Two men share a meal together on a patio at night. Behind them, the trees are lit with white lights.
Ocotillo restaurant, central Phoenix

16 Phoenix-Area Restaurants to Dine Outside

Why dine inside when these Phoenix-area restaurants give you "al fresco" options like airy patios and drinks with rooftop sunset views.

Best for impressing your date

A group of people sits at a table outdoors on a patio surrounded by trees.

Lon's at the Hermosa Inn (Credit: Ellen Barnes)

An outdoor meal at House of Tricks feels like a cozy dinner at a friend's house. Secreted away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Tempe, the restaurant's lush patio is tucked between two 1920s bungalows. Bonus: The food and wine are award-winning.

Saltillo tiles, a crackling fire in a chiminea and desert landscaping lend an authentic Arizona feel to the locally inspired cuisine at Lon's at the Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley; and, in the East Valley, a 1939 cottage in the middle of Chandler known as Hidden House offers romance by way of string lights, leafy trees and excellently made cocktails.

Best for being in nature

Exterior of a mid-century-modern building in white. A neon sign displays the name 'Joe's Farm Grill'.

Joe's Farm Grill, Gilbert

Gather around one of several fire pits beneath the olive trees at Queen Creek Olive Mill in Queen Creek, about 40 minutes southeast of downtown Phoenix via US-60. The menu features pasta and pizzas made with—you guessed it—traditional and infused olive oils. While you wait, browse the marketplace for take-home goods ranging from bath and beauty products to Arizona's only extra-virgin olive oil.

At Morning Glory Café at Phoenix's Farm at South Mountain, the vegetables that star in the breakfast dishes are grown mere steps from where you sit. Savor the freshness at your table under the farm's native mesquite trees.

It's easy to see why Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert is so popular. Like Morning Glory, the grill sources most of its produce from The Farm at Agritopia on-site. The food (barbecue, sandwiches, burgers) is consistently good and the atmosphere is casual. Think kids playing on the lawn, birds chirping in trees, maybe even a post-meal nap on the grass.

Best for bird's-eye views

A couple stands on a patio overlooking a city. The sky is ablaze with a colorful sunset.

Different Pointe of View at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort

Soak up the sight of an Arizona sunset (and maybe a Tamarind Mule) while you sit high above Tempe's thriving Mill Avenue on the rooftop at Alibi at Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown. One level above the streets in Phoenix's Biltmore area, FLINT by Baltaire seamlessly blends the indoors with the outdoors in a modern lounge with beautifully plated dishes. Or take in the panorama of Camelback Mountain and surrounding Scottsdale at Outrider Rooftop Lounge, on the seventh floor at Canopy by Hilton Scottsdale. Inventive cocktails, craft brews and small snacks are best for happy hour.

While not strictly a rooftop patio, Different Pointe of View at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort makes the list thanks to its North Mountain perch and floor-to-ceiling windows that show off the sparkling lights of Phoenix below. Reservations are strongly encouraged, as the restaurant's renown—it's the longest consecutively awarded AAA Four-Diamond restaurant in Phoenix—makes it a favorite among diners.

Best for urban scenes

A couple sits on a low chair in a patio near a small campfire.

Ocotillo, central Phoenix (Credit: An Pham)

Holding court on busy city corners and anchoring skyscrapers, these restaurant patios put you at the center of the action.

Pass under the outside arch at Old Town Tortilla Factory, in Old Town Scottsdale to discover a buzzy patio lit by twinkle-light-wrapped palm trees. Dine on Mexican plates, seafood and steak. Wander through the sprawling patios—yes, patios, plural—at Ocotillo, where modern urban design and desert fauna meet in central Phoenix. There's plenty of outdoor seating to take in the scene—some patios include high-tops, others couches, and a few have community tables.

A charming bungalow amid downtown Phoenix’s towering skyscrapers and sports arenas is home to The Vig Fillmore. The feel of the grass-lined, tree-covered patio is laid-back and friendly, encouraging you to hang for a while; head to the open-air bar for drinks or get a group together for cornhole.

Best for families

Three women sit at a table, one holding the leash of a dog that is facing the camera.

O.H.S.O. Brewery + Distillery, multiple locations

Each of O.H.S.O. Brewery + Distillery’s four locations offers a stop-in-and-hang-out vibe with gigantic outdoor spaces filled with Ping-Pong tables, Adirondack chairs and fire pits, plus room for kids to play and dogs to roam. All are bicycle-friendly, too, so bring all manner of two-wheeled transportation.

The playful patio at Ladera Taverna y Cocina, in Phoenix, means you can enjoy tasty Mexican cuisine and upbeat mariachi music year-round; for cooler evenings, there’s an outdoor fireplace.

The historic water tower rising above the citrus trees signals your arrival at Luci's at the Orchard. Order family-friendly eats—sandwiches, burgers, burritos—at the counter, then find a table outside and let the little ones make new friends at the splash pad.

About the Author

Ivy Morris

Ivy Morris has lived in Tucson for the past five years. If you happen to sit next to her at a bar and mention you're from out of town, prepare for recommendations on where to eat and what to do.