Take in the Fresh, Mountain Air at the Best Outdoor Dine & Drink Spots in Jackson County

As summer arrives in Jackson County, NC, it’s time to savor the beauty of nature while indulging in delightful culinary experiences. Patio dining is the perfect way to relish our vibrant scenery and crisp mountain air, so whether you’re dining by the river or while gazing up at the mountains, elevate your experience at these perfect patios in our mountain towns of Cashiers, Dillsboro and Sylva.

Ranging from fine dining to budget-friendly options and in between, here are some of the best spots to consider (many of which are also dog-friendly!):


Canyon Kitchen – nestled in Lonesome Valley, this restaurant’s fabulous patio pairs with fine dining and breathtaking views for a truly dining experience like no other. The menu rotates to highlight seasonal produce from the on-site garden, but no matter what you can always expect sophisticated Appalachian cuisine crafted with the freshest ingredients. After you treat your tastebuds, roam the garden or enjoy a crafted cocktail amid the fireflies.

The Orchard offers a picturesque outdoor dining experience. Set amidst stunning gardens and majestic mountains, the patio provides a serene atmosphere for enjoying a meal. Its menu features upscale Southern cuisine prepared with a modern twist, from succulent grilled meats to elegant seafood dishes.

Cornucopiathis spot’s cozy patio offers a tranquil setting surrounded by lush greenery. Known for their farm-to-table approach, Cornucopia serves up delectable dishes from hearty sandwiches to flavorful salads featuring locally sourced ingredients.

Slab Town Pizzathis hidden gem’s spacious patio is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed meal with friends and family. Indulge in mouthwatering wood-fired pizzas made with fresh ingredients and creative toppings, from classics like Margherita to unique combinations like the Smoky Mountain BBQ Chicken. Pro tip: let the kids play in the beautifully landscaped green space just outside patio doors so parents can finish dinner.

Whiteside Brewing Co. — is the place for a fantastic outdoor space. Its spacious beer garden within walking distance of The Wells Hotel Cashiers offers ample seating and a laid-back ambiance. Enjoy a refreshing pint of their handcrafted brews while indulging in their delicious pub fare, including burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers.

The Ugly Dog Pubboasts a vibrant outdoor patio perfect for enjoying the summer breeze. Its diverse menu features classic pub dishes with a creative twist, from juicy burgers to flavorful tacos and savory wings. Pair your meal with a cold beer or cocktail for a truly satisfying dining experience.

Happ’s Place — a beloved local eatery with a huge outdoor area including a fireplace, corn hole, and Adirondack chairs for lounging. Happ’s Place offers a diverse menu with something for everyone, including mouthwatering burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and salads.

Cashiers Valley Smokehouse for mouthwatering barbecue and a spacious outdoor patio, head here. The rustic charm and flavorsome barbecue make Cashiers Valley Smokehouse a go-to destination for meat lovers. Plenty of picnic tables are available for large groups as well.


City Lights Caféthis favorite cafe features an intimate outdoor patio overlooking the charming streetscape of Downtown Sylva. It’s cozy as can be and is renowned for its locally sourced ingredients and an enticing menu that caters to various dietary preferences. From vegan delights to gourmet sandwiches and salads, you’ll find a plethora of options to choose from.

Innovation Brewing – a must-visit for beer enthusiasts, this brewery along the river boasts an expansive outdoor patio and lively atmosphere. Enjoy an array of inventive beers to quench your thirst while you bask in the sunshine. If you’re hungry, pair your brew with delectable bites from the Cosmic Carryout food truck parked out front.

ILDAa charming restaurant known for its inviting patio area. With a rustic ambiance and warm lighting, the outdoor seating is perfect for a romantic dinner or a gathering with friends. Savor authentic Italian flavors with handmade pasta, wood-fired pizza, and savory seafood dishes, and pair your meal with a glass of fine wine.

Meatballs Pizzeriafrom the husband-and-wife team who own ILDA, this more casual pizza joint is quickly becoming a local favorite. Their spacious patio provides a relaxed atmosphere where you can unwind while enjoying classic margherita to gourmet pizza combinations. 

Lucy in the Ryea trendy gastropub with a cozy patio. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere as you savor their innovative menu, which combines classic American dishes with global influences. From juicy burgers to flavorful tacos and creative salads, each dish is crafted with care using high-quality ingredients.

Jackson County is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and food lovers alike. This summer, take advantage of patio season and soak in the sun, savor the flavors, and create lasting memories as you dine al fresco in our picturesque corner of the world. Be sure to tag us in your photos on Instagram and Facebook!

Share on Social Media