• Rob Glover

Gaston Outdoor Dining: 19 Patios and Porches to Enjoy this Summer

Oh, those hot summer days in Gaston County! What better way to enjoy this time of year than relaxing on the patio of our favorite restaurants.

So we thought we’d get you started by curating 20 eateries (and drinkeries) with patios and porches— from super-low key neighborhood haunts to an international dining experience under the lights.

The String Bean

Shaded patio with excellent food and beer menu

Address: 106 N Main Street, Belmont

The patio at The String Bean is a shaded, mini-oasis in downtown Belmont. It’s a quiet, low key place to enjoy a glass of wine from their award winning list or a cold craft beer. Of course, “The Bean” is regionally famous for their fresh meats and seafood. Take a minute to step inside and choose an aged New York strip or some scallops from their glass deli counter.

Table & Market

Creativity meets quality on patio overlooking McAdenville

Address: 129 ½ Main Street, McAdenville

Table & Market’s patio is centered on McAdenville’s Main Street, giving diners a commanding view of the charming downtown. The restaurant is quietly creating a foodie culture here, blending creative specials and desserts with classic standards like pan-seared salmon and a perfectly char-broiled filet.

Whiskey Mill

Ultra-laid back local spot in Bessemer City with a covered wood deck

Address: 201 W Pennsylvania Ave., Bessemer City

The covered wood deck at the Whiskey Mill fills to capacity every Wednesday, both with people and with the sounds of live music. This is your laid back, drink a cold beer, have a burger kind of patio experience.

Estia’s Kouzina

Greek cuisine served alfresco in well-designed outdoor space

Address: 609 N. Main Street, Belmont

When Estia’s Kouzina opened in May of 2018, it brought both family-style Greek cuisine and the Greek tradition of outdoor dining to Gaston County. Their surprisingly spacious patio is an excellent place to sample vibrant saganaki (flaming greek cheese!) or a hearty gyro plate.  

South Main Kitchen & Tavern

Hearty southern fare served on a large patio in downtown Mount Holly

Address: 128 S. Main Street, Mount Holly

Friendly staff, home-styled cooking, and a large patio are all the ingredients you need to enjoy spring in the south. And South Main Kitchen and Tavern has an ample supply of all three. The country fried steak is substantial, and you can pop into the tavern for live music.


Stone patio at a historic train station with outdoor kitchen and good craft beer list

Address: 4 North Main Street, Belmont

Station in downtown Belmont has one of the coolest stone patios in the area. It includes a bar, a long fire feature with seating, and a handful of tables. The outdoor kitchen fills the space with aromas of Asian street noodles and grilled chicken wings. They have even more outdoor seating in the small alley on the opposite of the building.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

Eat outside and watch paddlers navigate the man-made whitewater channel

Address: 5000 Whitewater Parkway, Charlotte

One of the best parts about the USNWC is the variety of ways you can sit outside and watch the action while having some food and a craft beer. There’s River’s Edge, their full service restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. There’s the Pumphouse Biergarten on the island for burgers and salads. And then there’s The Market, where you can pick from a bunch of pre-made sandwiches and snacks for a quick picnic.

J.R. Cash's Grill & Bar

Riverfront dining in Mount Holly

Address: 1000 Marina Village Drive, Mount Holly

Located adjacent to Tailrace Marina in Mount Holly, J.R. Cash’s patio is a fantastic spot for full-service riverside dining. There’s even a bar outside so you can stop in for a quick drink, but you’ll probably want to stick around for their prime rib. It’s a large cut and comes out with a perfect crust.

Glenway Premium Pub

Covered wood deck with a neighborhood hangout feel

Address: 55 Glenway Street, Belmont

Glenway’s covered deck is tucked away one block off of Belmont’s Main Street, giving it a little more of a “your buddy’s backyard” feel. It’s casual and comfortable, just like the food they serve. The pimento cheese burger is a pretty fantastic place to start.

Nellie's Southern Kitchen

Rooftop dining in the heart of Belmont

Address: 36 N. Main Street, Belmont

Nellie's is the only rooftop patio on this list. You can get the same food (fried chicken and mashed potatoes!) and creative cocktails as inside, but you’ll have a view up and down Belmont’s Main Street.

Famous Toastery

Brunch favorites served on an open-air patio

Address: 6425 Wilkinson Blvd., Belmont

Sipping a brunch mimosa on the patio is a springtime rite of passage. Since the Famous Toastery in Belmont freshly squeezes their OJ every day, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place to do it. Wash it down with a huge pancake or a build-your-own omelet.  

Seven Oaks Cafe

Fresh air dining at the historic McLean House

Credit: Seven Oaks Cafe

Address: 175 Armstrong Rd, Belmont

When the owners of Seven Oaks Cafe set up shop in a 1850’s farmhouse, they decided to keep its charm intact. And we’re really grateful. The porch and grounds of the historic Mclean house are beautiful. And since the food comes from the minds behind The String Bean, you know it’s pretty awesome too. Now pass us a mint Julep.

Peace - N - Hominy

Wood smoked BBQ and a cozy patio

Address: 403 E Catawba Street, Belmont

The little patio at the back of Peace - N - Hominy, complete with picnic tables and a smattering of patio furniture, feels like you’re at a neighborhood cookout. That is, if your neighbor was really good at smoking huge piles of pork, bacon and chicken. And they served it with homemade sides like bourbon beans and hush puppies. And they were open for brunch.

Viva Tequis

A covered patio featuring classic Mexican street food

Photo credit: Viva Tequis

Address: 238 W. Main Ave, Gastonia

First, get there early. The small, covered patio at Viva Tequis is very popular. Next, get the guacamole. It comes in several variations and is made to order. Every other choice you make will be a winner. Their tacos, tortas, and tortillas are all amazing.

Cherub’s Cafe

Picnic-style lawn seating with a purpose

Address: 23 North Main Street, Belmont

Cherub’s Cafe has taken their mission of providing employment opportunities for the differently-abled outdoors. Now you can enjoy one of their signature breakfast sandwiches or a scoop of Tony’s ice cream on the green space adjacent to The Cotton Candy Factory (another business-for-good managed by Holy Angels).

Spruced Goose Station

Outdoor seats and tasty treats from the people who brought us Cherub’s Cafe

Address: 118 Wesleyan Dr, McAdenville

Like Cherub’s Cafe, Spruced Goose Station is also run by Holy Angels and provides an integrated work environment to individuals will all levels of ability. It also provides excellent coffee and a menu full of sweet treats and sandwiches to go along with it.

Doffer’s Canteen

Newly expanded patio that features a “tap waterfall” and new murals

Address: 119 Center Street, Cramerton

Opening their brand new patio that seats about 80 people, Doffer's Canteen takes the meaning of "summer oasis" to a whole other level with its tap waterfall. A nice bonus to the scenery? A huge mural depicting the history of Cramerton.

Mayworth’s Public House

Enclosed, covered patio with an upscale pub atmosphere

Address: 115 Center Street, Cramerton

Most people know Mayworth’s Public House for their fantastic pub fare, but the brunch at the restaurant in downtown Cramerton is also ridiculously good. The patio behind their dining room is covered and has multiple TVs. It would be an incredible spot to tackle one of their giant breakfast burritos or Belgian waffles then catch a Panther’s game.

Cavendish Brewing Company

A dog-friendly, heat-friendly watering hole located near downtown Gastonia

Credit: The Burks Photography

Address: 207 N Chester St, Gastonia

Cavendish Brewing Company's outdoor space is perfect for those who want to stay cool, play corn hole and get a tan at the same time. The microbrewery has mist spraying from above to refresh and naturally air condition those drinking outside. An added plus? Their award-winning beer selection.

Have any other favorite places to eat outside? Let us know: gastonoutside@gmail.com

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