Posted Jun 16, 2015
7 Places to Get a Side of Vitamin D and Eat Outdoors in Portland
Portland is one of those magical cities where dining al fresco is widely welcomed and accepted. After all, with forests and mountains in the distance, who wants to feast within four walls in the first place? Fresh air is easy to come by here, as is wonderful cuisine prepared in a variety of ways.
Additionally, Portland is a young, hip city with plenty of beer and wine to go around, making patio happy hours and sunset cocktails in the summer a must. The first time I visited Portland, I remember spending a vast majority of the time on beautifully manicured patios in the Pearl, sipping on frosty mugs full of delicious brew.
Fortunately, the season is perfect for eating and drinking outdoors in Portland, and there are a lot of places to choose from, whether you’re looking for laid-back food trucks or elegant fine dining.
Located in North Portland, Vendetta welcomes in the neighborhood’s finest hipsters with its massive back garden patio. There is no signage, making it a bit of a hidden gem, but if you’re looking for a nice quiet place for a beer and a snack rather than people watching, then this is your place.
The happy hour is fantastic here, and there is a game of shuffleboard you can always join in on. Snacks here include classic bar fare like cheese steaks, Italian sandwiches, and nachos.
2. Cascade Brewing Barrel House
Sour beers seem to be the popular brewing choice for summer, and Cascade makes some excellent ones. Many of the menu items here are house-smoked, such as the ham and gruyere or chicken royale sandwiches, and everything on the menu is paired with beer, in true Portland style.
There are no frills here– just a roll-back patio with picnic tables and 16 great beers on tap– perfect for a casual sunny happy hour with friends.
It just wouldn’t be a Portland dining article without mentioning at least one Mississippi Avenue staple, and Prost is definitely the best when it comes to al fresco dining. German fare is the calling card here, with plenty of lager and a massive dog-friendly patio.
Feast on Deutschland’s best, such as Bavarian pretzels, wurst samplers, and German cucumber salad.
4. Noble Rot
A PDX staple, Noble Rot is well known for having the best open-air views of the city. Offering more than 40 wines by the glass and a rotating seasonal menu, Noble Rot is also one of the greenest restaurants in the city, with a 3,000-square-foot rooftop garden where vegetables and herbs thrive in the summer.
There’s a happy hour menu if you are looking for just a few snacks, but there is also an award-winning dinner menu featuring everything from delicious salmon to fresh salads. This is the spot to go for outdoor dining if you’re looking for something a bit more upscale for a hot date or classy girl’s night out.
5. Pok Pok
Summer drinks are fascinatingly– and refreshingly– delicious at this Southeast Portland staple. Limeades and Thai iced tea flow freely on this patio full of wood tables and twinkling string lights.
Heaters also make Pok Pok a comfortable place to dine during spring and fall if you’re up for it. Lemongrass-grilled chicken, delicious Asian noodles, honey-ginger baby back ribs, and Thai chopped duck salad (among numerous other authentic dishes) are available here.
Another Portland institution in the Pearl District, Bluehour delivers upscale dining on 13th Avenue, with its unmistakable line of tables and umbrellas next to the loading dock. There are oysters on the half shell, a menu solely dedicated to cheese (I’m in!) and plenty of bubbly and specialty cocktails to sip on.
This place is perfect for a light, airy snack after work, as Bluehour’s happy hour menu offers wine and beer at discounted prices and hearty options like spring lamb meatballs, deviled eggs topped with dungeness crab, and crispy asparagus.
7. The Hop and Vine
This place feels more like a friend’s backyard barbecue rather than a restaurant with its cozy enclosed patio full of communal tables. However, make no mistake– the cuisine at The Hop and Vine is impressive– smoked pork belly, spinach salad with candied maple bacon, and mussels with tasso ham and shallots.
If you want to enjoy a fine-dining experience without all of the pomp and circumstance– and a killer outdoor patio– then this is the place for you.
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