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

As warm weather 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.

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!):


SlopeSide Tavern – At the base of Ski Sapphire Valley, you’ll find this cozy eatery and porch – the perfect spot to relax and enjoy lovely mountain views. Whether you’re enjoying a delicious cocktail with friends or a family dinner, you’ll find something for everyone. Don’t miss their daily specials or menu favorites, including robust salads, tasty sandwiches or delicious flatbreads!

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 This timeless establishment 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 iconic 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 local favorite’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 such as the Margherita to unique combinations, including 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. This is the place for a fantastic outdoor dining experience. Its spacious beer garden is within walking distance of The Wells Hotel Cashiers and 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 Pub–  “The Dog” boasts 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.

Happs Place This beloved local eatery features a huge outdoor area including a fireplace, corn hole and Adirondack chairs for lounging. Happs Place offers a diverse menu with something for everyone, including mouthwatering burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads and specials.

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 eclectic 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 from which to choose.

Innovation Brewing – A must-visit for beer enthusiasts, this brewery along the creek 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 and acclaimed restaurant, the patio at Ilda takes its dining experience to the next level. 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 unique, handmade pasta creations 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 casual pizza joint is a great place to hang out and relax. Its spacious patio is a great spot to unwind while enjoying classic Margherita and gourmet pizza combinations paired with flavorful salads. 

Lucy in the RyeWith a patio that overlooks Sylva’s Main Street, you’ll enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Lucy in the Rye as you savor a dish from its 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. Pro Tip: Stop by for a weekend brunch!

Jackson County is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and food lovers alike. 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!

Feature photo courtesy of SlopeSide Tavern

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