By Amy Rea

Even though today’s weather may not be ideal for dining outdoors, we’ve finally hit the time of year when outdoor dining must be enjoyed (as in: before it goes away again). I’d guess the desire to enjoy the outdoors is the reason that so many cafes and restaurants pop a few tables and chairs outside their front door, but let’s be honest—some of these venues are located in places where the view is most definitely lacking. If you’re going to fully enjoy dining outdoors, then try one of the following spots in Minneapolis, all of which have far better than average places to enjoy Minnesota’s shortest season. Don’t worry, St. Paul—I’ll talk about you next week.

Solera has a rooftop dining area where you can devour your tapas while overlooking the city. Oh, and hey—they show movies up there too.

Just down the street, Brit’s Pub also offers rooftop seating—adjacent to the rooftop bowling green. See the website for lawn bowling schedules, as well as live outdoor music, more movies, and Shakespeare on the Lawn.

Joe’s Garage, on the edge of Loring Park, has a fantastic view of the Park, as well as wonderful sandwiches and burgers.

I’d say the Black Forest Inn deserves major kudos for their patio, which was once a dark and dreary spot, was turned into a charming and restful beer garden. (Also, the Black Forest has a great German breakfast, served every morning at 9 a.m.)

Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge and Tiki Garden is full of lovely tiki bar-ness and drinks served in wonderfully tacky tiki mugs. The solid bar-food menu will make you happy too.

Over at Lake and Lyndale, It’s Greek To Me has wonderful Greek food best enjoyed on the spacious patio between the restaurant and the Jungle Theater.

Down the road at Lake Calhoun is Tin Fish, located right on the shores of Lake Calhoun.

You could also check out Sea Salt Eatery, which gives Tin Fish a run for its money, placed as it is in the lovely Minnehaha Park. The po’ boy sandwiches are amazing, and huge.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.


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