Julia Child is known for many things, including saying the phrase: “People who love to eat are always the best people.” It is safe to say that folks in the Iowa City area would agree and add that people who love to prepare food that brings families and friends together – these are the best people. There are many of these fine restaurant owners, servers, and cooks who craft a culinary experience in Iowa City’s area eateries. And what better time to visit than during patio season? Here are a few of the locals’ favorite patios:
Red’s Alehouse: Red’s patio is the place to be in North Liberty. Complete with outdoor heaters to offset the evening chill, it’s spacious and full of people enjoying delicious food and drinks. Being here just feels like summer.
Atlas World Grill: Located in the heart of downtown Iowa City on Iowa Avenue, Atlas is a summertime favorite. Its beautiful, renovated exterior combined with great service sets the stage for a relaxing and memorable experience.
Backpocket Brewing: If craft beer is your style, Backpocket is your go-to patio. With free outdoor movie showings from June – August, the glow of globe lights hung overhead at night, and a pint of your brew of choice, this patio is definitely worth visiting.
Casa Azul Restaurante y Cantina: Offering authentic Mexican cuisine made with homemade ingredients, Casa Azul is a casual and welcoming place that knows how to cook good food. The patio is an ideal place to enjoy a margarita or share a meal with the entire family.
Stella: Located near Kinnick Stadium, Stella offers Cajun food alongside burgers, sandwiches and pizzas – if gumbo or jambalaya is what you’re craving, you can savor it on Stella’s patio (and on Tuesday nights pay ½ price). It’s an unassuming, yet impressive space and restaurant to enjoy on a summer day.
For a list of more area restaurants, visit the dining page of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau website. And for ideas for things to do in between those patio visits, browse event listings here. As Julia Child might say, “Bon appetit!”