Ninkasi Brewery. (Devin Roux/Emerald)

The sun has started to peak out and the days are getting a little warmer; University of Oregon students are starting to venture outside. With the long winter in the rearview mirror, it is time to start thinking about ways to take advantage of the heat. The Daily Emerald is here to help. Here are some local restaurants that mix a great outdoor atmosphere with delicious food and drinks:


This is the local favorite and the basic choice. Tacovore serves up some of the best tacos and margaritas in one of the best atmospheres in town. The enclosed space during the winter can be transformed into a completely open-air establishment by rolling up the massive roll-up glass garage door that covers two-thirds of the back wall. Shared wooden tables with stools and wooden booths give Tacovore an almost picnic-like feel. For those looking to eat completely outside, Tacovore offers a back patio with tables and umbrellas.

What to order

Chips and salsa

Shrimp Tacos


McMenamins - North Bank

Because of its isolation from other UO student-frequented haunts, North Bank is often passed up by the younger patrons. This is a grave mistake. North Bank is located on one of the most beautiful stretches of the Willamette River and is an amazing spot to wash down a great meal with a local brew. North Bank has limited outdoor seating but the wait is worth it. Once the sun sets and the river breeze cools down the patio, there is a fun tiki bar inside for students over 21.


McMenamins North Bank. (Devin Roux/Emerald)

What to order

Cajun Tots

Expedition Elk Burger (Better on the stomach and tastes better than a real burger)


The Beergarden is in the Whitaker area and offers the most outdoor seating and food options of any other location on this list. With big picnic tables scattered throughout a large outdoor plot, one would think it would be easy to find a spot. This, however, is not true. Beergarden’s crowded space is a testament to its popularity and to the quality of the five food trucks parked in the same lot like some kind of hipster barbecue. Along with the many food options, Beergarden also offers 42 taps that include beer, soda, kombucha, cider and wine.

What to order

Garlic Chicken Plate from Lani Moku Grill

Build your own poke bowl from Moi Poku (ask the staff for help)


Another favorite spot in Eugene, Oakshire, is better suited for those over 21 — if you’re not of age, they’ll kick you out at 9 p.m. That being said, in the early evening, expect to see lots of kids and young adults eating pizza and burgers with a refreshing ginger ale or kombucha to cleanse those young palates. Oakshire offers indoor and outdoor seating, both options being basically the same as two of the four walls at Oakshire are open-air. Parked right outside are Rackhouse BBQ Wednesday-Sunday, Bing King on Saturdays and Burgers on the Run and Oregon Wood Fired Pizza Monday-Friday. Oakshire also puts on trivia nights and hosts live music occasionally, both of which are extremely entertaining to watch (do not yell out trivia answers if not a participant, people will “boo”).

What to order

Margarita Pizza

Any special at Oregon Wood Fired Pizza

Food Trucks In and Around Ninkasi Brewing

The Whitaker area gets featured heavily in discussion surrounding food, and for good reason. Just a simple stroll around Blair Street near Ninkasi, a number of food trucks stick out. Go grab a sushi burrito from SuBo or eat at one of the rotating food carts at Ninkasi. Makuahine’s Pacific Island Streatery can be found at the brewing company on Mondays and Thursdays, I Scream For Waffles is there on Fridays and Sundays and Red 5 Hotdog Cart is available on Saturdays. Ninkasi’s tasting room and patio are great places to hang out and relax in the sun with friends.

What to order

Black Widow from SuBo

Screamin Waffle (for desert)

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