August 31 is National Eat Outside Day, so we're rounding up a list of some of our favorite Twin Cities outdoor restaurant seats, on sidewalks, patios, and roof decks. This year, Moto-i's hidden, building-top oasis took home our Best Outdoor Dining honors. Here are five others we like. Now, if only the weather would cooperate...
5. Barbette The sidewalk seats at Barbette admittedly aren't much, but there's something about the colorful paint on the rickety chairs and the twinkling strings of lights that makes this French-infused eatery a romantic's fave.
4. Crave Downtown Minneapolis Downtown Minneapolis's roof deck scene keeps ratcheting things up as new restaurants try to build one bigger and better than their predecessors. The latest to the game is Crave, which took over Palomino's former home, and built a brand-new skyward lounge (pictured when it was under construction) for sushi eating and cocktail sipping, complete with DJ spinning Thursday through Sunday nights. To watch the space get finished and see its final form, watch this video.
3. W.A. Frost W.A. Frost's cobblestone patio is a St. Paul classic. Even though Frost serves gourmet American fare, its outdoor seats have all the trappings of an English garden, with fountains and greenery and blooming flowers. The charming restaurant is always too packed for Valentine's Day, so take your sweetie in the summer instead.
2. Jax After 75-plus years in business, Jax's old-school supper club is a Nordeast institution. And where else but its patio trout pond can you net your own supper, have a souvenir photo snapped of you and your catch, and then get the fish cooked and served on a platter? It's undoubtedly the freshest shore lunch in the city!
1. Brit's Pub Remember the first time you stepped onto Brit's rooftop patio and gazed, in awe, upon its enormous lawn bowling green? We still get that magic feeling on every visit, as the space is just that amazing. (Okay, maybe part of that's due to too many pints of Smithwick's and Scotch eggs.)