Outdoor Dining in Minneapolis for the ‘Mo in the Know


The Twin Cities doesn’t afford the lengthiest of outdoor dining seasons, but it does boast one of the most prolific. And the former is responsible, in part, for the latter. When the sun’s out, everybody wants to dine out. And, boy, do we.

There’s quite literally an outdoor lunch, brunch, dinner, happy hour, etc. for any speed, scene, or occasion. Casual, formal, trendy, hipster, you name it. For the outdoor dining ‘mo­in­the­know, I’ve picked four ideal outdoor dining experiences for those who want to see and be seen.

Libertine. Photo by Peter Jenelle

Libertine. Photo by Peter Jenelle

Uptown – Minneapolis
The Rooftop at Libertine

Patios abound in Uptown and while your options may be many, those with amazing food may not. My money’s on Libertine. Great crowd and great food, along with a great view combine to earn it top Uptown outdoor dining honors in my book. Happy hours every day from 4­:00 to 7:00 p.m., as well as 10:00 p.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday. And don’t miss brunches both Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. A virgin bloody mary with a plate of chicken and waffles? YAS! Unless you’re trying to impress someone and not eating. P.S. Don’t do that.

Downtown – Minneapolis
Union Rooftop

Nothing beats a view of downtown Minneapolis at sunset and Union Rooftop offers just that, as well as a much-needed chance to unwind with a cocktail and munchies after a busy day. Don’t skip out on Solar Breakfast/Brunch on Sundays either from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Bottomless mimosas and a nosh, all the while overlooking Hennepin Theatre District’s Pantages, State, and Orpheum Theatres? What’s not to love? Happy hour daily from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

North Loop –  Minneapolis
The Patio at Red Cow

Nary a week goes by I don’t find myself in the North Loop. And usually for food. There’s plenty of yum, but outdoor dining isn’t everywhere this side of Downtown. Luckily, there’s a perfect patio calling your name. The wafting smell of char­broiled burgers is also calling your name. Beautiful, amazing, trust­me­you­want­this­in­your­mouth burgers. Grab your buddies after a softball game or meet a friend for a drink. If brunch is your thing, go for it. Bonus, they welcome dogs on their patio too! No, not your friend Kyle; your actual dog. Happy hour daily from 3­:00 to 6:00 p.m., then 10:00 p.m. to close.

Northeast – Minneapolis
The Patio at Lush Food Bar

Ever a great spot to grab a drink and unwind with friends in Northeast, the patio at Lush Food Bar also offers a wonderful brunch option with traditional eats and cocktails for days. Cinnamon roll french toast, a fancy shmancy Bellini, and a few gossip-­laden friends to catch up with and your Sunday Funday is golden. If you’re in the neighborhood on a weeknight, stop by for a quick happy hour or extend that happy hour right into a full on night out on the town.

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