The Edina community celebrates the patio dining season in style. Dining alfresco is an experience to be savored, and if someone else does the cooking, all the better. Edina restaurants offer a smorgasbord of patio dining possibilities—breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or happy hour, take your pick. Bring some friends, bring the kids or even bring the dog (call first). But hurry, the bright days of summer can fade fast to the muted shades of autumn.
Lunds and Byerly’s
For those who haven’t visited the new Lunds and Byerly’s patios, it’s time. The 50,000-square-foot store offers multi-level patio space and a fast-casual food selection. The upstairs patio area has a more serene vibe than the main-floor bustle. Grab an artisan cheese plate from a rotating selection of cheese trios with dried apricots, candied pecans and rustic bread crackers. Pair this with a craft tap beer like Lift Bridge Farm Girl, and make your way to one of Byerly’s comfy rattan patio chairs. You might find the upstairs patio surroundings so relaxing that you’re tempted to stay all day (some have!). Cheese plate $10; beer $5, $3 during happy hour.
7171 France Ave. S.; 952.831.3601
PARMA PIZZA AND BASIL LEMONADE
D’Amico and Sons
Situated on 50th Street and Halifax, this patio has a surprising community feel. Patrons can easily chat table to table in a space decorated with Mediterranean-style jars, flowers and plants. A fence with several gates for easy access defines the space. The spot is ideal to “watch the happenings in Edina, which is half the fun of being in Edina,” says Lynn Ulrich, director of operations and marketing. The setting calls for something Italian, and the Parma pizza is just the ticket. Always made fresh to order with top-quality ingredients, the Parma combines fontina and mozzarella, La Quercia prosciutto, rosemary and tomatoes. Once the pie is out of the oven, a crown of arugula goes on top. Like a painting, the colorful pie is framed by a bubbly brown crust. For a quintessential summer refresher to go with your pizza, try the housemade basil lemonade. Infused with fragrant fresh basil and fresh-squeezed juice, the lemonade has just the right level of sweetness. This ice-cold drink comes in a brightly painted Italian pitcher to please the eye. Pizza $13.59 ($6 during happy hour), lemonade $2.99.
3948 W. 50th St.; 952.926.1187
Make the most of a lovely summer day with a cool, crisp Greek salad. Dino’s spacious, sunny patio adorned with big umbrellas and lush plants offers a quiet respite in the busy shopping district just north of Southdale. “Dino and his wife are into specific flowers,” says Billy Barker, manager. Settle in—you’ll have plenty of time to relax, thanks to Dino’s prompt fast-casual service. Dig into a luscious Greek salad with romaine and iceberg lettuce, Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers and feta cheese. Spicy, fragrant pita bread just off the grill seals the deal. Be sure to ask for tzatziki, a cool-as-a-cucumber sauce that awakens flavors with a fresh Greek-style zip. $7.50; gyros, chicken gyros, grilled chicken, steak, add $1.99.
6539 York Ave. S.; 55435 612.866.6363
PEAR SALAD AND SCOTTISH MULE
Just remodeled this season, this patio has a new pagoda trellis for dappled shade, planter accents and other updates. Dining alfresco is more comfortable than ever. “Heaters extend our season front and back,” says Liz Berquist, general manager. The pear salad makes an appropriate pick for the airy atmosphere. Poached pear fanned out like a seashell, apple, fresh spring mix, crisp candied walnuts, creamy Gorgonzola cheese and a drizzle of dark cider vinaigrette all burst with tangy-sweet flavors. A side of sticky-crumbed housemade cornbread adds an accent of rich, Southern-style carbs. For a drink, try the Scottish mule with Hendrick’s gin, fresh cucumber, simple syrup, fresh lime juice and ginger beer. Crisp, refreshing flavors spring from a cloudy muddle in a lowball glass—just the thing to tame humid summer heat. Pear salad $11.55, Scottish mule $8.
5028 France Ave. S.; 952.927.7933
McCormick & Schmick’s
McCormick & Schmick’s has two patios; the more familiar front bar patio is a popular happy hour spot, while the smaller, more secluded York patio is perfect for full-course dining or private reserved events. As part of a full-service hotel, patio seating is available for breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner. Start your day off right with some sunshine out on the York patio and indulge in the elegant eggs Benedict. Housemade hollandaise sauce enrobes a pair of perfectly poached eggs layered with Canadian bacon and toasted English muffin halves. Pair your breakfast with a Bloody Mary crafted with a zippy mix, Absolut pepper vodka and ice. This one is bedazzled with a generous garnish of pickled okra, green olive, peppercini and lime. “Our mix has a little bit of heat in it,” says Mike Sidorovich, general manager. Edina Benedict $14.99, Bloody Mary $10
3203 Galleria, Edina Westin Galleria Hotel; 952.920.1142
(Enjoy a summer breakfast of eggs Benedict on the patio at McCormick & Schmick’s.)
TILAPIA STREET TACOS
Peoples Organic Coffee & Wine Café
Decked out with flowers, herbs and native plants, this patio feels inviting. The spacious, well-situated spot makes for some good people-watching. too, according to chef Ray Roberts. “I think it’s nice because it gets early afternoon and evening sun,” he adds. While there, any of Peoples Organic’s healthy options will satisfy, but something light yet fiery is especially fitting. A trio of fish tacos makes a shareable outdoor feast ideal for a sultry summer evening. Blackened tilapia, pico de gallo, organic romaine lettuce, sour cream and guacamole dress up flour tortillas, or go gluten-free with corn tortillas. The dish is “pretty hot,” with cayenne pepper, says Roberts. Tame the flame with an ice-cold, crisp lager like a Lagunitas pilsner. Fish tacos $12, beer $5.
3545 Galleria; 952.426.1856
Pig & Fiddle
Tucked to the side of Pig & Fiddle’s brick building is a narrow stretch of continental patio. Crisscrossing strings of lights, hanging flower baskets and lush vines fill the space with charm. A babbling fountain drowns out street sounds. Satisfy your European wanderlust here. The menu matches the intimate atmosphere with sparkling Euro polish. Moules frites fit right in with their authentic Belgian presentation. The mussels are steamed with Belgian wheat ale and the side of salty-crisp thin hand-cut fries is a welcome plus. Available as a starter or as an entrée, the moules frites, flavored with slow-cooked bacon, make a sociable, shareable selection. Who could resist? Cap off your European culinary adventure with a light Hoegaarden Original White Ale. $17, $8 for a half-pound during happy hour; beer $6.50.
3812 W. 50th St.; 952.955.8385
Rice Paper Restaurant
An oasis of tranquility hides behind the 50th and France thoroughfare. Rice Paper’s patio exudes tranquility with “more green than flowers, not English garden-style, not wild—it has a Vietnamese countryside look about it,” says An Nguyen, owner. Huge vessels overflowing with greenery demand a second look. Nguyen designs the alluring arrangements herself. Revitalize your senses in Rice Paper’s peaceful surroundings with some light, healthy Vietnamese food. The grapefruit festivity shines with lively contrasts. Sweet, savory, crisp, watery, spicy, mellow—how can one bite have so many sensations? A medley of fresh grapefruit, shrimp, peanuts, shallots and exotic Thai sauces can only delight. Continue the theme with a Saigon sunset cooler made with passion fruit, crisp sauvignon blanc and sparkling water. Grapefruit festivity $10. Cooler $8, non-alcoholic $5.
3948 W. 50th St.; 952.288.2888 (CLOSING JUNE 30)