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Tracking the First Patios Open for Spring

Hearty Minnesotans are ready for outdoor dining.

Stella’s rooftop patio is open.
Photo courtesy of Stella’s.

Summer in Minnesota is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it event, so when the sun even thinks about peaking through those clouds and the temperatures tiptoe towards the 50s, Minnesotans make a beeline toward the nearest open patio space. A twinkling fire pit helps, but who hasn’t sat out there, gripping a beer and zipping up their hoodie just to squeeze another outdoor minute out of the day?

Below are just a few of the restaurants opening up their patios recently. Did we miss your favorite? Please let us know in the comment section.

Stella's Fish Cafe in Uptown opened its new and improved rooftop patio last week after re-engineering the space to be more conducive for Minnesota’s fickle spring weather. In addition to expanded seating, an adjustable rooftop and walls have been installed, as well as a heating system to extend the season well into fall’s waning daylight hours.

The Draft Horse in Northeast Minneapolis added a new patio space last summer, and have opened it up for the season. Weather permitting, you can enjoy the Bakers + Makers brunch, complete with $8 mimosas and Irish coffees in fresh air and sunshine.

Lago Tacos in Uptown have officially pushed the button, raised the garage doors and let spring in. The patio bar is now open, complete with a fire pit for cooler nights. Stop by during the warmest part of the day for happy hour specials like $5 Lago Margaritas from 3-6 p.m.

A glistening fire pit extended outdoor minutes.
Courtesy of Lagos Tacos.

McKinney Roe has arguably one of the best urban patio views in town, and it is officially open (and huge!), along with the outdoor spaces at sister restaurants O'Donovan's, Lola's Lakehouse and Jake O'Connors.

Tiny Diner has one of the most charming patios in town, complete with a meandering path through an herb and flower garden, and unlike the cozy inside, the solar panel covered patio is large enough for groups and families to linger over house-made sodas and granola. Kim Bartmann’s restaurants The Bird, Tiny Diner, Barbette, Red Stag, Bryant Lake Bowl, Kyatchi, Pat’s Tap and Gigi’s Cafe have all launched patio season as well.

Hola Arepa’s oft-packed patio is officially open, serving those beloved cornmeal griddled sandwiches and killer cocktails in a colorful, comfy environment. You’d never know you are at a busy Minneapolis intersection.

The recently opened Uptown location of Lotus features a vast, all-weather patio, complete with retractable roof and side panels as well as a the ability to control temps in the enclosed patio to keep it nice and toasty, even in the dead of winter. The restaurant is open now with what they are calling a “limited menu” but there is plenty of good stuff to choose from.

Riverside dinning at Jefe.
Courtesy of Jefe Facebook.

Jefe Urban Hacienda’s patio overlooks cobblestone streets and the Mississippi river, making for some glorious sunsets while sipping on a Jefe marg or three. Happy hour is 4-6 p.m., just sayin’.