Dining Alfresco: 15 of Kansas City’s Best Restaurant Patios

If you stop and think about it, daring to enjoy a meal outside in the Midwest is a little like tempting fate. It is just you and your happy-hour patio plans versus Mother Nature, and she has a whole list of ways she could make your meal miserable—think ten plagues from the bible.

Yet when the sun is shining and there is a nice breeze, a restaurant with a great outdoor patio is a siren’s call most of us simply cannot ignore. It is a temptress that will make you call in well from work, leave your desk early, or take a long and luxurious lunch for a chance to dine outdoors. Restaurants and bars with excellent patios are always hopping, and people tend to flock to them once the temps finally get temperate enough to be outside without a coat.

In Kansas City, our outdoor dining options can take many forms. With all the patios, rooftops, parklets, sidewalk cafes, alleys, and even the parking lots that we partied on during the pandemic, many of us learned that even a parking spot with a few tables and chairs in front of a restaurant can be a magical wonderland with enough wine, candles, and outdoor twinkle lights.

From a restaurant-owner’s perspective, an outdoor patio can easily double the seating capacity of a restaurant, which also means it takes more labor to open and seat people on the patio, a pain point that most restaurants are still dealing with as they crawl their way back from the pandemic. So, if you arrive at your favorite spot to find the patio is not open on a beautiful day, know that if they had the labor to open it, they most certainly would because they want to take your money, as much as you want to give it to them.

With the sun shining high in the sky these days, it seems like the perfect time to round up a list of restaurant patios worth visiting in Kansas City. I have done my best to find patios in neighborhoods around the metro, and by no means is this a comprehensive list. If you have a favorite patio in your neighborhood, please go and support it. Come December’s cold chill, you will be thinking fondly of the time you spent outdoors on a patio this summer with your friends, I promise.  

Electric Park at J. Rieger Distillery

There are several things that make Electric Park a standout patio choice this season. First, it is big with plenty of room to spread out, and it offers lots of seating. Next, the cocktails served on the patio are a creative selection of boozy slushies and ice-cold creations that all use J. Rieger & Co. spirits. Finally, the food truck this season at the end of the patio will be manned by a rotating selection of pop-up chefs, which means no two visits will feel the same. 

Messenger Coffee

Sister businesses Messenger Coffee and Ibis Bakery share the beautiful three-story building near downtown Kansas City, serving up in-house roasted coffee and a large selection of amazing breads, pastries, and breakfast and lunch plates. They have also created plenty of spots to enjoy them, including their amazing rooftop deck, complete with a cozy outdoor fireplace and plenty of seating. Grab a cappuccino and chocolate croissant and head for the roof for your morning or midday pick-me-up.


Located at 19th and Main inside the courtyard of the Corrigan Station building, you will find Sauced, a walk-up counter in the heart of the city operated by Steven Blakely and the chef Jayaun Smith. Order online for carry-out or sit and enjoy it in the sun dappled courtyard with green plants and stylish picnic tables and swinging chairs. Try the One Hand burger, a single patty smash burger with sauteed onions, lettuce, tomato, and Dijon aioli alongside an order of seasoned hand-cut fries.

Extra Virgin

Michael and Nancy Smith and their dedicated team at Extra Virgin have created the ultimate outdoor patio spot right on the streetcar line in the Crossroads Art District. The menu is full of delicious sharable items, such as chickpea fries with romesco sauce, cucumber salad with roasted peanuts and a trio of mezze spreads with pita bread to pair from their Mediterranean-inspired menu.  


The rooftop bar at the top of the Crossroads Hotel during patio season is a popular stop offering unique views of the entire downtown Kansas City skyline, in addition to a tasty food and drink menu. Here you’ll find dishes with a Mediterranean flavor, including bay scallop ceviche, crispy halloumi, and kofta lamb skewers to enjoy with a glass of wine or beer. Their cocktail list also has plenty of light and flavorful drinks, such as their strawberry negroni, a frozen orange-crush slushie, and a boozy Turkish iced coffee.  

Fox and Pearl

Make reservations tonight to sit on the beautiful red-brick patio behind Fox and Pearl. Outdoor cafe lights and lush green plants give this patio a romantic sparkle, perfect for dining and drinking under the stars. Start with the potted cheese spread and pickles, then take your pick of proteins prepared by the chef Vaughn Good on the wood-fired hearth, such as pork or lamb chops, rib eye, smoked chicken, or grilled quail. The pasta dishes at Fox & Pearl should not be overlooked and can easily be paired with your favorite glass of beer, wine, or cocktail.  

Gram & Dun

Gram & Dun’s spacious patio has always ranked among the best on the Country Club Plaza to relax, dine, drink, and people-watch. There is not another patio in the city that can beat the incredible location, views, and hospitality. Guests relax on modern outdoor furniture or at highly sought-after tables ready to enjoy a full dinner, lunch, or brunch menu available to enjoy on the patio with a glass of whatever makes you happy. Reservations specifically for outdoor or indoor seating can be made from their website.


The cool and serene outdoor patio located behind Heather White’s French café on Main Street, Tailleur, is like a hidden oasis with direct access to parking, which is just one of its many charms. The tile-covered outdoor patio gives off just as much atmospheric charm with its woven French café chairs and white marble tabletops as the inside, where you are surrounded by antiques and equestrian embellishments. Come for coffee and pastries, a quick lunch, or leisurely dinner, where you’ll find steamed mussels in wine, quiche, niçoise salad, and steak and frites all on the menu.  

Earl’s Premier

With weekend tables still somewhat hard to score at Todd Schulte and Cory Dannehl’s Brookside seafood spot, Earl’s Premier, seeing guests seated on their outdoor patio is a welcome sight, as it doubles the restaurant seating and thus your chances for being able to find a spot to sip a frozen G&T or glass of rosé while you eat a dozen fresh oysters and the crispy fried cod and French fries as you watch the neighborhood kids play tag in the empty lot across the street.

Rye Leawood

Although both Rye locations offer outdoor dining, it doesn’t get more peaceful or relaxing than the waterside patio at Rye in Mission Farms. The executive chef, Ryan Williams, invites you to enjoy a leisurely alfresco lunch on the patio. At dinner, savor hearty steaks, fried chicken, salads, and sides. For a bit of whimsy, stop in for a slice of pie or cake and a cup of coffee or cocktail on the spacious and welcoming patio.  

Verbena & The Market at Meadowbrook

Operating in the heart of Meadowbrook Park in Prairie Village, everything about The Market at Meadowbrook and its fine-dining sister, Verbena, feels like summer, including the cooling covered outdoor patios that show off gorgeous views of the park. The menus at both places are a reminder of summers spent on the East Coast, with popular dishes, such as New England clam chowder, crab dip, and a lobster and crab roll, alongside meatier dishes like a filet mignon, pork chop, or linguini and clams.

Restaurant at 1900

Last fall, Restaurant at 1900 completed a redesign and expansion of the outdoor dining area in front of their restaurant, blending modern design with midcentury touches. A custom stainless-steel canopy with a retractable sunshade now covers the outdoor space where a Moreno quartzite water fountain creates a cool and shady spot. Enjoy the tasty lunch or dinner menu from the executive chef, Linda Duerr, that delightfully blends the produce of the season with thoughtful portions of beef, fish, and game in dishes that pair beautifully with their impressive wine list. 

La Bodega

At La Bodega, the outside patio is always open to walk-in guests. Outdoor tables sit shaded under awnings, while colorful, lush planters define and decorate the seating area. Corner spots full of cushions make more room for guests to sit outside and enjoy a glass of Spanish wine with their selection of tapas, including the gazpacho, pancetta-wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo, and patatas bravas along with a pitcher of sangria.

Gaels Public House & Sports

There are certain spots in this town that have nine lives, and the building on Troost that is currently home to Gaels Public House & Sports is one of those spots. The current owners took a good bar and made it better by adding more televisions, more events, and expanding and enhancing the outdoor patio, which now is covered in beautiful  blue umbrellas that make everyone look cool under the hot sun. The casual menu offers a mix of tasty Irish specialties, including cottage pie and shepherd’s pie, mixed with traditional American pub fare and a full bar pouring wine, beer, and patio pounders like a boozy Dole whip and watermelon spritz.

Bamboo Penny

There is no denying that the chef Penny Mufuka and Doug Mufuka have two of the best restaurant patios in Leawood located in the heart of the Park Place shopping center. The first is their open-air rooftop patio and the other is on the ground floor next to Barkley Square. Bring friends and enjoy your perch on the patio where you can people watch as you enjoy and order the Thai spicy sausage, tiger cry beef, pork laab salad, or Pad Thai a la Penny alongside a soju colada or hibiscus royale cocktail.

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