Atlanta’s Best Patios for Winter Outdoor Dining

Credit: Heidi Harris for Iberian Pig

Outdoor dining has become more important than ever for both restaurants and diners alike — fortunately in Atlanta, it’s patio season year round. From existing terraces to pop-up patios, restaurants across the city and surrounding areas have embraced al fresco dining, adding heaters to ensure a comfortable experience for months to come. 

From oysters to Oaxacan, here are the best patios for winter outdoor dining in Atlanta, all available to reserve on OpenTable.

For high-end comfort food in Vinings: Paces & Vine

The patio of this Vinings restaurant has always been a draw, but with heaters and an outdoor fireplace, it’s one of the most appealing winter spots in the area. The upscale American menu includes robust winter dishes such as Guinness braised brisket, and the cocktail menu changes frequently to embrace the season. 

For modern Indian in Midtown: Tabla 

Grab a table under a heater on Tabla’s patio for an Indian feast in Midtown. Traditionalists will appreciate dishes such as butter chicken and lamb korma, but dig a bit deeper on the menu to find wholly original creations such as duck samosas and kale and pea fritters. Don’t miss the cocktail menu either, which borrows from the kitchen’s spice collection for drinks like the chai spice-infused old fashioned. 

A bowl of seafood stew next to a bowl of rice.

Credit: BeetleCat

For creative seafood in Inman Park: BeetleCat

BeetleCat takes the idea of a New England seafood shack and turns it on its head, juxtaposing stand-bys like lobster rolls and oyster platters with dishes such as moqueca, a warming Brazilian seafood stew packed with shrimp, the fish of the day, coconut, jalapeño, cashews, and rice. Put on a fisherman’s sweater and head to the heated patio, where hot buttered rum is on offer if you need an extra layer.  

For vegan pizza in Freedom Park: Plant Based Pizzeria

Though Plant Based Pizzeria doesn’t technically have a patio, one could say that it has epic outdoor seating: This vegan pizzeria is located on the border of the Virginia-Highland neighborhoods, just steps from Atlanta’s Freedom Park. Everything on the menu is completely plant-based, with creative combinations such as the “Georgia peach,” a pie loaded with spicy Beyond Meat-brand vegan sausage, vegan mozzarella, roasted basil pizza sauce, roasted peaches, onions, and jalapeños for a sweet and spicy punch. Order online. 

For a taste of Italy in West Midtown: Forza Storico

It might be a while before a trip to Italy is in the cards, so the next best thing is the laid-back outdoor area at West Midtown’s Forza Storico. The heated patio transports diners with playful Italian-inspired murals and festive bistro lights. To complete the experience, order a bottle of wine from the Italian-focused list to pair with classic pasta dishes such as cacio e pepe and tagliatelle alla bolognese.  

For a meat-centric meal in Roswell: The Mill

In a town where steak is easy to find, The Mill stands out for its departure from the standard steakhouse formula. After you’ve chosen your cut of beef, you can select a preparation style, with options ranging from the “Mill” (with lobster mac and cheese, lobster butter, and asparagus) to the the “Far East” (featuring jasmine rice, Thai bean salad, and Korean barbecue demi-glace). Grab a seat on the outdoor patio near the fireplace and heaters to enjoy your cut in comfort. 

For tapas in Buckhead: Iberian Pig

Iberian Pig’s indoor/outdoor glass patio in Buckhead has a European feel thanks to geometric-patterned tile and chevron bistro chairs, while a wall of adjustable windows allow for circulation. Heaters have been added for the winter, giving Atlanta residents a cozy place to sample the restaurant’s selection of tapas, which range from traditional pan con tomate (bread with grated tomato) to the Southern-inflected blue crab croquetas. 

For sushi in Midtown: O-Ku

O-Ku’s partially enclosed, heated rooftop patio is an excellent place to dine while soaking up views of the Atlanta skyline. The restaurant offers a full menu of sushi, sashimi, and a few entrees from the kitchen such as soy-braised pork belly, all ripe for pairing with a sake from the extensive beverage menu. 

Dining tables under heaters on a patio.

Credit: Five and Ten

For farm to table in Athens: Five and Ten

Celebrity chef Hugh Acheson’s Athens restaurant stands out for its infusion of international ingredients into Southern cooking traditions, evident in dishes such as the pheasant, which is confited and served with preserved lemons and jus. The result is an inventive take on American cuisine, which can be enjoyed all winter long on the restaurant’s heated porch.

 

For a taste of Italy in Decatur: No. 246

This restaurant in downtown Decatur is a seasonally driven ode to simple Italian cooking. The ever-changing menu revolves mainly around pizzas, pastas, and a few proteins, with Southern ingredients frequently making appearances, such as Georgia pecans mixed with roasted cauliflower in the ricotta agnolotti. The backyard features heaters and a partially covered section for comfortable dining all year long. ⁠

For dry-aged meat in Brookhaven: Arnette’s Chop Shop

On the second floor of this Brookhaven steakhouse sits a patio with heaters and fire pits for comfortable seating throughout the winter months. The menu covers all the steakhouse classics — shrimp cocktail, wedge salads, and dry-aged meats — but also adds distinctly modern twists, such as the option to top your chop with roasted shallot bordelaise, or add a side of hearth-roasted cauliflower and peppers. 

For cult burgers in Grant Park: Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Grindhaus has several locations around Atlanta, but the Memorial Drive outpost is worth the trek for its covered, heated patio area and indoor-facing outdoor bar seats. Get creative with the build-your-own-burger option, and then shake off the desire for a meat-induced nap by playing backyard games such as shuffleboard, ping pong, and cornhole. Walk-ins only.

For Mexican in Sandy Springs: Casi Cielo

This Sandy Springs hot spot is known for its Oaxacan cuisine and mezcal cocktails, all available on the heated patio that runs alongside the restaurant. Come here for the dishes you won’t find at other Mexican spots in town, like the duck carnitas smothered in mole negro, the complex Oaxacan sauce that usually combines a region-specific chile with a host of spices, nuts, and chocolate.