School is officially out, which means it’s time to spend more time outside and time for the locals (and their dogs) to emerge and reclaim their favorite spots in town. Sunshine means day drinking, eating, and dog spotting, so here’s a reminder of where you can get the best outdoor seating this summer.
Squirrel’s outdoor seating is limited, but finding a table there is magically never a challenge despite their regular flow of customers. Come summer, the Corvallis institution is taken back by locals who come out of the woodwork when OSU classes end in the spring. Squirrel’s might be one of the more dog-friendly restaurants in town thanks to the owners. The patio is never short of friendly pups in addition to people.
Perhaps the quietest of the bunch, Nearly Normals’ patio serves as a haven for those who know it exists. Tucked away behind the house, the space is enclosed with wooden fences and the view is entirely framed in vines and hanging plants. Perfect for summer breakfast before the heat sets in for the day, and the shade is peaceful enough for those hot afternoons.
This list would not be complete without including Sky High’s gorgeous rooftop—a staple of the outdoor dining scene. Arguably the best view from a building in Corvallis, Sky High’s multiple-floor view begins on the third-floor patio. Head up to the rooftop for cornhole, space heaters, and a limited food menu to pair with the sunset over Marys Peak.
Riverview Mongolian Grill
Riverview Mongolian Grill is nestled next to Big River on 1st Street, and features a decent sized front patio with picnic tables. Best part about their patio? It’s open year round, even in a snow storm. The backdrop to the patio itself is a sight to see, with a view of the Willamette waterfront and the Van Buren Bridge.
Campus Downward Dog
With two locations, one downtown and one across the street from the OSU campus, Downward Dog provides ample outdoor seating. Its campus location is typically packed with students just out of class on a warm day, but once summer hits, the picnic tables are anyone’s for the taking. They’re the spot with more tables outdoors than indoors, making it perfect for summer evenings.
American Dream – Downtown
Pizza, beer, and a rooftop? It’s a tough combination to beat, which is usually why the rooftop of American Dream’s downtown location is rarely empty come summer. In comparison to Sky High, it’s a bit more relaxed and doesn’t have the widest range, but a roof is a roof no matter how tall.
By Regina Pieracci