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Thursday, April 9, 2009

10 Great Outdoor Patios Downtown

Posted by Erica Jackson on Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 12:24 PM

The weather seems to be taking way too long to cooperate. We've had just enough balmy, beautiful days to make us want more. Nothing's better than taking a nice lunch at an outdoor spot or leaving work early for a happy hour spent with friends, enjoying the weather. Wednesday is supposed to be incredible — 74 and sunny — so in honor of the climate, we've put together this handy guide to some favorite patios. We're working on lists for the suburbs too, so send us your suggestions.

Pane e Vino: Authentic Italian food in a romantic outdoor setting. Candlelight and pleasant music infuse the outdoor area with a relaxing ambience.

Vickery’s: One of downtown’s favorite and most popular outdoor hangouts. The Beaufain Street location is a great one for people watching and running into old friends.

Basil: Not a patio per se, but the sidewalk tables make Basil one of the nicest spots in town for an outdoor meal or drink. Basil spring rolls, Pad Thai, and a crisp white wine should top you off for a relaxing afternoon or jump start your night out. They only have a few tables outside, but you can swing on over to Chai’s incredibly sexy outdoor patio next door for a drink and some tapas while you wait.

Blossom: A small bubbling fountain, ivy covered walls, intimate tables, and a view of the St. Philip’s church steeple all with a glass of chilled Blossom Chardonnay and a steaming bowl of fresh mussels for under $16. Sounds inviting doesn’t it?

Fleet Landing:
The view is what it’s all about and the food ain’t too bad either. Shrimp po’ boys and fried green tomato BLT’s are popular items, and if you came just to watch the boats go and by the tide come up you can enjoy a beer and some blue crab dip for an hour on their expansive ocean front patio.

Fish: Fresh fish, upscale menu, lovely outdoor seating and a porch for dining.

Blind Tiger: One of the biggest outdoor patios downtown, Blind Tiger’s spot is tucked away behind the buildings of Broad Street and is a great one for escaping the hectic office and taking it easy for lunch.

Cru Cafe: The narrow side porch fills up quick and this local favorite, so get there early if you want to sit outside and bask in the sunshine. Fortunately, the stables are far enough away to prevent the horse smell from stalling out your lunch.

Fuel: The Caribbean vibe comes to life on the sprawling outdoor decks of this uptown hotspot. We love the bar that opens to both indoors and out.

Il Cortile Del Re: The front doors of the wine bar on lower King Street get propped open at happy hour, and a back courtyard fills up with diners, looking for a low-key spot to sip some Italian red wine and nibble on cheese plates and carpaccio.

Honorable mentions: The Rooftop Bar and the Pavilion Bar both offer some of the most stunning views of all downtown, but they also have crowds and steep prices. We save these for special occasions.


Pictures of Blind Tiger, Blossom, and Fuel by Anna Linesch. Thanks to Anna and Hadley Lyman for help compiling this list.


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