Above, Toccoa is ready to serve up a Milltown Local on the patio at Table & Main. Photo by Rich Anderson.
By Tara Gary
Jekyll Brewing is adding a second location moving into the Exchange Building in Alpharetta City Center. It will feature a restaurant, tasting room, and a 2,500 square foot rooftop deck making it destined to be one of my favorite rooftop patios. A good patio combined with a great beer or beverage and good companions make summertime sippin’ that much sweeter. I love a beautiful summer day ending on a patio of a local watering hole amongst friends. It’s just synonymous with southern nights. Luckily, we are surrounded by these outdoor oases. The area surrounding the new location of Jekyll is abundant with outdoor dining options. Driving north starting at the intersection of Old Milton Parkway and South Main Street you pass Crust, Salt, Citizen Soul, Restaurant Holmes, Chiringa, Smokejack BBQ, South Main Kitchen, Butcher & Brew, and Currahee Brewing Company, all of which have amazing outdoor seating available, not to mention incredible menus. I must give kudos to Citizen Soul and Restaurant Holmes for having what I believe to be two of the best upscale, outdoor spaces to dine on Main Street.
Once you’ve had a chance to discover them all, turn onto Milton Avenue to discover Ceviche, Truck & Tap, and Coalition Food and Beverage which all offer fantastic spots for relaxing in an outdoor space while sipping your favorite beverage. Truck & Tap’s rooftop bar is a favorite of mine. It’s the perfect casual atmosphere to enjoy one of their amazing drafts. Even Kale me Crazy and The Nest Café offer inviting outdoor seating. I stopped by Kale me Crazy the other day and owner Phil Wahl was working on his gorgeous planters and informed me he plans to add a tranquil water feature soon. One of my favorite spots just a short distance away is PURE taqueria on Roswell Street. Their location in Roswell, on Alpharetta Street, is also a fantastic outdoor option, especially the upstairs bar. Their margaritas are phenomenal, and I suggest ordering them by the pitcher because it’s impossible to drink just one. And by the way, PURE is participating in Roswell Inc’s Summer Sippin’. In its fourth year, Summer Sippin’ is an event where various Roswell establishments create a completely new specialty drink and patrons vote to decide which one is the best. The cocktail they have created is called Little Sweet & Tangy. Sounds intriguing and delicious. Once you’re finished with your meal in downtown Alpharetta, a short and for me much needed walk to Kilwins, the chocolatier, is a must, and yes, even Kilwins has outdoor seating.
Although downtown Alpharetta is one of my favorite places to dine outdoors because I find the atmosphere to be unique in the sense that the buildings are more nostalgic and pleasing to the eye, another great place to unwind outdoors in Alpharetta is Avalon. Once you find a parking spot, which can often be a daunting task but well worth it, stroll through the many shops and businesses to some of the best restaurants with fantastic outdoor seating, perfect for socializing and people-watching.
Barleygarden Kitchen & Craft Bar is definitely one of those places. Thoughtfully located in the center of Avalon Boulevard, this two-story open-air beer lovers delight serves exciting beers from both close to home and around the world. They serve handheld, delicious food that pairs perfectly with the handcrafted brews. Relax on the patio or at the rooftop bar. If you’re not into beer, no worries. They have an extensive menu of flavorful cocktails and wine. Bocado Burger, also located in Avalon, has a clever outdoor space that makes you forget it’s located next to a busy road and bustling parking lot. It is actually quite serene. Bocado Burger is also not your typical burger joint. A rotating, seasonal menu, intense, ever-changing cocktail program, and seasonally minded craft beer and wine make this a top choice on my list. Avalon has many outdoor dining options available and these are two good reasons to check it out if you haven’t already.
Alpharetta is also home to a serious gem in the patio and outdoor dining category. Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails has an absolutely lovely tiered patio. They also have a garden for larger groups and parties.
Twisted Taco in Johns Creek has a super large rooftop patio. What a great way to take a reprieve from the ever-congested intersection of Medlock Bridge and State Bridge Roads! Live music and the rooftop bar are the perfect combination for a relaxing evening enjoying the savory menu items. I have a difficult time keeping myself from overindulging in the chips, salsa, and queso, and let’s not forget the margaritas.
I love exploring options outside of my “pebble’s throw away” area, but one reason I live where I do is because of the incredible, close proximity of my front door and downtown Roswell. Where to begin with the outdoor dining recommendations is really too easy. Start on one side of Canton Street and just work your way up, but don’t forget the places on Alpharetta Street. Too vague? Well, there’s Adele’s on Canton which has a quaint patio and a lovely breezeway dining area. If you like Cajun, you’ll love Adele’s. I’ve been dining here for years, and it’s still one of my favorite places to dine especially with my 18- and 20-year-old children who are always in the mood for crawfish and anything special co-owner Chef Marc is willing to spoil and appease them with. My favorite beverage is what co-owner Ruth refers to as a Barney. It’s a mixture of Abita beers, Andygator and Purple Haze. I pair a Barney, a bowl of the crawfish etouffee, and the patio, and I’m in heaven!
Another one of my favorite patios is found at the grub gastro pub. They have live music several nights a week, some of the best nachos I’ve ever eaten, and a great selection of beer, wine, and delicious cocktails. It’s a Southern Thing is the name of the drink they created for Summer Sippin’, and I know it includes Southern Comfort. It’s super yummy! Grub is the perfect place to gather with friends. My friends and I usually start here before Alive in Roswell, and well, we usually end up here afterwards too.
If you enjoy the action of watching the hustle and bustle of Alpharetta Street while listening to live music on a patio, where dogs and children are encouraged and welcome, Standard at Roswell and Lucky’s Burger & Brew are the perfect places. The atmosphere for both is completely casual and laid-back. Lucky’s burgers are fantastic. I never knew there could be so many varieties of toppings! Their drink for this year’s Summer Sippin’ is Lucky’s Botanical Breeze. Sounds refreshing. Standard has delightful cocktails and an extensive variety of local craft beers. My favorite item on the menu is the meat-lovers pizza. It’s hand-tossed with homemade marinara sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, bacon, capicola, and prosciutto. The owner is creative in the kitchen and often shares his noteworthy creations with his patrons. I love the fried meatballs which I haven’t seen on the menu, yet.
About a block away from Standard and centrally located in downtown Roswell is Roswell Provisions, designed to transport you into another place and time. Comfortable and rustic, the charming atmosphere has a French provincial feel. A few seats, tables, and benches right outside of the market provide the perfect outdoor experience for friendly gatherings and people watching on lovely Canton Street. Select from over 100 wines and 125 cheeses from around the world and pair them with the fresh breads, crackers, crostini, and jams available in the market. On nearly any given evening I know I can stumble upon a group of my friends who enjoy congregating on the benches in front of the market. I recently asked co-owner Kelly Smith-Blacha for a favorite summertime beverage and she immediately suggested the Frosé, a frozen Rosé. We bought a round for our table and after one sip we all agreed it is definitely a delightful and refreshing beverage for the summer, and it complimented the charcuterie board we shared perfectly. For another lovely outdoor dining experience, head upstairs to the Le Bistro balcony. The view is the best on Canton Street, and the food is outstanding. Bouchée à la reine is my favorite dish. A puff pastry filled with chicken, mushrooms, onion, and béchamel sauce. While dining on the balcony, explore your options for more outdoor dining experiences across the street at 1920 Tavern and Roux on Canton. The drink 1920 Tavern is featuring for Summer Sippin’ is Effen Blossom. Both restaurants have cozy, outdoor seating perfect for a date. I may have had a first date at Roux that apparently went very well considering two years later we celebrated by dining at the same table. Both have delicious beverages and delectable dishes.
It would be a disgrace not to mention the absolutely gorgeous outdoor dining space at Table & Main, the sophisticated cottage serving farm-to-table southern fare. Offering over 50 varieties of bourbon and rye to sip while you relax outdoors on the patio that was nominated as one of the “Best Patios in Atlanta 2019” by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, makes this a not-to-be-missed experience. With accolades from Conde’ Nast Traveler to Cooking with Paula Deen, to name a few, Table & Main is a seasonal, southern gem of a dining experience. They are also participating in Summer Sippin’ with their cocktail Milltown Local.
More options on Canton for outdoor dining are the fabulous Osteria Mattone, whose Summer Sippin’ drink is Ciao Bella, The Big Ketch who created Barely Peach Tea, NOCA with It’s Peachy Keen, Zest whose beverage is Spiked Blueberry Lemonade, Ceviche, Little Alley Steak, Carlisle’s Pizza Tavern, Plum Café who created a Strawberry Mojito Mocktail, and Local on North whose cocktail is Blackberry Bonnet. Another of my personal outdoor favorites is Vin25. Their outdoor space is inviting and invokes a sense of calm and relaxation. Nestled between Green and Canton Streets on Plum Tree Street, this bistro and wine bar is a hidden gem. An approachable menu, craft cocktails and brews, and separated spaces intentionally created to provide its guests with an intimate experience make this a destination where I can kick my feet up after a long day and enjoy the ambiance. Their specialty drink for Summer Sippin’ is Vin Paloma.
A few blocks away down on Atlanta Street is Chipper’s Club with a large, outdoor deck and live music every weekend. They want every patron to feel like family and you definitely do. I love the shrimp & grits and fried green tomatoes with habanero apricot jelly. I’m eager to try the cocktail they created for Summer Sippin’ called The “Impeachment”. Another great thing about Chipper’s is their large parking lot!
Three of the best places to drink beer, in my opinion, are Variant Brewing Company, Gate City Brewing Company, and Tap & Six. Gate City has such a large area to congregate, listen to live music, enjoy food trucks, and drink beer. Their Summer Sippin’ beer is Lavender Ale. A few blocks away, Variant has a nice patio and some great beer as well. Mai-Tai Gose is their Summer Sippin’ brew selection. That’s one I definitely want to try. Well, I want to try them all. Tap & Six has created Double Tap as their entry for Summer Sippin’ and you can enjoy this blended brew beneath the trees in their outdoor seating area.
It’s a good thing we live in an area that has for the most part good weather. Great outdoor drinking and dining are all around us. Skip the dishes and dine outside. You have plenty of choices! ❍
Get started with Summer Sippin’
When not writing, Roswell resident Tara Gary is busy making industrial furniture, charcuterie boards, and local art. Most nights she can be found with her friends at local breweries and pubs drinking craft beer.