With the seasonal shift to warm weather, it’s time to dine outside. After a harsh winter and a wet spring, al fresco eating in pleasant surroundings is perhaps more welcome this summer than any other. For those wanting to break bread outdoors, Columbus’ Arts District has a bevy of spots where you can eat outside and enjoy the leisurely meals in the sunlight.
Pacheco Winery on Third
602 3rd St.
3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. 812-799-0683, pachecowinery.com
At Pacheco Winery, the patio area seats more than the inside dining room. The former gas station seats 60 people in its outside area and 24 people inside.
“I think we might have the largest patio in downtown Columbus,” owner Doug Pacheco said. “All winter long, this winter especially, we were bemoaning the fact that we were down to 24 seats.”
With live jazz on Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 to 10 p.m., the winery has no trouble attracting diners to its patio where they dine on light favorites such as the authentic cannoli, a wide selection of salads, sandwiches such as the Porto Ferraio panini for $12 — stuffed with Italian meats and goat cheese — or the lemon berry parfait, $8, with Reisling-dribbled poundcake topped with fresh berries and lemon creme fraiche. The winery also offers about 40 wines and 30 beers, with six on tap.
4th Street Bar & Grill
433 4th St.
11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday, 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays
Featuring a fully retractable roof and side walls, 4th Street Bar & Grill’s outdoor seating is fully exposed to the sunlight or comfortably shaded in a matter of minutes, owner Kurt Schwarze said. Featuring seven tables, Schwarze sees a boost during the summer months.
Selling well during the warmer months are the watermelon margaritas, on the rocks or frozen, for $5.25. Also popular is the spicy Thai chicken flat bread, $7.95, featuring cabbage, shredded carrots and radish, topped with Thai satay and chili sauces and smoked chicken.
Gallery Bar and Bistro
400 Brown St.
6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday
With space for 30 to 40 people at its 10 umbrella-shielded tables, Hotel Indigo’s Gallery Bar and Bistro offers light fare in a bistro setting, including duck wings, $9, from the locally based Maple Leaf Farms. Also offering a full bar, the menu entrees feature a super light Cajun salmon salad, $13, with mixed greens, julienne vegetables, pecans and citrus raspberry vinaigrette. The Bar and Bistro has a full bar or, if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic chiller, a smoothie machine.
1034 Washington St.
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday
With room to accommodate 50 people in their outdoor area, 16 craft beers available, and a healthy selection of burgers, Joe Willy’s patio is often packed during all of the hours it’s open. Designed to match the Victorian house that houses the restaurant, the patio has been a large part of Joe Willy’s business, owner Joe Carman said.
Set right on Washington Street, patrons often grab their catbird seats to enjoy the Double Willy Cheeseburger, $8.49, with two quarter-pound patties, lettuce, onion and tomato.
322 Fourth St.
11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 to 11 p.m. Sunday; 375-8800, powerhousebrewingco.com
In addition to the local Power House Beers, Columbus Bar manager Mike Hayes said the pub also offers the refreshing southwestern wraps, $5.99, with guacamole, spinach, pico de gallo and southwest black bean corn, wrapped up in a cheddar tortilla. The patio seats 22 to 25 people.
Puccini’s smiling teeth
318 Washington St.
11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday; 348-7600, puccinissmilingteeth.com
Specializing in gluten-free pasta and pizza offerings, Puccini’s Smiling Teeth’s Campfire Pizza, $13.65, with a thinner gluten-free crust and sweet onion marmalade, smoked sausage, gorgonzola and rosemary toppings.
“When I think of it, I think of being outside in the summer,” Puccini’s manager Mark Bergmeyer said.
425 Washington St.
serving lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday; 372-1962, trebicchieri-columbus.com
Tre Bicchieri’s outdoor dining consists of five outdoor tables — four with room for two, and one four-seater. Those stopping in for lunch might enjoy the combination of sweet and salty in the strawberry and feta salad, $5 for a small or $7 for a large, plus $6 for salmon.
Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor
329 Washington St.
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
Ice cream and summer days go hand-in-hand, and Zaharakos offers patrons a chance to sit outdoors and to let their ice cream soften a little. The landmark restaurant has three four-person tables set up outside — the perfect place to eat a turtle sundae, $2.99 to $4.99 depending on the number of scoops, topped with hot fudge, pecans and caramel.
The Garage Pub & Grill
308 Fourth St.
11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. 418-8918
The Garage Pub & Grill features two areas for al fresco dining — with seating for 44 on the Fourth Street side and seating for 14 on the Jackson Street side. The Garage’s outside area also has music piped outdoors.
The restaurant’s Firecracker Shrimp Wrap, $11.49, which features breaded shrimp and tossed in house Firecracker sauce, is a popular summertime choice, manager Cathy Schooler said. “It is spicy — that goes really well with our coleslaw, which has crushed pineapple in it.”
418 4th St.
11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
Fine dining does not need to be cloistered inside. Smith’s Row, features a balcony with an awning. The balcony accommodates up to 24 people, and executive chef Scott Jones recommends the fish tacos.
310 4th St.
Lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday
With seating for 30 to 40 at its 10 outdoor tables, Bistro 310’s unbuttoned approach to fine dining sits well in summer months. A dainty menu option is the baby spinach salad, $9, with strawberries, goat cheese, Granny Smith apples, candied walnuts and a champagne vinaigrette.
1038 Layfayette Ave.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
The popular pizza-and-beer joint offers four concrete tables seating six people each. A light menu option is a build-your-own pizza featuring spinach, fresh garlic, tomatoes and chicken.
“It’s really spectacular,” owner Lisa Zwanzig said. “It’s very fresh and flavorful.”
Also recommended are the honey wheat, blueberry beers and the seasonal Gose — a wheat beer made with coriander and sea salt, fermented with Hefeweizen yeast. Beers are $4 a pint.
325 4th St.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
Yats’ Cajun food is, yes, a little heavy — but it is made for Creole climes that match the heat of our Hoosier summers degree for degree. With six tables to seat 25 to 40 people, Yats features live trivia 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday.
“We are really thrilled to have a patio like we do,” said Yats Columbus co-owner Liz Kays, who recommends the vegetarian B&B, with black beans and caramelized corn, for $6.25 per serving.
305 Fourth St.
Serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and dinner from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 2:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday
Taku’s outdoor dining has yet to arrive but is planned to have 10 four-seat tables, making the new restaurant a perfect place to eat the edamame, $3.95, or assorted sushi choices. The outdoor seating has 10 tables, and each table can seat four customers.
310 Washington St.
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Newly opened Jordy McTaggart’s features 13 outdoor tables in its cordoned-off section of Washington Street; tables seat four people each. The menu’s lighter fare includes fried pickles, $5.99, and ahi tuna salad, $11.99.