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Favorite Patios in Phx

The days are getting longer, and the evenings are warming up. Between that and the impending smoking ban, I've been thinking about spending some time on a patio, sipping a refreshing cocktail and enjoying a bite to eat.
I'm curious about some people's favorite patios in town. How's the menu? The drinks? The comfort of seating? The service? The view? The eye-candy?
A couple of mine are:
Z-Tejas at Tatum and Shea - Great margaritas and a good selection of apps.
Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe - A kiltlifter on tap, and ASU girls-a-plenty.


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  1. The Patio @ Sassi in No. Scottsdale.
    The Patio off the Jade Bar @ Elements
    The Patio @ Lon's

    The Patio @ Fargo's Steakhouse in Payson in the heat of the Summer dining under the stars, near the roaring fire....where my SO took me on our first date 4 years ago. It was cool enough for a jacket!

    Anywhere that's not overlooking a freeway or a parking lot.....

    Now that the wind is dying down...a great suggestion for a restaurant in the Scottsdale area w/ a patio would be welcome for this evening!

    1. Four Peaks, absolutely. Love the patio and the $2.75 drafts 3-7pm. Raj please?

      A couple of other favs...

      -Drift. I wouldn't eat there (I did once, and will never again) but the eye-candy is top-notch and so is the Evil Bastard and Grotto. The service is sssslllloooowww on weekends so double order.
      -Roaring Fork. Big Ass Burger and good drink deals keeps me coming back; I've received anywhere from mediocre to poor service.
      -Jade Bar (Sanctuary). Overpriced drinks but worth the price for the view alone. You may have a stiff neck from all the eye-candy.
      -House of Tricks. I haven't been for a year or so, but it's a nice quiet dinner spot (for Tempe standards) in a city lacking adult restaurants.
      -Lon's. Does anything need to be said? I wish I had a patio like this attached to my house.

      1 Reply
      1. re: azhotdish

        I went to Drift when I was in town last week and it was pretty slow. I was there on Wednesday around 6:00 p.m. and then again around 11:00 ( it was within walking distance of my hotel ). I'm going to be in town again this week and will definitely visit it again. Great atmosphere and great music.

      2. T. Cook's -- two patios; I prefer the one at the front (southern end) of the dining room.

        Chandler Pita Jungle -- nice back patio overlooking an artificial lake and a residential area

        Caffe Boa -- looks out at a parking lot, but if you get a seat on the east side of the patio, you can look out at the Mill Avenue scene instead.

        1 Reply
        1. re: silverbear

          I LOVE the patio at Sam's Cafe at the Arizona Center.

          Water features, trees, nice and beautiful. The food is yummy.

        2. The patio at The Phoenician....if the evening is a bit cool, the firepit is great...view is killer, and the eye-candy is very upscale!!

          1. Does any one have suggestions for a casual restaurant patio? The Phoenician, Sassi, Lon's, Jade Bar - nice for high-end, but what if I just want to go in my jeans and sandals with a couple friends to enjoy a very kicked-back time (no servers trying to get you out the door to clear the table for the next group), a nice view, and some good drinks and appetizers? ciaogal is spot-on about the freeways and parking lots - so many places here have asphalt as their "view." NOT relaxing. Suggestions in the vicinity of N. Central Phoenix would be looooovely!

            5 Replies
            1. re: pickychick

              Ditto to Four Peaks -- best late on a hot, lazy afternoon ... House of Tricks may be the best, very charming, and the bar, too, with the tree(s) growing through it ... Duck & Decanter's is nice ... Cibo's looks good, but I've only sat inside there ... Carlsbad Tavern has a nice, spacious walled patio ... Sonora Brewhouse has a decent one. Malee's on Main has a tiny, narrow one inside the restaurant that is very romantic. Sam's at AZ Center is very spacious and pretty casual ... best thing about Old Town Tortilla Factory is the patio.

              1. re: misohungrychewlow

                The *only* redeeming factor of Old Town Tortilla Factory is the patio. I work across the street from there and I can't begin to tell you how many of my guests have told me it sucks.

                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                  I actually wrote that very thing about Old Town, but then I hit a wrong key and my post got lost in space. So true.

                  El Encanto in Cave Creek has a fantastic patio for margaritas and chips on a nice weekend afternoon. They have a great pond, complete with resident egret. IMO, they lack in the food cateogry however. But for drinks, it's perfect. And we don't have many nice weekends left before the heat takes hold, so go there soon!

                  Aunt Chiladas @ Squaw Peak has alywas had a nice patio for margaritas. Can't say much for the food though.

                  Are you seeing a pattern with the margaritas?

                  I agree on Four Peaks. Plus they have good food...how novel.

                  Good Egg @ Central/Earl has a great patio for weekend breakfasts.

                  Burger Betty's(formerly Hamburger Mary's) @7AV/C'back has a nice patio, although I haven't been since the ownership and name change. But good bloody mary's, mimosas, and overall drink specials.

                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                    True ... my take on this thread is that it's all about the patios. Personally, in many cases I prefer eating inside to battling the elements, small unsteady tables and chairs, cigar and cigarette smoke, insects, foraging birds, unruly patrons and forgetful servers, especially if it's supposed to be a fine dining experience. In other cases, some restaurants are better outside than inside. In general, drinks or coffee, easy food, and good weather make for better outdoor experiences.

                2. re: pickychick

                  San Felipe's Cantina (http://www.sanfelipescantina.com/) on Market Street @ DC Ranch might fit the bill during the day...it's a meat-market at night. The patio is nice...not too great of a view but the vibe can be cool.

                  Another completely off-the-wall suggestion is the restaurant/bar at Sunridge Canyon Golf Course in Fountain Hills - the area is beautiful and I've had many a round after-party go well into the evening. The patio is good sized and no one will be trying to rush you out the door in the afternoons. Beware, of course, of old men.

                3. I second the vote for El Encanto in Cave Creek! I love the huge patio and watching the ducks swim in the pond while enjoying a margarita.

                  1. I, too, am a fan of the Four Peaks patio. I also enjoy anything at the Farm at South Mountain for the view and the food. I also like the patio at El Zocalo in Chandler - light Mexican fare, decent happy hour specials, as well.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: dustchick

                        A second vote for El Zocalo. Just went there with out of twon guest last week and it was a big hit! It is even cooler due to the fact it is a hidden gem.

                      2. I'm also going to include Sugar Daddy's on Scottsdale and Earll. Very large patio with tables, high-tops or benches to sit at, and a fire pit. A good place to day drink, and if you left your car there the night before, they serve Sunday brunch.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ajs228

                          Good patios/not based on food:

                          Both Dos Gringos are good for people watching and cheap beer,

                          Salty Seniorita in Old Town - always a bit of a crowd.

                          Grazie Pizzaria in Old Town

                          Casey Moore's in Tempe - I like how it's a blend of students and older folks (which includes me).


                          Keep and eye out for the space next to Cibos - it used to be Tera's Garden nursery and was sold to be a restaurant.

                          Wish they had a patio: Papago Brewing Co. How about extending into the parking lot and creating a beer garden?

                        2. az88 has a nice patio. had a much better meal than i expected a week ago as well! try the moscow mule.

                          1. Had lunch today on the patio @ Ztejas at Tatum and Shea......
                            It was wonderful....
                            Great VooDoo Tuna and Great People Watching......I didn't want to go back to work!
                            At least I am satiated in more than one way!
                            Thanks for the great suggestion ajs228!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: ciaogal

                              The VooDoo Tuna has always been one of my Z'Tejas favorites -- underrated place(s), I think, especially "for a chain." I've only been to the Tempe location once; all other visits since they opened back in the mid-90s have been to the SFS and Shea stores.

                              1. re: ciaogal

                                My pleasure. Beware their frozen margaritas, though, or you'll be crawling back to work.

                                1. re: ajs228

                                  ....and the make your own 'Bloody Mary Bar' on Sundays......
                                  Their Brunch is yummy too!

                                  1. re: ciaogal

                                    I didn't know about the Bloody Mary Bar. How do you make your own? Tell them what kind of ingredients you want, or do they just have stuff sitting out?

                                    1. re: ajs228

                                      They pour your preferred vodka in a glass w/ ice...you take it to the Bloody mary bar and add to it from 3-4 different Tomato based juices, tabasco, celery salt, horseradish, celery, pickles, pickled vegetables, hot peppers.....etc. I know there is more on the bar that I am missing.....
                                      It's fun! You can make it is spicy as you like! I especially like the pickled green beans.......

                              2. i know its kind of not your typical patio, but i just love the patio at el chorro lodge. its so pretty, the moutains are gorgeous, the food is old school, and i love the sticky buns....i like it for brunch, a bit of nature with my eggs ;)

                                2 Replies
                                  1. re: azhotdish

                                    azhotdish....don't go there w/ me...That's my one weakness in this town!
                                    Shad Roe.....I can't resist!

                                1. I agree with Silverbear about the Chandler Pita Jungle.

                                  Has anyone tried the food at Pier 54 in Tempe? I've driven by, and their patio always looks nice, but I haven't eaten there yet. It's on Lakeshore, south of Baseline. Their menu is on their website. It doesn't look impressive, but with the nice location, it probably is a good place to just relax and have a drink. It definitely looks like a place you could hang out without being rushed.


                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: don giovanni

                                    I think they could use a web guy to help them with their formatting, is what I think. You're right, nothing controversial on the menu -- I think they are just going straight for 'neighborhood joint.'

                                    That place has been a ton of different things, I can't understand why none of them have stayed. Back in the day, It used to be a beachy-bar that had live music but closed really early every night. Every night at the same time, one of the local Lakeshoredwellers would paddle a canoe out to the island across the way, strip naked, and jump into the water with a loud "Woooooooooooo!" All the bar regulars would stop what they were doing and cheer him on.

                                    The fact that it's opening again makes me really curious about whether Naked Guy is still around.

                                    1. re: themis

                                      That's hilarious!

                                      It's such a nice piece of land. I wish something nicer could go in there. Still, I think I will go sometime for a pint and some fries.

                                      And I agree; the website needs a LOT of work.