Leon's Oyster Shop

Locals line their bikes along the front of the restaurant Saturday, May 30, 2014 at Leon's Oyster Shop on King Street. The restaurant is a former body shop by the same name. Paul Zoeller/Staff

When the Bridge Run coincides with beautiful weather, runners aren’t eager to hole up inside once they’ve crossed the finish line. These downtown restaurants are home to a few of the city’s most desirable daytime dining patios:

Lewis Barbecue

464 N. Nassau St.

Disregard your GPS when you’re seated out back at John Lewis’ acclaimed pit: The grand oak tree; scent of hickory smoke and Willie on the sound system telegraph that you’re in Texas. That sensation is confirmed by Lewis’ celebrated brisket, although runners seeking to replenish their carbohydrate stores shouldn’t skip the corn pudding.

Leon’s Oyster Shop

698 King St.

Even Bridge Run abstainers are likely to have their eyes on the beckoning vintage patio chairs at Leon’s, so make sure to arrive at the restaurant before the 11 a.m. opening bell if your heart’s set on celebrating with a frozen gin-and-tonic and fried chicken, a meal that’s emblematic of the Southern roadhouse and Continental upper-crust vibes that cross here.


430 Meeting St.

During the last bridge run, Tu was a dinner-only restaurant that specialized in cheffy novelties such as cheese ice. Now the second project from the folks behind Xiao Bao Biscuit is twice a day turning out interpretations of Indian cuisine, including milkbread sandwiches that are ideal fodder for an upscale picnic at one of Tu’s tables.

Basic Kitchen

82 Wentworth St.

Already a favorite of runners who appreciate the value of well-made kombucha; sweet potato noodles and fried chickpeas, Basic Kitchen boasts a tucked-away patio that evokes the romance of similarly hidden spots in New Orleans. The almost-secret garden echoes the restaurant’s message that green is good: This space was made for avocado toast consumption.

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits

79 Wentworth St.

Chickens don’t fly very high, which is perhaps why The Restoration Hotel’s brand new food-and-bev director recently clipped their wings from The Watch’s menu in favor of duck wings. Other new menu items complementing the spectacular view at this seventh-floor restaurant include a spicy chicken sandwich and mussels bathed in Chardonnay.

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

Food editor and chief critic

Eating all of the chicken livers just as fast as I can.