restaurants-madison-outdoor-seatingThe weather forecast says it might get up to the 70s this weekend in Madison, and I saw a photo on Facebook of workers putting the chairs out on the Union Terrace, so spring must be close! I’m looking forward to eating outside again, and in honor of al fresco dining, I’d like to share some of my favorite restaurants in Madison that have outdoor seating.

The Great Dane Brewpub – The Great Dane in Madison is one of my favorites because it has it all when it comes to food and atmosphere. The menu has everything from brats to burritos and you can dine at a lively bar, a festive but sightly quieter dining room or outside on a comfortable deck. There are even multiple locations around Madison so if you live in the capital city, chances are there’s a Great Dane near you.

The Union Terrace- This isn’t exactly a restaurant, but there’s no better place to enjoy a brat and a beer than on the breezy terrace. The terrace is part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s student union, but students and townies alike can’t get enough of the lake view and relaxed atmosphere. The Wisconsin State Journal says that this year the terrace will see some changes including a new brat stand and an Alumni Pier.

Paisan’s- The inside of Paisan’s is warm and cozy, but when it’s warm outside, you’ll definitely want to sit outside and enjoy the view of Lake Monona. Paisan’s convenient location to downtown offices and generous drink specials make it a popular spot for happy hour, but don’t miss dinner because they serve up Italian classics like spicy cheese bread and homemade pasta.

Porta Bella- Lake-view dining isn’t the only outdoor scenery in Madison. Visit Porta Bella for a charming garden atmosphere. A stone wall and shady trees surround the outdoor dining area at Porta Bella, so bring a date and enjoy the surroundings and fill your belly with Italian favorites like spaghetti and meatballs or chicken marsala.

To have your own outdoor dining experience, visit for outdoor eating essentials like bratwursts, grilling sauces and more.