America's 10 Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining

Love dining al fresco? Then keep these restaurants on your radar

America's 10 Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining

There’s something about sitting outside at a restaurant or bar that can transform a dining experience from ho-hum to legendary. When it’s nice out we naturally want to spend time outside, and there are few better things to do while sitting outside than enjoy a meal al fresco. From lush courtyards to sky-high rooftops to waterfront havens, we’ve tracked down America’s 10 best restaurants for outdoor dining. 

Broussard’s, New Orleans

Since 1920, Broussard’s has been serving a menu of high-end French Creole fare to well-heeled and in-the-know New Orleans diners, and its patio is the quintessential New Orleans courtyard. Arched brick walls, tropical foliage, trellises with hanging vines… The courtyard is romantic and about as old New Orleans as it gets. 

Boxwood on the Roof at The London, Los Angeles

From The London’s top floor, diners at Boxwood can enjoy views of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood while dining outdoors. The restaurant offers food and drink specials just about every night of the week, and there’s also a killer Sunday brunch.  

Fleet Landing, Charleston, SC

There are not many waterfront restaurants in Charleston proper, and this one is not only downtown but located right on the Cooper River overlooking the harbor. Several seats wrap the space on the outside so guests can eat and look out onto the boats, the historic landmarks, and more. The bar also opens out onto the harbor. Chef Drew Hedlund prides himself on his love of the water and is often seen fishing or visiting area docks to ensure his menu features local, sustainable options.

Gran Electra, Brooklyn

Tucked directly below the Brooklyn Bridge, Gran Electra’s spacious patio seats 50. With ivy-covered walls and plenty of lush greenery, the famed bridge looming above is just icing on the cake (we recommend taking it all in at night). While the surroundings may not transport you directly to Mexico, the cuisine will: Specialties include carnitas and lengua tacos, quesadilla made with homemade chorizo and potato, chile relleno, and a wide variety of tequilas and mezcals. 

George’s Ocean Terrace, La Jolla, Calif.

George’s at the Cove boasts an acclaimed rooftop bar called Ocean Terrace. The food is gorgeous, fresh California fare; the cocktails are amazing. The views from the roof deck are stellar and show off fabulous sunsets over the ocean. 

Nobu Malibu, Malibu

Nobu is cool and Malibu is super-cool , so therefore the Nobu in Malibu is automatically one of the coolest restaurants, anywhere. Its long, wood-planked patio is nothing short of stunning: Shaded by umbrellas and overlooking the sand and Pacific, we’d be OK eating every meal here. 

Oleana, Boston

From the famed Ana Sortun, Oleana is a great spot to enjoy a pleasant Mediterranean meal outdoors. Its patio is sectioned off and quaint, so spots are tricky to secure, but once you have one, with the colorful and fresh food arriving as it's ready, your imagination can take you somewhere truly exotic and far away.

The Broken Shaker, Miami Beach

Located inside the funky Freehand Hostel, the James Beard Award-nominated Broken Shaker in Miami Beach has been named the Best American Hotel Bar at Tales of the Cocktail. Its courtyard patio is huge, lush, and loaded with comfortable patio furniture, hanging lights, a swimming pool, a bocce court, a ping pong table, and even a hammock. It’s a verdant, banyan tree-shaded oasis, and one that every cocktail- loving Miami Beach visitor should know about. 

The Pink Pony, Mackinac Island, Mich.

One of Mackinac Island’s most popular restaurants, bars, and music venues, The Pink Pony, located inside the Chippewa Hotel, serves a wide variety of funky cocktails and is famous for its whitefish dip and burger. It’s located right on the water and, in fact, its patio hangs out right over it. Relaxed, low-key, and offering stellar views of the lake, it’s a great place to cool your heels after an afternoon spent discovering this charming island.

Westward, Seattle

One visit to this nautical spot and you’ll be hooked. On the North Shore of Lake Union, Westward’s patio offers prime views and primo fare. Sip cocktails from Adirondack chairs — an oyster shell bonfire warms on cool nights — or dive into chef Zoi Antonitsas’ delicious Mediterranean cuisine on the lovely patio. With weekend brunch, happy hour, and dinner nightly, there’s ample time to check out the top al fresco spot in town.