Photo courtesy of ibm4381/Flickr

After being cooped up inside all winter, most Missoulians want to spend every possible moment outside as the weather begins to turn warmer — even at mealtime. Luckily, many Missoula restaurants boast awesome outdoor seating areas to accommodate the summer crowd. Here are five local al fresco favorites:

Many Missoula restaurants boast awesome outdoor seating areas. Here are five al fresco favorites.
1

The Old Post

 

 

 

The deck behind the Old Post provides a great atmosphere any time of the day, whether you’re enjoying a tasty weekend brunch or an evening cocktail. The wooden framing and decorative vegetation give the area a casual, relaxed vibe — not to mention a few spots of shade for those of us who burn easily.

2

The Iron Horse

 

 

 

The I-Ho has one of the largest outdoor patio areas in town, which is a good thing, as it is a very popular spot during the summer months. As an added bonus, there is a sweet fireplace to help keep you warm long after the sun goes down.

3

Sapore

 

 

 

Sapore’s half-indoor, half-outdoor front patio is pretty darn cool — both visually and functionally. Diners have an entertaining view of Higgins Avenue, and if downtown Missoula is hit with a surprise summer thunderstorm (a common occurrence in Western Montana), customers can easily slide their tables underneath the overhang.

4

Finn & Porter

 

 

 

As far as scenery goes, you really can’t beat the view from Finn & Porter’s riverside deck, which overlooks the mighty Clark Fork and the Kim Williams Trail. Plus, the rushing water creates a refreshing cooling effect — perfect for a hot summer evening.

5

 

It might not have the best view, but the patio at this North Reserve Street hotspot is spacious and comfortable. And of course, the food and drinks are always delicious!