If you are reading this anywhere other than on the patio at a fine drinking establishment, well, what's the matter with you? You can drink as God intended at any of a number of old standbys--the deck at Salty's is right on the water, the deck at the Pink Door is breezy and big, the deck at Linda's is crowded with the most attractive people currently living (as everyone knows)--or you can be intrepid about your boozing. We at The Stranger are nothing if not intrepid boozers, and in the service of you and your habit we've scoured the city for outdoor bars that might not have showed up yet on your radar. The Terrace Garden at the Red Lion Inn, for instance: an Edenic downtown rooftop bar that no one (I hardly exaggerate) knows about--except, as of last week, me. (And now, you.) If you had enough time you could probably find all these places on your own, but summer's going to be over before you know it.

The Terrace Garden at the Red Lion Hotel 1415 5th Ave, fifth floor // 971-8010

This giant patio expanse hovering five stories high in the center of downtown Seattle may not be as charming as the much-missed film noir Cloud Room, but the Red Lion's casual and comfy Terrace Garden is far more practical and worthwhile. There's a sea of seating under green-umbrellaed tables, a complimentary taco buffet (to go along with the happy-hour margaritas), jet planes flying over Elliott Bay, and a jazz singer on Wednesday evenings. And while you may not find any private detectives skulking in the elevator here, it wouldn't be surprising if Manhattan's Spider-Man swooped in, perched on the ledge for a moment, and swung back into the glass and steel sky. (Happy hour: Mon-Fri 4 pm-8 pm.) JOSH FEIT

Dexter & Hayes Public House 1628 Dexter N // 283-7786

For sheer outdoor-drinking inelegance, few places can compete with Westlake's Dexter & Hayes, a perfectly lovely pub abutted with a butt-ugly backyard--a wide-open mini-meadow strewn with spray-painted plastic furniture, a few strings of Christmas lights, and not much else. Active patio service is iffy, as is sufficient illumination--a recent weeknight visit found the lightless "garden patio" devoid of everything but moonlight and music spilling from the downstairs pool room. But if you're looking for an endlessly laid-back, spacious, and totally unpretentious outdoor booze venue (imagine your college backyard, attached to a real live bar) Dexter & Hayes is it. (Happy hour: daily 4-9 pm.) DAVID SCHMADER

Stellar Pizza & Ale 5513 Airport Way S // 763-1660

There are great things about sitting inside Stellar (formerly Stella)--the posters, the pinball machines, the thick smell of baking pizza--but during the summer months the only place to be is outside. When it's so hot in these industrial parts that birds are melting from electric wires, the sidewalk tables at this Georgetown spot offer, at the very least, shade: the cold, square shadow of the building itself. There's not very much to look at, so bring someone attractive, and do whatever you have to do to end your night making out with him near the train tracks around the back. (Happy hour: daily 4 pm-6 pm. ) CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

The Fun House 205 Fifth Ave N // 374-8400

What other dive bar offers such a pristine view of the Space Needle from its outdoor patio? Like the Lobo (down on Eastlake, which also has an outdoor quadrant, albeit a much narrower one), the Fun House gives the punks and the rock kids an unpretentious spot to hear live music, play pool, and congregate under the sky when the mercury at the indoor confines rises a little too high. Sadly, the basketball hoop that was so popular with drunk dribbling enthusiasts is long gone, but the bar did earn the right to sell hard alcohol this year, so what you lose in one deal you gain in another. (Happy hour: Mon-Fri 3-7 pm. ) JENNIFER MAERZ

Sam's Steakhouse 2947 Eastlake Ave E // 957-7777

Here you'll find yourself in an Adirondack chair facing Lake Union--a tumbler of gin and tonic at your side, a basket of snacks at your fingertips. Sam's is that undiscovered spot in Eastlake that most would only consider if they were thinking about a Sunday steak dinner with their grandparents. But behind those photos of visiting celebrities is a place with a happy hour from 4:00 till 6:00 p.m. that includes well drinks, wine, and draft beers for $3.25; snacks from $2.39 to $2.89; and a good-sized deck that makes you feel you're somewhere in upstate New York. Bring your Coppertone and your sand pail--just save me a chair. (Happy hour: daily 4-6 pm.) CHRISSY LOADER

Pacific Inn 3501 Stone Way N // 547-2967

There are a number of notable things about the Pacific Inn. There are the fish 'n' chips, which are perhaps the best in Seattle. There is the men's room, which is one of the worst in Seattle. And there is the deck, which offers drinkers an outdoor environment that, while not spectacular (no real view, unless you crane your neck to catch a peek of Lake Union), is intimate and isolated enough so that your states of pathetic inebriation remain relatively safe from intrusive gawkers. Above all, the joint--both inside and out--is ridiculously friendly and comfortable, and what more can you ask for? (No happy hour. ) BRADLEY STEINBACHER

Marjorie 2331 Second Ave // 441-9842

Belltown may look a little faded these days, its once-hopeful pastiche of pastel and earth-toned condos a little worse for the wear, but its earsplitting, meat-market bar scene continues to rage unabated. For Belltown drinkers seeking a refuge from the usual hormones-and-high-heels aesthetic, there's the tiny outdoor patio at Marjorie, where a handful of tables are secreted from the sidewalk behind an iron gate that still lets noise in through the cracks. The sun- spattered outdoor nook is cozy and warm- feeling despite its near-complete enclosure: a little oasis of calm and taste amid Belltown's often obnoxious din. (Happy hour: Tues-Fri 5-7 pm.) ERICA C. BARNETT

Luau Polynesian Lounge 2253 N 56th St // 633-5828

One of many Seattle-area restaurants to participate in the Great Sidewalk Land Grab of the early 2000s, Wallingford's Luau has added five fenced-off tables outside its western wall, affording a nice view of... well, the street. Choosing one of those tables on a hot sticky day involves a cost-benefit analysis: give up the interior's festive tiki atmosphere, or instead slowly melt indoors to the happy strains of kettle drums. But let's face it--after downing a couple high-octane Hawaiian punches on the sidewalk, your atmosphere will take care of itself just fine. (Happy hour: Mon-Fri 3-5 pm.) SCOTT McGEATH

Sambar 425 NW Market St // 781-4883

The cheaper little sister of Le Gourmand is adorable inside, but if it's crowded on a warm night, you can take your drinks outdoors. As I sipped my indescribably delicious Surpasse-Tout (a citrusy cocktail spiked with rose syrup) out on the garden patio, I took in my surroundings--iron gate, tiny wild strawberries, kitchen staff from the restaurant out harvesting herbs--and it all made me feel like I ought to be wearing a hat. If you're in the mood for a fancy garden party and slightly spendy but excellent drinks, come here. But freshen up your French pronunciation skills first. (No happy hour. ) ANNIE WAGNER

Rosebud Restaurant and Bar 719 E Pike St // 323-6636

Flee your stuffy office, turn off your cell phone, abandon your to-do list, and scurry to the refuge of the reliably shady grotto hidden behind Pike Street's comfiest drinking and dining rooms. Expert bartenders are standing by to slake your thirst and I guarantee your boss will never find you. The kitchen offers fresh and lovely nibbles to sustain your sojourn (the fruit and cheese plate is cold heaven) and the happy hour ($2 wells) commences at 4:00 p.m. and never ends. Do it. You deserve it. Feign a headache if you have to. Go now. Don't look back. (Happy hour: daily 4 pm-close.) AMY KATE HORN

Zig Zag Cafe 1501 Western Ave // 625-1146

On a platform between a set of steps that run up to Pike Place Market and a set of steps that run down to an empty street is a defined space of chairs and tables that, on clear days, accommodates the patrons of Zig Zag. Here the smell of the sea is strong, and constantly audible are the sounds of water traffic and sky creatures that feed on dead sea things and human rubbish. The combination of the maze-like steps, the red bricks, the mini-park below, the apartment buildings above, and other surrounding small businesses, gives one the impression that he or she is in the heart of a vast and ancient city--the perfect illusion for a midsummer day in midsized Seattle. (No happy hour. ) CHARLES MUDEDE

Agua Verde 1303 NE Boat St // 545-8570

Its tacos may be on the spendy side, its margaritas may be a little light on the tequila, and its lines may be long, but being able to eat and drink a refreshingly different (i.e., lighter) take on gourmet Mexican cuisine at an otherwise isolated-from-the-rush part of Lake Union is worth all the slight inconveniences. Munch on yam, zucchini, or fish tacos, down a mango margarita or two, watch the suntanned kayak types paddle between the ducks on the lake, and it really starts to feel like summer here. (No happy hour.) JENNIFER MAERZ

Blu Water Bistro 1001 Fairview Ave N // 447-0769

The Lake Union-facing deck at this popular corporate restaurant and bar is so crowded around sunset that you might find yourself repelled. But don't let the teeming hordes of hoochie-mama secretaries and ball-cap-bedecked dudes deter you. If you can get a table and if you can look past the morons (a challenge at any restaurant), the late evening atmosphere at the other Seattle's spendy HQ verges on transcendent. And as a sociological inquiry, the BWB is practically peerless. (No happy hour. ) SEAN NELSON

Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant 1325 E Jefferson St // 860-0403

In the back parking lot of this excellent Ethiopian restaurant (nothing on its menu will ever disappoint you) is a large tent with a blue top and thin white netting. You walk into it in much the same way soldiers walk into those tents on the TV show M*A*S*H. Inside you will find secondhand tables and chairs, and groups of Africans listening to the African music that's flowing out of the bar and filling the summer air. Because of the white mosquito net, everyone looks as if they are drinking under a big white sheet on a big bed that just happens to be in the parking lot behind Mesob. (No happy hour. ) CHARLES MUDEDE

The Twilight Exit 2020 E Madison St // 324-7462

The Twilight Exit's back patio may not be huge, but it is a savior those summer nights when the last thing you want to be doing is getting plowed in some smoke-filled dungeon of a bar. At this neighborhood haunt you can get tanked under the stars as the Saturday night DJs spin a mix of old soul and garage rock, use the fresh air to help you gain composure before belting out Sunday night karaoke, or just sit back with a thirst-quenching cocktail any night of the week. (Happy hour: Mon-Fri 5 pm-8 pm; Sat-Sun 4 pm-8 pm.) JENNIFER MAERZ

Thumper's 1500 E Madison St // 328-3800

Among the many lessons learned by audiences at Dina Martina's recent series of brunch shows at Thumper's was the fact that this longstanding Capitol Hill eatery/drinkery is kinda... creepy. However, attached to this lightly dilapidated landmark are two lovely-ish outdoor drinking areas: a good-sized sundeck (beloved by happy-hourers and sunset watchers) and a nice hideaway garden patio, complete with fountain and a multitude of rabbit statues, and fully protected from the parking lot by an eight-foot hedge. (Happy hour: Sat 4 pm-6 pm; Sun 10 am-6 pm.) DAVID SCHMADER

The Scarlet Tree 6521 Roosevelt Way NE // 523-7153

For a bar and grill whose motto is "Bringing the Motown Funk to the Emerald City," the Scarlet Tree is actually a fairly pleasant place. Granted, you're likely to hear some 12-bar blues, and you're just as likely to find some crusty gristle on your fork, but the drinks at this little oasis of urban vibe in the honky-ass Roosevelt district are strong and cheap. Just like the blues. The rush of traffic buzzing down Roosevelt is a bit of a bummer, but if you hit the deck during rush hour, you should be fine. (Happy hour: daily 4 pm-6 pm.) SEAN NELSON

The Virginia Inn 1937 First Ave // 728-1937

This charming little pub is crouched in the core of the city, and the best time to loaf here is at dusk when the shirt-and-tie crowd heads home and the city lights appear. Go to the bar for your drinks (notice the excellent beer selection) to avoid notoriously cranky servers, then nab one of the tiny tables outside on First Avenue. A fence protects you from the din of street traffic but not so much that you won't be engaged by the occasional "Smile, God loves you/Spare a cigarette?" passerby. The Virginia Inn is nonsmoking and though sucking the old cancer stick is allowed out front, the woman seated downwind from you wishes you wouldn't. (No happy hour. ) AMY KATE HORN

The Islander 96 Union St // 344-8088

This restaurant and bar has an enormous concrete patio overlooking Elliott Bay, and if you get there early you can score an unparalleled view of the enormous red Port of Seattle cranes. Or I should say, an unparalleled static view: You can also get a good gander at the cranes if you're driving over the West Seattle Bridge, but furtive glances can't quite compare to kicking back over tiki drinks evocatively named after headhunters, castaways, and all manner of tropical weather patterns. The mélange of impressions is enough to make you want to become a longshoreman--or a hurricane chaser. (Happy hour: Mon-Fri 5 pm-7 pm.) ANNIE WAGNER

Roanoke Tavern 2409 10th Ave E // 324-5882

Enclosed by a high wooden fence is a collection of benches, tables, deep steps, and table-tennis boards that make up the Roanoke Tavern's beer garden. Big trees with lots of leaves shade the drinkers during the afternoon, and vines crawling up walls become creepy at dusk, which is the best time to visit this casual hortus conclusus. Few situations in life can surpass the dreaminess of playing table tennis while the sun is falling in the west and the alcohol is rising in your blood. Progressively, your opponent disappears until all that remains between the two of you is the table's white border, the floating upper line of the net, and the ghost of a ball. (No happy hour. ) CHARLES MUDEDE

El Camino 607 N 35th St // 632-7303

The outdoor rooftop deck at El Camino is small and quiet and lacks a view, unless you count the drab little parking lot below the building, but somehow, its enclosed state makes it feel like a rustic island in Fremont's sea of blue-green condo towers. More important, the deck includes all the necessary elements for outdoor drinking: shade, comfortable wooden benches, and (at night) dim, sexy lighting. The margaritas are slushy and strong, and the plantain chips are the perfect outdoor finger food: salty, greasy, and accompanied by a bowl of chunky guacamole. (Happy hour: daily 5 pm-6 pm. ) ERICA C. BARNETT

Safeco Field First Ave S & S Atlantic St

Granted, the Mariners are going to lose, and yes, you're likely to spend nine dollars for a cup of warm Rainier, but you really owe it to yourself to behold the glory of this baseball park. I know you voted against it, twice, and you've been boycotting it ever since, but get that pseudoliberal baseball bat out of your ass and go see one of the best civic facilities in our city. You can buy a cheap seat, sneak in a flask or a couple of airplane bottles, and leave before the seventh-inning stretch. (No official happy hour. ) SEAN NELSON

The Seattle Eagle 314 E Pike St // 621-7591

For years, the back patio of the Seattle Eagle was a belovedly grungy gravel pit celebrated for its structural butchness and permissive vibe. But since their hugely successful upgrade from beer pub to booze bar, the Eagle's formerly rough-hewn patio has been gussied up with permanent flooring (yay!) and an expansive, sun-blocking tarp (boo, unless it's raining...). But the vibe remains the same, and the crowd only gets better, as rock-loving fags make room for their lesbian sisters and heterosexual admirers. (Happy hour: Mon-Fri 2 pm-8 pm.) DAVID SCHMADER

Ivar's Salmon House 401 NE Northlake Way // 632-0767

If you hit Ivar's (the one on Lake Union), go during off-hours. When you time it right, this Seattle tourist stop can be the perfect spot for baking in the sun with a pint of beer and a plate of fish tacos as you watch the wealthy sail their boats. It's most ideal to go weekdays between the lunch rush and happy hour, when you can have the back deck pretty much to yourself. (Happy hour: daily 3:30 pm-6:30 pm and 9 pm-11 pm. ) JENNIFER MAERZ

Greenlake Bar & Grill 7200 E Green Lake Dr N // 729-6179

The interior of this sprawling neighborhood bar near the north end of Green Lake is undistinguished (nondescript framed art, jaunty red walls, brown leather banquettes), but the weathered outdoor deck, elevated a foot or two above the sidewalk, is comfortable and shady even in the afternoon sun, thanks to a solid ceiling of umbrellas that locks out the light. Aim for the shady side deck instead of the sunnier front sidewalk (which is noisy, heavily traveled, and ambiance free). Another bonus for the cancer averse: Unlike many bars with outdoor seating, smoking is banned inside and out. (Happy hour: daily 4 pm-6 pm.) ERICA C. BARNETT

Contour 807 First Ave // 447-7704

Contour is the rare downtown bar with outdoor seating, a sidewalk area that spills out from the low-lit club. Most places, it seems, don't want to subject their patrons to the gritty hustle of First Avenue--caravans of Mariners' fans, Metro buses, business types chattering on cell phones, and inebriated street residents stumbling around. But Contour realizes that if you're sitting under an awning, munching on $1.95 happy-hour appetizers (like zucchini fries or rosemary-battered chicken strips), and sipping an icy beer or a $3.50 well drink, you couldn't care less who (or what) wanders past the patio. (Happy hour: Mon-Fri 4 pm-8 pm; Sat-Sun 2 pm-8 pm.) AMY JENNIGES

Tia Lou's 2218 First Ave // 733-8226

Because it boasts the biggest deck in Belltown and a perfect Old Mexico ambiance, I forgive Tia Lou's for its lack of blender and for serving drinks (even martinis) in plastic. The food is unremarkable (and our waiter warned, "You don't want the tortilla soup!"), but the icy tall margaritas deliver relief on a hot summer night. Happy hour specials run 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., and drink up; at sunset on weekends tables and chairs are stowed and a cover charge applies as the restaurant morphs into a slightly déclassé dance club/pickup scene. (Happy hour: daily 5 pm-7 pm.) AMY KATE HORN

Baithouse Cafe 5517 Seaview Ave NW

The bad news: The cafe is closed and the whole building is up for sale. The good news: All that stands between you and a perfectly lovely, abandoned private deck for your personal outdoor-drinking pleasure is a chain-link fence, nosy neighbors, and, if you're unlucky, the police. The best news of all: No more live jazz! (Happy hour: dusk, of course. BYOB. ) DAVID SCHMADER