Top 15 Patios in Nola
There’s a crisp in the air, boots on your feet and an overall air of optimism in the city. Even though the days are getting shorter, the craving to get outside and enjoy the microscopic fall season in New Orleans is at its height.
Don’t waste any of your precious autumn moments on ho-hum indoor dining. Get outside, eat with a scarf on and take those Instagram-worthy pics with the oh-so-perfect #goldenhour lighting!
I’ve done the prep work for you. These places not only have idyllic patio atmospheres, but they also have delicious food and cocktails. White string lights and live music, although not mandatory, definitely scored major bonus points!
These are the Top 15 Dining Patios in Nola to add to your dining list this fall:
- Bacchanal has a large outdoor patio great for both small and large groups.
- Live music 7 days a week.
- Endless cheese, bread and butter (I mean, what else is there?!)
- Wine shop in the entrance/front of the building.
- Full kitchen in the back featuring a scrumptious menu (get the bacon-wrapped dates).
- And when it gets extra chilly, plenty of space heaters come out -- so don’t let cold weather keep you away!
2) Casa Borrega.
- Live mariachi bands nightly!
- One of the more authentic Mexican restaurants in town.
- Zany decor (inside and out) that sets a fun tone.
- Great for large groups.
3) Cane & Table.
- Sexy European vibe! I love the contrast of the modern bright blue furniture against the old walls.
- If you’re feeling crazy, ask for your cocktail to be served in one of their tiki glasses -- the whale one is a personal fave.
- Oh and get the Crispy Rum Ribs.
- I probably recommend this restaurant the most often for French Quarter dining -- for both lunch and dinner.
- It's casual, but chic and well priced.
- There's a narrow patio along the wall outside, but also a plush back patio that is sort of hidden away for private, charming dining.
- Try their Moscow Mule!
5) Santa Fe on Esplanade.
- Excellent frozen (and strong) margaritas and Tex-Mex food.
- Multi-colored lights hang in their shrubbery year round.
- Live music sometimes.
- Dog friendly patio!
- Be prepared for sometimes slow service (don't go when you're in a rush).
- Charming view of Esplanade Ave. in Bayou St. John.
- Try the Carne Asada and the Beet & Goat Cheese Salad -- my personal faves.
- Sip on rosé and dip your goose-fat fried fries in delicious aioli sauce while you watch the street cars roll by on St. Charles Ave. (side note: does anyone actually like the peanut butter sauce the fries come with?)
- They sometimes serve Mofungo on Saturday nights...try it!
- Service is so-so, but the atmosphere is worth it.
- They always have a $5 special of house white, red and rosé wine.
- The building itself is sure to catch your eye from St. Charles Ave. It's hard to drive by and not think to yourself, "damn that place is cute! I want to go on a date there."
- Which reminds me: it's the perfect date spot!
7) The Columns.
- Nothing says “Southern” like ginormous white columns.
- Grab a Pimms Cup, relax and sit on the expansive front porch of this old hotel while watching the hustle and bustle of St. Charles.
- There's also a back courtyard!
- $5 champagne happy hour...what what!!
- An Uptown classic.
- There’s always been seating outside, but this year they added an upstairs balcony option that gives great views of Magazine St.
- Baru is located on a rather quiet pocket of Magazine St., so it’s quiet and quite enchanting.
- Speaking of enchanting…their margaritas (and pretty much everything on the menu) are AMAZING! No mix used here -- every cocktail is made fresh to order.
- They don't take reservations, so be prepared to wait a bit if you go on a busy night (grab a rita and chill because it's worth the wait).
- Get the Mazorca, Ostras, and Lamb Sliders!
- Shaya is easily the best new restaurant of 2015.
- And their pita bread is reason enough to go on a regular basis. The pita bread is so soft -- I just want to climb into it and cuddle up with a good book.
- Their patio is just right with white lights, umbrellas and outdoor fans.
- Try the Ikra dipping sauce, the Raisa cocktail, and of course, several heaps of pita bread!
10) Feelings Café.
- Hands down the most romantic place in the city -- think: romantical date night!
- 18th century courtyard draped in plush overgrowth with modern dishes.
- I hear their Sunday brunch is pretty special too.
- It falls right on the border street of the Marigny and Bywater, which suits their vibe perfectly.
- Best brunch atmosphere in the city.
- Whimsical, fabulous and classic New Orleans.
- Have a boozy brunch under an umbrella in their picturesque courtyard.
- You must have Bananas Foster for dessert -- as it was actually invented here!
- In the heart of the Warehouse District.
- Great wood-fired pizza -- a plethora of toppings to choose from as well!
- Perfect for casual dining with friends.
13) Velvet Cactus.
- Lakeview's most happening restaurant.
- Large courtyard with plenty of string lights, Mexican decor and heat lamps for colder nights.
- Get the Tex Mex Eggrolls!
14) Cellar Door.
- Tucked away on Lafayette St. (which is a tucked away street in the CBD), is The Cellar Door. I automatically love any place that requires an alleyway-type mysterious entrance.
- Perfect for after work drinks, an intimate dinner or late night snacking.
- It's also a great spot to grab drinks before going to dinner elsewhere in the CBD.
- Try their craft cocktails and gourmet tater tots!
- My favorite thing about Oxalis' patio is that you actually feel like you're in someone's back yard in Europe. You can see where it used to be a driveway, and Oxalis has very cleverly converted it.
- Another fun fact about Oxalis is that there is a hidden/secret bar that you can only access through the patio. This hidden gem is curiously popular for night caps.