With summer in full swing, it’s time grab a cold drink and head for a patio table at one of Atlanta’s many alfresco restaurants. Whether your tastes lean toward crab legs and cocktails or burgers and milkshakes, you’re in luck.
Here is a road map of sorts to some of the city’s most popular patios and decks. Step into a German beer garden for a pint or enjoy fried seafood with a side of panoramic view.
* Voted on by Encore Atlanta readers.
Portofino Bistro *
Boasts a chic interior and a spacious patio. Known for its great wine list, Portofino’s waiters are ready to make a drink suggestion to pair with your dinner. The menu is mediterranean and American — lamb bolognese, grilled trout and veal scaloppine. Lunch: $13-18. Dinner: $24-28. 3199 Paces Ferry Place N.W. 404.231.1136.
Der Biergarten *
This beer garden in downtown Atlanta has a long list of German draft beers, a large upstairs deck with picnic tables and a menu of classic German dishes. With its wooden accents and Bavarian paintings, you may forget where you are — until you lock on the magnificent skyline. Draft beer: $6. Appetizers: $6-$11. Entrees $8-$23. 300 Marietta St. N.W. 404.521.2728.
Six Feet Under Pub & Fish House
The name might imply otherwise, but this restaurant’s rooftop patio provides panoramic views of the city. Six Feet Under’s name pays homage to Oakland Cemetery, it’s neighbor. Dig into fried seafood, steamed shellfish and Southern sides like grits, fried okra and coleslaw. Besides a diverse mix of house special cocktails, there are six margaritas from which to choose. You may be here a while. Lunch: $9-$10; Dinner $10-$25. 437 Memorial Drive S.E. 404.523.6664.
Rosa Mexicano at Atlantic Station *
This spot sits front and center in the dining, shopping and entertainment complex, with a sprawling patio overlooking a brick courtyard. Expect contemporary Mexican — carne asada, braised short ribs and artisanal tacos and enchiladas. The signature guacamole en molcajete will be made at your table. Dinner: $15-$25. 245 18th St. N.W. 404.347.4090.
People-watching and pizza-eating are synonymous at the Ponce-side patio. The sound system is tuned to the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Go for a slice, a whole pie, huge calzones and Italian salads. A word of advice? Beware the pigeons. Slice: $2.05 (toppings $0.50 each). Large pizza: $14-$19. 909 Ponce de Leon Ave. N.E. 404.873.3088.
Pub culture reigns here, where Irish classics like bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, and fish and chips stud a menu of comfort food done with style. The covered patio features wooden picnic tables, giving locals a place to relax with a pint of Guinness or a dozen other draft beers. Want breakfast? Brunch is served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays-Sundays, with eggs benedict, French toast and more. Dinner: $11-19. 2810 Paces Ferry Road S.E. 770.433.1920.
Yeah! Burger *
This, the second restaurant in Shaun Doty’s grass-fed burger chain, opened in 2010, serving gourmet hamburgers in a build-your-own format. Seating is first- come, first-serve, so arrive early to avoid lines and snag a table. Build-your-own-burger options include beef, bison, turkey, veggie or chicken patties, free and premium toppings (think big with bacon jam, sautéed mushrooms and crushed avocado) and 14 sauces. Wash it down with a milkshake, ice cream float or adult beverage. The peninsular patio juts out to face North Highland Avenue and, on a Friday or Saturday night, enjoy the neighborhood’s unique mix of boutique shoppers, gelato eaters and bar crawlers. Burgers: $7-10. Sides: $2.99 each. 1017 North Highland Ave. N.E. 404.437.7845.
Hally Joseph is a freelance writer living in Atlanta. She’s working toward her MFA in writing at SCAD Atlanta.