Features

The Best Patios in Southwest Missouri

We’ve emerged from bitter-winter, false spring and second winter and now we’re ready for warm sun all the time. Celebrate by diving feet first into patio season and trying out these perfect outdoor dining spots

by Katie Pollock Estes

Apr 01 2022 at 8:21 a.m.

Shady Taco & Grill outdoor seating
Photo by Sheri HollowayShady Taco & Grill

Tea Bar & Bites

621 S. Pickwick Ave., Springfield, 417-866-7500
Best Reason to Go: Out-and-about Saturday lunch with the family 
What to Order: The menu at Tea Bar & Bites features creative takes on classic tea room fare (read: sammies, salads and sampler plates), and many of the dishes have a bit of a Mediterranean flair. The house ice tea has a hint of clove, the veggie pita has all the best Greek flavors, and the grilled mozzarella sandwich on focaccia has the perfect amount of pesto. But we recommend treating yourself to our fave: the Tea Bar Sampler with curry chicken salad, lime-and-thyme potato salad, soup of the day (cross your fingers for tomato-basil!) and a tiny little scone. 
Where to Sit: Try to get a table on the far side of the fountain. You’ll be just a bit farther from the street, making the spot feel delightfully secluded.
The Vibe: Oh-so-cozy. With mismatched tablecloths and cloth napkins, the sweetness factor is high here, and you feel like you’re dining on a friend’s patio.

Catrina’s

2925 E. Battlefield, Suite 105, Springfield, 417-350-1006
Best Reason to Go: Happy hour with your work bestie 
What to Order: You’re here for happy hour, so let’s focus on the 
shareables, shall we? Order the guacamole norteno for some seriously good guac with pickled onions and chicharron that add a tasty change of pace. Then bring the spice with the fried calamari topped with chile tajin before you sweeten up your apps spread with some fried plantains. Wash it all down with a smoky Rosita’s, made with mezcal, dragon fruit and a tajin rim. But if you’re more in the mood for an entree, you can’t go wrong with street tacos or the spicy Yucatan shrimp. 
Where to Sit: Honestly any spot is a good choice at this patio. What we love about it is how it’s hidden away from the parking lot and the traffic zipping by on Battlefield. 
The Vibe: A little bit secluded, a little bit secret.

Progress 

2144 E. Republic Road, Suite B101, Springfield, 417-799-9388
Best Reason to Go: A special anniversary date with your sweetie 
What to Order: The menu is forever changing at Progress, and that’s what we love the most about it. You can always count on inventive veggie dishes that impress even the most die-hard carnivores, clever takes on bread service (they were offering a savory funnel cake at press time), and beautiful entrees that feature meat from local farms. Don’t miss the ever-evolving Milk & Honey dessert that changes with every menu update.
Where to Sit: A table around the edge, so you can people watch the Farmers’ Park crowd.
The Vibe: See and be seen, but in a friendly and casual way. You’re sure to spot a friend doing their farmers market shopping if you come for lunch on Saturday, or a buddy out for dinner if you stop by in the evening.

The Finley

206 E. Elm St., Ozark, 417-582-1912
Best Reason to Go: A lazy Sunday brunch to wind down a busy week
What to Order: Brunch is our go-to at The Finley because it feels like the best time to relax on their spacious patio. Share a plate of loaded breakfast nachos before digging into a fried green tomato BLT or a crab cake benedict topped with fresh dill. For your sweet tooth, the peach cobbler French toast is perfection. (And none of this breakfast chatter discounts the dinner fare. If morning meals aren’t your thing, come later in the day for beautiful steaks and other impressive fare.) 
Where to Sit: Find the shadiest table a bit removed from the front door so you can enjoy the view from across the grassy lawn.
The Vibe: Like dining at a cross between a cozy backyard and a small town square. The Finley is located at a converted church, so the village vibe is strong here.

The Finley in Ozark, MO
Photos by Leah StiefermannSitting outside at The Finley in Ozark is the perfect way to enjoy a lazy Sunday brunch.
Best Patios issue graphic courtesy Shutterstock

Buffalo Bar

Top of the Rock, 150 Top of the Rock Road, Ridgedale
Best Reason to Go: You’re in love with the Ozarks, and you don’t care who knows it
What to Order: Osage Restaurant might be your go-to fine dining spot at Top of the Rock, but for fresh air and breathtaking views you really can’t beat the patio at Buffalo Bar. And (hint-hint) it offers some of the same dishes. The house-made pappardelle pasta with roasted mushrooms is a must-try, and Genny Morris’s buttermilk fried chicken breast is the perfect comfort food meal. Sip on an Osage Smash (made with bourbon, lemon juice, orgeat and blackberries) while you’re there and enjoy the view.
Where to Sit: Make sure you’re there when the sun is going down, and find a seat facing the lake. The view is unbeatable.
The Vibe: Heart-swelling Ozarks beauty with a side of good eats.

Hold Fast Brewing

235 N. Kimbrough Ave., Springfield, 417-761-2318
Best Reason to Go: A meet-up with friends before a Springfield Cardinals game
What to Order: This is a story all about patios, so the recommended brew of choice has to be the Patio Pleaser, right? It’s a crisp and sippable golden ale, and it’s just one of the beers offered here. As for food, this spot hosts a regular schedule of food trucks, from tacos to burgers and everything in between. Try one of the crispy, crunchies snackies from Lae’s Authentic Egg Rolls if you can, and check the schedule online to see which truck will be there when you visit. 
Where to Sit: A table near Trafficway, so you can hop on out at game time and walk to Hammons Field.
The Vibe: Casual city nights and sparkly lights, with some live music in the background.

Char Steakhouse & Oyster Bar

1620 E. Republic Road, Springfield, 417-823-8383
Best Reason to Go: Birthday happy hour with your girlfriends
What to Order: For something to fill you up, order a luscious filet mignon with Brussels sprouts on the side. Or for lighter (yet still opulent) fare, go for fresh oysters or ceviche. And if you really want to celebrate (a birthday or whatever occasion called for a night out), order the super-indulgent Sex in a Bowl dessert. It’s like multiple desserts in one: crème brûlée in a chocolate bowl with cheesecake mousse and pecan crumble. 
Where to Sit: Snag some of the loungy outdoor couches that surround one of the fire pits. It’ll fit all your friends and add to the ambiance.
The Vibe: Southside Springfield cool.

Buffalo Bar
Photo courtesy Big Cedar Lodge

Spectacular views and great food are what Buffalo Bar at Top of the Rock has to offer.

Char Steakhouse & Oyster Bar
Photo by Taylor Wohldmann

Enjoy the southside Springfield cool factor sitting outside at Char Steakhouse & Oyster Bar.

Vantage Rooftop Lounge & Conservatory

Hotel Vandivort, 260 E. McDaniel St., Springfield, 417-851-1768
Best Reason to Go: A kid-free night with your favorite grown-ups 
What to Order: With both mocktails and cocktails on the menu, there’s a drink for everyone in your friend group. Try the Bloody Rose, a concoction made with vodka, blood orange puree, ginger ale and rosemary syrup. And snack on some shareable flatbreads.
Where to Sit: The long, tall table near the corner has room for you and some friends, and the bar-height seats give you the best view over the railing and down onto the city.
The Vibe: An art deco inspired walk to the patio, and then a big-city aesthetic outside as you gaze down at downtown Springfield.

Ramata Italian

1201 Branson Landing Blvd., Branson, 417-231-9559
Best Reason to Go: A night out during a Branson staycation 
What to Order: Whet your whistle with an antipasto plate; the Italian Block has a mix of meats, cheeses, olives and pickled peppers. Then get your pasta fix with the peppery carbonara with tender house-made pappardelle noodles. The rigatoni rosa with its spicy vodka sauce is a winner too. Whatever you choose, just make sure you order it with a glass of wine. Ramata has a pretty hefty wine list, as you can probably guess when you spot the floor-to-ceiling glass-encased wine room in the middle of the restaurant.
Where to Sit: Here you want a table that gives you full view of Lake Taneycomo and the bluffs across the water. 
The Vibe: Fine dining by the water with attentive service that makes you feel like a million bucks.

Springfield Brewing Company 

305 S. Market Ave., Springfield, 417-832-8277
Best Reason to Go: A get-together with your old college buddies 
What to Order: With a 25-year history in Springfield, Brew Co. has been a staple in town. Its menu has seen some changes and upgrades over the years, but the pub-food-and-fresh-beer combo has never disappointed. Start by ordering a Walnut Street Wheat. Next, order some Brew Co.’s Beer Pretzels with 417 Lager smoked cheddar fondue to share. Dig into a Brewhouse burger for your entree, and finish the meal off with a sweet root beer float made with house-brewed soda. And then take a stroll through downtown to walk off all that beer-themed goodness.
Where to Sit: Grab a spot near the east side of the patio if you want to peek down onto the street for some people watching.
The Vibe: Old-school downtown Springfield hangout.

Vantage Rooftop Bar & Conservatory
Photo by Brandon AlmsSoak in some big city vibes at Vantage Rooftop Lounge & Conservatory in downtown Springfield. Purchase Photo
Best Patios issue graphic courtesy Shutterstock

4 by 4 Brewing Company

2811 E. Galloway St., Suite A, Springfield, 417-861-6400
Best Reason to Go: A night out with your favorite neighbors (and the kids) 
What to Order: There are so many great beers here, you know you’ll find something tasty to sip on. We’re partial to the Parkside Pineapple and The O.G. Hefe. Both are oh-so-refreshing. Don’t forget to “beer it forward” to a friend while you’re there. If you’re hungry, order a pizza from The Pitch’s red food truck parked just outside, or grab some of the freshly popped popcorn inside. 
Where to Sit: A picnic table in the grassy area just above the main patio. It’s a little more spacious up there. Plus, you can hear the music, and your kids have room to bop around.
The Vibe: The coolest come-as-you-are backyard—with some fun games inside for the grownups too.

Shady Taco & Grill

Still Waters Resort, 21 Stillwater Trail, Branson, 800-777-2320
Best Reason to Go: You’ve been on the lake all day, and your crew’s starving 
What to Order: We know there’s “taco” in the name, but honestly the bacon cheeseburger is our favorite thing on the menu. So juicy! The fish tacos are seriously tasty, too, and there are even a few salads for when you want something lighter. Bonus: If you are staying at Still Waters Resort and are hungry in the morning instead of the evening, you can pop in for chorizo tacos for breakfast.
Where to Sit: There’s not a bad seat in the house, since every single one is under the shade of the trees with twinkling string lights up above. We recommend the hanging hammock chairs though.
The Vibe: All of your childhood backyard dreams at once, but cooler: swinging chairs, fire pits, lawn games, fireflies.

The Ozark Mill Restaurant 

Finley Farms, 802 Finley Farms Lane, Ozark, 417-210-6644
Best Reason to Go: It’s your last stop on a girls’-day-out in Ozark 
What to Order: There’s an upscale farm-to-table menu at The Mill Restaurant, and it even features ingredients that were grown or produced on the property. So lean into that and order something from the seasonal market menu. At press time, it featured a smoky, spicy turkey orecchiette pasta that was to-die-for—and a burnt honey and rosemary ice cream too. Don’t skip the cocktails: the Spicy Citrus Bloom is our absolute favorite. It’s made with vodka, elderflower liquor, grapefruit juice, basil and jalapeno that adds just the right amount of kick.
Where to Sit: As close to the bridge as you can get, so you can hear the sound of the river going over the dam.
The Vibe: Big Cedar’s super-chic younger sister.

Shady Taco & Grill
Photo by Sheri Holloway

Starving from a day on the lake? Try Shady Taco & Grill.

The Ozark Mill
Photo courtesy Finley Farms & The Ozark Mill

Enjoy some upscale farm-to-table dining at The Ozark Mill Restaurant.

RISE

105 Park Central Square, Springfield, 417-691-6088
Best Reason to Go: Brunch with your sisters (or those friends who feel like family)
What to Order: That depends on your mood, but you really can’t go wrong with these inventive and beautifully executed
dishes. Feeling indulgent? It’s got to be the Baklava Yeast Waffles with spiced syrup, baklava nuts and fillo flakes. Looking for veggies? The Shakshuka with poached eggs, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and feta is a great way to start the morning. Add a coffee pick-me-up with a rosemary vanilla latte.
Where to Sit: Find a table that gives you an unobstructed view of Park Central Square. You can watch the city wake up while you
enjoy your brunch.
The Vibe: In the thick of it with a prime location right on the square and surrounded by city buzz.

Mother’s Brewing Company

215 S. Grant Ave., Springfield, 417-862-0423
Best Reason to Go: Your out-of-town friends are here for the night  and you want to show them a local fave
What to Order: The lineup of beers from Mother’s is always evolving but there are some favorites that are always a sure bet—like the year-round Sunshine Chugsuckle hazy IPA or the Cobra Scare sour wheat ale or the local favorite seasonal Winter Grind. But we recommend branching out and trying something new from the taproom, where there are always new brews to taste, like hard seltzers and ciders and unexpected flavors.
Where to Sit: The backyard at Mother’s is a wide swath of green, so there’s plenty of room to spread out. The best seat in the house here is the one by your pals.
The Vibe: A familiar and friendly gathering place where you want to spend time with friends, both old and new.

Tie & Timber Beer Co.

1451 E. Cherry St., Springfield, 417-429-9131
Best Reason to Go: You’re in the mood for some live music 
What to Order: There are numerous creative beers available at Tie & Timber, from classic options like the Juicy Brewski New England IPA to funkier flavors like the Snooze French Toast Pastry Ale. We’re partial to the tart Cherry Street Sour and the citrusy Cup O’ Kindness hazy IPA. (Hot tip: Their mocktails are tasty too!) If you’re hungry, you can walk across the street to one of the Cherry and Pickwick eateries and bring the food back to eat.
Where to Sit: See that white picnic table with the pup beside it up there? That’s our favorite table. It’s far enough from the music that you don’t have to yell over it, but close enough that you can enjoy the tunes. And its location feels like your own private patio.
The Vibe: The landscaping, the sun shades and the tiers of seating: it all makes it feel like your favorite neighborhood park.

Galloway Grill

4211 S. Lone Pine Ave., Springfield, 417-882-5300
Best Reason to Go: You have the post-bike-ride munchies 
What to Order: The Redbird sandwich is a spicy, indulgent treat, with its buffalo-sauce-coated chicken, pepper jack cheese and jalapenos. Ouch! The Frito pie, Bavarian pretzels appetizer or barbecue-sauce-laden Trail Burger are all favorites too. And they are all hearty enough to fill you up after you’ve just spent some time on Galloway Trail, which runs right past the restaurant.
Where to Sit: Head to the very back of the fenced-in patio to one of the tables in the back corners. It’s nice and sunny back there (but don’t worry; there are sun shades above the tables), and you can hear the spinning of bike wheels and pounding of sneakers as trailgoers race by outside.
The Vibe: An old-school (and nostalgic perhaps) setting that’s still just as relaxing as it ever was.

Breakfast food at RISE
Photo by Brandon Alms

RISE has become a breakfast and brunch favorite.

Purchase Photo
Tie & Timber Beer Company
Photo by Leah Stiefermann

Sit back and soak in those classic boozy backyard vibes at Tie & Timber Beer Co.

The Best of the Rest

There are some other Springfield, Missouri patios that deserve a little love. Here are favorite things about these sunny spots.

A Social Hub at Happy Hour

Farmers Gastropub
2620 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-864-6994
App to Share with Friends: Bacon brown butter popcorn.

A Cherry Street Favorite

Team Taco
1454 E. Cherry St., Springfield, 417-429-2503
App to Share with Friends: Nacho plate.

A Great View of the Lake

Devil’s Pool Restaurant
Big Cedar Lodge, 190 Top of the Rock Road, Ridgedale
App to Share with Friends: Smoked Rockbridge trout.

A Galloway Hangout

The Rock Food & Friends
4018 S. Lone Pine Ave., Springfield, 417-986-0632
App to Share with Friends: Zucchini chips.

A Margarita Hot Spot

Los Cabos
4109 S. National Ave., Springfield, 417-823-9114
App to Share with Friends: White queso and chips.

A Tropical Vibe

Golden Girl Rum Club
137 Park Central Square, Springfield, 417-425-5162
App to Share with Friends: Korean barbecue pork nachos

A View of Lone Pine from Above

Great Escape Beer Works
4022 S. Lone Pine Ave., Springfield, 417-824-4043
Pitcher to Share with Friends: Galloway Trail Wheat.

Best Patios issue graphic courtesy Shutterstock

More Patio Picks

Still looking for more outdoor spaces to sip and snack? Take a look at some of our previous patios below.
Written by Becca Keathley and Shannon Hoffmann

This content is from previous patio features and was updated 04/01/2022

417 Taphouse

Nestled in the middle of Wilhoit Plaza is the most decorated patio and beer selection in Springfield. There are bags to throw, fries to eat, a keg fountain to watch (yes, a keg fountain), strands of lights and brewery labels pressed into the brick. We’ll be hanging out ‘til they kick us out.

Aviary at Farmer’s Park

The Aviary at Farmers Park offers an extended patio that provides tons space,  seating, bistro lights and even a plant collection.

The Backlot at Alamo Drafthouse

Not only does Alamo Drafthouse serve up delicious food and deliver it to you while being mesmerized by a movie, but they also have The Backlot, a place to stop for a drink (or a meal) before or after your movie that also includes an outdoor patio.

Bambino’s Cafe

With hefty plates of pasta and fresh, warm bread, your carb intake just might go into overdrive. Pick between the cozy location closer to Missouri State University, which is now strictly first-come first-serve, or the Bambino’s on Battlefield Road which is still taking reservations. While you’re there, try the bruschetta. There are tomatoes in it so that makes it healthy, right?

Big Whiskey's American Restaurant & Bar

With multiple locations in 417-land, Big Whiskey’s patios are perfect for unwinding after a long day with a daily happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Quench your thirst with a refreshing cocktail, like the Lynchberg lemonade. Bonus: patios are dog-friendly as long as they’re on a leash.

Cherry Picker Package x Fare

Enjoy the open patio space at Cherry Picker Package x Fare in the afternoon with a latte or in the evening with a cocktail under the strand lights. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Civil Kitchen

Three bars, two patios and one impressive drink list. It's one–of–a–kind drinkin’ spot with a one–of–a–kind scratch menu. Did we mention that they throw events that are pretty dang unique, like their Kentucky Derby Classic? Say no more—we're already on our way.

Ebbets Field

“Where the burgers are hot and the beer is cold,” is our new saying for this patio spot. It's also a prime Springfield Cardinals pre–or post–game option for when baseball season fires up again.

Take a look at our blog about the updates being made to Ebbets Field.

Great American Taco Company

Drive-thru tacos and the sangarita aren’t the only things that keep us coming back to Great American Taco Company. The patio is a great place to get your creative taco fix while you watch the hustle and bustle of Battlefield Road.

Harbell's Grill and Sports Bar

Harbell’s Grill and Sports Bar downtown has all you need for a little Sunday funday. Enjoy the game on one of the many TVs, feast on the smoked chicken wings and satisfy your tastebuds with a cold brewski on the outdoor patio.

Hotel Vandivort

This luxurious hotel in the heart of downtown Springfield is accompanied with a swanky patio located in the back that gives off a private, cozy feeling. Relax in the cool chairs or take a pic with the big V for that perfect Instagram post.

Houlihan's

Houlihan’s has a fire pit surrounded by chairs that makes us feel like we’re bronzing our bods at the lake. A FIRE PIT. We don’t care if it’s hot out—we want that fire pit blazing and a drink in our hand.

Lindberg's Tavern

There’s no place quite like Lindberg’s Tavern when you add up its history, atmosphere, food and bar. The added bonus of a patio, live music and a killer brunch menu will only make you love it more.

Maso Pizza Bar

Pizza, pasta, paninis, salads and pet-friendly outdoor seating? Maso Pizza Bar has it all. It's also just steps away from Nicola's if you're in the mood for a fancy Italian dinner.

Schultz & Dooley's Pub

Located in Chesterfield Village, this hotspot pub has daily food and drink deals and karaoke battles. Hungry patrons can feast on tasty burgers and cold brews while relaxin' on the patio.

Uncle Bently’s

No kitchen, no problem. Where else can you order from neighboring restaurants and have food delivered to you at a bar? A bar that feels like home, a patio that can be enclosed if needed, pool tables inside and free popcorn.

White River Brewing Company

Commercial Street is already known for its history, and of course, beer. Spend the day sitting outside with a nice brew in hand, then check out some cute antique stores and C-Street’s Farmers Market. That’s the best time to shop right?

Do you have a favorite patio or any updates? Email digital@417mag.com and we’ll get them added!