Outdoor Dining

The top spots for outdoor dining, from Charleston through Jacksonville. Check out these local favorites.

Plant Riverside District, Photo: Terry Allen

Al fresco dining, or as the French say, “En plein air.” No matter what you call it, it’s the biggest trend this season. As the world transitions to meet the new restrictions from the world pandemic, outdoor dining has become the go-to for those hungry for dining out.


First and foremost, South would like to offer a thank-you to all the restaurants and food service employees out there working hard to stay the course. In the face of adversity, they took to the streets—the wonderful byproducts of the restaurant industry’s resilience are the outdoor dining adaptations and innovations surfacing all over the country. 

Southern diners have the unique privilege of mild weather and unapologetically great food, making for an irresistible reason to combine the two. Gaze down over your city with a cocktail in hand. Savor a sunset with a side of oysters and crab cakes. Watch passerbys stroll the sidewalks and share stories over shrimp and grits. Food is at the center of Southern living and with views like these, we may never go back indoors!

The Riverwalk at Plant Riverside District

First, there is the savory-yet-sweet smell of smoky BBQ—that’s District Smokehouse serving up melt-in-your-mouth creations. Then, there’s a whiff of Lowcountry spice from just down the riverwalk at District Seafood. Last, but definitely not least, is Riverside Sushi with the best rolls on the Savannah River. There’s no wrong answer for riverwalk dining because you just can’t go wrong with uninhibited waterfront views.

Graffito Pizza

500 W River St., Savannah, GA • 912.373.9066 • plantriverside.com

OAK 36 Bar + Kitchen

OAK 36 Bar + Kitchen in midtown features weekly Trivia, Whiskey Wednesday, Bottomless Bubbles on the weekend, and live music almost every day of the week. Enjoy plant-forward, upscale American food (don’t worry, you can still order chicken & waffles or a burger) and an eclectic mix of local and regionally sourced craft beer, cocktails, wine and spirits.

5500 Abercorn St. Suite 36, Savannah, GA • 912.9990.8112 • oakthirtysix.com

Fat Patties

In these trying times, sometimes you just need a good, old-fashioned burger to stay sane. Fat Patties is adjacent to Old Town Bluffton Inn and has a spacious back patio with enough room to spread out and enjoy some build-your-own burgers and local craft brews. Hang out on the front patio and grab a cone of small batch, house-made ice cream to top off the meal.

207 Bluffton Rd., Bluffton, SC • 843.815.6300 • fat-patties.com

The Wharf Restaurant

The Wharf is an unassuming, charming fixture at the end of the pier at the Jekyll Island Club Resort grounds, overlooking the East River into Jekyll Sound. Enjoy live music and Southern favorites like Lowcountry gumbo, shrimp and grits and fried pickles. The open air patio is the perfect spot to take a long lunch or make a night of it, staying from happy hour until last call. 

370 Riverview Dr., Jekyll Island, GA • 912.635.3612 • jekyllwharf.com

Myrtle & Rose Rooftop Garden

A night spent at Plant Riverside District’s Myrtle & Rose is like a small glimpse into the empyreal heaven. The lust-worthy view from the rooftop garden is sublime. The seductive botanical cocktails are more alluring than Aphrodite herself, and love is definitely in the air. Graze on delectable small bites and sip potions as Artemis looks down from the moon.

Mrytle & Rose Outdoor Seating. Photos: Terry Allen

500 W River St., Savannah, GA • 912.373.9066 • plantriverside.com

Bull Street Taco

Come for Margarita Monday and then keep coming back for the tacos! Bull Street Taco is a local favorite just south of Forsyth Park and offers screened-in outdoor seating and sidewalk tables perfect for people watching. They pride themselves on their “kick ass tacos,” so you’ve been warned. South is not liable for any subsequent taco addictions developed after trying this spot!


1608 Bull St., Savannah, GA • 912.349.6931 • bullstreettaco.com


Outdoor dining does not have to inevitably carry a more casual atmosphere—it can be elevated and intimate with the right setting. The coveted outdoor table at a.Lure is the best place to enjoy a romantic evening for two en plein air. With beautiful cocktails and fresh, locally sourced cuisine, a.Lure’s serene atmosphere is the perfect way to relax on a sophisticated night out downtown.

309 W Congress St., Savannah, GA • 912.233.2111 • aluresavannah.com

Paris Market

At the corner of West Broughton and Whitaker is a little slice of Paris. The whimsical-yet-elegant window displays are reminiscent of the luxury and art appeal of rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Diners sip du café and nibble at les macarons, and through the delightful chatter one can almost hear a hint of French like the echo of waves in a seashell. Enjoy a European-style lunch in the lovely bistro chairs. 

36 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA • 912.232.1500 • theparismarket.com

The Common 

Brunch is best served outside! The sidewalk tables at the Common Restaurant make a superb vantage point to observe co-brunchers and downtown dwellers in various stages of the morning spectrum, from groggy to the early bird who got the worm. Indulge in next-level plates—we’re talking ribs and waffles and shortcake French toast—and the city’s best bloodies, mimosas, and cold brew cocktails.

Photos: Miranda Osborn

118 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA • 912.777.3742 • broughtoncommon.com

82 Queen

82 Queen is something of a fairytale. The mystical ambiance is accented with white, wrought-iron butterfly chairs, string lights and pink walls. This 39-year-old, tried-and-true establishment maintains its youthful glow with ever-exceptional cuisine. Enjoy light, refreshing combinations of classic Southern favorites for brunch, lunch and dinner. Come for the clever cocktails and stay for the Southern pickins’.

82 Queen Street, Charleston, SC • 843.723.7591 • 82queen.com

Riverside Biergarten

“Prost!” is the only German you need to know at Riverside Biergarten, where it’s Oktoberfest all year ‘round. The Biergarten serves everyone’s favorite German bites including Bavarian pretzels and sausages…even strudel! Raise a glass of Service Brewing Co.—we won’t judge if you add German schnapps—and toast to the spectacular waterfront view and a night spent with friends under Savannah skies.

Riverside Biergarten. Photo: Terry Allen

500 W River St., Savannah, GA • 912.373.9066 • plantriverside.com

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Bar

The Watch provides the perfect vantage point to historic Charleston below—so ideal, that the steeple erected from the 350-year-old Greek revival church inspired Edgar Allen Poe frames the cityscape. Today, visitors to the Restoration Hotel’s rooftop bar can enjoy the same stunning views without the suspenseful undertones. Enjoy delightful farm-to-table plates and handcrafted cocktails.

The Watch Rooftop

Photos: Jaime Dugan Huffman @charlestonblonde

The Watch Rooftop

75 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC • 843.518.5115 • therestorationhotel.com/community-outlets

The Local

As Jacksonville’s place to grab a coffee in the morning, a drink after work and everything in between, The Local is every bit of what the name implies. It sets the neighborhood standard for reliable, friendly service and healthy, nutritious scratch dishes to keep the community fueled. The Neptune Beach location has a spacious, relaxing outdoor patio and hosts live music every weekend to keep spirits—both of the human and alcohol varieties—high.

301 Atlantic Blvd, Neptune Beach, FL • 904.327.9791 • thelocaljax.com

Edgar’s Proof & Provision

We are declaring Edgar’s Proof & Provision at The DeSoto the best seat on Liberty Street. This indoor-outdoor gastropub is the type of place that is heard before it is seen; live music swells throughout the patio as guests enjoy Southern comfort food favorites, an exceptional barrel-aged whiskey collection and exquisite cocktails. In a city known for its libations and tall tales, the porch at Proof & Provision sets the bar high.  

5 E. Liberty St., Savannah, GA • 912.443.2000 • proofsavannah.com

Peregrin Rooftop Lounge

The Peregrin Rooftop Lounge atop the Perry Lane Hotel is the only place where the cocktails dominate the foreground of the most stunning views in Savannah. Sip a crafted beverage, choose from the spectacular wine selection or try the famous frosé and enjoy a breathtaking sunset behind the Talmadge Bridge. Just be sure to order a few “off the grill” bites to keep you going all night long.

Photos: D. Paul Graham


256 East Perry Street, Savannah, GA 912.415.9000 • perrylanehotel.com/dine/peregrin

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