Charlotte's Best Porches, Patios and Decks
In Charlotte, there are still a bevy of great spots to safely enjoy — and luckily, the Queen City has a lot of fabulous eateries with prime outdoor real estate.
by Leah Hughes Jul 31, 2019
Whether you’re looking for a romantic night under the stars, a lively place to sample a flight of craft beers or a socially distanced table for two with some delectable dishes, the Queen City delivers. Just remember: masks are now required so don’t leave home without one.
Due to COVID-19, hours and availability are subject to change. Please check with the individual business for daily hours of operation.
In the South, we spend nearly as much time on the front porch as we do in the living room. Whether you’re coming or going, Charlotte Douglas International Airport greets you with its own front porch style—white rocking chairs in its tree-lined atrium. The rockers are made by Troutman Chair Co., located about 45 miles from Charlotte. They are an ideal way to lessen traveling stress and a warm gesture of hospitality by the Carolinas’ largest city.
Once owned by James Buchanan Duke of Duke Energy and Duke University fame, is a treasure of the Myers Park community. The 1915 mansion is now a bed-and-breakfast. Its screened-in sleeping porches overlooking immaculately landscaped gardens are considered among its finest amenities. And normally during the summer months, the mansion hosts 'Cocktails in the Courtyard,' which is the perfect excuse to sip on your drink of choice while relaxing on one of the mansion's many seating areas.
When a large, stately house is remodeled into a restaurant, it’s immediately inviting. 300 East on Dilworth’s East Boulevard has been serving upscale American fare for 30 years. Linger over dessert on the white-columned porch that wraps around the restaurant. Pastry chef Ashley Bivens Boyd is known for her confections which resemble works of art. Masks are required upon entering and must be worn while not seated. Takeout and curbside pickup of the full menu are available, alongside several family style options. Reservations can be made online, but at this time guests are unable to choose specific tables due to limited seating.
The Fig Tree is a fine-dining icon in the Elizabeth neighborhood. It’s located in the Lucas House, a 1913 Craftsman-style bungalow. The signature elk chop is especially good when enjoyed on the porch with a breeze. Reservations can be made online.
Up the street in the 1918 brick structure that was once a single-family home, is a Charlotte favorite for New Orleans-style fare. The Cajun Queen’s second-floor terrace beckons hungry passersby with whiffs of garlic and smooth sounds of jazz. The restaurant has live music nightly with seating upstairs and downstairs. Reservations are recommended due to limited seating and doors are open earlier at 4 p.m. in order to try to accommodate everyone.
The NoDa Company Store has fast become a local gathering spot. With vibrant murals, live music, craft beer and signature house-made sangria, this casual spot has porch swings and a patio with tiki umbrellas for visitors to enjoy. The outdoor area has been reconfigured to allow for socially distanced seating.
Just down the street, perch up at The Goodyear House and indulge in chef Chris Coleman’s elevated comfort food. The 1900’s mill home was transformed into a 5,000 square foot restaurant with several different seating areas — including a gorgeous outdoor patio and bar space. There are 100 outdoor seats to gather at, all spaced six-feet apart. Masks must be worn when not sitting down and the waitstaff are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of guests.
At Camp North End, a 76-acre hub development, there’s no shortage of outdoor patio space. Reserve a patio table at Leah & Louise, helmed by Greg and Subrina Collier, and enjoy Southern food with an emphasis on Mississippi River Valley food-ways. Or grab a mixture of different bites from Saru by Bow Ramen, Bleu Barn Bistro and La Caseta and post up at one of the many picnic tables — perfectly distanced — throughout the space.
Optimist Hall, a mix-used space with a food hall located in Optimist Park, is allowing guests to order in advance online from food vendors that are currently open. The outdoor courtyard offers socially distanced seating with views of Uptown and shade by way of chic, yellow umbrellas.
The Charlotte skyline is a looker anytime, anywhere. But it gets even more attention when the sun begins to sink. Retreat to these rooftop bars in the evening as daylight fades and the lights go up.
Fahrenheit has an unrivaled Uptown view from its 21st floor post atop Skye Condos/Hyatt Place Charlotte Downtown. Snapping a selfie from the balcony with a skyscraper backdrop is on every Queen City bucket list. The view’s only competition is the food—short ribs, steaks and grilled seafood—coming from the kitchen, which is led by Chef Rocco Whalen.
When City Lights Rooftop Bar opened in June of 2016, it staked its claim as the city’s largest rooftop bar. Located on the 19th floor of Le Méridien Charlotte, the bar reveals 360-degree views. Fridays are DJ nights.
Over in Plaza Midwood, Whiskey Warehouse’s bar occupies most of its upper floor. The covered, U-shaped bar has TVs for game-watching. The tables rimming the deck’s edge have umbrellas, so diners can enjoy streetscape views in the shade. Monday is half-priced wing night, and the weekend brings specials on mimosas, sangria and Bloody Marys.
The Gin Mill is located along the LYNX Blue Line light rail. Its rooftop bar is a low-key space to gather with friends. The Gin Mill offers drink specials and live music on the weekends. Its proximity to the breweries of South End and Bank of America Stadium, about half a mile away, makes it a convenient pre-game or after-party stop.
From fire pits to outdoor games, make plans to hang out at some of Charlotte’s various outdoor decks, where you can enjoy everything from watching a baseball game to sipping a beer in style.
The Home Run Porch at Truist Ballpark is one of the most energetic sections in the park. The standing-room-only porch gives Charlotte Knights fans an up-close view as balls soar over the right-field wall.
Just outside of Charlotte, Hello, Sailor, a Southern-seafood restaurant created by Joe and Katy Kindred, has an incredible view of Lake Norman on its outdoor deck. Enjoy everything from lobster rolls to tiki cocktails while hanging lakeside.
Thomas Street Tavern in Plaza Midwood contains an adult’s playground out back. The large deck has built-in fire pits and a second outdoor bar. Cornhole and ping-pong are popular diversions.
Located on Montford Drive’s 1/3-mile entertainment strip, Moosehead Grill is a casual, no-frills neighborhood joint. Have a seat on the multi-tiered deck and choose from a dozen different wing flavors. Uncle Donnie’s famous blackened wings are a go-to for many Moosehead regulars.
Just up the block from Moosehead, at Brazwells Premium Pub, warm weather means draft beers, tasty bites hot off the kitchen’s grill, and tables filled with chatter and laughter on the sprawling deck. With a dockside feel, it’s surprising not to find a shoreline just beyond the deck’s railing.
Pick Your Patio
While summertime cookouts on your backyard patio are a must, head to these promising patios around Charlotte when you don’t feel like firing up the grill at home.
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Charlotte’s first craft brewery, opened in 2009. It adheres to German standards in brewing its beer and carries that Old World theme through in its location on Yancey Road. Its patio extends out into an expansive beer garden. The picnic tables are an ideal place to enjoy a flagship Copper amber ale and a fresh pretzel as the kids play on the fenced-in lawn.
Sycamore Brewing is the place to be when the weather is nice. With a spacious patio filled with picnic tables, a second outdoor bar slinging cold beverages and a platform for live music, it’s as hopping as the tap room. With water bowls plentifully stocked, furry friends love lounging outside of Sycamore as much as their owners.
Pasta & Provisions, an Italian grocer and deli, has been serving made-to-order sandwiches, pizzas and pastas for more than 20 years. The Charlotte institution's Park Road location has an intimate patio that guests can enjoy their dishes paired with a glass of beer or wine.
German-inspired pub and outdoor beer hall VBGB Beer Hall and Garden has one of the largest patios in Charlotte offering more than 30 craft beers on tap. After relaxing on the patio, head over to The Sandbox for a game of sand volleyball. VBGB is following the CDC guidelines and the 3 “W's” (wash, wear a mask and wait six-feet apart).