To truly take in the beauty of the city, you need to find the best outdoor dining in Phoenix. Whether it's brunch or sunset (or any time in between, really) and you haven't truly experienced the desert until you've dined al fresco.
Here are a few of our favorite Phoenix restaurant patios — showcasing our beautiful weather, amazing outdoor views and delicious food — in Tempe, Scottsdale, and every other pocket of Greater Phoenix.
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This bustling patio tucked along the Arizona Canal expands before a massive stone hearth. At night, trees wrapped with string lights give the illusion of dining in a sparkling forest; during the day, warm sun peeks through the greenery and yellow umbrellas. Either way is a perfect setup for a pleasant weather photo-brag to anyone inundated with snow. Saturday's special for endless mimosas may be worth getting in the shot, too.
A chic restored 1913 bungalow houses the main restaurant of this urban downtown pizzeria, but you'll want to find a spot on the patio, where light-wrapped trees and soft live music create a cozy sense of romance. It's a great spot for wine, artisan pizzas, handmade pastas and gleeful photos of you and your date enjoying perfect weather.
Go all out for views on this mountaintop patio, perched at 1,800 feet above sweeping vistas of the pristine Phoenix Mountains Preserve and distant city skyline. This fine-dining experience — located at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort — is unforgettable all by itself. Add clinking glasses of champagne while soaking up warm winter sun, and you've earned an enviable glamour with your cold-weather acquaintances.
This garden is far from secret, but did you know there's a perfect, cacti-lined patio within? No visit is complete without a serene dining experience at Gertrude's. The rotating seasonal menus showcase local ingredients from artisans and farmers around Arizona and the Southwest for fresh-from-the-farm (or pasture) ingredients — some of the herbs and vegetables don't travel at all, as they're grown on site.
As the only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star restaurant in Arizona, Kai (the Pima word for seed), serves up a contemporary approach to Native American cuisine in a rich, yet relaxing, atmosphere. Head to the patio for views of the surrounding Gila River Indian Reservation, the stunning Sonoran Desert and spectacular sunsets.
Morning Glory Cafe
Brunch is the name of the game at Farm at South Mountain. Seating is no-frills at this picturesque outdoor dining destination — think: red checkered tablecloths and plastic lawn chairs — but the food is a labor of love, sourced from locally-grown markets and the farm’s own organic garden. It fills up fast, so if you can't get a seat, you can pick up fresh sandwiches and lunch on the farm's other honorary patio: a pecan tree grove filled with picnic tables. And don't miss dinner at Quiessence, Arizona's original farm-to-table fine dining experience. Take that, cold weather.
Simple and stylish, the outdoor spaces at this casual midtown establishment offer several ways to dine and unwind: a covered, street-side patio; a shady beer garden with communal picnic seating and its own bar; a ring of chairs around a fire pit; and grassy lawn out back. Kick back and relax — you might be here a while enjoying a sunny 70-degree day or breezy night.
Not a lot says "wish you were here" quite like a pic of a cold beer and warm rays of sunshine. O.H.S.O.'s popular back patio is your spot for boasting about both, plus there's a great view of Camelback Mountain. The tap list includes a variety of craft brews, from sweet blondes to heavy porters. During the day, the glow from vibrant orange sunshades above patio booths creates its own photo filter, while globe lights twinkle overhead at night. Stick around a while for great food and games on TV above the central bar. Bonus: This patio is beloved by pet owners, so there's always a few cute dogs around.
Engulfed in a nursery of palm trees, Palma is your own private gathering spot in the heart of Downtown Phoenix. Retreat to the palms for an energetic brunch, happy hour at dusk, or dinner near the fire pits. As soon as you enter Palma's patio, you'll feel like you're walking through an oasis in Phoenix's Sonoran desert. Palma's unique Asian-inspired menu includes dishes for groups to share, or entrees for smaller groups to gather in an intimate, chill outdoor space.
True Food Kitchen
After shopping the airy Scottsdale Quarter or Biltmore Fashion Park, your best for health-conscious refueling is True Food Kitchen. The spacious wraparound patios border palm trees-lined walkways, sporting its own garden of potted plants. Cozy up in plush green chairs to the tables with fire pits (Scottsdale Quarter location) for refreshing juices and teas, craft cocktails and a spread of entrees that incorporate ingredients ranging from kale and quinoa to grass-fed steak and jackfruit.
Windsor's playful patio is like hanging out with friends: Plaid chairs, eclectic potted plants, rusted signs and firetruck-red fireplace keep it low-key and intimate for an al fresco neighborhood dining experience. Menu items range from comfort foods (corn dog popper appetizer, backyard burger, “porkwich”) to beyond-the-barbeque seafood bites (ceviche, banh mi and a market fish selection). It's a perpetually pleasant version of your buddy's backyard.
ScottsdaleBack to Top of List
Ember at We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort
One of Phoenix newest additions (open since October 2020), Ember is a fine-dining restaurant that feels a world away from the glitz and glamor of the adjacent casino. Find a cozy spot by the fireplace and try the Sacred Smoke signature cocktail, which is prepared tableside, as you explore chef Richard E. Pelz's incredible menu from this oasis under the desert sky.
Located at the Hermosa Inn, this luxury, boutique hideaway was created in the 1930s by famed artist Lon Megargee as his private escape before opening up to guests.As for the name, Last Drop is an iconic painting by Megargee that shows a cowboy watering his horse from his Stetson. Today, this expansive-but-coxy patio features five outdoor fireplaces and unmistakable Southwest flair. Pair a locally inspired cocktail or an Arizona brew with a selection off chef Jeremy Pacheco's menu, which features small plates, sandwiches, salads, and pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven, and enjoy.
Originally built as a school in 1934 and converted soon after to a restaurant and lodge, the hacienda-styled El Chorro now serves upscale American food on a patio at the base of Camelback Mountain. It's a popular spot for weddings, and obvious to see why so many would want to tie the knot here — mountain views, a blue-tiled fountain and white exteriors with Spanish flair all contribute to a paradise-like outdoor dining experience.
Authentic and atmospheric, this Old Town Scottsdale restaurant lures diners with an award-winning patio. Highlights are shady 100-year-old pecan trees, and comfortable outdoor temperatures year-round, courtesy of aptly places heaters and misters. Twinkling globe lights set the mood for a beautiful night while you dig into house-made tortillas and a selection of 120 tequilas.
You're in good company on this massive patio along the Scottsdale Waterfront, which draws a fun and casual crowd under the trees and string lights. Sit among gurgling fountains while sipping cocktails, sangria and wine and supping on Mediterranean-inspired entrees fitting for the canal-side scenery. If the nighttime “jacket weather” necessitates warming up, you can find a seat around fire pits or near standing heaters to continue relaxing into the evening for an amazing outdoor dining experience.
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The Perch Pub Brewery
A tropical jungle, or Phoenix? Confuse a friend back home with a photo from this courtyard patio that's one part craft brewpub, one part aviary and one part sun-dappled garden. The Perch is home to tropical rescue birds who squawk, chirp and chatter happily from their cages, while diners soak up the greenery and inventive food and drink menu. The second-story patio may not have the birds and ferns, but has its own bar and looks out over nearby downtown Chandler for a stellar outdoor dining experience.