Enjoying drinks and a meal outside is one of the best perks of Minnesota’s long summer days and nights. Many of Eden Prairie’s cafés and restaurants offer appealing family-friendly (and dog-friendly!) outdoor dining options.
We’ve highlighted a sampling here. Feel free to message us in the comments with your favorites!
Smith Coffee & Cafe, 8107 Eden Prairie Road
Step back into Eden Prairie’s history by dining at the historic red brick Smith-Douglas-More House.
Smith offers an outdoor garden and patio seating for 60 people, in addition to seating in its quaint farmhouse interior.
Reservable tables are available on the picket-fenced brick patio and house porch. Smaller tables in the huge grassy backyard can be pulled together for larger groups. A red and white gazebo reminiscent of an old-time school house features a table for 6.
Guests can enjoy a game of bocce ball, meander around the shady hosta garden, and let the kids play on the soft grass.
During the day, Smith offers a full complement of coffee, tea, and cold drinks, including honey lavender lemonade. The breakfast and lunch menu features crisply chewy chocolate croissants that could be straight from Paris, lemony fresh twists on avocado toast, hearty deli sandwiches and more.
On Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. during the summer, Smith hosts a weekly pizza night. Order online, pick up at their window when you arrive and choose your table (or bring a picnic blanket). Pizza options range from old faithfuls such as cheese and pepperoni, plus lemon ricotta, BBQ chicken, and a sausage and Swiss chard pizza with poppyseed crust.
A range of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks includes beer, wine, Aperol spritz, and lemon lavender mimosas.
Manager Alex Schuster says: “We roast our own coffee, and make from-scratch food. Everything is done in house including our syrups. Pizza night is a weekly community gathering, so bring your family and enjoy the property and our pizza made from scratch.”
Smith is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Wednesdays for pizza night from 4.30 to 9 p.m.
Tavern 4&5, 16396 Wagner Way
The always-bustling Tavern 4&5 has been a local favorite since it opened over nine years ago. Longtime manager Travis Rekoske says, “People call us the ‘Cheers’ of Eden Prairie. We’re definitely the place to go for happy hour.”
In addition to a large indoor space, the pub features several outdoor tables in front of the entrance, which seat up to 39 patrons.
“It’s covered under an awning, so if it rains you can still sit out there,” Rekoske says. “Even on a nice day in the winter, we’re so busy that guests will sit out there.”
Patio seating is first come, first served, although the restaurant does take reservations for indoor seating. Service dogs only are permitted on the patio and indoors.
Tavern 4&5’s menu offers a wide range of choices, from appetizers to burgers to desserts. Rekoske says patrons tend to order cool beverages and lighter fare like salads while enjoying the fresh air and colorful floral arrangements surrounding the patio area.
“Kudos to our server Lisa, who does our flowers and also volunteers at the Arboretum,” Rekoske says. “She and our server Sophia Modeas also water the flowers every day and keep the patio looking beautiful.”
Tavern 4&5 is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The bar is open until 11 p.m Sunday-Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday.
Campiello Ristorante & Bar, Shady Oak Center, 6411 City W. Parkway
No need to get on a plane to Europe — transport yourself to Italy by dining al fresco at Campiello, located off Shady Oak Road.
Campiello features Italian cuisine with fresh pasta and seafood, roasted meats, wood-oven pizzas, appetizers, salads, desserts and more.
Popular menu items include house-made cavatelli with Molise Country pork ragu; balsamic-glazed braised beef with smoked tomato, Sicilian onions, and spaghetti; and linguine with clams, garlic, chili, and herb butter.
Each month Campiello also highlights recipes from a different region of Italy; the west-central region of Lazio was featured in July.
Campiello’s large, comfortable patio seats about 70. Guests can enjoy cocktails and a meal, choosing from the sun or shade provided by umbrellas and large trees.
Patio hours are the same as the restaurant’s: Tuesday through Saturday, 4.30 to 9.30 p.m., weather permitting. Outdoor seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s recommended to make a reservation indoors, then request outdoor seating on arrival.
Fat Pants Brewing Co., 8335 Crystal View Road
Guests can order beverages at the bar and choose from a full menu at Fat Pants’ indoor food truck. Don Anderson, head brewer and one of the owners, says the most popular items are burgers, pizza, nachos, wings, and a new crispy chicken sandwich. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available.
Fat Pants has a busy events calendar offering trivia nights, live music, karaoke, salsa dance, painting classes, free bingo, and more.
The child and dog-friendly patio seats 32, with umbrellas providing shade. Tables are reservable for large parties.
“We are working on a plan with the city to expand outdoor seating for next year, to up to 75 seats,” says Anderson.
“People really love hanging outside. The patio gets afternoon sun; we leave it open till it’s bitter cold. We also do a fire pit in winter for people who want to sit outside.”
Fat Pants is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Woody’s Grille, 6399 City West Parkway
Located in Shady Oak Center, longtime Eden Prairie fixture Woody’s Grille offers a broad menu for all-day dining.
Woody’s features a cozy patio tucked away behind the restaurant decorated with string lights. The patio has 18 tables with umbrellas that seat about 40-50 people.
Feel free to bring your pup — the patio is dog-friendly, and staff will bring water to your furry friend!
Staff says customers enjoy dining outside on Woody’s handmade breakfasts and brunch. The most popular outdoor menu items include eggs benedict, massive omelets, pancakes, French toast, waffles, thick-cut bacon, sausage links, Bloody Marys, mimosas, and coffee.
Woody’s is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (brunch only).
Southwest Station, 13000 Technology Drive
The Southwest Station dining complex features outdoor seating for its many restaurants, including Rusty Taco, Naf Naf Grill, Noodles & Company, Café Zupas, Jersey Mike’s Subs, and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
The large patio runs along the back of the complex, facing ponds with spouting fountains, and boasts a wide view of leafy Purgatory Creek Park. Check with individual restaurants for hours.
Bombay Pizza Kitchen, 16518 West 78th St.
Located in Prairie Village Mall at the junction of Highway 5 and Eden Prairie Road, Bombay Pizza Kitchen has a sunny patio with plenty of outdoor seating. No reservation is needed, and dogs are welcome outside.
Bombay Pizza kitchen offers a wide menu, billing itself as “a fast casual Indian pizzeria that elevates traditional pizza with bold ‘east meets west’ flavors.”
The large menu features dishes including spiced wings, curry bowls, and of course, pizzas.
Varieties include classic styles like cheese, pepperoni, and sausage. Specialty pizzas include the Madras Curry, Bombay Butter Masala, and Goa Vindaloo.
Bombay Pizza Kitchen also offers beer and wine, as well as soft drinks, mango lassi, iced chai, and nimbu paani, which customers can enjoy indoors or on the patio.
The restaurant is open daily from 11.30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
People’s Organic Coffee & Wine Cafe, 990 Prairie Center Drive
Known for its fresh, seasonal natural and organic food, People’s Organic offers a wide menu including soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, flatbreads, tacos, and grilled salmon.
It also has an all-day breakfast with items such as French toast, omelets, quiche, breakfast burritos, and Minnesota wild rice pancakes, which customers can pair with a cup of organic coffee.
Jackson Guettler, shift manager, says: “We also have a good beer and wine list and some fun cocktails. We have a very large menu that caters to gluten-free and vegan, great salads, etc. We really have a little bit of everything, including burgers.”
The Eden Prairie location offers dog-friendly patio seating for about 30 people, with umbrellas for those who prefer shade. Seating is first come, first served, with reservations available for larger parties.
People’s Organic is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Redstone American Grill, 8000 Town Center Place
Diners can enjoy Redstone American Grill’s full-service bar and food menu on its patio overlooking Lake Idlewild. Outdoor reservations are available in advance.
The dog-friendly space seats about 200 people at its 41 tables. An awning or umbrellas offer full or partial shade to about half of those.
Staff says some of the favorite items ordered by outdoor diners include summery items like the wild spinach berry salad, which has seasoned rotisserie chicken, fresh mixed berries, goat cheese, red onion, grape tomato, and raspberry vinaigrette.
Diners often follow up their dinner with the warm berries crisp, which includes fresh mixed berries, an oatmeal cookie, warm berry coulis, and vanilla ice cream. Popular drinks include Redstone signature cocktails, including the Redstone Doli or white sangria.
Redstone’s hours are Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Patio hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. most days, weather permitting.
Bryant Lake Regional Park, 6800 Rowland Road
Although it’s not technically a restaurant, the Bryant Lake Regional Park concessions stand is a fun stop. Visitors can pick up snacks, including drinks and sweets, and enjoy them at the park’s picnic tables and covered pavilion.
While you eat, you can watch swimmers, water skiers, walkers, and wildlife. Bryant Lake is also the training site for the Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club, so you may also spot rowers skimming past.
Of course, you can supplement your concessions by bringing your own food to picnic and grill at the park for the do-it-yourself outdoor dining experience.
The Bryant Lake Regional Park concession stand is open on weekends, Memorial-Labor Day throughout the summer and daily from mid-June through mid-August. Call Bryant Lake directly at (763) 694-7764 for additional information.
Crave American Kitchen & Sushi Bar, 8251 Flying Cloud Drive #3010
Located at Eden Prairie Center, Crave is known for its expansive sushi selection, varied American menu, and craft cocktails (including non-alcoholic).
In addition to its large indoor space, Crave offers full-service, reservable outdoor seating for about 40 people on their dog-friendly patio in the front of the restaurant. Most tables have umbrellas.
Staff says that popular menu items for outdoor diners include the chopped chicken salad, caprese flatbread, and firecracker shrimp.
Like many Minnesota restaurants, in the past couple of years, Crave adapted to pandemic challenges by introducing clear plastic outdoor igloo-like dining bubbles. The cozy decorated igloos proved so popular that they will be back again this winter.
Crave’s patio is open during regular dining hours: Monday and Tuesday from 3 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
And many more!
Did we miss one of your favorites? Feel free to share with us in the comments section!
Editor’s Note: Juliana Allen took the photos except where noted.
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