The patio at Babalu Tacos & Tapas, voted one of Mississippi’s best outdoor dining options by readers of Mississippi Magazine in 2014 | Image: Tate Nations

On days when the sun is out and the temperature is moderate, Fondren’s al fresco dining scene shines with no shortage of patios, porches or other outdoor dining options. Whether it’s to enjoy the people watching or simply a cool breeze, it’s one of our favorite past times — to take in the natural vibe of the neighborhood with a great bite or a carefully crafted drink.

Here are your options, in some sort of geographic order:

1. Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint / Pie Lounge (565 Taylor Street)


The Fondren historic district’s southernmost outdoor dining space, Sal and Mookie’s is a great place for families or groups to congregate. There are two patios to choose from – off the main dining room (best for families, especially with children) and off Pie Lounge. The restaurant’s Pie Lounge patio is for those over 21 and provides a cozy spot, masked behind a curtain of fragrant jessamine, where diners seem to sit and stay awhile over the bar’s crafted cocktails and draft brews. Waiting for a table? There’s also a small deck there to pass the time. *

2. Green Ghost Tacos (2820 North State Street) 

Always one of Fondren’s favorite patios when Que Sera Sera was here, Green Ghost Tacos has revived the space with an authentic Mexican twist. From their house-made moles and sauces to their fresh-squeezed juices to flavor cocktails, outdoor diners here get the best of both worlds: amazing food and a great view. Update: An even better view can be had on their new patio, in the former Lenny’s location at Fondren Place and State.*

3. Barrelhouse (3009 North State Street)

The newest kid on the block, Barrelhouse, a New American restaurant with a bourbon themed bar, is located in the historic “Strip” on North State Street, across from Walker’s. Outdoor diners and drinkers here have a two-foot concrete wall separating them from the action of passers-by while being afforded one of the best views of the neighborhood.*

4. Walker’s Drive-In (3016 North State Street)


Maybe the neighborhood’s most iconic patio, follow the neon sign and hand-painted wall to a handful of tables covered in umbrellas. If you’re going at lunch, make sure to plan accordingly – the patio is a popular spot for the midday business lunch crowd and on nice spring and summer nights.

5. The Pig & Pint (3139 Old Canton Road)


Competition style barbecue, craft beer pairings and a patio? Sign us up! The long wooden tables are community-style so you never know who you may meet on a mild spring day or during their Monday night live trivia event. The entire patio is now covered.*

6. Saltine Oyster Bar (622 Duling Avenue)


Look for the bright orange chairs and string lights atop the hill next to Duling School and you’ll find Saltine’s patio. It’s a favorite spot of happy hour diners and those who come to enjoy a platter of oysters — or a Banoffee Pie.

7. Babalu (622 Duling Avenue)


Linger is the word that comes to mind for Babalu’s outdoor dining oasis. With high tables and outdoor couches mixed together, diners who come here stay awhile. Come prepared – making a spot on this patio a coveted one. *

8. Fondren Public (2765 Old Canton Road) – currently closed


What once was a small skate park has been transformed into this craft beer bar’s outdoor space. Plenty of tables large enough for groups line the covered “porch,” along with two bocce ball courts that double as space for corn hole, TVs and an outdoor bar for quick ordering. *

9. Cups, an espresso cafe (2757 Old Canton Road)


Another people-watching paradise, Cups’ patio is perfect for a business conversation, study groups, the casual meetup or a simple solitary moment to get away for a while. The coffee shop has polished the patio recently with new awnings as part of their plan to liven up this Fondren Plaza staple. *

10. Broad Street Baking Company (4465 I-55 North)


Located in Banner Hall (yes, in the top of Fondren), Broad Street offers many seating options – in the main dining room, the atrium, upstairs outside Lemuria – but none compare to the quaint side patio where diners can enjoy a sandwich or one of their daily specials or a cup of coffee and pastry during their afternoon happy hour. *

Other Outdoor Dining Spaces

Quizno’s (2945 Old Canton Road) – Fondren Fro Yo (2951 Old Canton Road) – Rooster’s, Basil’s (2906 North State Street)

* – covered