8 patios for soaking up the summer sun in Atlanta

(Or sitting under an umbrella with a big hat, covered in 100 SPF sunscreen, if that’s more your thing)

Atlanta is a city of patio lovers. No matter the weather, if a patio is open, Atlantans will be on it the minute alcohol sales begin. And since it is still that glorious time of year when the weather fluctuates between warm and sunny and steaming hot, even those who just can’t with this Southern heat can get in on the outdoor action. Here’s how to find your preferred patio:

The outdoor patio at Bread & Butterfly.

Photograph by Amy Sinclair.

When you want to pretend you’re in Paris: Bread & Butterfly
Chef/owners Billy and Kristin Allin’s adorable Inman Park bistro feels like the French restaurant Atlanta had long been craving. Its covered patio charms with bright yellow chairs, manicured boxwoods, and tiny tables made for two (and your dog too) and is a great place to spend the morning with a cappuccino and the best pancakes in the city, a lunch of Omelette du jour with vinegary mixed greens, or a whole roasted fish with a glass of rosé at dinner. No area has better foot traffic right now than Inman Park, so the people watching (especially on weekend mornings) is primo. 290 Elizabeth Street Northeast, 678-515-4536

The patio at The Federal.

Photograph courtesy of The Federal.

When you want a city vibe and a great steak: The Federal
There is just something about the vibe at The Federal that transports you elsewhere. The bustle of Midtown traffic adds pep to the small outdoor space of this steakhouse with a major French spin. Chef/owner Shaun Doty, who hails from Oklahoma, knows his beef and the menu has a tidy list of well-executed steaks with classic French mother sauces and sides. Taking a cue from the national trends, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner making it a great spot for a salad or steak frites at night. 1050 Crescent Avenue, 404-343-3857

The Patio at One Eared Stag.

Photograph courtesy of One Eared Stag.

If you’re looking for a hidden treasure: One Eared Stag
One Eared Stag doesn’t get nearly enough love for its consistency and longevity. Chef Robert Phalen continues to be one of our city’s most innovative chefs with dishes such as celery root braised in butter and served with honeycomb or his playful brunch items such as a full English breakfast. There’s also a kimchi bloody Mary and champagne cocktail to accompany your black pepper biscuits and sausage gravy. No matter what you eat or when you go, the patio at One Eared Stag is a crowd-pleaser that feels like a hidden secret with its backyard simplicity. 1029 Edgewood Avenue Northeast, 404-525-4479

The patio at Revival.

Photograph by Communion Cantina.

When you want a beer garden, but are also are craving tacos: Communion Cantina at Revival
In the backyard of chef Kevin Gillespie’s successful Southern restaurant Revival is an entirely different concept. Gillespie fashioned the space into a beer garden where you can sip punch, beer, or wine with snacks such as tacos and cheese dip served from a red food truck. (Gillespie changes the concept annually—last year it served brats, pretzels, and Bavarian beer cheese.) Communion Cantina is open at night during on weekdays and starting around lunchtime on the weekend. You don’t need reservations, and the string-light lit space has communal tables and games like corn hole to bide your time while you wait for your food. Revival also has a front porch if you want to dine like a bona fide Southerner—reservations recommended for that one. 129 Church Street, Decatur, 470-225-6770

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When you want to be with the cool kids near the BeltLine: 8ARM
8ARM was made for Instagram love, and its outdoor patio is quickly becoming the picture everyone needs to snap. Pink lights illuminate a bar that had a previous life as a shipping container. And the drinks are strong with firm roots in classic cocktails. Cinderblocks give the patio shape while communal tables offer common ground to meet new friends. On select nights, a DJ makes this one of the coolest nighttime hangs—and a great place to wake up with a biscuit and killer coffee the morning after. 710 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, 470-875-5856

The patio at the Watershed.

Photograph courtesy of Watershed

When you’re craving comfort food: Watershed
At his Southern-meets-European restaurant in Buckhead, chef Zeb Stevenson crafts pure comfort with unrivaled chicken and dumplings. The patio looks out onto the busy stretch of Peachtree near Piedmont Hospital, but string lights and communal tables give it a relaxed vibe. On Sundays, the restaurant has a Jazz brunch that includes freshly made beignets, shrimp and grits, grain bowls made with Anson Mills Barley and Farro. 1820 Peachtree Road, 404-809-3561

The patio at Halal Guys.

Photograph by Jennifer Zyman.

If you want to dine on one of the only patios on Buford Highway: Halal Guys
Al fresco dining on Buford Highway wasn’t a thing until Halal Guys, a popular gyro cart in New York that expanded into a chain of fast-casual restaurants, came along and opened its first Atlanta location. If you value watching this marvel of a highway evolve by the second, this patio at the intersection of Chamblee Tucker Road and Buford Highway is the one for you. The restaurant gets busy at lunch, so visit during off hours. The chicken shwarma and hummus are your best bets, although the food can sometimes be uneven. 4929 Buford Highway Northeast, Chamblee, 470-268-8481

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When you want a cold margarita and chips and salsa: Superica
The Krog Street location of Ford Fry’s popular Tex-Mex restaurant has enormous communal tables and an outdoor bar, which makes it the kind of place you want to park it after strolling the Eastside Trail. Go for brunch for stand-out chilaquiles before the sun is at its full potential. Or order puffy tacos and all of the margaritas to beat the heat later in the day. 99 Krog Street Northeast, 678-791-1310