Whether it’s an urban oasis or a hidden spot in the woods within yards of the vegetables that are served up on your plate, these spots are a world away from ordinary. Here are restaurants with secret gardens to hit up the great outdoors.
Zuma, Miami, Florida
Meaning literally “incognito” in Japanese, Zuma’s Oshinobi Bar is a private speakeasy space where guests can interact with a featured bartender and get off-the-menu specialty cocktails that aren’t on the main bar menu. Like the list, the space itself is pretty exclusive and is by invite-only; cards are given to select patrons by management for the only-20-person space. Enter the lush garden through a secret elevator and you’ll find garden furniture and earth-toned fixtures. The DJ, Miami River views, and Asian food complete the transportation process to the land of cool. Make a reservation at Zuma.
Earth at Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport, Maine
Dine underneath a blanket of stars and inhale the ripe, fresh scent of herbs and vegetables at the onsite garden at one of New England’s foremost farm to fork restaurants (also fish-to-dish, with lobster always on the menu, of course). Nestled among a birch forest and balsam trees, you’ll find cocktails muddled with herbs and fruits picked just a few feet away from one of the coveted outdoor tables, along with heirloom tomatoes, garden pea soup, and fire-roasted veggies. Make a reservation at Earth at Hidden Pond.
Bobo, New York, New York
When Bobo owner Carlos Suarez reopened last year with a new look for the restaurant’s 10th anniversary, his goal was to share his passion for country living — especially having started a farm in Hudson Valley and given his love of the French countryside. It may not quite be Versailles but, like Louis XVI’s opus, there are citrus trees blooming year-round in his West Village hidden patio. Find herb pots and plenty of natural lighting, too, to complement French home-cooked classics by Michelin-starred chef Frederic Duca. Make a reservation at Bobo.
Butchart Gardens—the Dining Room, Vancouver, Canada
With more than a century as Canada’s most grandiose garden, there are stunning floral displays at every turn of the head — but you can see many of them while (seasonally) feasting on lunch, dinner, or high teas at the Dining Room. Spy the Private Garden, the Italian Garden or Tod Inlet from what feels like a greenhouse, with plants indoor as well. Vancouver Island wines are featured with local, sustainable fare. Make a reservation at Butchart Gardens.
Komodo, Miami, Florida
It’s a jungle in there at Komodo, a three-story indoor/outdoor eatery in Miami’s concrete jungle (aka, financial district). Nestled inside the restaurant is a hidden oasis boasting lush greenery and five outdoor floating bird’s nest pods. Private garden pods can be arranged for group business dinners or intimate date nights. Make a reservation at Komodo.
Hungry i, Boston, Massachusetts
Given the mercury fluctuations, Boston’s not exactly known for its outdoor dining, but the Hungry I has been winning over couples looking for a bit of romance in historic Beacon Hill for decades. Combine the intimate outdoor central garden patio space with a French menu (think lamb loin deglazed with merlot and duck l’orange) with flickering candlelight and you’ve got yourself the site of many a proposal. Make a reservation at Hungry i.
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Carley Wade is a travel writer whose experiences eating street food in Japan, English peas in the UK, free-range steak in Argentina, and Brussels sprouts at Estragon tapas in her hometown of Boston have provided unforgettable culinary inspiration. Shout out at firstname.lastname@example.org.