Get Out! Top San Francisco Outdoor Dining Restaurants for ‘Summer’ in the Bay Area

It’s September, which in San Francisco means the beginning of Indian Summer and the end of Fogust. As the temperatures climb into the 70’s and 80’s, we channel our inner Elaine Benes and tell everyone to get out – outside, that is. It always feels special to dine al fresco, and while many restaurants offer sidewalk seating, these spots feature honest-to-goodness patios, verandas, and terraces that amp truly amp up the ambience. Of course, most of these top San Francisco Outdoor Dining restaurants also have heat lamps — because Bay Area weather. Read on to find out where to make the most of this special SF season.

Le Colonial
This classy French-Vietnamese eatery has a charming and unique patio space. The tiled promenade leading to the restaurant’s entrance is an atrium-like veranda, featuring outdoor seating at tables nestled among palm fronds and banana trees — romantic and evocative of the storied elegance of Vietnam in the 1920’s. The French and Vietnamese chefs offer a menu of classic Vietnamese dishes, such as crispy Saigon crepes and fresh spring rolls, as well as fusion dishes like Pot Au “Pho” with braised oxtail and short ribs in a oxtail bouillon, crispy vermicelli noodles, turnips, pearl onions, and shaved radish served with mushroom bone marrow fondue. Make a reservation at Le Colonial.

San Francisco Outdoor Dining Restaurants

Richmond neighborhood Italian joint Fiorella serves up pizzas and pastas, but equally good are the comfort food classics like luscious wood-roasted chicken and Guittard chocolate budino with hazelnuts and Maldon sea salt made from a recipe handed down from the mother of one of the partners (a retired chocolatier). The newly opened back patio is bright and cheery with yellow chairs and a soothing rock garden perimeter with desert plants and cacti giving the space a decidedly SoCal vibe. Make a reservation at Fiorella.

San Francisco Outdoor Dining Restaurants

The patio right along the Embarcadero,that fronts Americano is a magnet for après workday libations as well as for business lunches and dinners. The outdoor space is set back from the street but affords a view of the San Francisco Ferry Building, peeking at the Bay Bridge and the bay itself, and yet it’s frontage is swathed with greenery and is the front yard space every apartment dweller wishes he or she had. The California and Mediterranean menu offers pizzas, pasta, and snacks aplenty, including deviled eggs, crispy chickpeas, and feta piquillo dip to nibble on while you enjoy the nature at its urban best. Make a reservation at Americano.

San Francisco Outdoor Dining Restaurants

El Techo
San Francisco isn’t known for roof bars — but there is one notable exception. In the heart of the Mission lies El Techo de Lolinda, a choice spot for cocktails and Latin American street food. It’s also beloved for its lively brunch that showcases Mexican dishes like the chorizo scramble with roasted vegetables, avocado, potatoes, and chipotle or carnitas served with black beans, escabeche, chipotle salsa, and housemade tortillas. Pro tip: Wash it all down with pitchers of margaritas or palomas. Make a reservation at El Techo.

San Francisco Outdoor Dining Restaurants

Palm House
No time for a vacation? You can take a Caribbean staycation without leaving the city, courtesy of Palm House. Chill at this fun spot facing Union Street and savor an eclectic menu under a covered terrace just beyond the sidewalk. Watch the world go by while sipping on a chipotle mango margarita and nibbling on macadamia nut crusted mac and cheese, jerk chicken tacos, and bay scallop ceviche. Make a reservation at Palm House.

San Francisco Outdoor Dining Restaurants

Trou Normand
This downtown destination, known for creative cocktails and for one of the best in-house charcuterie programs in the city, has a covered and heated patio just behind the restaurant in the courtyard of 140 New Montgomery. Akin to a secret garden in San Francisco’s Financial District, it’s enclosed in a striking steel and glass awning and outfitted with heaters and retractable canvas walls. The patio is weatherproof and available year round making it perfect for private events and parties — but it’s open to lunch and dinner diners as well. Make a reservation at Trou Normand.

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Introducing the 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Canada 2016 #OpenTable100

With the Victoria Day long weekend in the books and summer travel plans on our calendars, we are pleased to welcome the  season by unveiling the 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Canada 2016. The list reflects the combined opinions of more than 275,000 restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 1,700 restaurants in Canada.

Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Canada 2016

Featuring restaurants that offer some of Canada’s most stunning views and dining experiences, the complete list includes winners in picturesque regions from coast to coast, all the way from Lake Country, British Columbia, to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Ontario leads all provinces with 41 winning restaurants, followed by British Columbia with 34, Alberta with 18, and Québec with 5.

The list of 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Canada is generated from more than 275,000 restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between May 1, 2015, and April 30, 2016. All restaurants with a minimum number of qualifying reviews and “overall” rating were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of qualifying reviews for which “great for outdoor dining” was selected as a special feature. Check out our slideshow below.


Based on this methodology, the 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants 2016 in Canada according to OpenTable diners are as follows (in alphabetical order):Continue Reading

Secret NYC Restaurant Gardens: The Best Backyard Lairs for Dining in the Big Apple

For urban adventure seekers, few things are as exhilarating as hitting the pavement of the boroughs and seeing where the day takes you. But it can be grueling out there in the summer heat. Fortunately, New York has a deep web of hidden points of delicious respite waiting for you — if you know where to find them.

These are not your sidewalk cafes; these are al fresco urban oases where you can delight yourself with a bit of a breeze and put some distance between you and the grit of the streets. Seeking sustenance and solace from the teeming masses of competitive curb crawlers? Find serenity with our NYC outdoor dining guide to hidden New York secret restaurant gardens.

Executive chef Alberto Ibrahimi at Barbone will treat you like family and introduce you to his version of Italian soul food. Fresh ingredients, a full bar, an extensive wine list, and a spacious outdoor dining area make this a one-stop relaxation destination.

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Edi and The Wolf
The executive chef team behind midtown Manhattan’s Michelin-starred (and, sadly, shuttered) Seasonal Restaurant & Weinbar opened this casual homage to Austria’s wine taverns. Located in Alphabet City, it features an eye-pleasing menu of wonderfully prepared rustic Austrian best enjoyed beneath the patio’s hanging garden.

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A sustainable restaurant since opening in 1993, Home boasts a menu that showcases the best of New York’s regional agriculture. Beyond the local bounty, the petite eatery boasts an intimate wood-paneled backyard seating area that is guaranteed to ease and please.

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At Fort Greene’s ICI Restaurant, executive chefs Armando Reyes and Robert Howay prepare du jour bounty with a contemporary French twist (garlic scape soup, anybody?). Whether you go for dinner or brunch, the garden seating that hides behind the 19th-century brownstone is positively transportive.

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La Birreria at Eataly
Atop the bustling hordes of the Flatiron District, perched upon the great piazza of plenty that is Eataly, rests this comforting beer garden where you can sip your Peroni — or better yet, one of many house-brewed ales — accompanied by some mussels, housemade sausage, and other delights. [Photo credit: Virginia Rollison]

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2015 Top 100 Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Canada + 10 Most Instagrammable Patios

Dust off your sandals and bust out the sunscreen, diners! Summer is here, and to kick things off we’re unveiling the 2015 Top 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Canada. The awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 275,000 restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 1,600 restaurants in Canada.

Featuring restaurants that offer some of Canada’s most stunning views and dining experiences, the complete list includes winners from picturesque regions such as Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Stanley Park, British Columbia, and Banff, Alberta. Ontario leads all provinces with 41 winning restaurants, followed by British Columbia with 28, Alberta with 18, and Québec with 12. Restaurants associated with wineries, such as Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek Winery in Oliver, British Columbia, and Vineland Estates Winery Restaurant in Vineland, Ontario, are well represented among the winning restaurants.

Forget phone etiquette for a moment when you visit any of these honorees, and open your Instagram app to share snaps of these fabulous outdoor seating areas.  Need inspiration? Check out 10 of the most Instagrammable restaurant patios from this year’s Top 100 below.

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