Oh, the joys of outdoor dining in Seattle! If there are two things we Seattleites know how to do well, it’s take advantage of warm weather and treat our taste buds to incredible cuisine. After enduring the relentless gray of the city’s winter months, we’re more than ready to don our sunglasses and ditch our jackets. And, that means we often do it at the very first hint of sun in the forecast. Of course, mealtime is no exception.

It’s easy to indulge here with restaurants in nearly every neighborhood offering outdoor spaces for sun-seekers. So, get ready to dig in at any one of these 13 top-notch spots. In this case, it’s your lucky number – time to soak up those well-deserved summer days!

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1. Ray’s Cafe

Ray's Cafe: Joseph McCarty
Enjoy fresh, local seafood with an unbeatable waterfront view at Ray’s Cafe. Credit: Joseph McCarty

Situated at the water’s edge (practically on top of it really!) Ray’s Cafe is one of the longest-standing spots in town for innovative takes on well-known seafood dishes. Look forward to some of the best outdoor dining in Seattle. You might pair Pacific Northwest Sablefish in Sake Kasu with a crisp glass of Columbia Valley white wine. Then, savor both while mesmerized by the jagged peaks of the Olympic Mountains. That right there is true PNW nirvana.

2. Humble Pie

Humble Pie_Suzi Pratt
A mushroom and salami pizza exits the wood-fired oven at Humble Pie. Credit: Suzi Pratt

Humble Pie is tucked away in Seattle’s Atlantic neighborhood. A top spot for wood-fired pizza made with locally sourced organic ingredients, it’s got lots of tasty surprises. While the rustic picnic tables and modest name might fool you into thinking the pizza is unassuming, it’s anything but. With options like the pork-laden Whole Hog and carbonara-esque pie topped with prosciutto and egg, it’s unlikely you’ll be leaving the sprawling patio with any leftovers.

Aimee RizzoInfatuation Seattle Senior Editor Aimee Rizzo elaborates, “There are few things more Seattle than eating pizza made with locally-sourced ingredients on a compostable plate, and listening to ambient clucking noises from the nearby chicken coop. Welcome to Humble Pie, where you can host the most eco-friendly pizza party you’ve (probably) ever had. Add some Washington beer and enjoy the non-rain while you can.”

3. Percy’s and Co.

Percy's & Co._Suzi Pratt
Plant-lined walls get a healthy dose of fresh air at Percy’s & Co. Credit: Suzi Pratt

Dining outdoors is an option provided by a number of restaurants in Seattle’s charming Ballard neighborhood. But few offer a space as enchanting as the back patio at Percy’s & Co. With lush foliage nearly everywhere you look, it’s a fitting environment for indulging in an herbaceous, apothecary-inspired cocktail. We highly recommend the honeybee with rosemary-infused gin and lavender bitters.

Adria SaracinoAdria Saracino of The Emerald Palate and self-guided Seattle food tours states, “Percy’s & Co. is one of my go-to bars in Ballard. They make their own bitters and craft really interesting cocktails at an affordable price point. Make sure to sit on the covered back patio and try their mean fried chicken if you’re looking for some snacks!”

4. Westward

Stephanie Forrer: Westward
With Westward’s sandy banks and beach umbrellas, you’ll have a hard time believing you’re still in Seattle. Credit: Stephanie Forrer

Located directly on the north shores of Lake Union, Westward is an ideal spot for outdoor dining with imaginative seafood-centric fare complemented by an unbeatable waterfront view. Settle into one of the classic Adirondack chairs with a frosty pint of craft beer and soak up some vitamin D!

Stephanie ForrerStephanie Forrer of Eat, Drink Travel, Y’all! affirms, “Westward is pretty much Pacific Northwest summer perfection! Sit on the patio and take in stunning views of Lake Union while you sip on champagne and slurp on oysters. They have a stellar brunch here too!”

5. San Fermo

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Dig into an impeccable bowl of pasta on the restaurant’s homey side patio. Credit: Suzi Pratt

The perfect blend of contemporary and classic, Ballard’s San Fermo is a great choice for a romantic evening or an intimate group dinner. Dishes feature locally sourced ingredients from Pacific Northwest farms, ranches, and fisheries. Tuck into a bowl of house-made pasta on the charming side deck. You just might feel as if you were transported straight to the Italian town for which it was named.

Suzi PrattFood lover and photographer for Eater Seattle, Suzi Pratt raves, “Inhabiting a historic Pioneer House in Ballard, San Fermo is where rustic meets modern. Main dishes change seasonally with features such as Stinging Nettle Tagliatelle, but you can’t go wrong with the Spaghetti Bolognese.”

6. Bongos Café

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Bongos Café’s bold flavors are mirrored by its vivid paint job. Credit: Cragin Spring

Located right by Seattle’s popular Green Lake loop path, this vibrantly-painted neighborhood eatery is the perfect place to fuel up after a scenic stroll along the water. Bongos Café takes its authentic Caribbean vibe to the next level. Think woven straw awning and even outdoor sandbox seating – yes, you read that right! It’s a casual beach setting right in the middle of the city. Fun, quirky, and unforgettable.

Adam CallaghanAdam H. Callaghan former editor of Eater Seattle attests, “I don’t know why Bongos Café continues to fly under the radar, but it’s an amazing place to sit in the sand and feel transported to a tropical island. I constantly crave the restaurant’s heaping plates of jerk chicken, yucca fries and sandwiches like a shrimp po’ boy with mango slaw.”

7. Terra Plata

Terra Plata: Suzi Pratt
Catch a breeze and a buzz with Terra Plata’s rooftop patio and excellent cocktail selection. Credit: Suzi Pratt

 Terra Plata has an “earth to plate” concept and a seriously hip rooftop patio. It’s the perfect place to relish a warm Seattle evening while munching on the wide range of Spanish-inspired starters and small plates. We love the Blistered Shishito Peppers with lemon, sea salt, and roasted garlic aioli and the Mediterranean Steamed Mussels & Clams with curry, coconut milk, ginger, Thai chili, sweet peppers, lime, and cilantro. The whole menu is designed to be shared, making this an ideal spot for a group dinner!

8. Joule

FoodieFunGuy: Joule
The twinkling, breezy front patio at Fremont’s Joule. Credit: Flickr user FoodieFunGuy

Joule is a gem in the Fremont neighborhood. A Korean-fusion steakhouse in a chic, airy space, it’s a must for foodies and cocktail connoisseurs alike, combining Pacific Northwest and Asian eats. Head to the charming patio space to sip artisanal drinks like A Flip Of The Coin made with Lapsang souchong infused tequila, lime & Thai chili agave. When it’s time to dine, the menu features everything from Kombu cured mackerel to melt-in-your-mouth ribeye. One bite and you’ll quickly understand why Joule landed one of the coveted spots on Bon Appetite’s Best New Restaurants list.

Jay FriedmanFood writer Jay Friedman says, “Joule and The Whale Wins share a converted warehouse and some sweet outdoor patio space. Joule serves up stellar Korean-inspired food (the bavette steak is always a good bet, along with a side of spicy rice cakes) to enjoy by the outdoor fire pit.”

9. Serafina

Jody Cole
Find classic Italian cuisine with a homey atmosphere at Serafina. Credit: Jody Cole

Head over to Eastlake for a breezy courtyard and crave-worthy Italian fare at Serafina. This award-winning neighborhood haunt is a local favorite popular for special occasions or just because. It’s known for its stellar service and fresh takes on authentic Italian dishes, including to-die-for risottos. It really hits the mark when it comes to delicious eats and a cozy, inviting vibe. Be sure to save room for dessert, the Crostata with blueberry, almond, vanilla gelato, and rosemary caramel should not be missed!

10. Mbar

Suzi Pratt
With ample seating and sweeping views, Mbar is the perfect choice for your next group happy hour. Credit: Suzi Pratt

If it’s an eclectic menu you’re after, you’ll be more than satisfied with this al fresco eatery.  Mbar is 14 stories above the city in South Lake Union, offering breathtaking views of the city skyline and the lake. Dig into inventive takes on upscale Lebanese, Syrian, and Persian fare made with local ingredients, with everything from small plates like grilled asparagus and stuffed sardines to nettle gnocchi, grilled salmon, and juicy ribeye. Whatever your pick it can be complemented with a selection of impressive wine and beer. Or, opt for one of the signature cocktails like the Dancing Delilah with Timberline vodka, Dimmi liqueur, passionfruit, and lemon bitters. Cheers!

11. Marination Ma Kai

One of the best views for outdoor dining in West Seattle can be enjoyed at Marination Ma Kai, credit: Marination Ma Kai

Marination Ma Kai is a Hawaiian term that means “toward or by the sea” and it offers just that, located in the Seacrest Boathouse that overlooks the city skyline. Easily accessed by water taxi from the downtown waterfront, it launched over a decade ago to bring ‘Everyday Aloha’ to the Pacific Northwest. Today it’s a Seattle institution, known for its outstanding fish and chips, perfectly marinated tenderized meat, slaws, veggies, and sauces that burst with flavor.

12. Flora Bakehouse

Outdoor dining on the rooftop patio at The Flora Bakehouse, credit: The Flora Bakehouse

Baked goods on a sunny patio? Count us in. While a patio on a bakery rooftop might seem unlikely, The Flora Bakehouse stands out from the rest, in a good way. A very good way! This fabulous space has covered tables along with some open-air picnic benches and Adirondacks. And, all come complete with a Mount Rainier view. It’s the perfect place to sip coffee on a beautiful morning in Seattle while indulging in everything from unicorn horn meringues to chocolate sea salt croissants.

13. The Pink Door

Hidden in plain sight on Post Alley in the Pike Place Market, you might miss the unmarked, yet renowned and beloved Pink Door. Credit: The Pink Door

No list of outdoor dining spots in Seattle would be legit without including The Pink Door. One of the city’s top restaurants, it’s tucked along Post Alley at Pike Place Market. There’s no sign, but a pink door indicates the restaurant on the waterfront side. Head up to the patio and you’ll find lots of seating and magnificent views of Elliott Bay. Even more importantly, you can indulge in the best lasagna you’ll find in the city. Or, try any one of the other mouthwatering Italian dishes from the produce-driven menu featuring organic PNW veggies. Most of the wines are organic and bio-dynamic, and there’s an enticing list of cocktails too.

With all of these restaurants for alfresco dining around town, there’s no reason to let a single sunny Seattle day pass you by! Grab your sun hat, swipe on the SPF, and venture out to find your new favorite eatery with an outdoor space. By the end of the summer, you might just find it hard to remember what it’s like to dine without a warm breeze through your hair!


Featured image: Rob Bertholf