Best Outdoor Dining Spots on Mercer Island

June 30, 2022 | by Naomi Tomky

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Everything tastes better with a side of Pacific Northwest sunshine, and in the last few years, the outdoor dining options on Mercer Island have significantly expanded and improved. From a few casual tables set out on the sidewalk to a pleasant patio under bright umbrellas, Mercer Island restaurants have gotten creative in finding new ways to welcome guests to eat outside — whether or not the weather seems to invite it. 

Adding more all-weather outdoor dining options encouraged customers to continue supporting local businesses during the pandemic, and nobody on the island did it better than the only restaurant to have been around during the previous pandemic. The 108-year-old Roanoke Inn revamped its backyard in the fall of 2020, creating cozy cabanas that allowed groups to gather, rain or shine, while still fitting into the bar’s aesthetic. For that, they headline our list of the best places on the island to eat and drink outside.

Full-Service Outdoor Dining at Mercer Island Restaurants

Roanoke Inn

If you’re in the mood for an ice-cold beer or a tasty cocktail on a warm summer day, the Roanoke Inn is the perfect spot for anyone 21 or older. With the pandemic revamp of the backyard, the same now goes for any other season. The only way to stay in business for more than a century involves going with the flow, and this neighborhood tavern shows how it’s done, making guests feel right at home with their nachos during happy hour, cocktails in the evening, or hamburgers and IPA while watching the Seahawks. Learn more about the story behind this storied bar in our feature on it from 2016.

Roanoke Inn is located at 1825 72nd Ave SE.

Image courtesy Mioposto


Italian food and al fresco dining go hand-in-hand at Mioposto, and the large patio opens to the fresh air in nice weather, but still welcomes customers with a large tent when the sun goes into hiding. Inspired by traditional Neapolitan pizzerias in Italy, Mioposto uses an open-flame oven for all of their cooking. Their individual-sized pizzas with unique toppings are perfect for an outdoor lunch and they have kid-friendly options and a strong wine selection.

Mioposto Mercer Island is located at 2601 76th Ave SE.

Riviera Maya

This classic family-style Mexican restaurant with traditional and Americanized Mexican offerings in a giant menu offers outdoor seating on the patio facing into the South Mercer Village Shopping Center. The covered dining area includes heaters, which makes it useful for all weather, while the restaurant’s margaritas go particularly well on days with a little afternoon sunshine. 
Riviera Maya is located at 8451 SE 68th St, Suite 101


When this beloved Bellevue restaurant came to Mercer Island, opening in December 2020 after many pandemic delays, it also got the slip of patio that sits in front of the restaurant. The long, thin outdoor area opens seasonally, with umbrellas for shade, making a welcoming place to enjoy Pogacha’s Croatian-style pizzas and pastas in the summer months. Learn more about how this local classic ended up on Mercer Island and what makes their signature Croatian breads unique in our post from when they opened

Pogacha is located at 2707 78th Ave SE

Vivienne’s Bistro

The sprawling menu of Vivienne’s Bistro covers flavors from all over Asia, and the sprawling space of Mercer Island’s hottest restaurant opening in years covers the bar, the main dining room, and a small patio nestled into the front of the building. Umbrella-shaded tables mean that the outdoor space is seasonal. Learn more about what brings people from all over town to Vivienne’s Bistro in our post about the restaurant’s 2022 opening. 

Vivienne’s Bistro is located at 2441 76th Ave SE


While the inside of the south-end sushi spot Yuzen underwent a remodel in late 2020 after 20 years in business, the outdoor dining area remains simple: a small covered patio with portable heaters. But for sushi seeking islanders it makes the perfect place for a nice bento box, platter of sushi, or cup of sake in the sun. 
Yuzen is located at 8451 SE 68th St

Casual Dining Options with Great Outdoor Seating

Finding a place to sit down for a coffee, snack, or more casual meal outside on Mercer Island opens the door (pun intended) to tons of terrific options, ranging from picnic tables at our local parks to patio tables for your grab-and-go meals at Metropolitan Market, Fave Kitchens, and Hap’s Burgers and Taps.

La Fête Pâtisserie Française 

Pastries and coffee from this French bakery and a spot on the patio make the perfect atmosphere for people watching on this bustling corner. While the small, fenced-in patio provides a few tables right in front of the restaurant, additional tables open to anyone fill the sidewalk, making for plenty of space to enjoy your croissant or brioche bun. Learn more about the bakery from our post about its 2020 opening.

La Fête Pâtisserie Française is located at 7605 SE 27th Street, Suite 112

L’Experience Paris

Along with a sprawling indoor space that makes it a great choice for co-working, meeting up with friends, and lingering long over the creative buttery pastries or excellent tea selection, the Mercer Island location of this Francophile cafe also offers a few Parisian-style sidewalk tables facing out into the parking lot. Learn more about L’Experience in our post about it.

L’Experience Paris is located at 3020 78th Avenue SE

Hap’s Burgers and Taps

Using the existing architecture of an old gas station is very conducive to outdoor seating for this burger and beer spot. Two-thirds of its more than 80 seats are located outside, under the awning of the former 76 gas station, while the rest sit inside the garage area. The menu of burger shop classics (think milkshakes) meets with contemporary updates like a vegan burger, Thai pulled-pork BBQ sandwich, and kale slaw. Read more about Hap’s from our one-year anniversary post on it.

Hap’s Burgers and Taps is located at 2411 76th Ave SE

Fave Kitchens

The 2022 opening of this multi-vendor kitchen brought a wave of new dining options to Mercer Island using the unique shared-space model. Suddenly favorites from the island, Eastside, and Seattle came available — on their own or as part of a meal combining food from the pizza, taco, pho, and cake vendors. The patio outside the restaurant has tables and chairs at which diners can enjoy their take-out. Read more about the unique model from our post on the opening.

Fave Kitchens is located at 2630 77th Ave SE #112

Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches

This local mini-chain started off-island, but the islander restaurateurs behind it eventually opened a hometown location featuring their usual menu of organic and natural ingredients. Sun-seeking diners can find a few outdoor tables on the slim sidewalk, facing the parking lot. Learn more about the dynamic duo behind the business in our post about them

Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches is located at 3016 78th Ave SE

Island Crust Cafe

One of the region’s few certified-Kosher cafes also offers a quick and easy lunch option for folks living and working near its location on the ground floor of an office building. The extensive menu of seafood and vegetarian deli classics, pizza, sandwiches, and entrees can be taken out to the wide patio full of bright orange chairs, shielded from the parking lot by well-maintained landscaping.

Island Crust Cafe is located at 7525 SE 24th St #100

Pagliacci Pizza

The Northwest’s regional favorite pizza chain serves their beloved pizzas and seasonal specials, offering delivery as well as eat-in options from their island location. A covered and enclosed patio with tables and chairs, plus a pleasant fireplace, faces into the parking lot for people looking to eat their pies outdoors.

Pagliacci Pizza is located at 3077 78th Avenue SE

Shawn’s Cafe & Bakery

This small labor-of-love bakery is a dependable staple for islanders, with a selection of house-baked bagels and pastries, along with coffee and sandwiches. Shawn’s ekes a little bit of extra seating out of the tiny shop with wrought-iron tables and chairs on the slim balcony out front. Colorful umbrellas help keep customers dry and shaded.

Shawn’s Cafe & Bakery is located at 7420 SE 24th St

Metropolitan Market

They say it’s best not to shop on an empty stomach; however, Metropolitan Market might be the exception to that rule. Dig into their deli case, hot bar, or just one of the famous cookies in one of the chairs on the covered patio tucked into the far corner of the parking lot. The shaded space works well for meeting up with friends for an iced coffee or a casual bite to eat on a warm summer day. 

Metropolitan Market is located at 2755 77th Ave SE

Sano Cafe

If you’d like your smoothie or açaí bowl with a healthy dose of vitamin D, the bright stools on Sano Cafe’s outdoor patio are a lovely spot. On nice days during the summer, the cafe windows open to the patio, providing a pleasant indoor-outdoor feel. 

Sano Cafe is located at 7605 SE 27th St, Ste 111

Mercer Island Farmers Market

With all of the delicious smells of fresh-cooked food from food trucks and vendors, walking around the Farmers Market can make you hungry. The market is interspersed with casual round and rectangular tables topped with colorful table cloths and fresh flowers. They create welcoming spots to enjoy a bite to eat (or an ice cream cone) along with live music. 

The Mercer Island Farmers Market is open Sundays, 10 am to 3 pm, from June through October and is located at the north end of Mercerdale Park. 

Picnic Tables on Mercer Island

At many of the playgrounds and parks on Mercer Island, you’ll also find picnic tables! Pack your picnic basket with sandwiches and snacks, and spend the day at one of Luther Burbank Park’s picnic table spots. There are three different areas to visit, and you can even rent them out if you’d like to reserve these spots for a party. With a great view of the Cascades, the Aubrey Davis Park Picnic Shelter (currently being rebuilt after being damaged by a fire) will be a great place for a large gathering, with enough seating for 64 people, three barbecues, and electrical outlets. These parks can be rented out from Memorial Day to Labor Day (exceptions can be made for Aubrey Davis Park). 

Luther Burbank Park is located at 2040 84th Ave SE. Aubrey Davis Park is located at 72nd Avenue SE & SE 22nd Street Park Overpass.