Where to eat outside in the 405.
The summer is nearly here, which means we’ve got a few weeks to enjoy patio weather before the sun begins its annual attempt to drive us inside and into the sweet respite of air conditioning. April and May are typically our best presummer patio months, just as October and November are the best postsummer months for al fresco dining and drinking. But since late spring weather is famously unpredictable, we’re throwing in a couple of covered patios, too.
30th St. Market, 407 NW 30th St., OKC
Its location adjacent to the Paseo makes it an ideal place to hang out during First Friday, but it’s always popping on nice days. You can get bottles or glasses of wine, local beers and wonderful food.
Chicken Shack, 18725 E Rte 66, Luther
The patio at the Luther chicken destination is so expansive it’s called the backyard. The food is excellent — there are gizzards! — and it has a large selection of beers as well as live music.
Frida Southwest, 500 Paseo, OKC
The bar program was nominated for a James Beard Award this year, and you might as well find out why on its beautiful patio. The wine list is ridiculously good, but the cocktail program is the best restaurant bar program in the 405.
Kindred Spirits, 1726 NE 23rd St., OKC
The NEOKC hub has a patio with a footprint larger than the actual inside bar (like The Pump). It offers live music, food trucks, great cocktails and easy ordering from Jabee’s Eastside Pizza House.
Ma Der Lao Kitchen, 1634 N. Blackwelder Ave., OKC
As much an urban alley as a patio, Ma Der’s beautiful space — made more so by Juuri’s lovely mural work — also features the food of James Beard Award nominee Chef Jeff Chanchaleune, as well as the best cocktails you’ll find in an Asian restaurant in the 405.
Pizzeria Gusto, 2415 N. Walker Ave., OKC
It’s genuinely hard to beat this candidate for best patio in the city. String lights, flagstones, a privacy fence and top-notch service combined with Chef Kathryn Mathis’ outstanding food, a quirky wine list (Lambrusco and pizza are made for each other!) and solid cocktails make Gusto an easy yes.
Riserva Bar + Tapas, 1332 W. Memorial Rd., OKC
The newest concept from Jeff Dixon’s Provision Concepts features the stunning food of Chef-Partner James Fox, a James Beard nominee for his restaurant Vecina in Phoenix. The food is the real draw, but the patio has a lovely view and seats about 50 people at tables and a long snack bar. Bonus: It’s next door to the new Gordon Ramsay concept, so if you’re really lucky, you might get him to scream at you over the low wall that separates the patios.
The Icehouse Project, 109 W. Second St., Edmond
Edmond’s newest patio offers you easy access to American Solera. If you’ve not had Chase Healey’s beers, you should know they’re the most sought-after in the state. You can choose Woodward Pizza or The Fried Taco for food, as well as Prelude Coffee Roasters for a quick pick-me-up.
The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave., OKC
Once the operators pop the top off this space, it becomes one of OKC’s favorite patios. Two walk-up windows allow easy access to the bar, and this is a bit of a secret, but even when Resy shows it’s full, the patio is still first-come, first-served open seating.
The Pump, 2425 N. Walker Ave., OKC
You would be hard-pressed to find a more eclectic crowd in the 405 than you’ll see at this Uptown 23rd watering hole, which has a limited food menu and plenty of drink options. The vibe is casual and friendly, avoiding the single-mingle atmosphere of too many bars.