We love eating out in Hartford, obviously. And what do we like more than that? Dining out outside. Maybe it’s just us, but food and drinks just taste better when you can enjoy them in the great outdoors during the spring and summer months!
In a city like Hartford, sometimes it’s tough to find really good spots with ideal outdoor dining spaces. That’s why we are, of course, compiling a comprehensive list of our favorites so you don’t have to go searching far and wide for your next outdoor dinner date or happy hour (wait, did someone say happy hour? Check out our guide on that, too.)
Read on, friends, there’s some good stuff ahead.
Incredibly tasty Italian comfort food, an extensive wine list, espresso martinis and a decent amount of sidewalk seating with views of Bushnell Park nearby make Salute on Trumbull one of our favorite spots to grab a bite outside on warm summer evenings.
Continuing down Trumbull, you won’t want to skip Trumbull Kitchen. In the warmer months, they put out a bunch of patio tables with umbrellas so guests can dine right on the sidewalk. We love Trumbull Kitchen for its varied and eclectic menu plus its newly revamped and very extensive tequila and mezcal offerings.
A gastropub with a lot of character, we’ll give Republic at the Linden an honorable mention for having hybrid outdoor dining. Its covered patio has large, screen-less windows that let in tons of natural light and a breeze with enough coverage that makes it a great spot to dine in even on rainy days. In terms of definitions, this one fits our outdoor dining requirement pretty loosely but we’ll keep it on the list anyway.
Okay, hear us out on this one. Yes, you can come to Arch Street Tavern for dinner and drinks but we’d recommend waiting until after 9:00pm when the live music starts to get the full Arch experience. Catch live music almost any night of the week (and notably Wednesdays for funk night). It’s a great vibe all year long, but in the summertime, the doors are open and the live music spills onto the patio, making the outdoor area a perfect vibe.
We consider Pratt Street one big outdoor patio! The brick-lined street features a bunch of great restaurants with tables scattered throughout during spring, summer, and early fall. Visit Sorella for crispy, brick oven pizza and handmade pastas, Vaughan’s for some of the best Irish pub fare around (their reuben is SERIOUSLY unmatched), and the recently renovated and revamped Sunberry Bar & Restaurant, which has a completely new menu of Korean and Japanese-style dishes and craft cocktails.
And we’ll let you in on a little secret: there’s a lot more where that came from, so stay tuned for all the new spots opening on Pratt Street this year!
A staple in Frog Hollow, Red Rock Tavern has been in Hartford for over 80 years. Right on Capitol Ave, its outdoor seating is perfect for happy hour drinks and sharing apps with friends. For all of the brunch-lovers out there, Red Rock Tavern is one of our fave spots for boozy outdoor weekend brunches all summer long.
J Restaurant and Bar might just have one the largest outdoor patio spaces in the entire city of Hartford. This patio is totally worth checking out and also features an outdoor bar (in shipping containers, no less!) Happy hour deals make this spot one of our favorite post-work digs.
With an outdoor space that’s small but mighty, Wood-n-Tap’s Hartford location overlooks the busy Sisson Ave. We love it for its “Tappy Hour,” (which is always best enjoyed outside in our opinion), featuring discounted bar bites like $3 fries and $5 spinach artichoke dip, plus $7 specialty cocktails, $6 glasses of wine and $5 draft pours.
For our outdoor dining lovers who enjoy Asian-European fusion—Tisane is the perfect outdoor dining spot in the summer. There’s also a little bit for everyone at Tisane. Enjoy strong drinks and DJ sets on Friday nights? Tisane. Sunday Funday brunch more your style? Tisane has that too.
It may be coined #HartfordsBestKeptSecret, but don’t worry, it’s a secret we’re willing to share with you! Matty D’s is a sports bar and restaurant with a decent-sized patio. Perfect for casual dining and if you’re in the mood for simple yet delicious pub fare. We’re talking loaded fries, jumbo pretzels, ballpark nachos, fried Brussels sprouts, and more.
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the always wonderful Parkville Market. While it’s great all year long, it especially shines in the warmer months with a huge outdoor dining area that also hosts tons of events like Salsa nights, live music, outdoor yoga, and so much more.
The Tavern at Keney Park is a destination for golfers and non-golfers alike. With sweeping views of the park’s 18-hole golf course, this outdoor dining destination is one of our favorites. Fun fact: did you know Keney Park is one of the largest parks in New England? The Tavern at Keney Park sits upon almost 700 acres of land. You’ll soon forget you’re even in the city when dining here. The food menu is also pretty superb: buttered pretzel bites, pierogies, and hot dogs, to name a few. And while it’s great any time of day, you know we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it’s happy hour: Sunday through Friday, noon to 5:00pm.