5 Howard County restaurants with top-notch outdoor seating

Guests of the Ananda restaurant can watch the sun set over Maple Lawn and enjoy the scenery of the changing seasons.
Guests of the Ananda restaurant can watch the sun set over Maple Lawn and enjoy the scenery of the changing seasons. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

Foodies who love dining alfresco will find plenty of options to whet their appetites as popular eateries open their patios and verandas to spring.

Whether hungry to paint the town, for a romantic evening by candlelight, for spectacular views or a casual get-together with friends and neighbors — or for a prime spot to eat while enjoying fair-weather festivals and events — diners can find an open-air spot to suit the occasion.


Below, we present five favorites that embrace the ambiance of the season.

Alexandra’s American Fusion

A growing number of Howard County families are moving toward a family-wide plant-based diet.

The patio at Alexandra’s American Fusion overlooks stunning views of impeccably manicured greens and the 18th hole of the original golf course at the 1,000-acre Turf Valley resort.


Three fire pits, a fountain and a garden add to the ambiance of the scenic outdoor spot that can be rented for private parties and seats more than 50 guests. Diners can enjoy a variety of seasonally inspired dishes and seafood selections crafted with locally sourced produce and meats, as well as a popular Sunday champagne brunch that features live music.

2700 Turf Valley Road, Ellicott City. 410-480-2400. alexandrasrestaurant.com


Maple Lawn’s refined Ananda restaurant dwells in an unmarked building that resembles a medieval castle, where classic Indian dishes are served on starched white tablecloths and the decor nods to colonial India.

Complementing the sophisticated wood paneling and stained glass windows of the smaller interior dining rooms, the veranda — an elegant glass-enclosed outdoor space heated by gas fireplaces — is open year round.

Guests can watch the sun set over Maple Lawn and enjoy the scenery of the changing seasons. And when the weather is fine, the walls open garage-style to create a fresh-air dining experience.

7421 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton. 301-725-4800. anandarestaurant.net

Clydes of Columbia

Clydes of Columbia offers two outdoor seating areas that share a beautiful view of Lake Kittamaqundi. The Patio seats about 50, is open during restaurant hours and serves a full menu of all-American tavern fare.

At 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, patrons begin seating themselves in the larger, more casual pavilion. Featuring a limited menu and outdoor bar, the pavilion is dog-friendly and provides excellent access to the live music, family movies and dancing on the lawn sponsored by the Columbia Association mid-June through September, as well as during the three-day Columbia Lakefest in June.

10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia. 410-730-2829. clydes.com

Food Plenty

Food Plenty serves traditional and modern comfort food in Clarksville.
Food Plenty serves traditional and modern comfort food in Clarksville. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Located in the heart of Clarksville above Howard County’s only food hall in a sustainably designed town center, Food Plenty serves traditional and modern comfort food made with locally sourced ingredients and Manor Hill beers brewed in Ellicott City. The restaurant’s porch accommodates up to 70 guests and features a semi-outdoor area with a fireplace, full bar and active greenhouse.

Seating overlooks Clarksville Commons, a scenic courtyard and community gathering space where events such as yoga classes, bonfires, car shows and festivals are scheduled year-round, and where a Farmers Market operates May through November.

12250 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville. 410-531-0411. foodplenty.com


Stanford Grill

The atmosphere inside Stanford Grill.
The atmosphere inside Stanford Grill. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

The intimate patio at Stanford Grill, located deep in Columbia Corporate Park, is open for upscale casual seating when it’s not in use for private events.

A few steps from the main dining room and bar that feature live jazz most nights, the patio, bordered by small trees and flowers, accommodates up to 60 guests. Patrons can enjoy drinks and appetizers with friends or order from the full menu featuring the grill’s popular rotisserie chicken, beef and seafood comfort dishes, as well as Sunday brunch and gluten-free fare.

8900 Stanford Blvd., Columbia. 410-312-0445. thestanfordgrill.com

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