The warning signs are there: School supplies are stacked up at stores, the occasional nighttime breeze has a crisp edge to it and people are cashing in vacation time like lottery tickets. There are only so many more precious days of summer left and there are several patios that demand attention.

From new restaurants or newly expanded spaces to underrated gems that are sincerely worth savoring, grab some friends and clear the calendar for these glorious metro-area patios.

Guacaya Bistreaux

This new North Loop eatery is a beguiling mix of Cajun and Panamanian food from chef/owner Pedro Wolcott. Facing Washington Avenue in Minneapolis' North Loop, this patio oasis sets the stage for viewing the thrumming rhythms of the city. Use the QR codes on the table to order a slew of snacks, like crispy, rich boudin balls and plenty of tropical cocktails that do well with a dose of tequila. It's purposely a no-reservation spot. Just mosey in and snag a spot to chill. 337 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-345-4981,


Surrounded by brick and dolled up with flowers and plants, the sweet alley patio beside chef/owner Steven Brown's neighborhood icon is a criminally underrated spot for stealing away in the summertime. Order a special bottle of wine and some cacio e pepe at this urban retreat for a chic evening in Linden Hills. 2726 W. 43rd St., Mpls., 612-354-2806,


Martina's patio began during the pandemic with just a few tables outside the restaurant, but it's grown to a lovely shaded space beside the restaurant. The clean wood lines of the seating and the tan and white color scheme carry the restaurant's modern, simplistic aesthetic outdoors. Order up classic Martina dishes for enjoying outside, like the irresistible potato churros or spicy spaghetti fra diavolo with lobster. 4312 Upton Av. S., Mpls., 612-922-9913,

Revival Smoked Meats

The former Corner Table on Nicollet Avenue near 46th Street has been reborn by the same owners — Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone. Revival Smoked Meats brings an informal vibe and Boemer's smoked goods (and soon, Revival's fried chicken) to the area. The remodel added plenty more patio seats and tamed down some of the stylistic decor choices. It's a pretty setting for a slab of butter ribs. 4537 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-236-4101,


This is the final season for Amy Greeley and Doug Flicker's stand on the shores of Lake Nokomis, so the days for Dog Flickers and watermelon salad are numbered. Stop by for a crisp, local beer or a creamy horchata while the kids play in the sand. 4955 W. Nokomis Pkwy., Mpls.,

Centro Eat Street

This just-opened restaurant from the same people that brought us the OG Northeast location made sure that patio space was included in their plans. Snack on those beloved tacos and sip on their famous margaritas while watching all the activity on Nicollet Avenue. There's burgers, too. 2412 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls. 612-452-9785,

Frio Frio

When those sweltering temperatures start to feel like personal punishment, icy treats are in order. Behind Angel Food Bakery in St. Louis Park's Texa Tonka strip mall is a cool spot to enjoy them, and it has a lovely patio, too. Order up gourmet ice lollies, ice cream sandwiches and piles of shaved snow, served on a tray with sweet treat accoutrements in the beautifully landscaped setting. 8100 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park,


It's not easy getting a seat inside Daniel del Prado's newest restaurant, but it is worth jockeying for one. This tropical Wayzata haven edges right up to the water, with plenty of Lake Minnetonka boats docked nearby. With dishes like ahi tuna tostadas and sesame seed-topped guacamole, it's like Macanda was built for a summer food bucket list. Sip on a heartily spiked spa water and enjoy all the pretty — both people and scenery. 294 Grove Lane E., Wayzata, 952-679-1222,

Em Que Viet

The white-brick exterior of this new Grand Avenue eatery is covered in eye-catching tumbling wisteria. While there are patio seats on the outside sidewalk, there's also a full patio tucked into the back of the restaurant, shaded and decorated with gardens and greenery. Start with their famous egg rolls and an iced coffee sweetened with condensed milk while perusing the menu, a mix of Que Viet classic dishes and newer, more traditionally Vietnamese fare. 1332 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-330-4363,

Noyes & Cutler

This new restaurant from the Madison group (which also includes Handsome Hog and Ox Cart, among others) is aiming to be the new, modern steakhouse for St. Paul's Lowertown. Situated across from Mears Park, the sidewalk patio affords pretty park views and good people-watching in the bustling neighborhood. Order a New York strip and a Manhattan for a fancy night before taking in a Saints game. 229 E. 6th St., St. Paul, 651-968-1050,

El Burrito

When was the last time you spent an evening being serenaded by mariachi? The expansive patio outside El Burrito is surrounded by gothic fencing and joyous Mexican decor. This family-owned St. Paul institution has been serving the city for generations, but somehow we get all caught up in the parking lot elotes or the incredible grocery selection, when this time of year the patio deserves all of our affection. Grab a crew of friends for a night of margaritas and queso-birria tacos. 175 Cesar Chavez St., St. Paul, 651-227-2192,

Mason Jar Kitchen & Bar

Tucked into an Eagan strip mall is the surprisingly expansive patio at Mason Jar. This full restaurant also has a bakery, so save room for cupcakes. The patio feels more like a deck at the home of an incredibly hospitable neighbor. Lights twinkle inside Mason jars and the menu is stacked with crowd pleasers. Order a beer can chicken or charred New York strip steak and broccolini to complete the vibe. 1565 Cliff Road, Eagan, 651-340-7809,

The Dock

This Stillwater restaurant has only recently reopened with new management and a fresh menu. The stunning views of the St. Croix River are worth planning a day around — and some of the wait times to get a table suggest it might be best to plan accordingly. However, once there, order up a snacky charcuterie board and a classic gin rickey to soak in the waning days of summer. 425 E. Nelson St., Stillwater, 651-430-3770,