The House Old Town Brasserie
At last! Blissfully cool mornings, evenings with a hint of chill and daytime temps that mean we can lunch on a shaded patio without swimming in sweat. This right here, this seasonal slice of heaven is why we endure traffic, tourists and summer.
See also: 10 Favorite Places for Pozole in Greater Phoenix Changes Coming to The Farm at South Mountain Favorite Restaurant Patios in Greater Phoenix (Slideshow)
Named for Mexico City's iconic central plaza, this charming Mexican food restaurant, housed in Chandler's historic Monroe building, has become a gathering spot in its own right, and there's no doubt the pretty patio has a lot to do with it. Lushly landscaped with vines, trees and exotic flowers, it's a traditional Mexican courtyard, replete with fountains, murals and private nooks - a good place to laze away the afternoon over margaritas or settle in for a romantic supper (everything from steak to street tacos) under the twinkly lights.
Design buffs love the 60s-era, futuristic look of the farm grill's butterfly roof and mid-century modern decor, retro-fitted onto the converted farmhouse in which owner Joe Johnston grew up. But for those of us who just want to eat upscale burgers, fries and shakes outdoors, this funky-cool burger stand, specializing in "common food done uncommonly well, " is aces for its old school charm. Huge (and seemingly ancient) tamarisk trees skirt the edge of a grassy yard dotted with picnic tables, citrus trees and flowers, offering shade and endless opportunity for kids to be kids. Parked in the middle of Agritopia - a 12-acre urban farm planted with fruit trees, lettuces, herbs and vegetables (all used in the farm grill's kitchen, by the way) - Joe's brings our agrarian past and future together in such a sweet way.
Del Frisco's Summit Bar
Although this Dallas-based corporate restaurant, built around modern-day comfort food, has a pleasant patio (with cool vertical garden) at ground level, you'll probably want to take the stairs to the second-floor Summit Bar - a sleekly designed, al fresco hangout offering splendid views of Piestewa Peak. Admittedly, from this vantage, you can also see Biltmore Fashion Park and cars racing down Camelback, but there's something fun about being at the heart of the action yet slightly above it. Grab a couch, a table near the glassed edge, or a seat at the rectangular bar for cocktails and appetizers, brunch, lunch or dinner. Happy hour is coming soon.
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