Hit These Outdoor Patios for Dining and Drinks

Spring has sprung! Here are a dozen choice spots for eating and drinking outside.
El Rey Patio 2

The patio at El Rey in Ballston Facebook photo

El Rey

This new taco joint in Ballston, a sister outpost to Ian and Eric Hilton’s U Street taqueria, has a roomy, L-shaped patio set with colorful chairs and large tables, where you’ll find crowds dipping grilled birria tacos into beef consommé and sharing pitchers of lime-infused margaritas or grapefruit-forward palomas. Nested in the heart of Ballston Exchange, the colorful space is insulated from the bustling streetscape around the mall.  // 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Ballston)


Green Pig Bistro in Clarendon (Courtesy photo)

Green Pig Bistro

During the pandemic, this popular Clarendon hideaway on North Fillmore Street expanded its brick patio from a dozen seats to nearly 80. The partially covered al fresco space features several lounge-style areas, as well as heaters for cooler days. Brunch outside (which includes tempting choices like waffles with berry compote, or huevos rancheros with pulled pork) feels like an oasis, thanks to flowers and herbs planted by chef Tracy O’Grady. Large parties are welcome; Green Pig serves its full menu outside and can seat parties of up to 16 guests. // 1025 N. Fillmore St., Arlington (Clarendon)


Westover Beer Garden (Courtesy photo)

Westover Beer Garden

The craft brews are calling your name. This family-friendly spot in Arlington’s Westover neighborhood has space at its picnic tables for 100 and a laid-back vibe. The market (which includes an on-site butcher shop) makes this biergarten a local favorite for burgers and sandwiches made with beef from Roseda Farms in Maryland and chicken from Fields of Athenry Farm in Lovettsville, Virginia, all served on bread from Lyon Bakery.  Live bands and open mic nights will return in April after a two-year Covid hiatus.  //   5863 Washington Blvd., Arlington (Westover)



Patio dining at The Salt Line in Ballston Courtesy photo

The Salt Line

The patio at the new Salt Line in Ballston has room for nearly 80 diners, including seats at a covered outdoor bar. The outdoor dining area is located on a plaza, set back from bustling Wilson Boulevard, making it a safe spot to bring your pooch, and it’s outfitted with heaters for cooler spring days. Tables can be arranged to accommodate groups as large as 20. The seasonal cocktail menu includes refreshers like the RX Gimlet featuring gin, lime and house-made lemongrass ginger syrup. Pair it with a seafood charcuterie board laden with spiced rockfish sausage, halibut finocchiona (a fennel-heavy salami), marinated mussels, octopus rillettes and smoked salmon.  Reservations are encouraged.   // 4040 Wilson Blvd, Arlington. (Ballston)



Taco Rock in Falls Church City (Courtesy photo)

Taco Rock 3

The third location of Mike Cordero’s taco chainlet opened in Falls Church’s Birch & Broad development in early March, and it’s the largest one yet. The sprawling patio has space for 100, covered by an open-air canopy with a massive, wood-burning fireplace for extra warmth on cooler nights. Chow down on the house favorite puffy beef tacos (featuring flaming hot Cheetos) at two large picnic tables, or from the comfort of Adirondack chairs and stools along the large stone bars connected to the fireplace. Happy hour is offered daily from 3-7 p.m., with discounts on margaritas, a featured cocktail, wine and beer.  // 1116 West Broad St, Falls Church (Birch & Broad)



Breakfast at Harvey’s (Courtesy photo)


In March, Chef Thomas Harvey opened his namesake restaurant in the Little City in the former Plaka Grill space on Broad Street. The all-day dining spot and market has a 60-seat patio where guests can enjoy a Sage & Smoke breakfast sandwich with smoked tomato chutney, sage sausage and cheddar cheese, or dinner entrees including a burger made with beef from Seven Hills Food in Lynchburg, Va., fusilli pasta with house-made Bolognese, or  cedar-plank salmon served with hot honey-roasted root vegetables.  Want to share something sweet under the stars? Desserts include a selection of tiny pies from Arlington’s Acme Pie Co., house-made honey cake and a shareable banana split topped with peanuts, spicy Tajin popcorn and chocolate and caramel sauces. Harvey’s doesn’t take reservations; just walk in any time.  // 513 W. Broad St., Falls Church City



Yume Sushi (Courtesy photo)

Yume Sushi

This vibrant sushi spot will open its patio as soon as temperatures are consistently above 65 degrees, according to manager Kevin Ostrander. Once warmer weather is here to stay, the four-year-old space in East Falls Church will offer seats for more than 50 outside—including large parties—for dinner service, weekend lunch and weekday happy hour, featuring $4 salads, drinks and a variety of maki.  Patio tables offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. // 2121 N. Westmoreland St., Arlington (East Falls Church)


Brass Rabbit El Conejo

The El Conejo cocktail, featuring Casamigos tequila, carrot juice, ginger, lime and cilantro, at Brass Rabbit. (Photo courtesy of Brass Rabbit Public House)

Brass Rabbit

This Clarendon newcomer by Reese Gardner opened the weekend of March 20 in the former Bracket Room space, with patio seating for 30 and a menu of “elevated pub fare” with munchies like beer-brined chicken wings and carrot fries. Pull up a chair outside for weekday happy hours featuring $8 martinis made with house-infused vodka. The pato isn’t covered, but seats have lit umbrellas and heaters for unpredictable spring weather. This newest addition to the Brass Nickel Bar Co. family of watering holes (which also includes The Pinemoor, Quinn’s on the Corner, Dudley’s Sport & Ale and Copperwood Tavern) is best for more intimate outdoor gatherings, as the biggest patio table seats five. Gluten-free diners will appreciate the five lettuce wrap options – including fillers such as soy and miso tuna, lobster with tarragon aioli or Old Bay shrimp with pineapple and lime crema. // 1210 N Garfield St, Arlington (Clarendon)



The Freshman in National Landing (Courtesy photo)

The Freshman

You can enjoy the 40-seat, pet-friendly patio any time of day or evening at Nick Freshman’s breezy, congenial hot spot in National Landing. Stop by for an egg white and avocado grain bowl in the morning or a glass of rose at sunset. The patio seats—including large tables that are perfect for groups—are covered, but there aren’t any outdoor heaters, so bring a jacket if it’s chilly out. Later this spring, the all-day cafe, coffee and cocktail bar will unveil a revamped menu. // 2011 Crystal Drive, Arlington (National Landing)


Courthaus Social (Courtesy photo)

Courthaus Social

Ready to hoist a stein or two? Gather with a big group on this Courthouse beer garden’s partially-covered, dog-friendly patio, which has 140 seats, more than half of which are covered. The largest table can seat a dozen people. Fan favorites on the food menu include a giant Bavarian-style pretzel with beer cheese, specialty bratwursts and fried Brussel sprouts (all of which will help you absorb those beers). The kitchen recently added several new and hearty entrees to the menu, including steak frites, jambalaya and bourbon-glazed salmon. // 2300 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington (Courthouse)


Mattie Eddies

Mattie Eddies in Westpost (Facebook photo)

Mattie & Eddie’s Irish Bar and Restaurant

Cathal Armstrong’s Irish pub at Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) has seating for 100 guests on its wraparound patio, with plenty of space for large clans. The farm-to-table menu is offered both indoors and outdoors, including favorites like fish and chips, lobster pot pie and all-day Irish breakfast, but the happy hour draft and bucket specials are not served al fresco. The outdoor seating has heaters for cooler evenings, or you can always add an Irish coffee to your order for a warm-up. // 1301 S. Joyce St., Arlington (National Landing)


Caboose Commons at the Mosaic District (Photo by Connor Reed)

Caboose Commons

This Mosaic District brewpub and coffee house boasts one of the largest patios in the area, with seating for 200. Enjoy Lone Oak coffee and fresh apple turnovers for breakfast, then return later for fried pickles and a pint of fresh Kellerbier. The family-and-dog friendliness and versatility of the seating make Caboose a popular destination for after-work gatherings and weekend day drinking. Sail shades help block the sun and white lights provide a festive atmosphere after dark. Outdoor tables are first-come, first-serve, but fire pits can be reserved in advance (email info@caboosebrewing.com). // 2918 Eskridge Road, Fairfax. (Mosaic)

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Categories: Food & Drink