Dig into a shellfish boil on the restaurant’s quiet alley patio. Chef Sameh Wadi also packs his menu with fried green tomatoes, lobster with cheese-laden grits, cornmeal-crusted fried shrimp and sublime soft serve ice cream from his Milkjam Creamery.
1672 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-348-8541, grandcatchmn.com
The see-and-be-seen scene is a suitable backdrop for Birk Grudem’s refreshing cocktails (including several spirit-free options) and chef Christina Nguyen’s energetic takes on Southeast Asian street food. Skip the salt-and-pepper fried tofu at your peril.
2121 University Av. NE., Mpls., 612-223-8640, haihaimpls.com
Marine Landing b.o.t.m.
Technically, it’s more of a dockside deck than a patio, but semantics aren’t important when the St. Croix River views are this captivating. Expect affordable, uncomplicated fare (and Minnesota Nice service) at breakfast and lunch, served Wednesday through Sunday, with an early (5 to 8 p.m.) dinner on Friday.
10 Elm St., Marine on St. Croix, 651-433-4577
The something-for-everyone menu is headlined by two-fisted burgers and generously topped pizzas, all best enjoyed on the roomy patio. The bar taps 24 beers (including a lager from Brass Foundry Brewing Co. in Long Lake). Clear your calendar for weekend brunch.
5101 W. 98th St., Bloomington, 952-405-6040, northstartavernmn.com
The place for lobster, and plenty of it. Find it put to excellent use in guacamole, poutine, mac-and-cheese and a Cobb salad. Naturally, there are spectacular lobster rolls (prepared two ways) and a lobster boil with all the proper accoutrements. The patio is one of the North Loop’s best.
603 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-259-7288, smack-shack.com