The weather is finally warming, and in Connecticut that means sunny day-trips to the beach, cozy nighttime hangs by a fire, and eating every possible meal outdoors. We spend most of our summer months hopping between Hartford’s sweetest restaurant and bar patios, soaking up some sun with our brunch or enjoying dinner and a local beer with friends under the stars.
Are you as ready for summertime in the city as we are? Grab your crew and pull up a chair at one of these live outdoor spots – we’ll see you there.
FIRST AND LAST TAVERN
This South End landmark institution was so named for being the first tavern located inside the town line, and the last tavern you pass when leaving the city. But when the gourmet, oven-fired pizza is this delicious, why leave? We like to stake out a spot on the lush Maple Ave. patio during happy hour, share a few apps or a pie topped with their famous homemade sauce, and watch the city go by.
The tacos may be new, but the unique location of this Mexican-style eatery – attached to Union Station, just across from Bushnell Park – and it’s popular patio is a Downtown Hartford favorite. We love sipping a margarita outside this centrally-located restaurant for both the excitement and bustle of the city and the relaxing park views, with the added thrill of the occasional train passing overhead.
La vita è dolce when it comes with a glass of wine, garlic bread, and good company. Conveniently hidden “Behind the Rocks,” Trinity Restaurant’s lush new patio is a favorite destination when we’re in the mood for relaxed outdoor dining with a cozy, homemade, Mediterranean feel, right here in Hartford.
THE TAVERN AT KENEY PARK
Whether you regularly hit the links, or are more of a through-the-windmill golfer (like us!), nothing compares to the sweeping green views of the Keney Park Golf Course as seen from the expansive patio of its newly-renovated Tavern. We love this spot for brunch on a sunny Sunday, when a mimosa and the Tavern’s Fried Chicken and (Captain Crunch-crusted!) French Toast is just what we need after a late Saturday night.
REPUBLIC AT THE LINDEN
Why only enjoy Hartford dining al fresco in the summer? The Republic at the Linden’s heated, covered patio features a beautiful open fireplace that makes it one of our favorite, cozy options year-round, no matter the weather.
THE FLYING MONKEY
If trains, cars, and golf carts aren’t enough action for your patio entertainment, grab a table outside at this bar and grill located just off the runway of Hartford’s Brainard Airport. We like to watch the airplanes come and go and enjoy fun cocktails like the Dirty Captain, Naughty Flight Attendant, Sunset Layover, and The Cancellation, and live jazz Monday and Friday nights.
Walk by too quickly and you’ll miss this intimate patio, tucked between two buildings on Trumbull Street bordering Bushnell Park, but we think that’s just a part of its appeal. If you’re lucky enough to snag an outdoor table at this popular spot, Salute’s patio is a perfect place for midday people-watching, when the lunch crowd is out and about and the park is buzzing with activity.
When our crew can’t decide whether to head to a local coffeehouse, funky restaurant, or lit bar, the patio at Tisane checks all the boxes. Also a great spot for a leisurely Sunday brunch, the large outdoor seating area features a comfy hidden lounge space, a late-night DJ spinning tracks, and a killer martini menu.
THE KITCHEN AT HPL
We love Hartford’s Downtown Library for so many reasons, and the patio outside it’s Kitchen Cafe is just one! During the warmer months, enjoy a light breakfast or lunch outside in front of the Library’s beautiful glass facade, and you may even catch a free musical or dance performance to boot. Either way, this large, open air patio right on Main Street is as Hartford as it gets.
PRATT STREET PATIO
Last but not least, our personal favorite, the Pratt Street Patio. Enjoy lunch outside on one of Hartford’s most charming streets. The Pratt Street Patio is a seasonal patio that turns a city street into a pedestrian-only experience from 11am to 2pm Monday – Thursday and from 11am to 8pm on Fridays. The best part is you’ll be able to stop by and grab a card at Hartford Prints! before or after your meal!
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What are your favorite outdoor drinking and dining spots in Hartford? Happy patio hunting!