Patio season isn’t a thing in St. John’s — it’s more an intermittent series of scattered sunny days when the city erupts into solar revelry.

But one thing is for sure: when the weather is nice everyone flocks to any decked-out space where they can have a beer and some food. To make sure you aren’t stuck on the outside looking in (to the patio), these are the best al fresco experiences in the city, from hidden rooftop decks to brand new beer gardens. 

Mallard Cottage
8 Barrows Road

Mallard Cottage is hustling to open a beer garden in early July with a grand opening barbecue tentatively scheduled for Canada Day weekend. The beer garden will be more informal than the restaurant’s interior, with sawdust covering the ground and wooden picnic tables. “It’s more geared towards backyard barbecue,” says chef/owner Todd Perrin. Think burgers, sausages, and salads; a happy hour style menu with brews to sip on. The beer garden will be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from noon until sunset.

Yellowbelly Brewery
288 Water Street 

Yellowbelly’s patio is a great place for people watching at the intersection of Water and George Street. Happy Hour runs from 4-6pm daily, making it even easier to continue downing those Wexford Wheats in the sunshine.

Photo by Gabby Peyton

O’Reilly’s Irish Pub
13 George Street 

O’Reilly’s opened their rooftop patio three years ago during one of the coldest summers St. John’s has seen, but this somewhat-secret George Street oasis off Williams Lane is heating up. With a capacity of 120, there’s food service, a summer cocktail menu, and you can book it out for private events.

St. John’s Fish Exchange Kitchen & Wet Bar
351 Water Street 

The patio may be small, but the drink list at St. John’s Fish Exchange is not. Craft cocktails, beer, and a dozen wines by the glass are enjoyed overlooking the harbour.

The Sundance
33 Gower Street 

With Chef Mark McCrowe of Aqua and The Club now behind the menu at this iconic patio, the place will be more crowded then ever. Everything on the menu is $5, even dishes like Hawkins Mac N’ Cheese, Poutine with Five Brothers Cheese, and crispy falafel wraps.

Chafe’s Landing Restaurant
11 Main Road, Petty Harbour 

The view of this trendy little inlet is unparalleled in Petty Harbour, plus they are pumping out some of the best fish and chips in the city. The Upper Deck features a summer Friday concert series showcasing local talent like Irish Descendants and The Navigators.

Jack Astor’s
125 Harbour Drive 

Chain or not, this eatery has one of the best harbour views in the city. With a large drink list ranging from Fish Bowl cocktails to draft beer, there’s a lot to sip on while watching the cruise ships coming and going.

The Sprout Restaurant
364 Duckworth Street 

The patio at The Sprout faces south, making it a great place to get an alfalfa fix and some Vitamin C all day long. Plus, it’s licensed, so you can have a beer while enjoying that famous Bravacado sandwich.

Piatto Midtown
60 Elizabeth Avenue 

Pizza, Peroni, and sunshine are a great combination. Enjoy a meal and an Aperol Spritz (or five) at this Elizabeth Avenue eatery.

Gypsy Tea Room Courtyard
Murray Premises 

This restaurant has one of most Instagrammable patios in St. John’s. The magical courtyard might not get direct sunshine all day long, but be consoled by the towers of beer, cocktails, and dishes like mussels and pizzas from EVOO.

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar
127 Harbour Drive 

Since The Keg moved into the defunct Legros & Motti space their patio is jacked up. The full menu is served out on the patio, so you can have your steak and eat up the view of the Narrows.

Magnum & Steins
329 Duckworth Street 

This intimate patio is right off the bar and may not be well-known (it only has about four tables), but with happy hour specials including glasses of Prosecco and duck confit nachos, it’s worth hedging your bets on grabbing a table.

By Da Beach Fish and Chips
608 Thorburn Road, Portugal Cove 

Someone somewhere once said seafood is always best enjoyed while looking at the ocean and while the patio isn’t licensed at By Da Beach, the views alone are worth it. Savour panoramic perspectives of Bell Island and your fi and chi at the same time.

Photo by Gabby Peyton