In nice weather, it is so great to slow down and get some R&R, along with bites and a beverage, on one of Atlanta's best patios. You might even enjoy soaking up the summer sun while you dine outdoors. Take your pick:
- 10 Degrees South – An often overlooked but fantastic restaurant is 10 Degrees South. Featuring phenomenal South African specialties, the décor is upscale and the enclosed patio features live music on many evenings.
- Across the Street – Sip on a margarita and enjoy the guacamole from the festive patio of Across the Street. Hang back and watch the runners and dog walkers on the Freedom Parkway trail.
- Basil's – Dining in the heart of Buckhead with the backdrop of high rises? You can do this at the expansive patio at Basil's. Sip one of the specialty cocktails like the Andes Candies or Jalapeño Margarita. Nosh on small plates with hummus and baba ganoush. Try the flatbread or a roasted artichoke.
- The Garden at Community Smith – This is one of the most underrated patios in the city, probably because it is located in a hotel. But don’t discount it. With spectacular views from the rooftop patio and upscale food like mussels with Calabrian chilis, oxtail toast with piri piri sauce and crispy squid, it's a great place to take guests.
- Der Biergarten – Order a plate of jägerschnitzel and wash it all down with a delicious German beer. You’ll have a gorgeous view of downtown while you munch and sip. It’s a great spot to hit before or after a downtown sporting event with friends. Tip: The patio is dog friendly.
- Fadó Irish Pub – Weekends at Buckhead’s Fadó might lend themselves to loud partiers, so, to chill, choose the expansive rooftop patio early evenings or weeknights to enjoy comfortable furniture and a terrific selection of beers or whiskeys.
- Five Seasons Brewing Sandy Springs – Though there are a couple locations around Atlanta, the Sandy Springs location features a huge patio beneath a beautiful pergola that is an optimal choice for large groups. More than just a brew house, the food is quite creative, too. Get the Granny Serrano pizza.
- Gypsy Kitchen – In the Shops Buckhead Atlanta, you’ll find Gypsy Kitchen. With a mix of Spanish, Indian and Mediterranean fare, the menu is certainly unique. Although the interior is gorgeous, you’ll want to take advantage of the patio for the warm days ahead. And Gypsy Kitchen has an always-rotating round of patio specials, which include discounts on wine and tapas. Gypsy Kitchen features live music on special evenings.
- Haven – Tucked away in the Brookhaven neighborhood, Haven is certainly a fitting name for this spot. The patio, with white tablecloths, overlooks a pretty green space, and tables are set far enough apart to ensure privacy. We recommend the mussels, fried oysters and duck breast.
- Horseradish Grill – This popular Buckhead restaurant has been a fixture in the community for decades. Part of the appeal of the restaurant, besides it’s Southern favorites, is the secluded outdoor patio. Tip: Horseradish Grill is a super spot for dining before seeing a show at Chastain Park Amphitheatre.
- JCT Kitchen – Ford Fry’s first Atlanta restaurant serves up Southern favorites on the Westside. Patrons really love the upstairs patio. You’ll find a different menu on this patio, more small plates for sharing. So, it’s a good spot for a light snack and drinks with friends.
- Ladybird – One of the reasons this patio is so hot is that’s it’s located right along the BeltLine. We recommend visiting for brunch when you can have your pick of seating. Then when you are finished with one of the hearty options, like the hot chicken on a made-from-scratch-biscuit, walk it off on the BeltLine.
- Park Tavern – Sitting on the edge of Piedmont Park, Park Tavern provides great views of the park with a spectacular outdoor dining area. Tip: When it rains, they pour - $1 drafts when it is raining.
Malika Bowling is the author of Food Lovers' Guide to Atlanta, Food Blogging 101 and founder of Atlanta Restaurant Blog. She has been a contributing writer to USA Today and has been featured on HGTV, Huffington Post and About.com. Malika also has served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals, including Taste of Atlanta. She is the president of the Association of Food Bloggers and her podcast, Just a Byte, can be downloaded from iTunes. Follow her on Twitter @MalikaBowling and Instagram.