CT Guide to Outdoor Dining (2019): 100 + Restaurants for Summer

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Summer lasts for about six weeks, and I want to soak up every glorious morsel of sunshine that I can while it is here!  I also want to partake in the delicious food the season has to offer.  Connecticut restaurants are making sure that we don’t have to choose between those two options.  Places across the state are opening up their patios, decks, and rooftop bars.  Here is a lift of over 130 restaurants where you can fine al fresco this summer.

Tavern on State, New Haven: Tavern on State, owned by Chef Emily Mingrone, is one of the latest to join the dozens of exceptional restaurants in the New Haven area.  There are 45 seats outdoors.

Birdman Juke Joint, Bridgeport: The much-anticipated restaurant from Chef Chris Scott will have some outdoor seating in Bridgeport’s Black Rock neighborhood.

High George, New Haven: High George, located at The Blake Hotel in New Haven, is a new three-season rooftop restaurant that features a full food and beverage menu inspired by Summers in New England.  James Beard-nominated Chef Tyler Anderson, along with partners A.J. Aurrichio and Tim Cabral, is overseeing its operations. 

Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill, Fairfield & New Haven: The Fairfield location of Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill has a large patio for al fresco dining with firepits for cold evenings.  In New Haven, enjoy their heated patio that is enclosed for year-round dining. 

Shell and Bones Oyster Bar, New Haven: Shell & Bones Oyster Bar in New Haven has a fabulous view of the water with floor to ceiling doors that are open in summer and a deck directly on the water complete with fire pits and patio heaters for chilly nights.  Dive into their Harbor Sampler or the Tower of Shells, with lobsters, clams, oysters, and shrimp. 

Stone’s Throw, Seymour: Stones Throw boasts a riverside location, complete with boat docks, that will make you feel like you are on vacation while you are just a “Stone’s Throw” away from home.  Chef Peter Hamme, most recently owner of The Stone House in Guilford, CT, has over 30 years of experience. 

Treehouse at Oyster Club, Mystic: Located directly above Oyster Club, the Treehouse offers outdoor dining and above historic downtown Mystic.  The menu is a salute to the New England summer, offering clam shack classics like quahog chowder, dry aged burgers, fresh catch, frosty drinks and of course...oysters! 

Artisan, Southport and West Hartford: Artisan, with locations in Southport and West Hartford, has patios and gardens for al fresco dining.  All summer long the West Hartford will be hosting garden parties.  Both locations will serve their very own Artisan private label rose. 

Joey C’s Boathouse, Stratford: Joey C's Boathouse Cantina & Grill in Stratford at the Dockside Marina has an outdoor patio and bar plus seating on their dock. 

Sunset Grille, Norwalk: Sunset Grille is open April-October.  Overlook Norwalk Harbor while dining on fresh seafood. 

Bar Zorro at Evarito’s, Norwalk: Go into Evarito’s and take the elevator to the roof.  Welcome to Bar Zorro!  The palms, desert greenery, wicker chairs, tilework, and colors of teal and yellow really make the place pop. 

Half Full Brewery, Stamford: Half Full’s summer patio is opens for the season!  There are dog beds, tables, corn hole, foodtrucks, and more. 

Blue Oar, Haddam: Blue Oar in Haddam has plenty of waterside seating so you can enjoy their fresh seafood outdoors.  Arrive by car or by boat. 

Lobster Landing, Clinton: In addition to being known for its signature lobster roll, Lobster Landing has expansive views and outdoor seating. 

Stowe’s Seafood, West Haven: Stowe’s Seafood is a pirate-themed shack on the Connecticut shoreline.  Partake in classic clam shack offerings while enjoying the coastal breezes outdoors.

S&P Oyster Company, Mystic: Located on the Mystic River, the S&P Oyster Company has views of the bridge.  

Shanks, Clinton: The space that houses Shanks in Clinton takes the form of a boat washed ashore.  Get your food and then eat at a picnic table overlooking the water. 

Hudson Social, Stamford: Take in Stamford’s downtown scene at Hudson Social’s outdoor patio. 

Match Burger Lobster, Westport: Match Burger Lobster in Westport has an outdoor patio so that you can enjoy their fresh Copps Island Oysters, burgers, lobster, and more outside this summer.   

Artisanal Burger Company, Manchester: ABC has an expansive patio for outdoor dining this summer.  It is also wheelchair accessible. 

Butchers & Bakers, Farmington: Butchers & Bakers’ patio has its own bar that even has its own outdoor drink menu for the season.  Join them for patio happy hour, from 4-6pm on weekdays and check their website for upcoming outdoor events. 

Cava, Southington: Cava’s first debuted its rooftop seating in 2017.  Join them for happy hour during the week, or visit them for an al fresco Sunday brunch. 

Elbow Room, West Hartford: Elbow Room in West Hartford has both a rooftop deck and patio.  The patio is dog-friendly, so you can bring your pooch with you for your summer adventures. 

Lucky Lou’s, Wethersfield: Lucky Lou’s fenced in outdoor patio is both dog-friendly and wheelchair accessible. 

Market Grille, Manchester: Overlooking Hartford, Market Grille’s patio has its own outdoor bar and fireplace.  

Max Burger, West Hartford: Max Burger’s patio looks out onto LaSalle Road in Hartford.  It is partially enclosed and outfitted with heaters for chilly summer evenings. 

River: A Waterfront Restaurant & Bar, Wethersfield: Their multilevel deck boasts views of the Connecticut River and Putnam Bridge.  Eat at tables or at comfortable couches and lounge-like seating.   

The White Horse, Litchfield: The White Horse Country Pub & Restaurant has both a deck and a patio so you can enjoy brunch, lunch, or dinner along the river.

Grano Arso, Chester: Grano Arso has 12 seats outside where guests can order from the full menu.

The Whelk, Westport: Overlooking the quaint Saugatuck River, The Whelk brings sustainable, local seafood and ingredients to the lips of its diners.

The Place, Guilford: The Place in Guilford, is about as outdoors as you can get without going camping. Tree stumps are your chairs, outdoor fires cook your meal and the menu hangs outside over it all.

The Beer Garden at Shippan Landing, Stamford: The Beer Garden at Shippan Landing in Stamford is now open for the season. Families and pets are welcome!

Swyft, Kent: Swyft in Kent can seat 25 guests on the patio and they also have a few tables on the porch.

The Tavern at Gray Barns, Norwalk: The Tavern at Gray Barns sits in the space that once housed Silvermine Tavern. It has all been redone and reopen. Take it all in on their patio.

Fortina, Stamford: Fortina, located in Stamford's Harbor Point area, serves brunch, lunch, and dinner…and summer nights are for the Surf Club roof deck!

Kala Bistro, New Haven: Kala Bistro in New Haven recently opened its patio for the season.

Taco Loco, Bridegport: Taco Loco in Bridgeport has a huge covered deck with a bar. Get a little "loco" while sipping margaritas and looking over Fairfield Avenue.

The Stand, Branford: Get your BBQ roadside at The Stand in Branford.

Craft260, Fairfield: Craft260 in Fairfield is known for its craft beer list filled with seasonal offerings and limited releases. They have outdoor seating in the front so you can enjoy your brews and bites in the sun.

Sono Seaport Seafood, Norwalk: SoNo Seaport Seafood has a massive deck overlooking Long Island Sound. They have a full outdoor bar too so the drinks can keep on flowing.

Harborview Market, Black Rock: Harborview Market in Black Rock is a neighborhood gem. The cafe meets market has ample seating with both bistro and picnic tables.

Mill On The River, South Windsor: Mill on the River in South Windsor is exactly how it sounds. There is beautiful seating along the river for waterside dining.

Bobby V’s, Stamford: The outdoor patio at Bobby V’s Restaurant & Sports Bar provides comfortable seating for up to 100 guests, a full bar, 11 big screen HDTV’s for live sports action and heaters for those cool Summer evenings.

Zohara, Hartford: Zohara Mediterranean Kitchen offers an innovative menu drawing inspiration from North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Greece served up in a comfortable and inviting setting. Enjoy their famous Whole Roasted Cauliflower outdoors at their beautiful patio.

Avert, Hartford: Voted Hartford's Best French Restaurant, Avert offers classic french food and an every day Happy Hour menu. Their patio is the perfect place to enjoy frites or Escargot during the Summer months.

1020 Post, Darien: 1020 Post in Darien has a large patio area out back... perfect for enjoying their oysters on the half shell!

Treva, West Hartford: At Treva in Hartford, feast on house made pasta with fresh ingredients at their outdoor patio area and pair it with a beverage during happy hour M-F from 4-6pm.

b Restaurants, Multiple locations: b restaurants have multiple locations including Fairfield, Glastonbury, Milford, Simbsury, Stamford, Springfield and West Hartford. People come for beer, burger, and bourbon, but also fun summer nights on the patio.

Sedona Taphouse, Norwalk: Sedona Taphouse is in Norwalk's trendy Waypointe complex. The outdoor seating overlooks the central plaza and fountain.

Taphouse 150, Cromwell: “Wood Fired, Craft Inspired” is the motto at Taphouse 150 in Cromwell. Eat outside for dinner during the week and catch them for brunch on the weekends.

Bloodroot, Bridgeport: Bloodroot in Bridgeport offers vegan and vegetarian options. In the warmer months, eat outside. Be sure to check out their garden!

Ecco Rooftop Bar, Bethel: Brick-oven fired pizzas, craft beers, and cocktails... on the ROOF! Visit Ecco Rooftop Bar in Bethel.

Captain’s Cove, Bridgeport: Throw on your flip flops and head to Black Rock for casual, warm weather fun at Captain's Cove. The 400-seat establishment has live entertainment, an upper deck over looking the harbor, Wednesday Fish Fries, and seafood galore.

Terra, Danbury: Danbury's Terra is a Northern Italian restaurant that serves simple, tasty food in a relaxed atmosphere. Eat in the dining room or at their outside grill and bar.

The Goose American Bistro and Bar, Darien: There’s a long, beautiful bar, outside seating, and a relaxed atmosphere at The Goose in Darien.

Meatball & Co., Darien: Beneath a quaint green-and-white striped awning, you can partake in what Meatball and Co. calls “the ballin’ lifestyle." Choose your balls, choose your sauce, hunker down.

Scena, Darien: At Scena in Darien, camp yourself in their “L”-shaped outside eating area, complete with heaters for chilly evenings.

The Hops Company, Derby: Offering over 36 draft beers in an authentic European beer garden setting, THC has a full bar and casual food options that are served up at family-style tables. There are fire pits and plenty of games for the whole family. less

55 Wine Bar and Wood Grille, Fairfield: Enjoy American cuisine with a Mediterranean flair on the patio of 55 Wine Bar and Wood Grille in Fairfield.

Barcelona, Fairfield, West Hartford, Norwalk With multiple locations, Barcelona's offer patio dining, heat lamps and beach-like awnings to enjoy lunch, dinner, or late night fun.

The Chelsea, Fairfield: Eat outside or in a front "greenhouse" area at the Chelsea in Fairfield. It's situated just off the Post Road so you can be part of the action, but out of the fray.

Pizzeria Molto, Fairfield: Molto in Fairfield serves paninis, pasta, pizzas, Italian drinks, desserts, coffee, and more. They have a spacious outdoor patio to accommodate lunch and dinner crowds.

Guilford Lobster Pound, Guilford:  The Guilford Lobster Pound is the quintessential New England lobster shack with a long dock and picnic tables.

Centro Ristorante and Bar, Greenwich: Centro in Greenwich has been in business for 25 years. Their umbrella filled patio is great for outdoor dining.

Crew, Greenwich: Crew in Greenwich has a pergola-covered patio with cheerful orange umbrellas and live music on Friday nights.

Elm Street Oyster House, Greenwich: Elm Street Oyster House in Greenwich has a small but elegant sidewalk dining space. Their paella, oysters, tuna carpaccio, PEI mussels, poke, fish tacos, Maryland crab cakes, and more embody summer.

L’Escale, Greenwich: L'Escale in Greenwich just remodeled their bar. The "Octopus Bar" overlooks the harbor and there are plenty of tables and seating on the deck.

Terra, Greenwich:At Terra's Greenwich location, Enjoy lunches and dinners on their atmospheric patio with a decidedly Mediterranean flare.

The Café at Middlebury Consignment, Middlebury: The Cafe at Middlebury Consignment is a hidden gem tucked inside a huge building filled with furniture and home accessories. The outdoor patio by the waterfall and beautiful gardens is the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing lunch, or host an event. 

Stonebridge, Milford: Stonebridge in Milford offers expansive outdoor areas snuggled up against the Wepawaug River and well, a stone bridge. They serve lunch, brunch, dinner, and late night drinks and apps.

Colony Grill, Norwalk: Find Colony in Norwalk's trendy new Waypointe complex. Sit outside along the central plaza, complete with a fountain.

Michael Anthony’s Tuscan Grill, Middlebury: Michael Anthony's Tuscan Grill in Milford overlooks marshes and Gulf Pond. Feast on classic Italian dishes like Linguini with Clam Sauce, Stuffed Shells, Veal Parmigiano, and more.

Locali, New Canaan: Locali serves up tasty eats like oven fired pizzas, Shaved Local Cauliflower, Goat Cheese Bruschetta, and Umami Meatballs. Outdoor seating begins around the end of April.

Roger Sherman Inn, New Canaan: Park yourself under the red awnings at the Roger Sherman Inn and take in the history of this traditional Connecticut inn. Overlook the gardens and beautiful yard while you enjoy such specialties as Vichyssoise, Smoked Scottish Salmon, Escargots, Dover Sole Meuniere, and Chocolate Mousse with hand-dipped strawberries.

South End, New Canaan: When the temperatures climb, South End in New Canaan sets up an enclosed patio in their front parking lot.

Caseus, New Haven: Cheese and charcuterie while sitting outside in the summer sun. Could life get any better? Find out at Caseus in New Haven.

Goodfellas, New Haven: At Goodfellas in New Haven, enjoy rooftop dining with your Gnocchi Pomodoro, Sicilian Penne, antipastos, Zuppa di Clams, and risottos.

Temple Grill, New Haven: At Temple Grill in New Haven, build your own pasta dishes, salads, and sandwiches. It's easy, casual, college-town pub food

L’Orcio, New Haven: At L'orcia in New Haven, the wisteria covered arbor seats patrons outside during warm weather.

Figs Wood Fired Bistro, Newtown:Enjoy lunch or dinner outside at Figs Wood Fired Bistro in Newtown under several umbrella-ed tables on their terrace. Wood-fired makes everything taste better, doesn’t it?

Foundry Kitchen and Tavern, Newtown: At Foundry Kitchen and Tavern in Newtown, sit alongside a babbling brook and enjoy what they call “elevated tavern food."

Banc House, Norwalk: BBQ and Crab is what BanC house is all about! So dine outside in the warm weather and get that bib.

Bar Sugo, Norwalk: Everything at Bar Sugo is simple, but high quality. The small plates may be small, but are packed with flavor. The outdoor seating area is tiny, but great for warm weather.

Burger Bistro Bar, Norwalk: Burger Bistro Bar in Norwalk offers outdoor seating... and even has a doggie menu for your four-legged dining companions!

El Segundo, Norwalk: El Segundo serves globally inspired street food, perfect for snacking on outside. Their extensive outdoor space in the back features a bar, jukebox, picnic tables, and more.

Harbor Lights, Norwalk:  Harbor Lights in Norwalk has a deck overlooking Long Island Sound.

Harlan Public, Norwalk:Harlan Publick, Harlan Social's sister restaurant in Norwalk, has plenty of outdoor space. A room with a full bar opens up to the outside and there is a full patio and lawn.

The Spread, Norwalk & Greenwich: Enjoy Chef Carlos' creative fare on The Spread's new patio in SoNo, or at the recently opened Greenwich location. 

Beach House, Norwalk: The Beach House Cafe has been a longtime Greenwich staple, and they now have a location in Norwalk.

Match, Norwalk: Match in Norwalk has outdoor tables so you can be a part of SoNo's bustling atmosphere.

Mediterraneo, Norwalk: Perched so that diners can view the rambling river and waterfall below, Mediterraneo offers up seafood dishes and specialty pizzas to entice for lunch and dinner.

The Pearl At Longshore, Westport: Nestled on the scenic coastline at Westport’s historic Longshore Club Park, Pearl offers one of the most stunning views in the area and is a meeting place for the community to eat, drink, relax and enjoy all year round. less

Oak + Almond, Norwalk: Oak + Almond is a great choice for lunch, dinner or late night. Sit under the twinkled trees on their roomy patio.

Overton’s, Norwalk: Overton's in Norwalk is a classic New England clam shack that also serves burgers and dogs. They offer picnic table seating overlooking Norwalk Harbor.

The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood, Norwalk: The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood has docking available if you want to arrive by boat.

Sails Bar and Grill, Norwalk: Sails Bar and Grill in Norwalk is a bit of Nantucket on the mainland for brunch, lunch and dinner. It has a cute, white-picket fence surrounded outdoor patio.

Valencia Luncheria, Norwalk: Put your feet in the sand- literally! Valencia in Norwalk has a beach-like outdoor space with tiki torches and tables so you can dine alfresco on arepas, ceviche, tortilla wraps, rice and beans, empanadas, burritos, and more.

Washington Prime, Norwalk: Washington Prime has the "prime" corner at the intersection of Washington Street and Water Street in downtown South Norwalk, with tons of great outdoor seating.

Bailey’s Backyard, Ridgefield: Bailey's Backyard in Ridgefield has several tables out front for eating al fresco. When nights are chilly, they offer blankets for your dining comfort

Bernard’s/Sarah’s Wine Bar, Ridgefield:Order from a bistro menu and listen to live music on the roof at Bernard's in Ridgefield.

Luc’s Cafe, Ridgefield: Luc's Cafe in Ridgefield has a lovely flowered terrace, just outside the open doors of the restaurant. Wile away the afternoon pretending you are in the South of France.

TerraSole, Ridgefield www.terrasoleridgefield.com

Crab Shell, Stamford:The Crab Shell in Stamford is right on the water. You can even get there by boat and dock at the restaurant.

F.I.S.H, Stamford: Brought to you by the owners of Quattro Pazzi and Osianna, F.I.S.H. offers al fresco dining on Bedford St.

Harlan Social, Stamford: At Harlan Social in Stamford, comfortable and elegant outdoor seating can be found for brunch, lunch and dinner.

Sign of the Whale, Stamford: Sign of the Whale's rooftop is a great place to take in summer evenings.

Prime, Stamford: Prime in Stamford has dining options along the Long Island Sound. You can even take your own boat or come by water taxi.

Outriggers, Stratford: At Outriggers in Stratford, Sit dockside at Brewer’s Marina on the Housatonic River at their sizable outside deck or saddle up to the Buoy Bar where lunch and dinner is served.

The Essex, Centerbrook: The Essex is starting construction this week on a large outdoor deck for June 1st. Stay tuned! 

Riverview Bistro, Stratford: Riverview Bistro in Stratford is appropriately named. The banquet hall and restaurant has plenty of outdoor tables overlooking the Housatonic.

Amis Trattoria, Westport: Amis Trattoria may be on a tiny side street in downtown Westport, but it might as well be on a tine side street in Rome.

Bartaco, Westport, West Hartford: Bartaco has beautiful outdoor patios at their West Hartford and Westport locations so you can partake in their tacos, seasonal sides, and cocktails outdoors.

Jesup Hall, Westport: Jesup Hall is located in Westport's old town hall. Their patio is perfect for sipping fresh cocktails and enjoying their farm-to-table fare.

Kawa Ni, Westport: At Kawa Ni in Westport, do lunch and dinner down in the main dining room or up a somewhat "backdoor" staircase to a beautiful patio overlooking the Saugatuck River.

Little Barn, Westport: At Little Barn in Westport, you’re in a barn, looking out at flowers, sitting by a firepit... and yet you’re on the Post Road!

The Spotted Horse Tavern, Westport: The Spotted Horse Tavern in Westport has a large bar and dining room inside as well as seating outside.

Sitting Duck, Trumbull: The Sitting Duck's Trumbull location has an outdoor terrace with firepits and heaters for chillier evenings.

Bistro Versailles, Greenwich: Bistro Versailles, located at 339 Greenwich Avenue, has al fresco dining directly on Greenwich Avenue. In addition to al fresco dining directly on “The Ave.,” the restaurant has floor to ceiling doors that open onto its sidewalk dining. 

Guilford Mooring, Guilford: Guilford Mooring is open year-round, seven days a week for lunch and dinner, offering unparalleled views from an outdoor bar and deck with firepits, as well as the newly-renovated indoor bar/dining area.

elm, New Canaan: elm in New Canaan has a small but lovely sidewalk dining space.

Craft 14, Wilton: With a great comfort food/ globally inspired menu, you can enjoy the patio at Craft 14 while you nibble on steamed bao, fish tacos or a killer burger. 

Rothbard Ale & Larder, Westport: We love this European gastropub, especially in the summer when the patio is open, often featuring live music. 

Brick + Wood, Fairfield: A covered patio is the perfect backdrop for some great Neapolitan style pizza and Italian street food inspired menu. 

Beach House Grill, Stratford: Beach House has outdoor seating on the patio.  Check their website for theirlive music schedule.

 Tequila Revolucion, Fairfield: Picnic tables line the patio of this popular Mexican favorite, a great spot for margaritas and traditional Mexican fare.  

Arezzo Ristorante, Westport: With an outdoor patio overlooking the Saugatuck River, guests can enjoy Italian fare with a water view.