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Monte Carlo

The patio at the Monte Carlo in Minneapolis.
The patio at the Monte Carlo in Minneapolis.

Rick Nelson, Star Tribune

This shady respite is one of the North Loop’s better outdoor getaways. The sandwiches — meatloaf, crab salad on toasted pumpernickel, an artery-clogging Reuben — are popular options, along with a long list of grill classics, including liver and onions, a few steaks and shrimp cocktail.

219 3rd Av. N., Mpls., 612-333-5900, montecarlomn.com

Meritage

Russell and Desta Klein in the doorway of Meritage.
Russell and Desta Klein in the doorway of Meritage.

Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

Take a seat at downtown St. Paul’s top-performing sidewalk cafe and enjoy the urbane setting and chef/co-owner Russell Klein’s seafood-focused French cooking.

410 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-222-5670, meritage-stpaul.com

Sandcastle

Sandcastle restaurant at Lake Nokomis.
Sandcastle restaurant at Lake Nokomis.

Rick Nelson

The patio at this colorful beachside stand hugs the shores of beautiful Lake Nokomis. The varied menu swings from a classic BLT to a brown rice bowl topped with roasted vegetables and tangy kimchi. Other highlights include dolled-up hot dogs, well stuffed shrimp tacos, a first-rate pulled pork sandwich and soft-serve ice cream, all at reasonable prices. Beer and wine, too.

4955 W. Lake Nokomis Pkwy., Mpls., 612-721-0756, sandcastlempls.com

Wise Acre Eatery

The patio area at Wise Acre Eatery in south Minneapolis.
The patio area at Wise Acre Eatery in south Minneapolis.

Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

Owners Dean Engelmann and Scott Endres also operate the neighboring Tangletown Gardens, which guarantees that their restaurant’s outdoor spaces — they’re huddled around a vintage service station — are blooming showplaces. The farm-fresh fare is sourced from the duo’s 100-acre spread in Plato, Minn.

5401 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-2577, wiseacreeatery.com