If there’s 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 at the first hint of sun on the forecast, and mealtime is no exception.

Fortunately, there are restaurants in nearly every neighborhood that offer airy outdoor spaces where sun-seekers can indulge, so dig in at one of these ten top-notch spots and soak in 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 atop it, really!) Ray’s Cafe is one of the longest-standing spots in town for innovative takes on well-known seafood dishes. Pair Pacific Northwest Sablefish in Sake Kasu with a crisp glass of Columbia Valley white wine and look out at 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

Tucked away in Seattle’s Atlantic neighborhood, don’t let Humble Pie‘s rustic picnic tables and modest name fool you into thinking their pizza may also be unassuming. With options like the pork-laden Whole Hog or their carbonara-esque pie topped with prosciutto and egg, it’s unlikely that you’ll be leaving their sprawling patio with any leftover slices.

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

Though dining outdoors is an option provided by a number of restaurants in Seattle’s charming Ballard neighborhood, 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 to enjoy one of their herbaceous, apothecary-inspired cocktails like 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 with an unbeatable waterfront view. Settle into one of their 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. Tuck into a bowl of house-made pasta on their charming side deck and you’ll feel transported straight to the Venetian 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

Cragin Spring_Bongos
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 their authentic Caribbean vibe to the next level with a woven straw awning and outdoor sandbox seating – yes, you read that right!

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

With an “earth to plate” concept and a seriously hip rooftop patio, Terra Plata is a perfect place to soak in a warm Seattle evening. Munch on their broad array of Spanish-inspired starters and small plates, such as the blistered shishito peppers with lemon, sea salt and roasted garlic aioli or their leek & manchego gratin. 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

Offering contemporary Korean steakhouse fare in a chic, airy space, Fremont’s Joule is a must-visit for foodies and cocktail connoisseurs alike. Dine on perfectly tender ribeye or cured mackerel in their charming patio space and you’ll undoubtedly see how they 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 this award-winning neighborhood haunt. Known for their stellar service as well as their fresh takes on authentic Italian dishes, Serafina hits the mark for both delicious eats and a cozy, inviting vibe. Be sure to save room for dessert, their lemon cheesecake with cherry preserve and roasted almond 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. 14 stories above the city, South Lake Union’s Mbar offers up breathtaking views and inventive dishes made with approachable, local ingredients.

Indulge in fresh harra shrimp ceviche or the green pea falafel with spring onion labneh (a Middle Eastern topping similar to sour cream). Match your meal with a selection from their impressive wine and beer list or opt for one of their signature cocktails like the herbaceous and aromatic jasmine and jade. Cheers!

With all these outdoor restaurants around town, there’s no reason to let a single sunny Seattle day pass you by! Grab your sun hat, swipe on a bit of SPF and venture out to find your new favorite porch, patio, deck or courtyard. By the end of the summer, you may find it hard to remember what it’s like to dine without a warm breeze in your hair!


Featured image: Rob Bertholf