The Best Patio Dining in Seattle

The warm weather months are here, so it’s sunglasses on at these al fresco dining spots
Marination Ma Kai in West Seattle


CAPITOL HILL
Linda’s Tavern
[AMERICAN] Hard to believe that when this landmark opened on Capitol Hill nearly 20 years ago, it served only potato chips and nuts. Hooray for the lineup of hangover helpers cranked out by this busy kitchen. The bacon, eggs and crispy hash browns platter tastes even better when enjoyed at the perpetual party on the funky, fun patio tucked away in the back. Music fans will want to check out the rad jukebox. Brunch Sat.–Sun., dinner daily. 707 E Pine St.; 206.325.1220; lindastavern.com

Oddfellows Cafe [AMERICAN] [HIDDEN PATIO] Why here: Bring your dog and meet a friend at one of the few white metal bistro tables on the sidewalk, then prepare for some of the best people watching within city limits (especially the tony types coming and going at Totokaelo next door). Best table: The one farthest from the door is best if you plan to camp out; that way, people aren’t inching past you quite as often in the narrow space. What to order: The Ploughman’s Lunch covers all your bases: cheese, meat, pickles, salad and baguette. You’ll want a half-bottle of prosecco with that. Insider tip: Check out the “secret patio” out back—tucked between two ivy-covered brick walls with little 2-seater bistro tables and twinkling lights strung overhead. 1525 10th Ave.; 206.325.0807; oddfellowscafe.com

Poppy [NORTHWEST] Savory summer herbs and edible flowers destined for the menu gently scent the air on Poppy’s secluded back patio, where a subtle fence surrounds the poppy orange tables and chairs. We love the ever-changing creations arranged on the thali plates, and every meal should begin with a carefully crafted cocktail from the seasoned bartenders. Dinner daily. 622 Broadway E; 206.324.1108; poppyseattle.com

Terra Plata [NORTHWEST] Why here: In a city not known for its rooftop-dining scene, there’s a treasure to be found atop Terra Plata: a triangular deck that echoes the salvaged-wood sensibility of the main dining room. Best enjoyed with a drink in hand and the sun high overhead. Eat: Carefully blistered shishito peppers get a hit from a squeeze of lemon and dash of sea salt. Drink: Share a bottle of R. López de Heredia’s Viña Gravonia Viura. Extras: Dine amid the edible garden of potted herbs and veggies1501 Melrose Ave.; 206.325.1501; terraplata.com

Poquitos [MEXICAN] [ENCLOSED PATIOS] Off the main room at Poquitos, you’ll find a fully glassed-in, atrium-like bar area, complete with high tables and stools, along with a few benches and, of course, several seats at the bar. Although not technically outdoor dining, this oasis of natural light heats up on sunny days and gives the impression of dining in a greenhouse—very tropical, which complements the fresh Mexican dishes, and the house-pressed aguas frescas and seasonal margaritas made with local fruits. Turn up early for happy hour and snag a table, as well as some superaffordable snacks, such as the traditionally prepared grilled corn with crema, lime and Cotija cheese. Capitol Hill, 1000 E Pike St.; 206.453.4216; vivapoquitos.com

Marjorie [SIDEWALK PATIO] When the sun comes up, so do the rolling doors of this offbeat Capitol Hill restaurant, located in the courtyard of Chloe Apartments. The absence of walls doubles the size of the cozy spot by extending it onto an adorable little patio dotted with handmade and brightly colored tables and chairs, greenery and pretty flowers. It’s a romantic environment (especially at night when the candles twinkle) that mimics the beloved patio of the original Belltown Marjorie. Up the nostalgia quotient by ordering the signature plantain chips and a rum cocktail. Capitol Hill, 1412 E Union St.; 206.441.9842; marjorierestaurant.com

Café Presse [CHIC SIDEWALK HANGOUT] Why here: There’s always something seasonal and delicious to eat at Capitol Hill’s effortlessly chic Café Presse. And at the handful of sidewalk tables, midday rosé is not only acceptable, it’s encouraged.  
Best table: Any of the small bistro tables will do. What to order: Regulars know that simple omelets and croque monsieur never disappoint, but it’s worth investigating seasonal dishes, especially salads and starters, which always prove original and inspired. 1117 12th Ave.; 206.709.7674; cafepresseseattle.com 

Cafe Barjot  [people-watching patio] Why here: There’s just something happy about this petite neighborhood café, whether it’s the poppy orange accents or the friendly welcome from the staff. It’s nice to drop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner to sit on the sidewalk patio and watch the people (and their dogs) walk by. Best table: Any of them will do, and since there are only a few bistro tables, parties of two will have the most luck scoring a seat outside. What to order: The cured smelt, radish and ricotta toast, with a Campari-and-soda sipper on the side.  711 Bellevue Ave. E; 206.457.5424; barjotseattle.com 

COLUMBIA CITY

Big Chickie [south-end sun catcher] Why here: Cheerful wood tables and red chairs sit beneath a huge wood pergola at Hillman City’s family-friendly chicken shack. You’re going to love it. Best table: As long as we’re outside, we’re happy, and thankfully, with so many tables on the all-weather, fence-lined patio, it usually doesn’t take long for one to open up. What to order: A whole charcoal-roasted rotisserie chicken with sides and corn muffins is the best option. Then, share a couple of the cinnamon-spiced brownies and a pint of Full Tilt ice cream for dessert. After all, it’s summer! 5520 Rainier Ave. S; 206.946.1519; bigchickie.com

DOWNTOWN
Elliott’s Oyster House
[SEAFOOD] [WATERFRONT] If a little bit of wind and the occasional scent of boating fuel in the air doesn’t bother you, Elliott’s offers one of the most scenic and action-packed patio views this side of, well, Elliott Bay. Not only is the never-ending deck along Pier 56 a front-row seat to a glistening waterfront, you’ll get to watch the hustle and bustle of aqua commuting in all its glory, from tour boats and the water taxi to tugboats and ferries. This is a fair-weather patio—no shelter or shade, and a limited number of heaters. There’s a good chance you won’t notice any intrusive weather elements if you order a dozen oysters. These are some of the best downtown has to offer. Lunch and dinner daily. 1201 Alaskan Way, Pier 56; 206.623.4340; elliottsoysterhouse.com

Six Seven [NORTHWEST] [WATERFRONT] Grab a table situated over the water on this modern, narrow, glass-walled deck hovering above Elliott Bay at the historic Edgewater hotel. Pacific Northwest seafood abounds on this menu, even at breakfast. Try the Dungeness crab frittata and upgrade to organic, local eggs. At dinner, opt for a classic cedar-plank salmon preparation or locally caught black cod. Breakfast and dinner daily, brunch Sat.–Sun., lunch Mon.–Fri. 2311 Alaskan Way, Pier 67; 206.269.4575; edgewaterhotel.com

The endless view at Six Seven on Seattle’s waterfront

Hard Rock Cafe [AMERICAN] Pass right on through the touristy main space and head directly up to the rooftop, where the panoramic views of the city and the Sound are truly stunning. We recommend coming here to drink in the vista and a cold brew on the low-slung couches warmed by gas fireplaces, then hit one of the countless excellent restaurants nearby (Matt’s in the Market, Le Pichet, Place Pigalle, Etta’s), where dinner is a better bet. >> Downtown, 116 Pike St.; 206.204.2233; hardrock.com

Lola [GREEK] [SIDEWALK PATIO] The Greek-inspired menu at Lola makes for lovely sidewalk fare. This sidewalk patio, surrounded by a wrought-iron railing on the east side of the street, has a handful of small metal tables, which are big enough to hold the many plates you’ll order, but can be chilly in the morning. Bring a sweater to sit on if you’ve set your sights on a plate of huge pancakes and fabulous house-made sausage. The rays warm things up all through the afternoon. Downtown, 2000 Fourth Ave.; 206.441.1430; tomdouglas.com