friends toasting at paris cafe

Toast to good friends and good food at an outdoor café in Paris. (Photo: Getty Images)

Eat + Drink

From Buzzy Bistros to Beer Gardens, These 10 Cities Have Great Outdoor Food and Drink Scenes

There’s a certain magic to dining outdoors. Whether it’s a meal on a terrace, on a patio or in a secret garden, savoring fresh air paired with quality cuisine and cocktails is just plain fun.

From saying cheers in a beer garden to enjoying an oceanfront meal at a café on the beach, these 10 cities around the world deliver epic outdoor drinking and dining that’s worth traveling for.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.


The City of Light loves little more than its outdoor bistro culture, and every day (no matter the weather) you’ll find Parisians cozied up at cafés along Boulevard Saint-Germain and iconic destinations like Les Deux Magots, where Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway once sipped espressos and flipped through the morning paper.

But outdoor eating extends beyond café culture to neighborhoods like Montmartre, where you’ll find the iconic Sacré-Coeur church and Le Moulin de la Galette. Its windmill dating back to the 1800s adds charm, but nothing beats the romantic cobbled terrace where a Michelin-starred chef serves five-course fare.

San Diego

With pleasant weather year-round, sunny San Diego is the ideal outdoor dining and drinking destination. Its historic Gaslamp Quarter is home to stunning rooftop bars like The Nolen, which showcases 14th-floor downtown views paired with inventive libations.

In nearby Little Italy, you can play a round of bocce while sipping a cocktail on The Crack Shack’s outdoor deck or enjoy rooftop steaks at Born & Raised. If wine is more your speed, sip a glass in Carruth Cellars’ secluded wine garden.

St. Martin / St. Maarten

grilled lobster
Enjoy the flavors of fresh, grilled lobster. (Photo: Getty Images)

Fresh seafood is the star in this dual-governed Caribbean cuisine capital. From French to Lebanese to Creole, the rich cultural food diversity pairs with local specialties like conch, sea snail and johnnycakes (cornmeal pancakes).

Find authentic fare at lolos, which are open-air beach restaurants serving up barbecue, or visit nautical-themed Oualichi along Great Bay Beach’s Philipsburg boardwalk. Pair your Caribbean cuisine with guavaberry liqueur, a national beverage made from wild guavaberries and rum.

Find the island’s most quintessential outdoor drinking experience at Maho Beach’s Sunset Beach Bar. Here, landing planes at the Princess Juliana International Airport soar just overhead as you sip frozen daiquiris with your toes in the sand.

Buenos Aires

Dining and drinking “al aire libre” (in the open air) is popular in this South American city, with restaurantgoers favoring outdoor dining and drinking on rooftops, terraces and patios.

Join crowds gathered at tables along San Telmo’s cobblestone streets, or converse over coffee on Palermo Viejo’s cute café patios. Want to dazzle a date? Head to the upscale Recoleta neighborhood’s Milion, a mansion-turned-restaurant with a secluded garden that wows for romantic dinners and boozy brunches alike.


street food prawns on grill in singapore
Snap up street food in Singapore. (Photo: Getty Images)

Hot weather means you might want to wait for nightfall to enjoy outdoor meals in Singapore. But thanks to a vented roof and cooling system, Singapore’s famous Smith Street’s makeshift cafés and outdoor stalls serve up affordable, authentic cuisine all day and night, from satay skewers to curries.

Enjoy picturesque al fresco fare along the Singapore River at Clarke Quay, an old warehouse district transformed into a nightlife hub. Wait until the sun sets to party at Yin at the Riverhouse, a hopping outdoor bar on the porch of Clarke Quay’s oldest building. Pair the modern Chinese bites with beer and booze on the steps of this preserved historic home.

Quebec City

Experience French cuisine and culture without leaving North America in beautiful Quebec City. Located on the St. Lawrence River, its cobbled streets and fortified walls date back to the 1600s and add to its historic charm. Sample tapas and tartare at L’Atelier, a bustling sidewalk café on the tree-lined Grande-Allée — Quebec’s most festive block.

Or ride the city’s funicular down to Quartier Petit Champlain, a narrow, pedestrian-only alley packed with indie shops, boutiques and terraced restaurants like Lapin Sauté.

Tucked in the heart of this quarter, this French-inspired eatery is known for its cozy outdoor terrace. Rabbit is the house specialty, but all kinds of gratins and French country cuisine grace the menu.

Find the city’s best outdoor sips at Old Port’s La Cour Arriere du Festibiere. There’s a shallow pool for cooling your feet while you sample a wide variety of craft beers and cocktails.


two men dining in dubai
Savor an outdoor meal in Dubai. (Photo: Getty Images)

Be transported to another world with Dubai’s unique outdoor dining options. Expect poolside patios, rooftop restaurants and outdoor terraces sprinkled through this United Arab Emirates party capital.

From Latin American snacks and tropical drinks at Amazonico’s outdoor terrace to watching the sun set with your toes in the sand at Jetty Lounge, there’s an outdoor dining and drinking experience here for everyone.


From art deco eateries on South Beach to Cuban cuisine in Little Havana, Miami is a hot spot for diverse outdoor dining. If you don’t mind the heat, you can eat outside here year-round. Experience Miami’s patio scene best with views of Biscayne Bay at Amara at Paraiso. With local coastal flavors and waterfront views, it’s everything you’d expect in outdoor Miami dining.

If you’re ready to party in South Beach, order a fishbowl-sized frozen cocktail along the main drag, or soak up the Florida sun at rooftop Serena. Enjoy margaritas and authentic Mexican cuisine on the lush outdoor terrace colored in tropical pink, orange and coral hues.

Cape Town


With predictably sunny skies and pleasant weather, South Africa’s Cape Town is home to a thriving outdoor dining and imbibing scene. Experience it at The Grand Café and Beach, one of the city’s top al fresco spots. Once a warehouse, a dramatic transformation made it into a fine dining destination with seaside views and incredible international cuisine.

Day trip from Cape Town to Hermanus to dine on a wooden deck hugging natural cliffs at Ficks Pinchos & Wine. Built above a tide pool safe enough for kids to swim in, the restaurant lets adults sip a glass of wine while kids splash below. Pair a pint or a mojito with pinchos (tapas) and watch the sun set over the ocean as dolphins swim in the distance.


Set in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, this nation comprises more than 330 individual islands. The tropical climate means it’s always sandal season, and practically every day is great for dining outside.

If you’re looking to embrace the local culture and cuisine, grab a waterfront patio seat at Nadina Authentic Fijian Restaurant to sample island classics like ota miti — the shoots of a wood fern served with coconut milk.