How to Find the Best Outdoor Patios in Tempe AZ

Is there anything better than scoring a sweet spot on a sunny outdoor patio at your favorite restaurant? I didn’t think so. The college town of Tempe, Arizona, has no shortage of incredible outdoor patios serving great food in a relaxed setting.

As in many sunny southwest destinations, the key to a great patio dining experience is a pretty space, lots of plantings to help cool the air, shade from the hot sun, and this being Tempe, Arizona, misters in summer to cool people down as they enjoy fresh local cuisine.

Food tastes better when enjoyed al fresco – here’s where and how to find the best outdoor patios in Tempe AZ.

best outdoor patios in tempe

Where to Find the Best Outdoor Patios in Tempe AZ

Whether you’re sipping rosé, frosé, margs on the rocks, or eating tacos, bruschetta or pancake flights, our favorite outdoor patio spaces in Tempe will nourish your body and spirit.

Caffe Boa

Founded over 25 years ago, Caffe Boa is a staple in the Tempe community. This intimate patio is nestled on Fourth Street and Mill Avenue, and blocks out the hustle of downtown with its canopy of beautiful greenery. Boa’s food philosophy is simple – you are what you eat and drink, so you’ll find only the highest quality, organic eats here.

Culinary Dropout at the Yard Tempe

The Yard is a revamped warehouse space on First Street and Farmer Avenue, and is home to Culinary Dropout (I just love the name). This is a chill gastropub where everyone is welcome to enjoy their over-sized patio, which is a destination in itself. In addition to its well-stocked bar and inventive menus, the patio has corn-hole games, ping pong tables and live music on the weekends – all illuminated by twinkling lights.

House of Tricks

Located just steps from Mill Avenue near ASU, this lovely restaurant is hidden inside two turn-of-the-century cottages. The food is fresh and fantastic, but it’s the romantic, vine-strewn courtyard patio that’s really drool worthy. Nobody would blame you for whiling away the afternoon sipping refreshing sangria while enjoying people-watching on this fabulous patio. Enjoy the House’s ‘hours of tranquility’ at their outdoor bar, aka happy hour.

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Morning Squeeze

This breakfast/brunch spot has an expansive outdoor eating area serving gourmet coffee alongside creative dishes with names like HAAS Avocado, Will Travel, Sun Deviled Eggs and the Bananas Foster the People Waffle. You can also order breakfast for your four-legged friend on this dog friendly patio.

Postino Annex

This red brick schoolhouse-turned-art-studio-turned wine cafe offers great wines, and a spectacular patio on which to enjoy them. Choose a selection of Postino’s bruschetta boards, the house speciality, while you sip in the shade of patio trees and umbrellas.

Snakes & Lattes

This unique eatery isn’t just a restaurant with a great outdoor patio, it’s also a gaming HQ that is a great place to go for a fun time out. The kids will be entertained by the scores of board games to play, including classics like Candyland to the newest games shipped from Germany. You can sit, nibble and play for hours on its shady patio, which is also dog friendly for four-legged family members.

Spinnato’s Pizzeria

Spinnato’s newly renovated and expanded Tempe location has a lovely outdoor space overlooking Rio Salado that is a wee slice of patio heaven. Of course, crust is the canvas here, but you can also order tasty pastas, wings and salads at this family friendly restaurant.

Tempe Public Market Cafe

Located in south Tempe, Tempe Public Market is an outdoor urban oasis. A former Circle K, the restaurant has been transformed into a casual eatery with a gorgeous outdoor seating that is large and comfortable for families and friends. The Cafe has a good kids’ menu, fresh pastries and entrees ranging from a delish Superfood Salad to delicious fried chicken.

Snooze an A.M. Eatery

Next to Postino Annex in the same red brick schoolhouse, Snooze offers a fresh take on breakfast favorites like pancakes, french toast, and eggs benedict. The outdoor patio is decorated with bright orange patio umbrellas and is large enough for big groups of families or hungry college students. I highly suggest ordering the pancake flight, it’s your choice of three sweet and delicious fluffy pancakes like Pineapple Upside Down, Banana/Pineapple, Blueberry Danish. Great for sharing, or not sharing.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub

This family friendly restaurant is located at Tempe Marketplace, a large outdoor mall with many other restaurants and stores. The gastropub setting encourages sharing of appetizers and dishes from its huge menu. The outdoor patio is large and roomy and overlooks the mall’s shopping area, with plenty of space for large groups and families. It can get a tad noisy due to its popularity, but it’s a fun and lively spot if you’re looking for that kind of scene.

What to pack for a trip to Tempe, Arizona


Yes, Tempe is in the middle of the desert. But you can dine ‘down by the lake’ overlooking the water at the Watershed, located in South Tempe. This locally owned restaurant features a lakeside kitchen and a huge patio that seats over 200 people. They have 20 beers on tap and all the food is made from scratch.

Did we miss your favorite patio in Tempe? Tell us in the comments.

Photo Credits: Claudia Laroye

12 thoughts on “How to Find the Best Outdoor Patios in Tempe AZ”

  1. I really need to explore Tempe more! It’s home to my alma mater and right in my Scottsdale backyard. Pinning this to remember where to go to eat!

  2. I would love to get my inner child out at Snakes and Lattes. Watershed too, sounds divine, given that you can get a little of that outdoor glam. Sounds like tons of fun places here.

  3. Nicole LaBarge

    How perfect are outdoor patios in AZ. I’ve heard good things about Snooze. They all look good!

  4. Suruchi Mittal

    That is a great list of outdoor Patios in Tempe, Arizona and each one looks great in one or other way. Lakeside Patio will be our favorite one. Snakes and Lattes, I like that name too.

  5. I love this post! I have been thinking about heading over to Arizona and would love to check out Postino Annex and Watershed

  6. Linda (LD Holland)

    I love that time of year when the patios open. I liked the list of things you use to choose a patio in Tempe. But I am not sure I have ever found a patio with a mister! Although I can understand the need. Sipping Sangria and people watching is certainly a great way to spend an afternoon. I might have to start with House of Tricks. Spinnato’s Pizzeria where crust is the canvas sounds like my kind of food spot. But the lakeside patio at Watershed would sure be tempting.

  7. That is a good list of outdoor patios. Snakes & Lattes sounds interesting, unique name and good they allow pets too.

  8. Love the sounds of all of these… but I would pick Morning Squeeze and choose the Bananas Foster the People Waffle! This must be a take on the band! Are they from Arizona I take it? 🙂 Love them!

  9. Spinnato’s sounds like just the right place for me. I was just thinking about having some pasta for lunch. And how amazing it would be to have it there, at the patio of Spinnato’s. 🙂
    Haven’t been to Tempe yet, but I would definitely keep this one in mind, thanks.

  10. So many great options for enjoying outdoor patios in Tempe. Quite surprised to learn about the lake at Watershed. That would be the perfect place to sit and chill out. Have not made it to Tempe yet, but I’ll hold onto this guide for when I do.

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I’m Claudia, an adventurous mom who loves to explore the world and travel with my family. This site shares modern-mom-tested family travel sanity tips, destination advice, and inspiration to stay ever curious and create lifelong travel memories.

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