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A patio with a central enclosed area that has walls painted orange, and windows that open directly upwards. Turquoise bar stools are arranged around the patio, and globe lights are strung along the wooden slats that make up the ceiling. A large heater is hung above the patio.
Hai Hai’s heated chalet.
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Where to Dine Outdoors All Year Round in the Twin Cities

These heated patios, canopies, and tents are terrific outdoor dining spots in any season

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Hai Hai’s heated chalet.
| Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Patio season is almost upon us — but as balmy May days make their way along spring’s slow arc, these Twin Cities restaurants have year-round outdoor dining spaces for any season. During winter 2020, before COVID-19 vaccines were available, restaurants around the Cities found creative ways to help diners eat safely: canvas tents proliferated, fire pits were built, and heat lamps were purchased at inflated prices. Many of these pandemic winter vestiges remain, much to the benefit of adventurous outdoor diners. From canopies strung with paper lanterns to dog-friendly patios, here are some essential year-round outdoor dining spots in the Twin Cities.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The Block Food & Drink

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The heated, tented patio at The Block Food and Drink is dog-friendly — it even has a heated floor.  Come for American fare like short rib cheesesteaks, vegan nachos, and broasted chicken sandwiches. There’s also a three-course menu for dogs (think pigs’ ears, turkey meatloaf, and banana and peanut butter desserts) and a weekly canine special: dogs eat free on Tuesdays.

Lago Tacos Lyn-Lake

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Lagos Tacos’ Lyn-Lake location is a great option for outdoor dining in Uptown: it has a cold-weather patio complete with standing heaters, fire pits, and strings of globe lights. Favorites are the chicken tinga tacos, the guava barbecue pork tacos, and the elotes. Lunch and dinner are served daily, and a brunch menu is available on the weekend.

Hola Arepa

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Hola Arepa offers heated seating under a canopy just outside its storefront: the space is warm, cozy, and carpeted with burgundy rugs. But it still keeps the restaurant’s tropical feel — lush ferns and philodendrons hang from the ceiling, and the canopy matches Hola Arepa’s signature turquoise. Try the chimichurri chicken or black bean and sweet potato arepas. Dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday, and a brunch menu is available on the weekend.

A tented patio with patterned rugs on the floor and Hola’s signature turquoise colored chairs at the tables
Hola Arepa’s year-round canopy.
Hola Arepa

Smack Shack

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Smack Shack’s covered patio has a permanent roof and overhead industrial heaters, plus a few free-standing tables. Grab a cup of shrimp chowder, lobster guacamole, or Dayboat scallops in a garlic cream sauce — brunch, lunch, and dinner are served daily.

A covered patio area with chairs, tables, and a number of patrons eating. The ceilings are angled and there are lights strung on the beams; two large industrial heaters run along the ceiling.
Smack Shack’s heated covered patio.
Smack Shack

Stanley's Northeast Bar Room

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The heated and tented dog-friendly patio at Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room is a go-to for dog owners, even in the chilly months. The tent is decorated with shrubs and string lights, and has transparent “windows” where diners can look out onto the street. The lunch and dinner menus, served daily, feature ahi tuna crisps, fajita bowls, broccoli cheddar tots, and hand-battered Wisconsin cheese curds with spicy jam. A dog menu is available, too — as is brunch on the weekend.  

Hai Hai

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At Hai Hai, the covered patio area is called a “chalet” — the semi-enclosed space is kept warm with heaters, and strung with dreamy paper lanterns and fairy lights. Order the beef laab lettuce wraps or the Balinese chicken thigh from James Beard-nominated chef Christina Nguyen’s menu. Dinner is served seven days a week, from 4 p.m. onward — note that on Mondays, Hai Hai’s last seating is an hour before close.

Reverie Cafe + Bar

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Vegan favorite Reverie has a covered, partially protected seating area with fire pits and hay bales for seating. Its plant-based menu is extensive: try the nachos supreme with jackfruit carnitas, the BLT with tempeh bacon, the cauliflower tacos, and the dark chocolate beignets. Dinner is available daily, and brunch is served on the weekend.

A Black man and a white woman sit at a small white table at an outdoor backyard patio area. They are eating a salad and each have a glass of white wine. A white woman in a red sweatshirt is pouring wine into their glasses. A tent, globe lights, a fence, and walls with graffiti art on them are visible in the background.
Reverie’s patio is covered during the colder months.
Theresa Scarborough

Red Rabbit St. Paul

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Red Rabbit has standalone heat lamps stationed on its Grand Avenue patio in St. Paul. Their menu features American fare and simple Italian dishes: try the bolognese with fresh pappardelle, or the mostaccioli with marinara, goat cheese fondue, and parmesan. Lunch and dinner are served Tuesday through Sunday.

The Gnome Craft Pub

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The Gnome’s popular patio is well equipped for the cold weather — it has heaters, a tent, and a massive brick fireplace. The Gnome is known for its refined takes on bar food: menu highlights include the beer can chicken served with chicken gravy and parmesan, and the Gnome burger, with bacon jam and smoked gouda. Lunch and dinner are served daily, and a brunch menu is available on the weekends.

The Block Food & Drink

The heated, tented patio at The Block Food and Drink is dog-friendly — it even has a heated floor.  Come for American fare like short rib cheesesteaks, vegan nachos, and broasted chicken sandwiches. There’s also a three-course menu for dogs (think pigs’ ears, turkey meatloaf, and banana and peanut butter desserts) and a weekly canine special: dogs eat free on Tuesdays.

Lago Tacos Lyn-Lake

Lagos Tacos’ Lyn-Lake location is a great option for outdoor dining in Uptown: it has a cold-weather patio complete with standing heaters, fire pits, and strings of globe lights. Favorites are the chicken tinga tacos, the guava barbecue pork tacos, and the elotes. Lunch and dinner are served daily, and a brunch menu is available on the weekend.

Hola Arepa

A tented patio with patterned rugs on the floor and Hola’s signature turquoise colored chairs at the tables
Hola Arepa’s year-round canopy.
Hola Arepa

Hola Arepa offers heated seating under a canopy just outside its storefront: the space is warm, cozy, and carpeted with burgundy rugs. But it still keeps the restaurant’s tropical feel — lush ferns and philodendrons hang from the ceiling, and the canopy matches Hola Arepa’s signature turquoise. Try the chimichurri chicken or black bean and sweet potato arepas. Dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday, and a brunch menu is available on the weekend.

A tented patio with patterned rugs on the floor and Hola’s signature turquoise colored chairs at the tables
Hola Arepa’s year-round canopy.
Hola Arepa

Smack Shack

A covered patio area with chairs, tables, and a number of patrons eating. The ceilings are angled and there are lights strung on the beams; two large industrial heaters run along the ceiling.
Smack Shack’s heated covered patio.
Smack Shack

Smack Shack’s covered patio has a permanent roof and overhead industrial heaters, plus a few free-standing tables. Grab a cup of shrimp chowder, lobster guacamole, or Dayboat scallops in a garlic cream sauce — brunch, lunch, and dinner are served daily.

A covered patio area with chairs, tables, and a number of patrons eating. The ceilings are angled and there are lights strung on the beams; two large industrial heaters run along the ceiling.
Smack Shack’s heated covered patio.
Smack Shack

Stanley's Northeast Bar Room

The heated and tented dog-friendly patio at Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room is a go-to for dog owners, even in the chilly months. The tent is decorated with shrubs and string lights, and has transparent “windows” where diners can look out onto the street. The lunch and dinner menus, served daily, feature ahi tuna crisps, fajita bowls, broccoli cheddar tots, and hand-battered Wisconsin cheese curds with spicy jam. A dog menu is available, too — as is brunch on the weekend.  

Hai Hai

At Hai Hai, the covered patio area is called a “chalet” — the semi-enclosed space is kept warm with heaters, and strung with dreamy paper lanterns and fairy lights. Order the beef laab lettuce wraps or the Balinese chicken thigh from James Beard-nominated chef Christina Nguyen’s menu. Dinner is served seven days a week, from 4 p.m. onward — note that on Mondays, Hai Hai’s last seating is an hour before close.

Reverie Cafe + Bar

A Black man and a white woman sit at a small white table at an outdoor backyard patio area. They are eating a salad and each have a glass of white wine. A white woman in a red sweatshirt is pouring wine into their glasses. A tent, globe lights, a fence, and walls with graffiti art on them are visible in the background.
Reverie’s patio is covered during the colder months.
Theresa Scarborough

Vegan favorite Reverie has a covered, partially protected seating area with fire pits and hay bales for seating. Its plant-based menu is extensive: try the nachos supreme with jackfruit carnitas, the BLT with tempeh bacon, the cauliflower tacos, and the dark chocolate beignets. Dinner is available daily, and brunch is served on the weekend.

A Black man and a white woman sit at a small white table at an outdoor backyard patio area. They are eating a salad and each have a glass of white wine. A white woman in a red sweatshirt is pouring wine into their glasses. A tent, globe lights, a fence, and walls with graffiti art on them are visible in the background.
Reverie’s patio is covered during the colder months.
Theresa Scarborough

Red Rabbit St. Paul

Red Rabbit has standalone heat lamps stationed on its Grand Avenue patio in St. Paul. Their menu features American fare and simple Italian dishes: try the bolognese with fresh pappardelle, or the mostaccioli with marinara, goat cheese fondue, and parmesan. Lunch and dinner are served Tuesday through Sunday.

The Gnome Craft Pub

The Gnome’s popular patio is well equipped for the cold weather — it has heaters, a tent, and a massive brick fireplace. The Gnome is known for its refined takes on bar food: menu highlights include the beer can chicken served with chicken gravy and parmesan, and the Gnome burger, with bacon jam and smoked gouda. Lunch and dinner are served daily, and a brunch menu is available on the weekends.

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