It’s the most anticipated restaurant opening of the year: when decks are swept, outdoor furniture set up and we get to feast alfresco. From the sidewalk table for two to the coveted waterside patio to the clandestine nook in the back of an otherwise bustling café, grab a seat at these five no-fail outdoor dining spots.
Wallingford, 2501 N North-Lake Way; westwardseattle.com; 206.552.8215
Westward’s spectacular, expansive view of Lake Union and the city skyline is enhanced by plentiful outdoor seating and a huge dock that’s ideal for yacht-watching. Underneath a string of party lights sit wooden tables — and you, if you’re lucky enough to snag a seat. Inviting Adirondack chairs circle a fire pit constructed from oyster shells.
What to Order: During happy hour, oysters on the half shell and a glass of anything white or bubbly. If you’re totally overcome by the celebratory spirit of this place, order the magnum of Bandol rosé for about $200.
BASTILLE CAFÉ & BAR
Ballard, 5307 Ballard Ave. NW; bastilleseattle.com; 206.453.5014
At this parisian-style bistro, wooden tables are nestled under a clear ceiling that allows in light, but holds back occasional summer sprinkles. With a fireplace on the terrace, heaters and sliding transparent-panel “walls” that open and close at the ready, Bastille is a sure bet anytime of the year for its traditional French cuisine and its focus on Northwest ingredients.
What to Order: The house-made yogurt served with a drizzle of honey from the hives on the roof. A side order of Kennebec pomme frites with a side of truffle aioli is perfect in any weather.
Madrona, 1416 34th ave.; bottlehouseseattle.com; 206.708.7164
This charming wine bar in Madrona is known as much for its wine selection as for its beautiful deck, which is hopping during the warmer months. A mix of wooden communal and high-top tables fill early and often in the summer.
What to Order: Build your own board: Order one of the signature cheese boards and add on as many extras as your appetite can handle. Charcuterie, pickled eggs, house rillette with baguette, and a baguette with local honey, house-made butter and sea salt are all surefire bets (and wine friendly).
Pike Place Market, 81a Pike St.; maximilienrestaurant.com; 206.682.7270
Once, it was a secret sunning place for those in the know, but everyone in the city now seems to flock to the deck of this French bistro, which is tucked away behind Don & Joe’s Meats in Pike Place Market. Just a few steps separate the dining room from its stunning patio, which offers beckoning views of Elliott Bay and the Great Wheel.
What to Order: Mussels and a crusty baguette, and escargots swimming in garlic and parsley butter are hits every time.
Capitol Hill, 1501 Melrose Ave.; terraplata.com; 206.325.1501
The rooftop deck scores major points for changing up the perspective with a neighborhood view at Terra Plata’s elevated urban haven at the south end of the Melrose Market. On top of Tamara Murphy’s restaurant, vessels of container-grown herbs make for a verdurous dining experience that complements a seasonally driven menu. Lined with banquettes and outfitted with high-backed metal patio chairs, the deck proffers seating that is compact but comfortable. The open area does invite socializing, so be prepared to chat up your dining neighbors.
What to Order: Monday night is paella night, featuring paella, pintxos and tapas, Spanish wine flights, seasonal sangria and cocktails inspired by Spain.