Food & Drink

20 Perfect Patios in Salt Lake and Beyond

Summer is the perfect time to learn about top picks for al fresco eats in and around Salt Lake City. Here are my top 20 local patio dining destinations, in no particular order. These spots have achieved patio perfection and the killer cuisine to go with it. 


Now that Summer 2023 is officially here, it’s a pretty safe bet that you won’t get snowed upon while dining al fresco. That being the case, here are my top 20 local patio dining destinations, in no particular order. These spots have achieved patio perfection and the killer cuisine to go with it. 

Stoneground Italian Kitchen

Stoneground Italian Kitchen has long been one of my favorite restaurants for Italian fare in SLC, ever since Bob McCarthy opened it in 2000. And, the patio/deck dining area makes it even more appealing in warm weather. Kick off dinner with pickled farm vegetables giardiniera before moving on to dishes like black tagliatelle with lobster, wood-fired pizzas, or entrees such as scallops with risotto and saffron cream sauce. 

Now in their 93rd year, Ruth’s Diner in Emigration Canyon combines nostalgic fare such as chicken fried steak, pot roast, and meatloaf with more contemporary flavors like butternut squash carbonara, and owner Erik’s famous raspberry chicken. Enjoy them all on the sprawling patio – the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Van Ryder

The massive deck at Van Ryder atop Le Meridien and its stunning views is a great spot for a cocktail and bar bites anytime, but stop in for sushi rolls, crudo, carpaccio, tartare and such during Sushi Night Thursdays. 

It might not be the biggest patio in town, but the intimate patio at Zest Kitchen & Bar is especially inviting for dog parents since it’s dog-friendly. This vegan/vegetarian eatery is uber popular for menu items like the superfood protein salad, harissa jackfruit tacos, mushroom alfredo, pizzas, and a surprisingly vast selection of wine, beer, tea, coffee, mocktails, cocktails and even sake. 


A koi fish pond and 100-year old tea houses imported from Vietnam are just a couple of unique features of the eye-popping outdoor garden patio at Sapa Sushi Bar & Asian Grill. Sushi rolls, sashimi and such are terrific here but don’t overlook the homemade pho, which is outstanding. 

Since 1982 The Park Cafe has been attracting customers both from the Liberty Wells neighborhood and from further afar, and a seat on the patio during warm weather is much sought after. Known especially for their bodacious breakfasts, be sure to try the pancake sandwich and the classic corn beef hash … or the Trippy Hippy Vegan Hash if that’s more your style. 

Tupelo Park City

Tupelo Park City is the place to enjoy Chef/Owner Matt Harris’ globally-inspired cuisine with a bit of Southern spin. Summer truffle risotto would be a tasty treat on the patio, as would lobster & spring garlic pasta with creamy pesto. It goes without saying that the homemade buttermilk biscuits with honey butter are de rigueur here. 

Laurel Brasserie & Bar

The gorgeous terrace patio at Laurel Brasserie & Bar in The Grand America is now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with inspired bistro/brasserie fare like pan-seared branzino, chicken fricassee, steak frites, and steamed mussels & clams. 

Log Haven

In addition to the large patio at Log Haven restaurant to enjoy al fresco dining, there’s also the more intimate west deck if you’re looking to eat outside. And, don’t forget the dog-friendly Dog Days of Summer at the outdoor amphitheater, where well-behaved dogs and their owners can enjoy Chef Dave Jones’ award-winning cuisine in a beautiful natural setting. 

Nona Bistro

One of the things that makes Nona Bistro so appealing is that Will and Emily McMasters’ eatery is virtually ALL patio. It’s an inviting al fresco affair in which most of the tables are located outside, under the sun and stars, although there are also tables in the enclosed garage dining area. But outside is where the action is, including live jazz regularly. Menu items range from tinned fish and focaccia to whole roasted branzino, ribeye steak, and chicken shawarma.  


The multi-level patio and decks at Grappa in Park City are as beautiful and pleasing as the food at Bill White’s signature restaurant, which just recently reopened after being closed for repairs following a fire. Summer menu items from Executive Chef Benjamin Fillmore include gnocchi primavera, lobster fregola sarda, scallops risotto, roasted branzino, garden vegetables verdure, and tuna crudo. 

Royal Street Cafe

Over at Deer Valley Resort, Royal Street Cafe has just reopened for the summer season with its outdoor deck offering endless mountain views. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy lunch after a vigorous hike or mountain bike ride. Royal Stree’s eclectic menu includes char siu pork-stuffed bao buns, mini tuna poke tacos, watermelon and feta salad, Nashville fried chicken sandwich, barbecued ribs, and a tempting selection of specialty cocktails, wine and beer. 

Oasis Cafe

One of the most venerable and inviting spots to dine downtown is at Oasis Cafe, which offers a tranquil respite from the hustle and bustle of the city with one of the most endearing courtyard patios. Specialties from Chef Efren Nicholas’ American-style cafe menu include salmon lox crostini, strawberry & arugula salad, blackened ahi tuna, paprika-crusted chicken, tiger prawn bucatini, and wonderful desserts such as lavender-infused panna cotta and freshly made sorbet. 

The Green Pig Pub

The rooftop patio is always a lively place in warmer weather at The Green Pig Pub where the extensive beverage selection offers guests many options for sipping alongside pub fare such as carnitas street tacos, avocado rolls, fish & chips, Cubano sandwich, a rockin’ Reuben, chile verde nachos and more, including a surprisingly robust vegan menu. 

Caffe Molise

One of the most inviting patios in SLC is at Fred Moesinger’s Caffe Molise. Relax on the covered patio while enjoying a glass of wine from the extensive wine selection and dishes like ravioli con zucca, polpette di melanzane, scampi alla diavola, spaghettini pomodori, and of course, the outstanding homemade tiramisu. 


At Milo Carrier’s Arlo restaurant, Marmalade neighborhood views are abundant from the patio as you enjoy homemade empanadas, French-style croquettes, baked veggie tart, ravioli with spring peas and fresh ricotta, brown rice risotto and more, including the recently launched Sunday brunch menu. 

Thistle & Thyme

Tucked away on the ground floor of the Marriott University Park is Thistle & Thyme restaurant, which offers a spacious patio for outdoor dining, occasionally accompanied by live music. Start with lamb meatballs or shareable plates of hummus, charcuterie, or baked goat cheese. Specialties include clams with roasted corn and spaghetti, chicken and waffles, shrimp & grits, short rib pappardelle, bacon-wrapped meatloaf and more. The adventurous imbiber might try the cardamom Manhattan cocktail or the Wakara paloma with Vida tequila. 

Veneto Ristorante Italiano

For authentic northern Italian cuisine look no further than Veneto Ristorante Italiano, which offers an enclosed patio dining area as well as a few seats on the front porch of the restaurant. Highlights of the new summer menu include a favorite Veronese classic, vitello tonnato, as well as spaghetti with crab, strawberries, 35 year old balsamic vinegar from Reggio Emilia, baked wild salmon, and the elegant 7-course tasting menu featuring beautiful and unique fish dishes. 

Emigration Cafe

On the beautiful and inviting patio at Scott Evans’ Emigration Cafe, guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus brunch on the weekends. Tasty breakfast items include brioche French toast and butter pecan cinnamon rolls, while the all day menu includes Roman-style pizzas called pinsa, Baja-style shrimp tacos, a killer Cuban sandwich, wood-roasted asparagus with sauce Gribiche, burgers, fried chicken, baby back ribs and more. Wine lovers will appreciate the curated wine list featuring a number of natural wines. 

Dos Olas

The perfect patio in Canyons Village at Park City Mountain is to be found at Dos Olas, a bustling restaurant and cantina. Linger and unwind while listening to live music at the outdoor patio and slopeside ski beach in summer with Mexican fare from Executive Chef Carlos Segura. Summertime dishes like camarones y aguacate, mahi mahi ceviche tostada, elote on the cob, and the Baja Caesar salad would be excellent with an icy Margarita alongside. 

Do you have a favorite spot for al fresco dining? Let us hear about it!  

Photos by Ted Scheffler

Culinary quote of the week:“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.” – Aesop

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