We’re finally in the heart of summer. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been waiting for this day since the first snowfall of last year (I’m not exaggerating, I still can’t figure out how it’s possible to hate a place so much half the year and love it so much the another). While summer means endless Green Lakes trips, The Fair, Taste of Cuse, Amphitheater concerts and rosé, by far my favorite thing to take advantage of during these few short months is dining outdoors.
I’ve put together quite the stockpile of places to eat over the years, and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share them with you all – the summer is still young (shh, I’m trying to be optimistic), and many of these places are just as beautiful during fall. Below are my favorites, as well as the spots I’ve yet to hit myself. Maybe you can beat me to it 😏
WARNING: The content below contains a high number of photos of me with a glass of wine in hand. I would like to take this moment to note that I do, in fact, drink other beverages. Thank you.
Best places to eat outside:
Pro tip: Get the cheese board. One of the best I’ve had in terms of taste and quantity.
Pro tip – There is always a pizza of the month, and that pizza is always delicious. But get the pizza to share. Clearly information we could have used (see above ^). Also they have a pretty damn good gluten free crust, which is hard to find.
Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard
The Loft at Vesper Hills
Another hometown find. Many a Tuesday-night-happy-hour-after-golf-league spent here (don’t be fooled, I do not participate in the golfing, only show up for the drinks after). If you’re headed here, definitely come just before sunset, and definitely try the poutine. And yes, that is Otisco lake in the background. As far as views are concerned, you won’t be disappointed.
Empire Farm Brewery
More a place for the ambiance and a drink, the food at Lakeside I’ve never been ~overly~ impressed with, but the views are incredible. I’m a sucker for any meal enjoyed while overlooking a lake, and with an expansive deck overlooking Otisco Lake (again), this hits the nail on the head. Plus, I hear it’s under new management so hey, keep an eye out on the cuisine-front.
Located up in Cicero on Oneida Lake, (surprise-surprise, more lakefront dining) Borio’s is a hot spot in the summer months. The only times I’ve ever been here were during graduation season, and it was PACKED. That never takes away from the overall experience, though. Plus, once again, #sunsets.
So I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I’ve only eaten here during the winter months. But I pass by every day on my way to and from work, and from the smiles on people’s faces eating on the outside patio, I’d say the Apizza experience is only amplified in the summer. Great food, ✔️. Great location, ✔️✔️. I’ve been crushing just a bit on downtown Syracuse lately.
…and last but not least
You’ll find this Mexican delight in Fayetteville, across from town center. I have no photos to show you for this one, and I blame that on part of the reason I keep coming back here (aside from the queso) …they make their margs are STRONG. Highly recommend the baked stuffed avocado and the taco salad (it’s huge.) Happy dining 🍴
Plus a few honorary nominations for hot spots on bucket list that I have heard nothing but great things about:
- Glen Haven
- The York (new outdoor patio!)
- Alex’s On The Water
- The Channelside
- Brewster Inn
What are your favorite places to get some fresh air, kick back w a cocktail and nom on some food? Let me know so my camera and I can go check them out!