The Best Al Fresco Dining in the U.S.
There's no better way to enjoy a meal than being surrounded by nature and great weather.
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One of the pleasures of summer and fall, especially in places where winters are cold and we anxiously await warmer weather, is al fresco dining. Eating outside, surrounded by fresh air, a light breeze, perhaps a skyline, ocean, or greenery view, somehow buoys the spirits and makes the food taste better. There’s probably no scientific reason for that claim since our taste buds don’t know if they’re indoors or outside. But most of us have experienced the way food is influenced by external details: the restaurant décor, the dishes or flatware, the person we’re dining with, even the conversation or occasion.
So, when the good weather rolls around (and hopefully sticks around well into the fall), we want to dine in the great outdoors, whether it’s at a campsite, on the beach, in a backyard, or on a park bench during lunch hour. Even better is being served an appetizing restaurant meal as we gaze at something other than the inside of the dining room. That’s why outdoor tables are usually the first choice when offered at eating establishments during summer.
We have gathered al fresco dining suggestions from around the country. Some are personal favorites, others have been recommended by reliable friends, and several have come from Open Table’s list of “100 Best Al Fresco Restaurants in America.” Whether you try one of these or find a favorite in your neighborhood or during your vacation, we wish you a perfect summer al fresco dining experience.