Patios are a year-round affair in Minnesota. As winter approaches, many diners are planning their chilly season restaurant strategies — happily, these Twin Cities restaurants have outdoor spaces open through the seasons. From canopies strung with paper lanterns to dog-friendly heated patios, here are some essential Twin Cities restaurants for outdoor dining in the crips temps of fall, winter, and spring.Read More
Where to Dine Outdoors in the Twin Cities in Any Season
Heated patios, beer gardens, and tents for outdoor dining through fall, winter, and spring
Wise Acre Eatery
New this year, Wise Acre has added a covered, heating pergola to its dining set-up. This farm-to-table restaurant is unique— it has its own farm. Stop by for a cozy late-fall brunch of savory bread pudding topped with a quivering poached egg and shreds of candied bacon.
Heather’s installs a heated tent on its charming patio for the winter — it’s dog friendly, too. Stop by for seasonal brunch dishes like caramel apple French toast and egg strata with goat cheese and spinach. Heather’s is a great dinner option as well: Think simple, elegant specials like grilled halibut puttanesca, and comforting fresh pasta dishes.
Reverie Cafe + Bar
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, or the BLT with tempeh bacon. Don’t skip the baseball-sized chocolate beignets, which suffer nothing for their lack of butter.
Hola Arepa offers heated seating in a cozy canopy-type space that’s carpeted with burgundy rugs. It keeps the restaurant’s tropical feel, though: Lush ferns and philodendrons hang from the ceiling, and the color palette retains Hola Arepa’s signature turquoise. The hearty arepas, from chimichurri chicken to black bean and sweet potato, are filling, warming dishes. Save room for the horchata pot de creme.
Lago Tacos Lyn-Lake
Lagos Tacos’ Lyn-Lake location is a great option for outdoor dining in Uptown: Its cold-weather patio has standing heaters, fire pits, and strings of globe lights, which add to the warm-and-cozy effect. Start with the avocado wedges, beer-battered and fried, and then hit the taco menu, which spans from barbacoa and al pastor to vegan chorizo and ahi tuna.
The Butcher's Tale
The Butcher’s tale is back in full swing, and the heated, covered beer garden is a great spot for a cozy meal, pre-show cocktail, or post-game feast. The area is spacious and accommodating to groups, for a casual beer or a hearty meal of English blood sausage and double-cut Duroc pork chops alike.
Smack Shack’s covered patio, which stretches down Sixth Avenue, has a permanent roof and overhead industrial heaters, making it an extra-cozy spot for blustery days. Grab a cup of shrimp chowder, Dayboat scallops in a garlic cream sauce, or jambalaya — all ideal meals for the chilly months.
Hai Hai’s semi-enclosed, covered patio — called the “chalet” — is kept warm with heaters and strung with dreamy paper lanterns and fairy lights. The water fern cakes, shrimp toast, and Vietnamese crepe are all highlights on James Beard-nominated chef Christina Nguyen’s menu, but the Balinese chicken thigh, served with macerated kale and coconut rice, may be the standout winter dish.
Stanley's Northeast Bar Room
The heated, covered dog-friendly patio at Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room is decorated with greenery and string lights, and has transparent “windows” that allow a view of the street. Stanley’s serves great bar food — think ahi tuna crisps, fajita bowls, broccoli cheddar tots, hand-battered Wisconsin cheese curds with spicy jam, and more. A dog menu is available, too.
The Gnome Craft Pub
The Gnome’s popular patio is well equipped with heaters, a tent, and massive fireplaces. This spot is known for its refined takes on bar food: Think spiced beer can chicken, giant pretzels, and a hefty pork belly and skirt steak burger heaped with bacon jam.