Al Fresco Dining is Plentiful Downtown

Posted Aug 27th, 2019 in Foodie Fodder

Schools and colleges may be back in session and Halloween décor may be creeping back onto store shelves but officially, it’s still summer! In the south, the warmer temperatures allow us to extend summer activities well into the fall.

Dining outdoors is always popular. Day and night, it’s a great way to do some people-watching in Downtown Wilmington, experience the hustle and bustle of the center city and enjoy some fabulous views across the area. Either way, dining outdoors gives you the feeling of being on an extended vacation.

Fortunately, around 20 of the almost 100 Downtown Wilmington restaurants have outdoor seating areas and patios for you to relax and enjoy the ambience while dining al fresco.

In the central shopping area, you can dine outdoors on the sidewalk at Beer Barrio, Bourbon Street, Front Street Brewery, Hell’s Kitchen, Platypus and Gnome, Shuckin’ Shack, The Fortunate Glass, Circa 1922 or The Reel Café. If you prefer somewhere a bit more cloistered, restaurants like CRUST, Fat Tony’s, Shuckin’ Shack, Little Dipper and Rebellion have patio dining beside or behind the building and some offer protection from the weather with overhead awnings.

If you want to enjoy riverfront dining, there are eight places to choose from. Along the Riverwalk to the south, Elijah’s, The Pilot House and The George are popular choices and can accommodate large numbers of diners on their dockside decks. The Stalk and Vine is the newest riverfront dining option in this area. For a casual, outdoor experience right on the water, dine al fresco at Anne Bonny’s Bar and Grill, the only floating bar and restaurant in Downtown Wilmington.

At the corner of Market and Water Streets is Marsello’s, a family-owned and operated Italian restaurant with nine balconies overlooking the Cape Fear River that provide an intimate al fresco dining experience. Another restaurant offering extensive views from above is Cloud 9, a rooftop bar atop the Embassy Suites Hotel which is further north along the 1.75-mile long Riverwalk.

Also to the north, is Marina Grill, a waterfront restaurant inspired by the Port City Marina and another great place to dine outside while watching the sun go down.

Many other restaurants and eateries in Downtown Wilmington offer limited outdoor seating on the sidewalk. These include Bar Local, Beer Bellies, Fork N Cork, Fun Bowl Ramen and Poke, I Love NY Pizza, Islands Fresh Mex Grill, Port City Cheese Steak and Tugboat Tony’s.

Remember, warm weather will linger a bit longer. Make the most of it with al fresco dining.


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