This time of year, there’s nothing better than enjoying dinner and drinks on an open-air patio. Charlotte’s full of overly hyped up patio spaces like Fahrenheit (for the skyline angle), City Lights (for the rooftop bar experience), Ink N Ivy (for the wide open party space) and Olde Mecklenburg Brewery (for its enormous biergarten).
But what of the less-mentioned hidden gems?
We’ve updated our list of our favorite underrated patios — just in time for patio season.
Once you find this little pub tucked behind Park Road Shopping Center, you’ll be rewarded with a surprisingly pleasant patio for the backside of a strip mall. The inside of the pub is dark and snug, but the patio is spacious and bright — the perfect place to gather some friends and grab a pint, and maybe some bangers and mash — for a relaxing night out.
4151 Park Road A
Whether you want to grab a juicy burger or a casual beer with friends, Workman’s Friend is the perfect place to get away from the crazy city life. Tip: Head outside when it turns dusk so you can have a more magical atmosphere with the string lights twinkling above you. Try the Bag of Chips to start (with salt and malt vinegar aioli).
1531 Central Ave.
You’ve probably seen Petra’s front patio tucked away on Commonwealth Avenue near Legion Brewing and Common Market. But this hybrid bar is home to a hidden back patio adorned with glowing string lights, lush plant life, murals by local artists and plenty of seating. The bar has a jam-packed calendar of events and rotating art exhibits for you to peruse with a drink in your hand. Order a Barbara’s Burning Bush to start your night off right.
1919 Commonwealth Ave.
The large, covered patio at Hattie’s is not just dog-friendly — your dogs can actually roam off leash here anytime before 10 p.m. With vibrant murals, plenty of picnic tables, corn hole, giant Jenga, and a large dirt-filled bathtub for no apparent reason, this whimsical and welcoming space is the perfect spot for day-drinking. Order a pint of one of the 24 rotating beers on tap, or opt for a custom creation from the mixologist behind the bar. (Or get a can of PBR. They don’t judge.)
2918 The Plaza
The Dilworth location of this cozy wine shop has twinkling white lights overlooking their patio. It’s tucked away alongside East Boulevard and offers a quiet, peaceful vibe. Grab a bottle of wine to pop from the seemingly endless retail shelves inside (or a craft beer from the bar list), and order the truffle fries to start.
1235 East Blvd., #I
The Pickled Peach is one of our favorite lunch spots in Davidson. When the weather gets warm, it’s perfect for lounging and people watching with ceiling fans overhead to combat the humidity. The real kicker, though, is it’s an all-weather patio — it’s enjoyable rain or shine. Grab a homemade cookie (or cream pie) to split.
202 S Main St., Ste. E, Davidson
What’s not to love about Napa’s open air patio? Especially when the sun is beginning to set and the live music muffles the sounds coming from Providence Road. Pair that with the full wine list (an interesting red, perhaps?), and you’ve got yourself the perfect evening. (Bonus: Weekends at Napa feature a rotating selection of “brunch bread.”)
110 Perrin Place
1226 Central Ave., Suite A
The SouthPark location of this longtime fine foods shop has an elegant patio perfect for catching live music while catching up with a friend. Green-backed chairs and a border of trees (with a trellis) offer a natural vibe. Grab a bottle of wine from the retail space inside, to open at your table. Don’t overlook that “After 5” menu, either. Flatbreads (the truffle goat cheese, please) abound.
4331 Barclay Downs Drive
It’s impossible to overlook the place where you can find bench swings, picnic tables, a back porch and a zen garden all in one. Before you get distracted by the bar list, take a look at the large glass beverage dispensers — they tend to be stocked with fun sangria flavors.
3221 Yadkin Ave.
What underrated patios did we miss? Let us know in the comments.
Both Leroy Fox locations have laid-back patio vibes. The Cotswold spot features wall sconces and casual seating with high walls to create an intimate space, while the new South End spot boasts their well-known, paneled wall with street names. Order a beer and pimento cheese, to start.
705 S. Sharon Amity Road and 1616 Camden Road, Suite 150
Deejai has a contemplative little patio off of Providence Road — perfect for hunkering down over a steaming bowl of curry or pad thai with a pair of chopsticks. Order a salty bowl of edamame with a glass of wine to start, and don’t overlook the little meditating statue in the corner.
613 Providence Road
Photos: C. Elkins Photography, Sir Edmond Halley’s, Workman’s Friend, Pickled Peach, Katie Coleman