The 14 Best Patios in St. Paul, Ranked by a Local

best outdoor patios in st. paul

There’s nothing better on a beautiful St. Paul day than checking out one of the city’s best patios.

But if you’re like me, making that decision is no easy task! Our capital city is home to tons of amazing patios, and I often find myself overwhelmed at the choices.

Thankfully, my lack of decisiveness has led me to sampling just about every patio and outdoor dining spot in town.

Here are my votes for the 14 best patios in St. Paul!

Map of the Best Patios in St. Paul

My personal favorite patio: City House

red river kitchen view

City House is one spot that we always have to bring our out-of-town guests.

Originally built in the 1920s, this old grain elevator is literally the only building left from St. Paul’s port-city heritage.

Back in the day, huge shipping barges would pull up to this massive concrete structure before shipping grain all over the country. In recent years, the Red River Kitchen food truck moved into the abandoned space, and after a passionate restoration process, City House was born.

Although the shipping barges are no more, residents can still pull up and get filled with delicious food, local craft beer, and cocktails. (The Cubano Sandwich is award winning…)

If you’re lucky enough to score one of the admittedly rare seats on the balcony, you’ll find stunning views of the Mississippi River, the Smith High Bridge, and the West St. Paul river bluffs. If not, that’s okay too – the fully restored interior is an awesome rustic space with lots of natural light and river breezes.

  • Address: 258 Mill Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102
  • Website: City House

The classic beautiful patio: WA Frost

wa frost patio

Boy, it doesn’t get any more classic St. Paul than the patio at W.A. Frost.

This lush outdoor space includes a towering, ivy-covered brick wall on one side, ornate gardening on the other, and tons of mature oak trees and magical string lights in between. The result? One of the most beautiful patios anywhere.

Order a drink, and you might start feeling like Gatsby himself. And maybe that’s no surprise – the location was placed on the National Register of Historic Places for a reason…

  • Address: 374 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102
  • Website: W.A. Frost

Most fun patio: El Burrito Mercado

This Mexican market (I mean… Mercado!) is located just south of downtown St. Paul.

More interesting for a list about St. Paul patios, El Burrito Mercado recently completed a total renovation of their patio. It now features a huge outdoor space, complete with a stage for live music, tons of tables, and of course, the same delicious food we’ve come to expect from inside this authentic Mexican restaurant.

If that’s not enough, just wait until you see this patio come alive during Fiesta Fridays or the gran-daddy of them all… the neighborhood’s massive Cinco de Mayo festivals.

Most intimate patio: La Grolla

La Grolla’s small but adorable patio is sandwiched between two brick buildings and wrapped in ivy, for that extra magical touch. Order up a plate of pasta and you’ve got yourself one of the most romantic dining spots in the cities.

  • Address: 452 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102
  • Website: La Grolla

Most popular brewery patio: Bad Weather Brewing

bad weather brewing patio

If you’re looking for that classic microbrewery patio vibe, Bad Weather is definitely your best bet in St. Paul.

With the giant garage doors open, this hugely popular patio space flows from the taproom into the parking lot. There, you’ll find massive picnic tables, garden games, and hangout spaces. And of course, a reserved spot for the food truck of the day!

Best beer garden in St. Paul: Waldmann Brewery

For an equally cool, yet totally different vibe, head Waldmann Brewery.

Located right next door to Bad Weather, this brewery somehow feels miles apart. Nestled in between houses of St. Paul’s West 7th neighborhood, this German-themed brewery features a patio with a much more laid back “beer garden” vibe.

It’s an atmosphere that’s just begging for your to soak up the sun (or block it out with an umbrella) while downing a beer… and maybe an authentic pretzel or brat.

  • Address: 445 Smith Ave N, St Paul, MN 55102
  • Website: Waldmann

The most unique brewery patio: Saint Paul Brewing

saint paul brewing patio

When St. Paul’s Flat Earth Brewery relaunched itself as Saint Paul Brewing, they also opened up one of the most incredible patios in the entire Twin Cities.

This huge outdoor space sits among the ancient, crumbling brick walls of the old Hamm’s Brewery building. You feel like you’re sitting in the shrine of some sort of urban ruin – one that’s been decked out in graffiti, shopping carts, giant hanging beer kegs, and all sorts of fun and funky knick knacks. It’s truly one of the most unique spaces in the entire Twin Cities, and somewhere you absolutely have to check out whenever the weather’s nice.

Best lake view: Dock & Paddle

Dock and Paddle is the new restaurant located inside the Como Lakeside Pavilion. In a way, it’s St. Paul’s answer to Minneapolis’s Sea Salt eatery – a quality restaurant housed in beautiful public park.

With a huge outdoor space and views overlooking Lake Como, there’s only one thing to do here. Order a craft beer and maybe some tacos, burgers, or the popular Dock’s Fish & Chips, and get to enjoying a beautiful Minnesota summer day!

  • Address: 1360 Lexington Pkwy N, St Paul, MN 55103
  • Website: Dock & Paddle

Best rooftop deck in St. Paul: Ox Cart Arcade & Rooftop

Compared to Minneapolis, St. Paul is a little short on rooftop patios. However, one new contender is looking to change that reputation with a tall offering…

Ox Cart’s new rooftop patio sits hundreds of feet into the air and features a stunning view overlooking CHS Field, the Mississippi River, and Lowertown St. Paul. Take that, Minneapolis!

  • Address: 255 6th St E, St Paul, MN 55101
  • Website: Ox Cart

The most charming hidden patio: Moscow on the Hill

Moscow on the Hill - back patio

Moscow on the Hill is definitely one of our favorite overall restaurants and bars in the Twin Cities, so their awesome back patio is only icing on the cake.

From the unassuming exterior, this hidden back patio, complete with a large wooden deck, lush greenery, and magical lights, always surprises visitors as much as the bar’s dangerously drinkable vodka shots.

You can check out our full review of Moscow on the Hill here.

The most relaxing vibe: Sweeney’s Saloon

Forget tacky bar signage, Sweeney’s stepped up their game by transforming the outdoor patio’s walls into huge, colorful murals of all your favorites. It’s a space that’s just begging for you to order a beer or three, and maybe some of their popular buffalo wings.

The comeback kid: The Gnome

For years, Happy Gnome was widely considered one of the best restaurants in St. Paul. The beautiful back deck, complete with oak trees growing from the floor and a massive wood burning fireplace, just made things even more magical.

But over the years, that fireplace got used less and less, and then one tragic day in 2019, Happy Gnome closed suddenly and unexpectedly.

Thankfully, a dedicated team of local food celebrities (Handsome Hog’s Justin Sutherland and Hope Breakfast Bar’s Brian Ingram) took over the space and vowed to get that fireplace up and running again.

  • Address: 498 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102
  • Website: Coming Soon

Best brunch patio: Day by Day Cafe

This unassuming cafe on West 7th Street boasts a quaint back patio that transports us to grandma’s garden. There’s ponds, rock features, and plenty of greenery.

BONUS! The New Challenger: Handsome Hog

handsome hog patio

After leading the way in the revitalization of Lowertown St. Paul, Handsome Hog recently decided it was time to move onto a newer, bigger space.

Thankfully for us, that new space remains in St. Paul. Now located in the Selby/Dale neighborhood, Handsome Hog joins the patio-happy intersection that also includes W.A Frost and Moscow on the Hill.

Handsome Hog’s addition to the hood includes a lively patio, thanks to a big outdoor space. (And no doubt aided by the steady pour of some of the city’s best cocktails!)

  • Address: 173 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55102
  • Website: Handsome Hog
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