hustle of University Avenue. 

DO:  Patio, Garden



Burger Moe’s- West 7th- St. Paul

Burger Moe’s is a fantastic spot on West 7th with a great beer list and fantastic bar food especially the burgers and wings.  The patio is fun, brightly colored, with statues, a fire pit and glass garage doors separating it from the restaurant.  It is right down the street from the Xcel Center which makes it a great before or post stop on an event night.  I also love their malts- fun untraditional flavors- so save some room. 

DO:  Patio



Acqua -White Bear Lake

This lakeside restaurant is worth the treck to White Bear Lake.   It has multiple dining rooms and sheltered decks that overlook the harbor while providing you with some most excellent Italian food.  The bar has a good wine list and some fabulous cocktails.  Have a drink and split and look at their small plate options for a happy hour with friends or look into their tasting menu for a great way to do a full dinner. 

DO:  Deck, Waterfront



Union Rooftop- Downtown Minneapolis

The Union Rooftop has both a covered glass enclosure and an open air side which makes it a great spot in any kind of weather.  Union serves a slightly upscale bar menu with great sandwiches, a happy hour menu, a late night menu.  Located a couple floors above busy Hennepin Avenue, it is right in the heart of all things going on downtown- close to the theater, Target Center and the clubs.  They also host brunch and have a variety of fun events throughout the year.   

DO:  Rooftop


The Freight House- Stillwater

Stillwater’s Freight House offers the largest patio in the area, and overlooks the St. Croix River.  Enjoy a big tasty burger, mac and cheese, fish or sandwich while watching the lift bridge and depending on the day, listening to music in the park.  There are also games set up on the deck, and if that isn’t enough, they now have a tap room too. 

DO:  Deck, Waterfront  


Black Forrest Inn- Whittier, Minneapolis

This German restaurant has been around since the mid ’60’s and is a great spot to go get some spaetzel, drink good German beer and sit outside on their lovely patio.  It is mostly covered  with pergolas offering some much-appreciated shade.   Located right on 26th, the patio is adjacent to the building which makes it a fairly busy location, but they do a good job of making you feel secluded. 

DO:  Patio



Sea Salt- Minneahaha Falls, Minneapolis

Located in the Mpls Parks Pavilion building is Sea Salt Eatery which is some of the best seafood in town.  Seriously, the food is amazing and when you combine that with the patio that surrounds the place and overlooks the falls, it is a great location.  The lines are always long, but worth the wait if you can spare it.  They serve local beers and the place is filled with park-goers looking for a light snack or full on dinner.  Try to sit on the falls side if you can  the brick patio has a great view with café style seating and picnic tables.   No reservations and they are only open in the summer so make sure you get there before the snow comes.

DO:  Patio, Waterfront



Café Lurcat- Loring Park, Minneapolis

With stone and brick walls surrounding the quaint back patio at Café Lurcat, it drips with old world charm  Combine that with Café Lurcat’s sophisticated menu, add in the amazing wine selection and it makes it the best spot for a romantic alfresco dinner.

DO:  Patio, Date Night


Maynards- Excelsior

Maynard’s on Lake Minnetonka has a menu of beautiful salads, burgers, fish, great appetizers, American style entrees, and lovely drinks.  With breathtaking views of the lake, it is a go to spot for the western suburbs or anyone whose been out on the water all day.   In the fall and winter, they offer a great brunch on Sunday’s. 

DO:  Waterfront, Patio


Oxcart Ale House & Rooftop- Lowertown, St. Paul

This rooftop bar and restaurant is located right by CHS Stadium in Lowertown.  With an interesting menu that features staples such as cheese curds, burgers and wings, but also offers liver mouse, pork belly sandwich, and duck popcorn there is something to satisfy both your bar food and foodie sides of your personality. 

DO:  Rooftop



Kate Pierce
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Kate Pierce

Founder and Blogess at Serendipity Happens
I’m an easy going adventurer, explorer, avid music -lover, and enthusiastic photographer who loves trying new things -often the more obscure, the better.
Kate Pierce
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