Come spring, alfresco dining in Phoenix is blissful. Everyone heads outdoors to soak up stunning desert scenery and awe-inspiring mountain views beneath the Valley’s nearly perpetual sunny skies. The following 18 places showcase the Valley’s dazzling diversity, offering casual, comfortable patios for sipping wine, guzzling beer, and playing bocce ball as well as good spots for outdoor dining with the family, or going on a romantic date night with the significant other. It’s all here, so slap on some sunscreen and head for the great outdoors.Read More
18 Perfect Phoenix Restaurant Patios for Dining Alfresco
From restaurants with spectacular mountain views to romantic gardens lit with string lights, Phoenix’s outdoor patios offer something for everyone
For stunning Valley views, it’s hard to beat the fire-pit furnished patio deck at this Spanish-inflected steakhouse located at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale. From this vantage, diners get dramatic close-ups of Pinnacle Peak and the surrounding desert, as well as vistas of distant mountain ranges offset by twinkling city lights and maybe even a stellar sunset if the timing is right. The menu offers dreamy breads (try both pan con tomate and pan de queso) as well as excellent steaks and paella, the latter brimming with chorizo, chicken, pork belly, lobster, prawns, mussels, and clams. Meanwhile, the wine list is extensive.
An evening on the patio at Cielo offers the opportunity to commune with the sky and watch the sunset near the McDowell Mountains. The patio sits 2,500 feet above sea level and the vantage point offers a serious connection with nature. Chef Chris Kight, who sources local ingredients, has recently refreshed the menus, offering everything from popcorn shrimp tacos at brunch to A5 wagyu tartare and 24-hour braised short ribs at dinner. If sweet potato cheesecake and vegan panna cotta aren’t exciting enough, consider Cielo’s desserts by the glass, including jalapeño shortcake and the Dude Abides.
Different Pointe of View
For more than three decades, a Different Pointe of View’s outdoor space has enticed diners with its stunning setting. A tiered patio allows patrons to breathe in the North Mountain air and watch the sunset while feasting on roasted chicken and lobster bisque from chef Anthony DeMuro’s kitchen. Meals here are a splurge, which is why this spot is a popular destination for special occasions.
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O.H.S.O. Brewery- Paradise Valley
For a casual evening filled with games and beer, head to O.S.H.O Brewery. The patio features a variety of outdoor activities from corn hole to ping pong to bocce ball. Pets are welcome here, too. Start the meal with a plate of buffalo cauliflower — the right blend of crunch with a hit of spice — or share a cheese board and some artichoke dip. O.H.S.O.’s kitchen serves a wide range of burgers including one topped with green chile. This isn’t exactly a chill spot, but it is fun, and there are three Valley locations.
Luci's at the Orchard
Attention all families: Luci’s at the Orchard will be a hit with your kids. An old-fashioned water tower and a splash pad are just some of the highlights of this restaurant patio. Adults won’t be disappointed by the menu either. Order farm-to-table plates like the chopped salad featuring field greens, tomato, corn, red peppers, feta, and ranch dressing.
Nestled between Camelback and Mummy Mountains in the heart of Paradise Valley, this lovely old adobe lodge — an iconic landmark surrounded by palm trees, cactus, desert plants, and bougainvillea — offers up a delicious taste of Arizona history without feeling remotely stuck in time. The place is justifiably famous for its alfresco brunch, thanks to its gorgeous setting and legendary sticky buns, but don’t miss green corn tamales with eggs or the nostalgic shake (a tangerine freeze, optionally jacked up with booze). Locals and tourists alike show up for happy hour or a balmy dinner on the fireplace-warmed patio over classics such as trout amandine and beef stroganoff.
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Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn
Sometimes an intimate dinner is the best way to spend time outdoors. Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn offers a special view of nearby Camelback Mountain in a private, serene space surrounded by colorful flowers and a vintage fountain. It’s a setting reminiscent of an old hacienda. Chef Alejandro Martinez adds global inflection to Southwestern dishes, many of them wood-grilled and made with local ingredients. His seasonal menus might include charred octopus with anasazi beans, artichokes and chistorra, Patagonian lamb rack with caponata and fava beans, or local chicken with onion-ash potato puree, honey-roasted carrots and Meyer lemon parsley vinaigrette. Seasonal desserts are always outstanding.
String lights, cozy seating, and a festive atmosphere make Chelsea’s Kitchen an inviting space for gathering with family or friends. Patrons can’t miss the gigantic tree at the center of the outdoor area, while just beyond the patio, one of Phoenix’s famous canals drifts along like a lazy river. The affordable modern American menu is famous for its skillet green chile cornbread, its tuna tartare and guacamole appetizer, and its award-winning short rib tacos. And, glory be, customers are offered a free cookie on their way out the door!
Virtu Honest Craft
Tucked away in the Bespoke Inn, Virtu is not only one of the most charming restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale but also one of its best. Chef-owner and James Beard award nominee Gio Osso turns out elevated Italian food from a three-course, prix fixe menu highlighting handmade pasta, octopus anointed with Calabrese chile butter, and insanely rich asparagus, adorned with bacon candy, a duck egg, and foie gras hollandaise. The modern, minimalist (and decidedly tiny) interior has its charms, but most people gravitate to the cozy, plant-filled patio, strung with lights and presided over by a graceful old tree. In good weather (fall through spring), that same tree offers dappled shade for brunches offered every weekend.
The indoor-outdoor design of Ocotillo provides the best of both worlds with a stunning desert landscape and modern architecture. The expansive patio features the chef’s garden, a mesquite terrace, and a beer garden, so there are plenty of cozy spaces to enjoy the outdoors. Stop by for brunch to taste the brie-stuffed French toast with caramel apples, balsamic strawberries, and maple syrup. For dinner, there are house-made pastas and a buttermilk pork chop with fermented mustard.
Named for the Desert Botanical Garden’s co-founder Gertrude Divine Webster, Gertude’s sits near the entrance to the garden, and its roomy semi-circular patio is surrounded by desert plants and cacti. It’s a beautiful setting for a Southwestern-inspired weekend brunch or lunch of bread pudding French toast, Sonoran Benedict, surprisingly good fried tofu, or a good old Gertie Burger, jazzed up with mushroom duxelles. With the exception of the $52 bison short rib, the dinner menu is similarly casual and affordable. Get there before the dinner crowd and settle in on the patio over cocktails and snacks such as pork rind nachos and baked brie with chorizo. Bonus: You can visit the restaurant without buying an entry ticket to the garden.
Downtown Phoenix’s hippest new hot spot offers sushi, fried chicken, and Asian-inflected small plates in a resort-style setting crowded with palm trees. Upscale decor and upbeat music lend an on-vacay vibe, backed up by creative cocktails and lots of snacky options. It’s become a go-to for weekend brunch (think matcha French toast), happy hour, or a romantic evening near the fire pit.
Luckys Indoor Outdoor
This retro-style, dog-friendly bar in the heart of Roosevelt Row has a comfortable, 4,000-square-foot patio complete with a trailer-style bar, fire pits, and a bocce ball court. Plus, there are constantly new food vendors to try as well as an ever-changing live music schedule to enjoy.
The Vig Fillmore
Relax and unwind at the Vig, where customers can sit outside by the fireplace, enjoy live music, or play bocce ball. Upbeat and nostalgic (Trivial Pursuit cards are on the table for quizzing pleasure), the Vig’s menu features casual food to match the atmosphere: think rockfish tacos and a top-quality cheeseburger. Complement the meal with a Bennet & Bubbles — a drink with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, rhubarb bitters, hibiscus syrup, lemon, and sparkling wine. The Vig has four locations around the Valley.
Tucked away in a vintage cottage downtown, Cibo looks small from the outside, but this charming Italian restaurant, whose specialty is wood-fired pizza, offers two patios, allowing customers to sit under the trees and gaze at the stars while grazing on antipasti such as balsamic-glazed burrata served with silky slips of prosciutto and bread. The menu offers loads of pretty salads as well as pasta, saltimbocca (think Neapolitan-style sandwiches, made with pizza dough), and classic pizzas such as the margherita, diavola, and capricciosa. Don’t leave without trying one of the excellent desserts, maybe the Nutella and strawberry crepe or the cappuccino truffle.
The Farm at South Mountain
Whether you’re looking for a hearty breakfast, a kid-friendly lunch, or a romantic date night, this bucolic 10-acre retreat — which features an old pecan grove, great swaths of lawn, flower and vegetable gardens, and a chicken coop — has got it all. Bring the kids to the Farm Kitchen at the front of the property for a sandwich and salad picnic and playtime under the trees, or head farther down the lane for an imaginative breakfast on Morning Glory’s verdant patio, where you might order Belgian waffles, a smoked salmon omelet, or an utterly decadent Japanese sweet potato stuffed with smoked brisket. However, the biggest thrills are found at Quiessence, a charmingly refurbished old farmhouse offering a patio that extends out into the lawn, and a secluded “brick oven table,” tucked away under a vine-covered gazebo — surely the most romantic spot in town (reservations required). Chef and co-owner Dustin Christofolo offers three multi-course prix fixe menus, each featuring inspired farm-to-table fare. Don’t miss the elaborate charcuterie board (a signature for good reason) or luxurious add-ons such as foie gras macarons.
Joe's Farm Grill
Connect with Arizona’s farming roots by dining outdoors at this rehabbed ranch-style house, which was owner Joe Johnston’s former childhood home. One edge of the property still backs up to cultivated fields (now devoted to urban organic farming), but the old place has been transformed into a ’60s-era burger stand, bordered by a sprawling lawn, a towering shade tree, and picnic tables. Although Joe’s was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, there’s a healthy slant to its menu, which makes use of fruit, veggies, and herbs harvested from the Farm at Agritopia. Besides eight different burgers, choices include chicken and waffles, crispy Brussels sprouts, corn fritters, and an ahi tuna sandwich with wasabi mayo.
The Hidden House
There’s something so likable about Hidden House, a refurbished 1938 cottage-turned-restaurant situated just beyond the bustle of downtown Chandler. Fronted by a roomy patio laid with pavers and surrounded by trees, the place is big on charm. However, the real tour de force is the small indoor-outdoor bar, which feels like the heart of the restaurant even though half of it sits outside. It’s a great place for people-watching over 43 classic cocktails and elevated happy hour nibbles such as truffle mac & cheese and foie gras mousse. Casual but upscale lunches run to gochujang-glazed noodles and duck melt (a sandwich of slow-roasted duck with Gruyere cheese and lemon-herb aioli), while the dinner menu offers those same items and more, including pomegranate-glazed quail and espresso-crusted filet.