In the song Day Drinking, Little Big Town sings about finding " open umbrella on the patio..." And, seeing as the warm weather looks like it's here for good, here are the five best places in Rochester to do just that.

  • FIVE WEST — This solid member of Rochester’s restaurant scene went through is heading into its third warm-weather season, and is a great place to catch a drink outside. It's located on Commonwealth Drive,  just off West Circle Drive near Costco. My wife and I stopped in for a couple of drinks at their outdoor bar several times last year and had a great time. And, they have plenty of tables that allow you to enjoy some time outside while you enjoy your dinner, too.
  • TWIGS TAVERN & GRILL — Located in southwest Rochester on the corner of 6th Street and 5th Avenue, their patio has been voted the Best in Rochester several times– and it’s easy to see why. Their outdoor fire pits make it fun to sit outside even if things get a bit chilly once the sun goes down.
  • THE TAP HOUSE — The Tap House on Historic 3rd Street has also long been known for their great outdoor seating, including a their big outdoor bar. But they’ve expanded their outdoor seating to the east side of the building, as well. Either way, you can enjoy their huge selection of craft beers while enjoying a cool view of downtown Rochester.
  • HOT CHIP BURGER BAR — Located near the shores of the mighty Zumbro River off 16th Street Southwest, this one's a bit of a stretch, because I haven't actually used the outdoor area...yet. In its previous life (when it was Zzest Cafe), their outdoor seating area made you feel as if you were in a park– it was that scenic. So, hopefully, even though it now has a totally different layout as Hot Chip, the outdoor space will still be available.
  • TERZA AND LA VETTA — Another newer entry into the Rochester restaurant scene, the rooftop at La Vetta, located downtown on South Broadway and Third Street, is another great place to get outside while you enjoy a lovely adult beverage. Their view of downtown Rochester gives you a vantage point of the city you’ve probably not seen all that often, either!
 Did I miss any? Where’s your favorite place to dine or get a drink outside here in southeast Minnesota? Let me know, leave a comment below on our Facebook page!


 Listen to Curt St. John from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5 
and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 103.9 The Doc


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