Patio Dining: Where to Go for Outdoor Dining in the Shenandoah Valley (and Beyond)

Fine Patio Dining in the Valley and Central Virginia

From digging in the dirt to cookouts, spring has a rejuvenating effect on all of us! It heralds our need to enjoy the outdoors. One of the great joys of warm weather is eating outside while enjoying the camaraderie of friends and family.

Good food is always a great compliment to outdoor dining! As a Shenandoah Valley b & b, we think it’s our duty to put together some of our favorite patio dining places to eat, both here in the Valley and in Central Virginia.

Let’s start in the Valley.

The Shack and Chef Ian Boden


The Shack

This small, seemingly unassuming restaurant has reaped its own fair share of attention and awards for chef and owner, Ian Boden. National and regional acclaim includes a James Beard Semi-finalist Best Chef Mid-Atlantic twice and best new restaurant in the south by Southern Living,, Rising Star DC, and’s Essential 38 South.

Naturally, the food is divine! And you can enjoy Chef Ian’s dinner on their intimate patio. It’s best to make reservations. Get all the details here.




Chicano Boy Tacos


Chicano Boy Tacos

So, you think you know tacos? We beg to differ. Chef Justin Hershey (né Manuel Borguez Padron Jr.) will change everything you think you know about them!

With a dedication to fresh, tasty cuisine, Chicano Boy combines unusual combinations of food to create some of the most delicious tacos you ever tasted. The restaurant also specializes in mission-style burritos. Each burrito weighs about a pound! And they are stuffed with your choice of ingredients.

Among Chef Justin’s many accomplishments including working in West Palm Beach, FL at Mark’s City Place with James Beard award-winning chef Mark Militello. He also worked with Chef Ian Boden of The Shack. Both he and Boden were invited twice to cook at the James Beard House, a prestigious invitation!

See the full menu here. There’s a picnic table styled patio with umbrellas that make eating that much more enjoyable!



By and By Beer Garden


By & By Café and Beer Garden

Want to kick back a bit? Not only can you enjoy gourmet coffees and desserts, By & By offers craft beer, wine, bagels, and grilled sandwiches in an easy, comfortable atmosphere. Patio dining is enhanced by many beautiful flowers and a brick floor.

Located just down the street from the American Shakespeare Theater, it’s a convenient stop off after an evening of entertainment. And the food is delicious! Learn more here.




Smoked Kitchen and Tap


Crozet, VA—Smoked Kitchen and Tap

At the top of the mountain heading towards Charlottesville, you’ll find an award-winning food truck that is now a restaurant. Located in the lower terrace at Piedmont Place in downtown Crozet, Smoked Kitchen and Tap serves slow-smoked barbecue, farm fresh salads, delicious sandwiches, and other handcrafted options.

Everything is made from scratch and with the highest quality, freshest ingredients. Their secret dry rubs and five distinct sauces are part of the reason patrons return again and again.

Whether it’s a spring afternoon, a warm summer night, or even a crisp fall evening, sitting atop Piedmont Place—one of the highest elevations in downtown Crozet—is a breathtaking complement to award-winning cuisine! Sophisticated lounge-style furniture, an expansive awning, and outdoor heaters make this sky bar a coveted place to take a break.

Get more details here.



Frys Spring Station


Charlottesville, VA—Fry’s Spring Station

From brunch to dinner, Fry’s Spring Station offers up tempting dishes to please everyone. If you’re planning on spending a day in C’ville, consider stopping by! Their diverse menu includes fried oysters, pizzas, smoked pork barbeque, and salads of all kinds.

Drinks include everything from Kombucha, lagers, wines, to Margaritas and cane sugar Coca Colas. This highly rated dining spot is also popular for its outdoor patio. Bring a friend or bring a crew, there’s plenty of room to enjoy here! Get the menu.



The Breweries and Cideries

Want to make a day of it visiting breweries and cideries? We’ve got you covered. And the good news is many of them offer patio dining. For Shenandoah Valley breweries with patio dining, check out Stablecraft Brewing and Basic City Beer Company.

Heading towards Afton Mountain and Central Virginia, don’t miss these breweries and cideries that offer outdoor dining:

 Blue Mountain Brewery

Pro Re Nata Farm Brewery

Wild Wolf Brewing Company

Devil’s Backbone

Bold Rock Hard Cider

Blue Toad Hard Cider

What better way to celebrate spring than with good food, warm weather, and good times? Pack a bag for a 5-star stay at the Iris Inn. With our luxury accommodations and staff service, a mid-week or weekend getaway is the best way to lift your spirits and say, “Ahhhh!”

Book here and kick back. You deserve it!