Sure, rooftops and decks are all the rage, but not every patio fits every social situation (or stage of life). Sometimes finding the right place for eating and drinking under the sun requires a bit of guile, luck, and planning. Here, our totally non-comprehensive guide to eating outside—while avoiding anybody who starts sentences with the word "dude."
You’re out for . . .
You're going to . . .
|An easy bite after a Saturday afternoon excursion with the kids.||>> The Freight House in Stillwater for burgers and salads on the spacious riverside deck. 305 S. Water St., Stillwater, 651-439-5718|
|A midweek night at the Ordway/Fitzgerald/Park Square Theatre in St. Paul.||>> The patio at W.A. Frost, where you can have a drink and still hear your friends talk. 374 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-5715|
|A relaxing postwork wind-down during a stressed-out week.||>> The tiny Japanese garden patio at Obento-Ya, with its zen-inducing water features and flowing sake. 1510 Como Ave. SE, Mpls. 612-331-1432|
|A last-minute sojourn with out-of-town guests who want to see "the best" parts of the city.||>> Sea Change, 10 minutes after the start of a Guthrie show, when the patio with its sweeping river views will be all yours. 806 S. 2nd St., Mpls., 612-225-6499|
|Pregaming strategy session with one of your confidantes before an outing with the rest of the ladies.||>> The Monte Carlo for unfussy drinks, crisp service, and comfortable city surroundings. 219 3rd Ave. N., Mpls., 612-333-5900|