One of my favorite things to do in summer is to sit out on the patio. Unfountanely, Minnesota winters are extremely cold, so most patios close in late fall. However, these four Twin Cities restaurants have determined a way to make outdoor winter dining cozier and safer.

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1. Utepils Brewing 

This iconic brewhouse is nestled on the banks of Basset Creek, barely two miles outside of downtown Minneapolis. And luckily for us, the outside beer garden has been winterized. The semi-covered tents offer protection from winter elements, and the large bonfire pushes out the cold.

2. Smack Shack 

The North Loop is lucky to be home to such a delicious casual, coastal eatery. Smack Shack is home to some of the best crabs, finfish, oysters, and shrimp, and this year they have a great revamped patio filled with traditional standing space heaters and a new overhead heating system.

3. Waldmann Brewing

The second brewery to grace our list is Waldmann Brewing, which is housed in the oldest surviving commercial building in St. Paul. The outdoor 'Biergarten' uses an array of 10 highly efficient, clean-burning natural gas heaters. These heaters will keep you warm all night long!

4. Sociable Cider Werks

This Northeast Minneapolis spot has more than eight firepits. This place is especially great due to its smores kits, Christmas lights, and warm soups sold by food trucks.

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It's time to dust off your winter coat and gloves and head out for a night of fun at one of these wonderfully warm outdoor patios! (Best be safe, and bring a hat too!)

The 10 Coziest Restaurants in Rochester

Recently Rochester, Minnesota's Forager Brewery was named one of the coziest restaurants in the entire state. But there are lots of cozy restaurants around Rochester! Here are some suggested by listeners and ones I added myself.