There's nothing quite like dining outside when the weather is nice. Fortunately, St. Louis has some great options for dining alfresco. You can find everything from casual cafes to upscale eateries. Here are some top picks for eating outdoors in the St. Louis area.
Russell's on Macklind
Russell's is a cafe and coffee shop in the Southampton neighborhood in south St. Louis. In warmer months, Russell's has a comfortable patio and outdoor seating area for diners. The restaurant is casual for breakfast and lunch, but serves a more upscale menu for dinner with a nice selection of wine and beer. And whatever you do, save room for dessert. Russell's cakes, pies and cookies are some of the best in town.
Boathouse Forest Park
The Boathouse offers outdoor dining in the heart of Forest Park. The restaurant has a large patio on Post-Dispatch Lake, between the Muny and the St. Louis Zoo. The Boathouse serves casual fare including pizzas, salads and sandwiches. Beer and wine are also available. Another good option is brunch, which is served every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bar Louie's Kirkwood location is a fun spot for dining outside. The restaurant is located on a large outdoor plaza near Kirkwood City Hall. Bar Louie shares the outdoor space with two other restaurants, Kaldi's Coffee House and Pickleman's Gourmet Cafe, so there are plenty of options for a casual meal. Bar Louie is a good choice for drinks during happy hour, but it also has a full menu of appetizers, flatbreads, sandwiches and desserts.
McGurk's Irish Pub
McGurk's in Soulard is best known for its dark interior, live Irish music and Guinness on tap, but it also has a great patio and garden for outdoor dining. The large patio space is well landscaped with a fountain in the middle and comfortable seating. McGurk's serves traditional Irish fare like bangers and mash, potato soup and Guinness stew, but you can also find many American favorites like burgers, seafood, chicken and steak.
Just a few blocks from McGurk's in Soulard is Joanie's Pizzeria. The outdoor patio at Joanie's is casual, as you might expect at a pizza place, but it's a good bet for an inexpensive outdoor meal. In addition to pizza, Joanie's serves a variety of pastas, sandwiches and salads. The restaurants also offers a free shuttle service to Cardinals home games during the baseball season.
Vin de Set
When you want to impress your fellow diners, make a reservation at Vin de Set near Lafayette Square. The restaurant's rooftop dining provides views of the downtown St. Louis skyline and the Gateway Arch. Vin de Set is an upscale bistro serving classic French cuisine. It also has a large wine list and impressive desserts.
There is no shortage of outdoor dining in St. Louis' Central West End neighborhood. Many CWE restaurants offer sidewalk seating, but the patio at Bar Italia is one of the most popular destinations. Bar Italia offers of full menu of pastas, salads and Italian entrees. It's also a good choice for Sunday brunch.