Patio season has arrived in St. Louis (finally!), and there's really only one way to celebrate.
On a beautiful, sunny day or a warm summer night, head to a spacious patio to grab a cold beer and catch up with friends. Or, order a carefully crafted cocktail and enjoy sweeping views from high above the city at a rooftop bar.
From charming beer gardens to posh rooftop bars, we've rounded up our 15 favorite patios in St. Louis.
Did we miss yours? Let us know in the comments section below.
Vin de Set
Following a trip to the Provence region of France, Paul and Wendy Hamilton of 1111 Mississippi opened Vin de Set in the restored Centennial Malt House. The seasonal, French-inspired fare is approachable, and the rooftop patio is charming. Grab a Croque Madame sandwich for lunch or stop by during happy hour to nosh on a cheese plate and a glass from Vin de Set’s expansive wine list. Settle in and enjoy the lovely views of the surrounding Lafayette Square neighborhood, and, in the distance, the Arch. Vin de Set, 2017 Chouteau Ave., Downtown, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.241.8989, vindeset.com— Katlyn Moncada
Sasha's on Shaw
The quintessential neighborhood bar, the lush patio at Sasha's on Shaw is the perfect place to meet up with friends to split a bottle of wine and a cheese platter and watch the hours tick by. Wine is the focus here, and the selection is ample, but beer drinkers can also find something to love. Shareable plates are plentiful, including charcuterie, hummus and pita, crab cakes and pizzas made to order on either Companion Bakehouse crust or flatbread. The patio is even a draw in colder weather, with a fire pit to warm guests up. Sasha's Demun location is equally charming, but the patio at Shaw is a bit more spacious. Sasha’s on Shaw, 4069 Shaw Blvd., Shaw, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.771.7274, sashaswinebar.com — Heather Riske
One of South City's favorite hangouts, The Royale is a standby watering hole no matter the time of year, but its backyard patio is an absolute must in the warmer months. It's laidback, cozy and comfortable – the perfect place to unwind after work or waste a few hours on the weekend. The food is seriously good grub, ranging from burgers and sandwiches to fish or brisket tacos. Perhaps the hardest decision you'll have to make here is whether to order a local brew from the extensive tap list or one of The Royale's excellent cocktails, like the Cherokee St. Margarita or the Pomegranate Punch. Then again, why not both? The Royale, 3132 S. Kingshighway Blvd., Tower Grove, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.772.3600, theroyale.com — Heather Riske
Boathouse Forest Park
Located right smack dab in the middle of Forest Park, the Boathouse is the perfect place to grab a leisurely meal before hitting the Zoo, strolling through the museums or catching a summer show at The Muny. The patio here offers a beautiful view – paddleboaters floating by in the lake offer a fantastic people-watching opportunity, too – and great food to match. Try the World’s Fair Dog; it’s a half-pound angus beef frank with sweet pickled pepper relish. Wash it down with an ice cold Schlafly Boathouse Ale and your afternoon is set. Boathouse Forest Park, 6101 Government Drive, Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.367.2224, boathouseforestpark.com — Stephanie Shepard
Marcella's Mia Sorella
Sure, it might not have breathtaking views of The Arch or the twinkling city lights, but the patio at Mia Sorella in Ballwin is still pretty charming. At the casual, family-friendly sibling of Trattoria Marcella, all pasta is made in-house, and pizzas – in flavors like Chopped White Clam – are baked in a brick oven. Even the paninis get an upscale twist – the local burger packs fontina cheese, housemade pancetta and lambrusco red onion jam atop a semolina sesame bun. You can't go wrong with a pint of Peroni or a glass from the extensive wine list, but cocktails like the Town & Country (Stoli blueberry vodka, housemade basil lemonade) and Pomegranate Mojito (3 Olives Pomegranate, fresh-cut mint, lime, pomegranate juice) were made to be sipped under the shade of a bright red umbrella on the back patio. Marcella’s Mia Sorella, 14464 Clayton Road, Ballwin, Missouri, 636.333.1015, trattoriamarcella.com/mia-sorella — Heather Riske
Three Sixty Rooftop Bar
Nestled 400 feet above downtown St. Louis atop the Hilton at the Ballpark is Three Sixty, which was recently named one of the top 10 rooftop bars in the world by Premier Traveler. In keeping with its name, the space offers sweeping, 360° views of the city, including a glimpse directly into a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium. Open year-round, the large outdoor bar features local beers and creative house cocktails like the Pear and Ginger Sangria (Absolut pear vodka, Big O ginger liquor, white wine, simple syrup infused with fresh cinnamon sticks) and the Drunk Uncle (Captain Morgan shaken with a housemade cranberry jam, mint and a splash of lime). Three Sixty Rooftop Bar, Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, 1 S. Broadway, Downtown St. Louis, Missouri, 314.241.8439, 360-stl.com — Katlyn Moncada
The Central West End is one of the city's best places for dining al fresco – if you're lucky enough to snag a table, that is – and Bar Italia is no exception. Nestled comfortably on Maryland Plaza, the patio here is a prime spot for people watching. It doesn't hurt that the restaurant also has a menu packed with delicious, authentic Italian dishes, including the famous tortellini in cream sauce. The spacious patio, with a delicate trellis overhanging and a few trees providing some shade, adds to the European feel of the place. It's equally gorgeous at night, with twinkling lights strung across the patio. Bar Italia, 13 Maryland Plaza, Central West End, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.361.7010, baritaliastl.com — Heather Riske
Rooftop Terrace Bar at Moonrise Hotel
If being high – in the sky, that is – is your thing, the Rooftop Terrace Bar at the Moonrise Hotel is the place to be. Located on top of the seven-story Moonrise Hotel in the Delmar Loop, this trendy rooftop bar offers views of the surrounding Delmar Loop district and, in the distance, the St. Louis skyline. The patio spans the entire rooftop and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. A full bar is available, as well as a special rooftop dining menu, so you can sip on a fruity cocktail and enjoy a Full Moon Marshmallow Pie (graham cracker cookie, toasted marshmallow ice cream, and a chocolate shell) while you admire the hotel’s huge full moon replica – it’s the world’s largest man-made moon! Moonrise Hotel, 6177 Delmar, The Loop, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.721.1111, moonrisehotel.com — Stephanie Shepard
Scape is well-known as a dining hotspot in the heart of the historic Central West End, and just behind the restaurant lies its semi-hidden gem – an outdoor lounge known as the Backbar at Scape. The Italian-style courtyard is secluded and intimate, making it a must for a relaxing visit during patio season. Diners are welcome to order from Scape’s regular menu, but a unique seasonal menu is also available at this outdoor space, along with handcrafted cocktails, wines and a selection of local beers on tap and by the bottle. The Backbar also boasts weekly specials, live entertainment and events. Scape American Bistro, 48 Maryland Plaza, Central West End, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.361.7227, scapestl.com — Katlyn Moncada
Death in the Afternoon
A newcomer to the Downtown St. Louis dining scene, Death in the Afternoon opened in June of last year in Citygarden, nestled inside the stunning glass-and-steel structure formerly home to Joe's Chili Bowl. The breakfast and lunch spot has an inventive menu, with items ranging from chicken ramen and steamed buns to hot pastrami and Cubano sandwiches. It's a beautiful space even in the winter – particularly when Citygarden's Christmas lights begin twinkling – but is downright charming in the spring and summer months. The patio, shaded by several large trees, looks out onto one of the sculpture garden's fountains and is tucked just far enough off the street to provide a welcome respite from the bustling city. It's the perfect place to enjoy a lunchtime break from the office or a long, leisurely weekend brunch (with a housemade Bloody Mary, of course). 808 Chestnut St., Downtown, St. Louis, Missouri. 314.621.3236, deathintheafternoonstl.com — Heather Riske
MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse has become an essential hangout for Tower Grove residents looking to kick back as well as local students needing a solid cup of java during a late night of studying. Open until midnight every night, the patio at MoKaBe’s provides a fun atmosphere to enjoy views of Tower Grove Park and the buzzing South Grand district over coffee, brunch, sandwiches or even a beer. The dog-friendly patio is the perfect place to bring Fido – water bowls and treats are provided on the shady patio to welcome the neighborhood pets on a hot day. MoKaBe's Coffeehouse, 3606 Arsenal St., South Grand, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.865.2009, mokabes.com — Katlyn Moncada
Cielo is one of the most famous patios in St. Louis, and that's with good reason. High above the Four Seasons Hotel, the views of the Mississippi River, the Gateway Arch and the surrounding Downtown skyline are almost unparalleled. Modern furniture, comfortable couches and a sparkling pool make the patio itself almost as beautiful as the view looking out. The restaurant is open for breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner, with upscale Italian menus featuring dishes like sea scallops, braised short rib osso bucco and a daily risotto. And did we mention that view? Cielo at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, 999 N. Second St., Laclede's Landing, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.881.5800, fourseasons.com/stlouis/dining — Heather Riske
With detailed landscaping, a running waterfall and fountain, John D. McGurk’s in Soulard is one of St. Louis’ most scenic, lush patios. Three outdoor bars make grabbing a pint easy, and the spacious patio is a great place to catch up with friends over a cold beer and a traditional Irish dish like beer-battered fish and chips or bangers and mash. Sit back, relax and enjoy some live Irish music. For those further out west, the O'Fallon location boasts an equally serene patio with the same tasty pub grub. McGurk's, 1200 Russell Blvd, Soulard, Missouri, 314.776.8309. Also 108 S. Main St., O'Fallon, Missouri, 636.978.9640, mcgurks.com— Katlyn Moncada
If you prefer your food with a side of Mexican flair, Atomic Cowboy is the spot for you. With plenty of outdoor seating, every spot offers a great opportunity to soak up the sun – or the moon. Acoustic performers often hang out on the patio as well to fill your ears with music as you fill your belly with their popular gaucho fries. Be sure to also try their Flyin Mayan burrito while you’re there. It contains house-smoked pulled pork, black beans, poblano rice and a delicious three-cheese blend. Atomic Cowboy, 4140 Manchester Ave., The Grove, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.775.0775, atomiccowboystl.com — Stephanie Shepard
With a massive awning covering the patio, the outdoor dining space at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood is the perfect place to enjoy all the perks of dining al fresco without getting totally toasted. You'll find all the classic Schlafly brews here, of course, but the seasonal Summer Lager or Raspberry Hefeweizen are perfect thirst-quenchers in spring and summer. Local ingredients play heavily into the menu offerings, with everything from classic pub grub like pretzel sticks with Hefeweizen cheese sauce and chorizo nachos to heartier options like grilled rainbow trout, pretzel-encrusted chicken and a smoked thick-cut pork steak. Stop by on a Wednesday to stroll through the Schlafly Farmers' Market, held in the parking lot from 4 to 7pm, to stock up on local, farm-fresh eggs, produce, meats and more before rewarding yourself with a cold beer and a delicious meal. Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood, Missouri, 314.241.2337, schlafly.com — Heather Riske
Editor's note: Death in the Afternoon closed in November 2016.