So you’re craving a meal out at an actual restaurant, but it’s drizzly and a bit chilly out? Not to worry — an enormous number of Oregon’s restaurants and bars are now well-suited for dining in the fresh air during the cooler months, thanks to outdoor heaters and covered patios that have been added in the past year. Many cities are also keeping their street-side plazas and other al fresco dining areas as permanent fixtures for year-round enjoyment. Besides providing a safer space for dining, this expanded space has helped restaurants stay in business during these challenging times.
Wherever you visit, do your part to show kindness to restaurant workers, who are doing their best to serve customers amidst staff shortages and evolving regulations. Be kind, patient and flexible with staff as they work exhaustively to serve you and other customers. Show your gratuity if you’ve had a great experience. If you don’t have a face covering, many restaurants will happily supply one at the door.
Here’s a roundup of some of those cozy spaces.
According to Travel Portland’s patio finder, there are more than 200 covered, heated patios in the Rose City — from rooftop seating with a view at 10 Barrel Brewing Co. in the Pearl District to dog-friendly, tented seating at 3 Doors Down Cafe on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard. Downtown, the city’s Healthy Businesses permit program has enabled hundreds of businesses to build dining pods and covered awnings in parking spaces and on city streets. Check out the buzzy patio vibes at Cheryl’s on 12th, The Civic Taproom and Bottle Shop and Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen. On the east side, there are covered fire pits at Interurban, a friendly neighborhood feel at Stormbreaker Brewing and famous brunches at Tin Shed Garden Cafe, which is now reservation-only — great news to those who didn’t like to stand in line. Food-cart pods nearly always offer some covered seating, like the tented area at CORE PDX and the large indoor dining space at Beaverton’s BG Food Cartel.
Order up a hearty salad or house-smoked ribs to enjoy with your pint under cover on the patio at Three Creeks Brewing Co. in Sisters. Grace and Hammer in Redmond features Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza along with inventive cocktails like the Three-Fingered Jack — whiskey with honey, bitters and Oregon cherries — on its large patio, with plenty of room to spread out. The Bite in Tumalo is a collection of five family-friendly food carts with beer on tap, fire pits and music under a rooftop awning with pretty lights. For upscale dining, Jackalope Grill in Bend serves hyper-local, seasonal scratch fare like wild Columbia River salmon in a beautiful patio ambiance. Bright-turquoise umbrellas and a rainbow of flower baskets brighten up the wood patio space at Washington Dining & Cocktails in Bend, where you can make a reservation for indoor or outdoor seating.
Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge
Sit back and relax at the renovated outdoor space of The Bargeway Pub in The Dalles, featuring a corn bin over a crackling fire pit. As you cozy up, indulge in scratch-made fusion fare like firecracker calamari and lobster mac and cheese while listening to live music. It’s fun people-watching as you nosh on farm-fresh artisan pizza from the patio at Solstice Wood Fire Cafe and Bar in Hood River; it’s easy to book a reservation online. Visit the expanded location of Thunder Island Brewing Co. in Cascade Locks on the town’s main street, where you can enjoy your smoked-pork sandwich with a beer on the covered patio, with tableside heater and panoramic views of the Bridge of the Gods spanning the Columbia River. McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale has lovely gazebos over fire pits around the property; go early to secure a spot.
In the North Willamette Valley, Stoller Family Estate in Dayton is ready for winter sipping with a large heated tent with windows, so you can gaze out at the vineyard. A chandelier and cozy rugs help make the space feel elegant and rustic at the same time. In Carlton book a reservation in advance (or call for a same-day visit) to secure a seat on the covered and heated outdoor patio at Laurel Ridge Winery, which serves farm-style tasting flights with a picnic box of snacks. In the mid-Willamette Valley, B2 Taphouse & Brewery in Salem offers a covered patio with a heater as the weather cools off. This lesser-known spot for casual food and lots of Oregon beer on tap is dog-friendly, too. At Gilgamesh Brewing’s Campus South Salem, taste your favorite ales under the expansive covered patio with a fire pit and side panels, so it’s protected from wind and rain as well. Sip a seasonal ale with your burger on the heated patio at Block 15 Brewery & Tap Room, where you can place your order via your phone while you’re seated and have it delivered to your table. Dine on excellent farm-to-table fare like Willapa Bay fried oysters, crispy pork-belly fries and vegan red-curry tofu on the heated patio at Frankie’s in Albany. In Eugene you can check a map of restaurants with patios enabled by the city’s Streatery program, including the spectacular array of eateries at the expanded Fifth Street Public Market.
Find a spot along one of the three natural-gas fireplaces on the large patio at Finns Fish House in Seaside, with heaters and a covered bar area. The permanent tent at Luna Sea Fish House in Yachats is dog-friendly, with cozy seating for parties of two to six and their furry friends around a central fireplace. On the South Coast in Coos Bay, 7 Devils Brewing Co. has a fire pit as well as winter heaters and a few tables with umbrellas, with a covered stage for bands. Nearby in North Bend, Back Alley Pub & Grill (part of the local bowling alley, North Bend Lanes) has a fully covered and heated patio adjacent to the pub and bowling center with a fire pit and live music.