Posted May 26, 2021

6 Cities with the Best Al Fresco Dining Scenes

Eat + Drink

You know what feels straight out of an idyllic movie? Outdoor dining. Those long stretches of colorful café umbrellas, botanical canopies and flowing wine is something we got used to this past year. We love slowing down and taking in the fresh air, a stunning view and of course, people watching, while we indulge in the most creative cuisine the neighborhood has to offer. From the California Coast to the tropical waters of Tulum, these are our top scenic spots to catch up with friends, fall in love and much more.

Kimpton Vividora, Photo by @thefoodygurl

Terraza de Vivi is Kimpton Vividora Hotel’s rooftop gem. Open Friday to Sunday, a day pass will grant you access to refreshing cocktails and small plates framing a sweeping panorama of the Old City and the historic Gothic Quarter.
1881 per SAGARDI is a rooftop restaurant that’s part of the lauded Museu d’Historia de Catalunya. The menu centers on Catalan and Mediterranean cuisine and tables overlook the port of Barcelona for picture perfect ocean views.

Boleo is in the heart of the Loop and you might think, wait, isn’t that super urban? It sure is but when you’re 15 floors up, the sky’s the limit. At this rooftop bar, live music is a must and pairs perfectly with bold Peruvian bites and inventive cocktails like a Chicha Morada Na made with purple corn, apples, pears and pineapple. The roof is also retractable to set the scene for those balmy summer evenings.
Beatnik on the River says it all in the name. Lace parasols, plush cushions, iron wrought furniture and plants dot the Chicago River’s boho restaurant space. Brunch and dinner menus take you around the globe with the likes of bulgogi fried rice, smoked baba ganoush, and Lebanese roast lamb.

Boleo at the Kimpton Gray, Photo by @sparrow_seven

New Orleans
Cane & Table is Tiki Bar chic and we mean chic. Their courtyard patio in the French Quarter is in bloom with tropical decor and lush greenery accentuated by aquamarine tables and chairs. In this oasis, the menu combines Caribbean flavors with the Chef’s Cuban heritage. This is where you breeze in for crawfish croquetas, shrimp and chorizo paella and many helpings of sweet plantains.
● In the Bywater neighborhood, N7 is an intimate French and Japanese inspired garden space focusing on small European winemakers. Oysters, charcuterie and cheese plates make this a perfect light bite before an evening out. Seating options range from the garden to a covered outdoor pavilion.

San Francisco
● The James Beard Award winning Slanted Door calls The Ferry Building home and the views of the ferries’ comings and goings are nothing short of spectacular. Perfect for a power lunch or date night, the modern Vietnamese menu spotlights fresh catches with their raw bar and organic, grass fed selections. Their namesake spring rolls are meant to be shared and feature gulf shrimp, pork, shallot mayo and peanut sauce.
Zazie’s heated patio and parklet in Cole Valley can take you through all kinds of unpredictable SF weather. We love that they’re tip-free and take care of their employees first and foremost. The bistro menu is a journey through French and American fare with creative items like their mascarpone polenta cakes with spicy chevre tomato sauce.

Kimpton Aluna Hotel, Tulum

San Diego
● At Carruth Cellars, you don’t have to go deep into wine country to feel transported. Get a tasting flight for everyone and lounge in their wine garden of olive groves and twinkling lights. Their industrial chic warehouse space is also open for private events.
● Located in Little Italy, Kettner Exchange can’t be constrained to a singular cuisine and their fare ranges from crackling larb to funfetti pancakes. You can reserve their rooftop cabanas for a VIP experience or go casual and stop by their giant swing before settling in.

● Kimpton Aluna Tulum Hotel is poised to be the queen of tropical oases stays. Bhanu Sky Kitchen anchors the hotel’s culinary scene with an exposed rooftop kitchen where the view is our chef and team in action expertly wielding coal, smoke and fire.
Parole Ristorante is a gorgeous indoor/outdoor space serving rustic Italian fare and Old World charm. The design nods to Tuscany with soft ambient lighting and garden flourishes.