It was touch-and-go there for a while, but we think it’s finally safe to say that we’re headed toward warm weather.
And with sunny skies comes the inevitable question: Where can I get a drink outside? While there are some obvious favorites (like Sandlot at Harbor Point—which is opening in a more limited capacity for special events and private parties this summer,) we wanted to branch out and let you know of a few gems that might be new to you.
Here are our picks for where to catch some rays this summer:
16 on the Park
Perched on the Residence Inn at Johns Hopkins Hospital, this rooftop restaurant has an outdoor patio that’s great for sipping a signature cocktail (the “On the Wire” fuses Appleton rum with aperol and amaro) or grabbing a bite—whether it’s a crab cake sandwich, oysters on the half shell, or a salmon BLT.
If you’re looking for a rooftop bar, also try: The Bygone, Blue Hill Tavern, Barley’s Backyard Uptown, Cafe Gia, The Chasseur, L.P. Steamers, The Skybar at Mt. Washington Tavern, and Topside.
Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey Bar
If a plate of smoked meats and a stiff drink is your idea of a good time, there’s no better place to enjoy the sunshine. Head to the dog-friendly back patio at this Hampden gem to enjoy some grub (the Pimento Piggle sandwich with pulled pork and pickles never disappoints) while meeting some new furry friends. Plus, the cocktail menu is always changing, so expect refreshing summer specials (some even in slushie form!) the next time you stop in.
Are you more of a cocktail person? If so, sip something shaken or stirred outside at: Avenue Kitchen & Bar, Bar One, Cosima, Dutch Courage, Gertrude’s, Hampden Yards, Little Havana, Mobtown Ballroom, Ouzo Beach, Sangria Patio Bar, Sugarvale, or Terra Cafe.
Bowleys on the Bay
This Baltimore County favorite can be hard to beat, between its deck seating and beach bar famous for its frozen drinks. In season, take a trip downee’ ocean by way of Middle River with steel drum groups and a tropical soundtrack.
Searching for other places to dine outside in Baltimore County? Try: Citron, La Food Marketa, Michael’s Cafe, Stanford Kitchen, Tark’s Grill, and The Valley Inn.
This cozy Old Goucher bar specializing in natural beer, wine, cocktails, and Japanese sake may not be the first place you’d think of when looking to sip in the sunshine. But, attached to the building is an airy, open courtyard with lots of communal seating. You won’t find a full meal here (unless there’s a food truck or visiting pop-up scheduled), but the beer garden menu has some snacks for sharing.
If you’re into the idea of throwing on your sunnies and sipping wine outside, also try: Cindy Lou’s Fish House, La Cuchara, Old Westminster Winery, Spirits of Mt. Vernon, V-NO Wine Bar, Serenity Wine Cafe, or Teavolve.
Nick’s Fish House
In addition to its spacious interior dining rooms, Nick’s in South Baltimore has plenty of outdoor seating—including waterside, with sweeping views of the Hanover Street Bridge and the Middle Branch. The seafood spot has plenty of oceanic options on the menu if you’re hungry (don’t skip the crab pretzel), and a host of icy Crushes if you’re looking for a boozy drink. Plus, they’ve got a calendar full of events and live music.
Other al fresco spots with waterfront views include: Bayside Cantina, Boatyard Bar and Grill, Dock of the Bay, Hard Yacht Cafe, Ram’s Head Dockside, Raw & Refined, Sunset Cove, and Tiki Lee’s Dock Bar.
Peabody Heights Brewery
This local favorite for craft beer has a patio that’s open year-round, and plenty of drink options to boot. The brewery, in North Central Baltimore’s Abell neighborhood, was once home to Terrapin Park—a wooden stadium that housed the Negro American League Baltimore Elite Giants, Federal League Baltimore Terrapins, and minor league Baltimore Orioles. (Hence, Peabody’s famous Old Oriole Park bohemian.) With a jam-packed lineup of community programming—think: everything from trivia nights to record bazaars—there’s always something to discover when you stop by.
Lots of Charm City breweries offer outside seating. Among them are: Charm City Meadworks, Checkerspot Brewing, Diamondback Brewing Company, Guinness Open Gate Brewery, Monument City Brewing, Nepenthe Brewing Co., Suspended Brewing, Union Collective, and Waverly Brewing.