Out and About

Best patio dining

Posted May 14, 2012 6:20 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:22 p.m. EDT

There is no way I could do this list justice by just naming my five favorite patios in town - I can name at least 10 in Raleigh, another five in Cary, and even more as we venture across the Triangle. But that’s what you follow WRAL Out & About on Foursquare for anyways, right? To find out where we’re heading next, wander on over to Foursquare and do that now.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, I give you just a taste of my favorite patios in town:

humble pie

Humble Pie (Downtown Raleigh): The wine, the cocktails and the plates meant for sharing… what could be better? Enjoying them all on a wicked deck - that’s what. And H Pie’s deck is uniquely adorned with festive string lights and a fun tiki bar, too. The only challenge to this warehouse district destination is parking, but it’s worth walking a few blocks.

Tobacco Road at American Tobacco (Downtown Durham): BANG! That’s not the sound made in the kitchen when your order is ready, but rather the sound that the baseballs blasted into far left field make when a batter at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park really gets ahold of one and it happens to hit the metal roof over Tobacco Road’s Diamond View patio. All the food and service we love from Downtown Raleigh’s Tobacco Road concept, perched perfectly above a Durham Bulls or local college baseball game. Grab an early dinner here before the game or a show at DPAC and then stroll over to the DPAB box office for another local favorite: baseball with the Bulls!

mellow mushroom

Mellow Mushroom at Glenwood and Peace (Downtown Raleigh): Pizza, cold drinks and a prime view of happenings at the top of Glenwood South – that’s what’s in store at Mellow Mushroom’s downtown Raleigh location. This one makes the list based on location, menu and ample amounts of patio seating for all of your friends.

rockwells american grill

Rockwell’s is another that makes the cut based on its ample outdoor seating. One of the nice things about our “mild for six months out of the year” NC weather is that patio season pretty much lasts from April until October (sometimes excluding the too hot for patio July and August days), but folks around here know that. And sometimes, a patio seat is just plain hard to come by. (Take Boylan Bridge Brewpub, for example –where ALL of the patrons sit outside!) At Rockwell’s, there’s ample patio space and the Rocky Top menu and service that local restaurant junkies have come to know and trust for a quality dining out experience, time and time again.


Vivace at North Hills (Midtown Raleigh): I’m ashamed to say that the first time I actually made it to Vivace’s patio was for lunch was just as recent as two months ago. I’ve heard folks complain that the inside of Vivace can get a bit loud, but there’s nothing to worry about when you select the patio at this spot nestled into a corner in North Hill’s Lassiter side of shops and restaurants. (The Four Cheese Ravioli with wilted spinach, roasted garlic crema, tomato sauce is a winner, if you’re looking for a menu suggestion, by the way.)

Like I said, there are dozens of options around town for your pleasant weather dining pleasure. For a nice look at all of the options in Raleigh alone, check out Raleigh Alfresco.com.

What patios should we expect to bump into you fun Out & About readers on this summer?