Wichita's Best Patios For A First Date
Patios make a great relaxed and intimate setting for a first date. Naturally one might wonder where the best patios are for a first date in Wichita?
I wanted to select patios that were worthy of the Spanish origins of the word, which means "an inner court open to the sky".
My primary criterion was that the patios have a nice view – that they do not overlook a parking lot or a busy street. Unfortunately, that took several great bars and restaurants with a nice vibe and an inventive cocktail list out of the running. Maybe I’ll feature them in the future.
The top 5 patios that make my select list for “great first date” are, in alphabetical order:
- Abuelo’s – Situated on the Waterfront in east Wichita, the patio at Abuelo’s is situated with views of the pond and nearby PF Changs. Personally, I can’t get enough of their green chile pineapple salsa – though the chips are so thin and prone to breakage that it may be a bit messy for a first date.
- Central Standard Brewing – Just on the southeast edge of downtown in the overlap zone with the Douglas Design District, CSB has been a hipster hot spot ever since it opened. Since I’m not a beer drinker, I order the sangria -- which packs a punch! There is usually a food truck lined up next to the patio and if not, you’ll be able to see a park across the street.
- Chester’s Chophouse – Chester’s is another Waterfront establishment, but one with an air of elegance. With its lakeside view and a slightly more formal wait staff, if you’re looking to impress your date, this is a solid option.
- Newport Grill – The Newport Grill patio has the best view of the pond on the east side of Bradley Fair. The entertainment consists of musicians (planned) and waterfowl biting the tourists trying to feed them (unplanned). Newport always keeps it fresh, changing up their cocktail menu and ceviche often enough to keep things interesting. And some of their cocktails could be considered two-for-ones when it comes to potency!
- Yaya’s – Yaya’s, also in Bradley Fair, was "on the cusp" for me. The patio is one of the largest I know of in town and the beautiful landscaping mostly makes you forget it’s right next to a parking lot. In fact, the bushes, flowers, and trees act as a buffer between the restaurant and parking lot. You’ll enjoy live music here, so you may want to sit away from the musician in order to carry on that all-important "so tell me about yourself" conversation!
While these patios didn’t make the cut, they do merit consideration for your next date destination:
- Fredo’s, a wine and tapas joint in Old Town, has put a discernible effort into making their patio feel clean, contemporary, and upscale. The cocktails show creativity and it’s a relief for anyone in a body-con dress not to be served ginormous portions for dinner.
- Mort’s, with their ½ price martinis on Mondays, has one of the most legendary patio scenes in Old Town – and in the city. While I’ve given Mort’s plenty of my business over the years, it’s not necessarily great for a first meet because it’s often so busy and crowded that it could be difficult to hold a conversation with your date. The tradition of table sharing – while neighborly and very European – could make you feel a little “exposed” in that early-stage dating conversation as well. No one really wants to have their first date in front of an audience of strangers.
- Norton’s Brewing Company – Norton’s (which I call Old Town-adjacent) doesn’t so much have a patio as it has a backyard. Or an adult outdoor play space. It also has a patio up front you can hang out in while waiting for a table. While the wait times can get pretty tedious on the weekends (and that’s not really the tone you want to set for a first date), it’s a great place to hang out with friends or someone you’re in a long-term situationship with.
- The Brickyard – The Brickyard has a one-of-a-kind vibe in Old Town and it’s a great place to catch a live band. However, it’s hard to have a quality getting-acquainted conversation while dancing your face off, armpit-to-armpit with other sweaty revelers. So, save it for a stage in the relationship when you don’t need to chat so much.
I’m sure I inadvertently excluded someone’s favorite first-date patio, so if you think of a lesser-known patio that’s worth a visit, put it on my radar: firstname.lastname@example.org. Most of these establishments have some kind of happy hour special, so check their websites or social media pages for details.
Suzanna is the head dating coach and matchmaker at The Date Maven. She believes that "love favors the brave" and strives to elevate the dating experience for her clients. She is dedicated to helping people amplify their vibration and their visibility in order to better attract, give, and receive love. She works one-on-one and in small group settings using a blend of marketing/branding strategies and tools for personal growth and self-improvement.
Suzanna is also a keynote speaker, wedding officiant, image consultant, communications coach, and micro-influencer/brand ambassador. Suzanna has been invited to speak at conferences across and has been featured on radio, TV, and podcast shows across the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
She has contributed to digital and print articles for a variety of publications. Her first book is entitled Revising Mrs. Robinson (available on Amazon) in which she explores personal and cultural responses to romantic relationships between older women and younger men.