The Best Alfresco Restaurants and Bars in the Twin Cities- Part 1

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.


Psycho Suzi’s-  Northeast Minneapolis

When you need a Tiki bar this is the  place to go.  Great food, a fun atmosphere, this large deck dinning spot is a favorite.  Usually filled with fun-loving folks having a fun time, it is right along the river, there is event a dock you could pull up to.  Pizza, Wings, and pickle rollups are among my favorite menu items, but really it’s all about the fantastic rum drinks and surroundings.   

DO:  Waterfront, Deck, Fun


It’s Greek to Me  –  Uptown Minneapolis

One of my favorite all time restaurants never seems to make anyone’s patio lists, but anyone who has been there knows it is fabulous.  Right in off of Lyndale & Lake it is a busy spot, but the patio complete with a wonderful fountain, and shaded pergolas is a great spot to kick back and graze on some wonderful meze (appetizers).  

DO:  Patio



Brit’s Pub- Downtown Minneapolis

One of the best rooftop places around, their rooftop lawn makes it a fun spot for lawn bowling, and a place to watch sporting events and movies right in the heart of downtown Minneapolis.   This sizable green space surrounded by views of the skyscrapers is an unusual and fun spot to relax. 

DO:  Rooftop



Photo courtesy of MSP Magazine

W.A. Frost-  Cathedral Hill, St. Paul

This old school St. Paul landmark offers one of the best patio’s around.  The brick  haven is a great spot for a leisurely happy hour and food while catching up with friends while drinking some wine.   The patio features lot’s of covered shade and beautiful landscaping which is exactly what you would expect from Frost’s. 

DO:  Patio, Garden



Courtesy of the Star Tribune from when Prince performed at the Dakota in 2013,

Dakota Jazz Club – Downtown Minneapolis

The Dakota is great spot for street dining in addition to the quintessential spot for jazz in town and gets some really impressive acts booked there.  Located on Nicollet Mall it is a good location  to watch people and listen to whomever is performing inside. 

DO:  Sidewalk



The Green Room- Stillwater

This restaurant in Stillwater has original brick walls and a view of the lift bridge on the patio.  The food is excellent and has touches of international influence. This is a great place to go for dinner for either a special occasion or just because it is Tuesday and don’t forget to get a cocktail.

DO:  Rooftop   



Tin Fish- Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis 

In the pavilion at Lake Calhoun with a big deck, the Tin Fish is a fantastic spot to watch the boaters and take a break after you walk the lakes.  With it’s tiny kitchen, they put out an impressive amount of really good food.  It is the place to go for fish taco’s (many varieties).   It is only open in the summer and worth the wait in line. 

DO:  Waterfront, Patio



Surly Brewing- Prospect Park, Minneapolis

If you haven’t tried Surley  yet then you are missing out.  This is a HUGE venue  both inside and out with lots of space for all the beer lovers we have here in the state.  There is a great outdoor patio, a full menu of killer food and fire pits… that’s right fire pits which makes it a wonderful spot even after the mercury drops.

DO:  Patio, Brew



Stella’s Oyster Bar- Uptown Minneapolis 

A good rooftop view of downtown Minneapolis, this Uptown spot is also one of the best seafood spots in the Twin Cities.  Snack on some oysters while hearing the energy of Uptown below and you are sure to have a wonderful time. 

DO:  Rooftop



Como Dockside- Como Lake, St. Paul 

The Como Pavillion has undergone a transformation in recent years and is worth checking out.  With a primarily upscale Cajun inspired menu and decent wine list, it is not the hotdogs and soda’s that used to be served.  Dockside has an outdoor bar, and a beautiful quaint spot overlooking the lake.  The pavilion also offers music and movie’s in combination with St. Paul Parks & Rec department and is open year round (inside only). 

DO:  Waterfront, Patio





Kate Pierce
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Kate Pierce

Founder and Blogess at Serendipity Happens
Iā€™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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4 thoughts on “The Best Alfresco Restaurants and Bars in the Twin Cities- Part 1

  1. I visited the twin cities four years ago and wish I had known of these places! Will keep it in mind if I ever go back šŸ™‚


  2. Getting ready to head this way for a family reunion. This is perfect as now I know all th e places yo go without having to buy a guide book or hunt them down online. Thanks for all the great info. Can’t wait to try a few of them!

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