Technically the first day of spring is March 20, but it already feels like spring in Tucson (if we forget about the snow we got last week).
Before it gets too warm outside, we thought we'd share our giant list of restaurant patios.
This list of outdoor dining spots is long and all-encompassing. And now, the updated version has even more restaurants on it, including some unexpected spots you might not have remembered or thought of. Bookmark this page and return again the next time you feel like going out to a restaurant. (Or coffee shop or bar.)
We tried to include all of our favorite patios on this list but if you know of any others we should add, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was last updated on March 6, 2023.
• Decibel Coffee Works: Located in the MSA Annex outdoor market, this local roaster sources its coffee with an eye toward social responsibility and the environment. / website: decibelcoffeeworks.com / address: 267 S. Avenida del Convento
Breakfast / brunch
• Café a la C'Art: Located on the grounds of the Tucson Museum of Art, this charming breakfast cafe has a Monet-inspired garden patio with lots of leafy plants. / website: cafealacarttucson.com / address: 150 N. Main Ave.
• Village Bakehouse: The Oro Valley bakery has a nice covered patio out front, where you can order a full breakfast or snack on some freshly-baked pastries. website: villagebakehouse.com / address: 7882 N. Oracle Road
• Baja Cafe: Order one of Baja Cafe's extravagant specials while sitting on their pet-friendly patio. Get a cinnamon roll pancake for the table! / website: click here / address: 7002 E. Broadway and 2970 N. Campbell Ave.
• El Charro Café: Tucson's most storied Mexican restaurant has three locations, but the original building has one of the largest and nicest patios in downtown Tucson. / website: elcharrocafe.com / address: 311 N. Court Ave.
• Guadalajara Original Grill: The Prince location has a leafy adobe patio where you can get that tableside salsa, margaritas and more. / website: guadalajaraoriginalgrill.com / address: 1220 E. Prince Road
• La Yaquesita: Dine outdoors at La Yaquesita's two locations, one of which is a stationary food truck and the other is a brick and mortar on Fourth Avenue. / website: facebook.com/YaquesitaTacos / address: 6530 S. Camino del Oeste and 500 N. Fourth Ave.
Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian food
• Obon: Get your pork buns out onto this patio, because it's one of the best in the downtown area. They've also got a nice heater situation for when the nights get chillier. And of course, ramen. / website: obonsushi.com / address: 350 E. Congress St.
• Govinda’s: This hidden gem restaurant has an oasis of a patio with a koi pond and a waterfall. The vegetarian restaurant is connected to the Hare Krishna temple. / website: govindasoftucson.com / address: 711 E. Blacklidge Drive
• LaCo: LaCo, formerly La Cocina, arguably has one of the best patios in Tucson. Shared with TallBoys in the morning and decked out with twinkling string lights at night, LaCo is the place to be in fall weather. / website: lacotucson.com / address: 201 N. Court Ave.
• Edna's Eatery: This cafe is located in the lush Tucson Botanical Gardens and is named after Edna Johnson who was a housekeeper, friend and gardener to the Gardens' founders. Garden admission fees are required to eat at Edna's. / website: tucsonbotanical.org/cafe / address: 2150 N. Alvernon Way
• Main Gate Square: Most of the restaurants in Main Gate Square on the edge of the University of Arizona campus have patios. Check out Gentle Ben's, Bacio, Frog & Firkin, No Anchovies, Sinbad's and Illegal Pete's. / website: maingatesquare.com / address: 814 E. University Blvd.
• Raspados El Paraiso: This raspados and antojitos shop has two locations on the east side, but the Golf Links spot has a giant patio in the back. / website: facebook.com/raspadoselparaisotucson / address: 7701 E. Golf Links Road
• Rocco's Little Chicago: Enjoy a Chicago-style pie on the Rocco's patio (and you might even get a quick laugh at their ever-changing sign out front). website: roccoslittlechicago.com / address: 2707 E. Broadway
Bistros and fine dining
• Locale: Located on the historic grounds of the former Old Pueblo Grille, this modern Italian restaurant is an excellent place to sip an Aperol spritz. The sprawling patio reaches around the building with plenty of shady umbrellas to protect you from the sun. / website: localetucson.com / address: 60 N. Alvernon Way
• Tohono Chul Garden Bistro: This gourmet restaurant is situated on the 49-acre garden and natural desert landscape that is Tohono Chul. / website: tohonochul.org/dining / address: 7366 N. Paseo Del Norte
• Wildflower: The original Fox Restaurant at Casas Adobes Plaza has one of Tucson's most sought-after patios. Be sure to make a reservation in advance. / website: wildflowertucson.com / address: 7037 N. Oracle Road
• Ignite at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain: The cocktail lounge has an epic patio that looks out onto the Tortolita Mountains. / website: ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/arizona/dove-mountain/dining/ignite / address: 15000 N. Secret Springs Drive
• The Coronet: The bistro on Cushing Street is located in a historic building with a dreamy Spanish patio. There's also the newly opened Meyer Avenue Cafe. / website: coronettucson.com / address: 198 W. Cushing St.
• Wild Garlic Grill: When the California bistro moved to its Foothills location in 2017, it inherited a large patio out back in the stately Plaza Colonial. / website: wildgarlicgrill.com / address: 2870 E. Skyline Drive
Food and drink halls
• The Boxyard: The shipping container food hall on Fourth Avenue has a bar and food vendors including Mexican, Vietnamese and Indian food. / website: theboxyardtucson.com / address: 238 N. Fourth Ave.
• Mercado San Agustin and MSA Annex: The Mercado District complex on the west side has proven to be a popular spot for quarantine diners, with several food options including Seis Kitchen, Agustin Kitchen, Beaut Burger, Kukai and Westbound. / website: mercadodistrict.com / address: 100 S. Avenida del Convento and 267 S. Avenida del Convento
• American Eat Co.: This indoor food hall on the south side also has a decent patio area on the side where you can eat your towers of mariscos sitting on a cushy booth. / website: americaneatco.com / address: 1439 S. Fourth Ave.
• Trident Grill: This popular sports bar has four locations across Tucson, but the best patio is the one at Plaza Palomino, which looks out onto the stately shopping plaza. / website: tridentgrill.com / address: 2910 N. Swan Road
• Saguaro Corners: Located at the base of Saguaro National Park East, this east-side gastropub has fabulous views of the Rincon Mountains, and you can often spot roaming animals like javelinas. / website: saguaro-corners-restaurant-bar.business.site / address: 3750 S. Old Spanish Trail
• Noble Hops: This gastropub's location in Oro Valley has a spacious patio with sweeping mountain views of Pusch Ridge in the Santa Catalina Mountains. / website: noblehops.com / address: 1335 W. Lambert Lane
Breweries and craft beer bars
• MotoSonora Brewing Co.: This microbrewery on Park Avenue sports a large outdoor beer garden with tables made from wooden barrels and even a dog park. / website: motosonora.com / address: 1015 S. Park Ave.
• Tucson Hop Shop: The midtown beer and wine bar has almost 20 brews on tap as well as a leafy beer garden out back with sculptures from the Metal Arts Village. / website: tucsonhopshop.com / address: 3230 N. Dodge Blvd.
• Crooked Tooth Brewing Co.: This Fourth Avenue-area brewery opened a spacious patio recently with tables made from Whiskey Del Bac barrels. / website: facebook.com/crookedtoothbrewing / address: 228 E. Sixth St.
• Borderlands Brewing Company: Spotted with palo verde trees, the Toole Avenue brewery has a vibrant front patio surrounded by red brick buildings. / website: iloveborderlands.com / address: 119 E. Toole Ave.
• Three Canyon Beer and Wine Garden: This east-side pub features a spacious 1½-acre patio, complete with desert landscaping, picnic tables and fire pits. / website: threecanyon.com / address: 4999 N. Sabino Canyon Road
• Saint Charles Tavern: This South Tucson bar has a large patio area in the back with long picnic tables and colorful mural art by local artists. / website: facebook.com/SaintCharlesTavern / address: 1632 S. Fourth Ave.