The best patios in St. Louis
Neatly tucked between two buildings, the patio at Billy G’s is a slice of nirvana in the heart of Kirkwood. Start with drinks by the fire pit table. Then eat beneath the strings of lights in the main dining area (ideally with friends in one of the covered cabanas). Finally, enjoy a nightcap and a game on the TVs at the outdoor bar. 131 W. Argonne.
The Rock Hill staple wasn’t always known for its sprawling patio. In 1993, nearly 25 years after opening, the owners added an eight-table outdoor area. An instant hit, la terraza has continued to evolve and now boasts lush landscaping, covered seating, overhead heaters, and a full bar that cranks out the margaritas. 9748 Manchester.
Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria
Ted and Katie Collier ingeniously use every square inch of the two locations’ patios, placing planter boxes to separate the seating from the parking lots and planting produce for über-local ingredients.
The Corner Pub
Already a popular hangout, the Valley Park location just got a major upgrade, with a two-tiered, enclosed patio complete with a pergola and flat-screen TVs.
John D. McGurk’s: Inside, the Soulard pub harks back to Dublin, with brick archways and authentic Irish music. Outside, the two-tier patio resembles a wee botanical garden, replete with a koi pond, fountain, and covered bars. Farther west, don’t overlook the picturesque patio in O’Fallon.
Shaded by mature trees, Braddens’ courtyard offers the perfect place from which to survey the scene on historic Main. Start with a bottle of merlot and Brie with apples and bread and unwind to the sound of the gurgling fountain. 515 S. Main, St. Charles.
Grab a bite on one of the sidewalk tables along Lockwood Ave. and then step back inside to grab something from the butcher case…steaks, chops, chicken, and some of the meatiest bacon in town. 146 W. Lockwood, Webster Groves.
Circle 7 Ranch
At the original Ballwin location, a side patio is open to the elements, and a rear portico overlooks a pond. In Des Peres, a covered deck doubles as the front porch.
Marcella’s Mia Sorella
Next door to Circle 7 in Ballwin, Marcella’s also offers a serene view of said pond. Don’t overlook the Peppercorn Burger—an unexpected surprise at an Italian restaurant. 14426 Clayton.
St. Louisans and out-of-towners alike have long enjoyed drinks and dining on the patio overlooking The Chase Park Plaza’s famed Mediterranean-style pool. After a dramatic makeover last year, the Chase Club (formerly Café Eau) offers fireside seating on one of the most elegant, storied patios in town. 212 N. Kingshighway.
Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill
The quintessential “Italian food on The Hill” experience doesn’t get much better than an evening spent seated on the restaurant’s semiprivate tree-shaded patio. Look for servers’ names inscribed in the trunks of two magnificent magnolias. 5226 Shaw.
One of the city’s iconic alfresco dining experiences has taken a different tack. Under the guidance of chef Jack MacMurray and Sugarfire Events, the restaurant now serves a menu of proven hits. On busy weekends, look for additional items from guest restaurants and food trucks. 6101 Government.
It’s almost impossible to round the corner at Maryland and Brentwood on a temperate evening and not be drawn in by the soft seating, stainless steel fire sculpture, and (occasional) live music. Park the car and join the party. 8100 Maryland.
Hofbräuhaus St. Louis–Belleville
The interior is spectacular, but nothing says German Bierhalle like the Biergarten, which seats 200. 123 St. Eugene.
Sunday brunches are terrific. Think poached eggs with cornbread Benedict, eggplant involtini, and seafood frittata along with live music and restorative Bloody Marys. With its own bar and tranquil atmosphere, the covered patio will quickly become a favorite haunt.13 Maryland Plaza.
Mark Twain was still alive when the building that houses Hendel’s was constructed. He’d have adored the rustic courtyard, with its widely spaced tables shaded by mature oaks in a quiet Florissant neighborhood. 599 St. Denis.
All three locations offer great specials. The best spot to enjoy said deals? The cozy patio at the West County location.
Edgewild Bistro & Tap
In Creve Coeur, EdgeWild’s intimate patio is neatly tucked below the hustle and bustle of Olive Boulevard. 12316 Olive.
Vito’s Sicilian Pizzeria & Ristorante
Enjoying a meal at Vito’s before the symphony is a St. Louis tradition. Dining on the streetside court is a warm-weather joy. The pizza’s thick; specialties, pastas, and salads are Sicilian-accented. A small outdoor bar adds to the relaxed, unhurried atmosphere. 3515 Lindell.
The sprawling multi-level outdoor dining space, filled with umbrella-topped tables, is a destination for Cajun specialties. Oyster shooters make a good beginning. When the live music starts, get serious with po’ boys and seafood jambalaya. (And don’t forget Sunday brunch, when it’s smart to arrive before 11:30 a.m.) 816 Geyer.
It looks less like a restaurant patio than a forest glade. The stone-lined waterfall is spectacular, and greenery surrounds diners. Consider going during happy hour (4–6 p.m. Monday–Friday) for discounted sliders, calamari, and flatbreads. There’s live music some nights; on others, the flowing water provides a relaxing soundtrack. 16125 Chesterfield Parkway W.
A florid Art Nouveau ironwork structure, a massive tiered fountain, strings of over-head lights, an array of soft seating… Not much can top Sanctuaria’s splendid bar, but this fun, sophisticated patio does. 4198 Manchester.
Seating is actually in Citygarden, an oasis in downtown’s forest of concrete and steel. Pair a cup of joe with a house-baked scone or a savory dish from the breakfast or lunch menu. Morning meetings on this elegant patio are a visual delight. 808 Chestnut.
Russell’s on Macklind
Breakfasts here are lavish; enjoying them on the partially hidden below-grade patio is a grand way to begin the day. Dogs, who are permitted, give it a rating of five bones. The sandwiches and drinks are great, but let’s be honest: The dessert choices are unbelievable. 5400 Murdoch.
Some know Café Natasha as home to outstanding falafel, hummus, and kebabs. Others go for the unparalleled collection of gins, along with house-concocted tonics. The patio brings the two sides together, offering an umbrella-festooned hideaway that’s romantic and relaxed. 3200 S. Grand.
Dinner here is genteel, with a menu of inspired dishes, steaks from the next-door butchery, and a stellar wine list (including an at-cost glass and bottle that change every week). Dining on the patio should be a Ladue tradition—an evening spent in semiprivacy with a glass of tawny port is wonderfully civilized. 9202 Clayton.
Venice Café Currently closed for winter
Ground zero for kooky weirdness, the café’s patio masquerades as a sculpture park, with Gaudi-inspired mosaics gone mad, splashy fountains, and that famous “boat bar.” It’s the place for affordably priced drinks (but remember to bring cash). 1903 Pestalozzi.
Situated in St. Charles’ former water works, Hendricks hits all the basics for an enjoyable summer twilight: barbecue (think ribs and brisket), beer and liquor (even flavored moonshine), and a quiet setting with a view (the double deck overlooking the Katy Trail). 1200 S. Main.
Taco Buddha Currently closed for winter
An unassuming street corner in U. City is home to one of the most alluring sidewalk patios (and some of the best street tacos) in town. 7405 Pershing.
With One North Group’s 4101 Laclede luxury condos opening across the street this summer, Retreat will likely be hotter than ever. 6 N. Sarah.
Sit at one of the comfortable tables under the striped awning and order escargots, steak frites, and a glass of Bordeaux. 427 S. Kirkwood.
Across the parking lot from Café Provencal, Sapore offers a picturesque fountain and fine Italian dining. 451 S. Kirkwood.
Edibles & Essentials
An unassuming storefront gives way to a partially covered courtyard graced with string lights and plants. 5815 Hampton.
Open all day, Avenue’s charming, west-facing sidewalk patio offers welcome respite and a prime people-watching perch in the heart of Clayton. 12 N. Meramec.
Seven at The Seven Gables
It’s like eating in Oxford. Ivy-draped brick walls tower around the intimate courtyard, tucked behind the Seven Gables Inn. Enjoy such classics as potpies and the Busch’s Grove Russ Salad, as well as an astounding whiskey and bourbon selection. 26 N. Meramec.
Soulard Coffee Garden
The perfect remedy after a night spent hopping Soulard’s bars, this neighborhood fixture’s namesake is hidden out back, where regulars gravitate for blueberry cornmeal pancakes and slingers amid a bohemian garden of brick and flora. 909 Geyer.
Just west of Delmar’s main drag, Vicia’s Tara and Michael Gallina present excellent food, drink, and pastries in a peaceful haven in a quiet part of U. City. The patio is especially charming at night, with the lights casting a warm glow on the trees and brick building. 7213 Delmar.
This Streets of St. Charles hot spot is the unofficial happy hour headquarters for St. Charles (3–7 p.m. Monday–Friday, 9–11 p.m. Friday and Saturday). Try the $5 sangria and pick from a range of $7 appetizers—or the elaborate $10 sushi rolls (available 5–7 p.m.). 1520 S. Fifth.
First, outdoor seating encircles the restaurant, so there are plenty of options. Second, Joey B’s also offers alfresco booths for cozy dining. Third, the menu covers everything from pasta-centric Italian fare to such pub eats as steak sandwiches. It’s often crowded and always fun. 14445 Manchester.
The ambience on the sprawling patio in Des Peres is Cancun cool, with reservable cabanas, soft seating near a fireplace, and a louvered roof. The downtown location also offers seating aplenty.
Tucked away just off Wash. Ave., the stylish eatery (fashioned by Lori Olsen McElvain, who also designed both Rosalita’s) boasts a pergola-covered space with fans, hanging plants, and wrought-iron furniture. It’s among downtown’s most pleasant patios. 1301 Washington.
The Dark Room
This elevated respite at The Grandel has a great view, with Powell Hall in the foreground and downtown in the distance. 3610 Grandel Square.
Prime People Watching
Where to sit and watch the crowds go by
Brasserie by Niche
On a weekend morning, few places feel as cosmopolitan as the French bistro’s two-tops on the sidewalk patio. 4580 Laclede.
This Clayton stalwart’s patio rocks on weekends, especially with a cocktail from talented bartender Han Tran. 7754 Forsyth.
Order a pitcher of sangria and a few small plates, and you’ll feel as if you’re enjoying the outdoors on a quaint Spanish street.
34 N. Central.
While waiting for a craft cocktail, check out the different ways in which the patio tables have been painted. 4590 Laclede.
Grab a seat at one of the myriad picnic tables, and order a savory crêpe and Bloody Mary. Then take in the sights and sounds of the vibrant South City community. 3150 S. Grand.
The Tavern Kitchen & Bar
Longtime St. Louisans have fond memories of Sunday mornings spent on the shaded sidewalk patio outside Duff’s. Today, The Tavern carries on the tradition, serving brunch versions of its popular trio plates.
All three St. Louis locations (in Kirkwood, St. Charles, and Chesterfield) offer primetime people-watching. Go on a Tuesday, whencraft burgers are $5 all day.
Rooftop patios with a view
Rooftop Terrace Bar at the Moonrise Hotel
One of the region’s few public rooftops with an unobstructed view of the sunset, it boasts what may be the world’s largest manmade moon. 6177 Delmar.
Look down into Busch Stadium, over to the Arch, and beyond. It’s not uncommon to witness an engagement—and a bachelorette party—at the ultimate rooftop bar. 1 S. Broadway.
The Budweiser Brew House Deck also offers Wrigley Field–like views of the ballpark—except without those pesky Cubs fans at most games. 601 Clark.
Vin de Set
The bistro’s sprawling rooftop was popular even before owners Paul and Wendy Hamilton turned it into practically a four-season dining spot. 2017 Chouteau.
Where to order craft cocktails
With a carefully crafted cocktail in hand, spend an evening marveling at the neighborhood’s historic architecture, including the brick archways above the courtyard. 1000 Mississippi.
In Botanical Heights, Olio’s cozy garden patio out back is populated with planters, some used as centerpieces atop the wooden tables. 1634 Tower Grove.
In the mood for a nightcap? Gerard Craft’s speakeasy-style cocktail bar is foolproof, especially if you can snag a spot on the patio (and maybe a plate or two of those cheese curds). 4584 Laclede.
Pergolas, murals, greenery, lunch specials… The patio at The Royale has it all. (Look for live music announcements on social media.) 3132 S. Kingshighway.
The only way to top the weekend Bloody Mary & Mimosa Bar at Sqwires? Sipping a mid-morning cocktail on the pooch-friendly patio. 1415 S. 18th.
Chain restaurants that do alfresco dining right
Rock & Brews
The all-season glass conservatory boasts eight half-size garage doors. One side offers soft seating, the other picnic tables and a kids’ play area. 17258 Chesterfield Airport.
Weber Grill Restaurant
A recent remodel added a three-season space (and a new happy hour menu) to the existing wraparound patio. 1147 Saint Louis Galleria.
Brio Tuscan Grille
The patio is among the most popular in town—but, with more than 100 seats, you should never have to wait too long for a table. 1601 S. Lindbergh.
Both 801 Chophouse and 801 Fish in downtown Clayton overlook Ruth Keller Schweiss’ spectacular “Still Point” fountain. Both offer
affordable happy hour menus. 801restaurantgroup.com.
The patio at this prime Sunset Hills location has long been a beacon for the resident restaurant, including predecessors House of Maret and Growlers Pub. 3811 S. Lindbergh.
When the bar gets too boisterous, wander a few feet outside to the all-season loggia that runs the length of the building. 10342 Clayton.
The four area locations have large, partially covered patios, including outdoor bars with at-the-bar seating. eatwalnut.com.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
How often do you see a patio bedecked with greenery, string lights, a live band, people eating dinner—and dancing? At the Clayton location, it’s a common weekend sight. 1 N. Brentwood.
Ever played snookball? We hadn’t, either, until visiting the patio at Westport Social, where we discovered the entertaining game, a cross between soccer and pocket pool. Visiting? At Milo’s Bocce Garden, the classic spot on The Hill with its own bocce courts, know before you roll that it’s pronounced “bow-chee,” not “botch-ee.” In fact, South City abounds with sports-centric patios, such as Amsterdam Tavern and Tower Pub… If volleyball’s your thing, there are many options across the region, notably Trueman’s Sports Bar, in Benton Park; Wave Taco, near downtown; and Ethyl’s Smokehouse & Saloon, in O’Fallon, Missouri.
Best of the Brew Crew
Let’s start with the staples: the intimate courtyard at Square One Brewery in Lafayette Square, the Bavarian-style Biergarten at Urban Chestnut in Midtown, the covered patio at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, the sprawling Biergarten at Anheuser-Busch in Soulard. But keep in mind the alfresco areas at some St. Louis breweries and brewpubs, including the The Civil Life in South City, the O’Fallon and Ferguson breweries in the county, the Friendship and Exit Six breweries in St. Charles County, and Hopskeller and Stubborn German in Waterloo, Illinois. And don’t overlook such brew-centric spots as Global Brew Tap House, International Tap House, 21st Street Brewers Bar, and Three Kings Pub.
After more than 60 years in business, Farotto’s Pasta & Pizzeria continues to evolve, with a covered deck that boasts a louvered roof. And rain or shine, Vicia operates a convertible extended dining room in the Cortex district, where you’ll likely catch a chef or two working the outdoor wood-fire grill.
Music Meets Atmosphere
In Soulard, both Hammerstone’s and Broadway Oyster Bar serve up live music nightly. In the Metro East, another classic—Fast Eddie’s Bon Air (pictured)—hosts nightly live music, and The Loading Dock offers an ideal place to unwind on weekends. And in St. Charles, check out the rooftop patio at Quintessential.
Pop the Cork
A bubbling waterfall adds to the charm at Sasha’s on Shaw, whose sister restaurants, Scarlett’s Wine Bar, and Sasha’s on DeMun, boast equally charming alfresco options. Both Ernesto’s and 33 Wine Bar offer inviting patios out back. Farther west, Cooper’s Hawk offers lakeside dining. And the glowing fire pits at Robust Wine Bar and Bella Vino Wine Bar & Tapas in St. Charles invite patrons to sit and stay a while.
Celebrate hump day by hiding in plain view under Oliva on the Hill’s magnificent wisteria arbor on Wine Wednesdays. 4915 Daggett.
Many area wineries have sprawling setups with stunning views and live music on Saturdays. Check out our “Wine Weekends” feature for even more alfresco options.
Almost Like Paris
All of the chairs face the street on Bar Les Frères’ triple-terraced patio, creating a very French vibe. 7637 Wydown.
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