Outdoor dining in winter at Last Resort Grill in Athens, Georgia

Last Resort Grill in Athens, Georgia

10 Great Spots to Dine Outside this Winter

Enjoy a meal outside, and stay safe and warm at these trip-worthy places around Georgia.

Don't let the chill of winter keep you from enjoying some of the state's best outdoor dining. From heated yurts to intimate beer gardens to laid-back, pet-friendly patios, Georgia's restaurants have transformed their outdoor spaces into magical, cozy spots to enjoy hot toddies, local brews, and stellar food all season long.

All restaurants follow the latest health and safety protocols, with properly spaced tables, stringent sanitation between seatings, and masks required for staff and all indoor interactions, ensuring you can enjoy your outdoor experience in a safe, socially distanced manner. If you're going to check out these restaurants, remember to social distance when interacting with staff, wear a mask, and limit your group to people inside your immediate household. Due to constantly changing and varying guidelines, please check local advisories before visiting.

Outdoor dining in Columbus at Banks Food Hall

Banks Food Hall in Columbus

Housed in a historic brick building, Banks Food Hall offers scenic outdoor dining with ample seating, greenery, and string lights — all next to the scenic Riverwalk and Chattahoochee River. Build your own poke bowl, sample al pastor and carne asada tacos from El Primo, or grab local brews and wine from Maltitude, among 10 dining options in this central location.

Make it a getaway: Stay nearby at the historic Columbus Marriott, and brave the rapids on the longest urban whitewater course in the world with Whitewater Express.

Find more things to do in this Guide to Columbus.

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Outdoor dining in Decatur at The Brick Store Pub

The Brick Store Pub in Decatur

Head to Decatur for local brews and tavern fare like fish and chips in The Brick Store Pub's new outdoor beer garden, complete with twinkling lights, fire pits, ample seating, and beer barrels converted into tables. The small outdoor bar serves up boozy hot apple cider, cocktails, and craft beer, and drinks can also be ordered from a "to go" window in the alley. Additional outdoor seating is available on the front sidewalk.

Make it a getaway: Stay the night at the Decatur Alpaca Cottage, a charming one-bedroom Airbnb surrounded by an organic vegetable garden, and of course, alpacas. Plan time for a shopping trip to Your DeKalb Farmers Market, where you can find an incredible selection of food from around the world as well as fresh baked goods and prepared foods.

Find more things to do in Decatur.

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Fenders Alley in Cornelia, Georgia

Fenders Alley in Cornelia

Located in Cornelia's open container district, this downtown alley has been converted into an outdoor dining space, complete with a full bar, large heaters, and a stage where local musicians perform live music on select nights. Restaurant patrons can enjoy Fenders Alley's signature boozy milkshakes and comfort food like fried deviled eggs and mac and cheese waffles, while others can purchase a drink from a nearby restaurant or brewery for consumption in the adjacent green space.

Make it a getaway: Book a room nearby at the Glen-Ella Springs Inn & Restaurant, and enjoy a full hot breakfast in the morning. Before you head home, venture over to Minnehaha Falls for photos.

Find more things to do in Northeast Georgia.

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Outdoor dining in Atlanta at Forza Storico

Forza Storico in Atlanta

Located inside the bustling Westside Provisions District in Atlanta, Forza Storico offers outdoor dining on its side courtyard patio and a newly expanded outdoor garden. Both spaces are covered, with space heaters, bars, string lights, topiaries, and the occasional DJ, creating a lively and warm spot to enjoy classic Italian dishes like cacio e pepe and the restaurant's signature cocktails like a Smoked Old Fashioned.

Make it a getaway: Stay the night at the W Atlanta Midtown, and take in the nearby sights like the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Piedmont Park.

Find more things to do in this Guide to Atlanta.

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Outdoor dining in Savannah at The Grey

The Grey in Savannah

This storied Savannah restaurant partnered with American Express and Resy to install a dreamy yurt village on its property. Each yurt is heated, with blankets and throws, and offers a rotating, three-course prix fixe menu with winter favorites like crab Louie, Sweetgrass fondue, and lamb with salsa verde and roasted cabbage. Reservations for yurts at The Grey must be made via Resy using an American Express card and are available through the end of February.

Make it a getaway: Book a room at the new JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District, and explore all the shops and restaurants on River Street. Make time to walk on the beach on nearby Tybee Island.

Find more things to do in this Guide to Savannah.

Visit The Grey

Winter outdoor dining in Athens at Last Resort Grill

Last Resort Grill in Athens

Ambient lighting, heat lamps, and individual greenhouses transform Last Resort Grill's former parking lot into a cozy outdoor garden. Dine on dishes made with ingredients from local growers, like a cornbread-crusted North Georgia trout. Save room for dessert: the restaurant offers a large selection of layer cakes and cheesecakes from Athens-based Cecelia's Cakes and Blackbird Bakery.

Make it a getaway: Grab a beer at Creature Comforts Brewing before turning in at the Graduate Athens. The next day, explore the trails at the State Botanical Garden of Athens or say hello to the bears and other animals at Bear Hollow Zoo.

Find more things to do in this Guide to Athens.

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Outdoor dining in Roswell at Osteria Mattone

Osteria Mattone in Roswell

Reserve a private yurt for up to six or dine in the beautifully landscaped garden — complete with large heaters, a fire pit, and elegant lanterns — at Osteria Mattone in Roswell. The restaurant's pizzas, pastas, and Italian-inspired fare like fried pesto risotto balls will warm your body and soul on even the coldest of winter nights.

Make it a getaway: Stay nearby at the new Home2 Suites by Hilton Roswell, and allow plenty of time to shop on Canton Street. Don't miss the chance to enjoy the scenery and wildlife on a stroll along the Chattahoochee River.

Find more things to do in this Guide to Roswell.

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Outdoor dining in Georgia at Ray's on the River in Sandy Springs

Ray's on the River in Sandy Springs

Dine al fresco along the banks of the Chattahoochee River at this Atlanta-area institution, which has installed fire pits and offers fleece blankets for sale. Ray's on the River offers New American fare, including hand-cut steaks and chops, lobster-parmesan risotto, and large salads, all of which pair well with Ray's extensive wine, beer, and cocktail menu.

Make it a getaway: Stay nearby at the Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta, and explore the shops, restaurants and exciting atmosphere of Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves. Make time for a hike along the Chattahoochee on the East Palisades Trail to find the bamboo forest.

Find more to do in Sandy Springs.

Visit Ray's on the River

Staplehouse in Atlanta

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Once known for its exclusive tasting menu, this intimate Old Fourth Ward spot in Atlanta reinvented itself into a casual wine shop and market. Purchase cocktails, beer, and wine at Staplehouse along with charcuterie, cheeses, pastries, and small composed dishes like the signature chicken liver tart, which can be enjoyed on the covered and heated patio or in the outdoor garden by a roaring fire pit.

Make it a getaway: Stay the night at the Hotel Clermont, and watch the sunset over the city from the rooftop bar. Explore the art and scenery on Atlanta BeltLine and all the shops and restaurants that line its path, including Ponce City Market.

Find more to do in the Safecation Guide to Atlanta.

Visit Staplehouse

Outdoor dining in Savannah at Starland Yard

Starland Yard in Savannah

Rotating food trucks serve up everything from barbecue to Caribbean fare at this expansive outdoor space on DeSoto Avenue in Savannah, which also features a large outdoor bar and a permanent pizzeria slinging Neapolitan-style pies. With several heaters, ample seating, and live music and art weekly, the pet-friendly Starland Yard is the perfect place to spend a socially distanced evening with friends and family.

Make it a getaway: Stay at the fun and funky Thunderbird Inn, a classic roadside motel that has been renovated in retro-style. Learn more about the history of the city and look for Forrest Gump's bench at the Savannah History Museum, and don't miss a chance to stroll beneath the live oaks in Forsyth Park.

Find more to do with the Safecation Guide to Savannah.

Visit Starland Yard

Published: January 2021
Written by: Laura Scholz