10 Unforgettable Outdoor Dining Experiences from Italy to OmanBy Holly Kapherr
It’s one thing to eat inside a beautiful dining room. It’s another entirely to enjoy the culinary culture of a destination surrounded by iconic landmarks, gorgeous landscapes and fresh air.
It’s hard to imagine a better way to enjoy grilled local seafood with freshly squeezed lemon than dining in Greece, immersed in the smell of the cooking fire and the salty Aegean air. Perhaps a shawarma sandwich filled with savory lamb, pickled vegetables and tangy yogurt within eyeshot of the Bosphorus would fit the bill?
As the weather warms this spring and summer, home in on these ten unforgettable outdoor dining experiences across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. With sweeping views, gorgeous terraces, soothing garden backdrops and other creative settings, these restaurants will extend your satisfaction far beyond your palate.
As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.
The casual menu brightens palates by day. At night, Morena transforms into a Japanese-inspired dining destination in partnership with Inari Omakase, one of Istanbul’s best Japanese restaurants.
After dinner, watch the lights twinkle on the hills until late in the evening and sip cocktails until midnight as waves lap at the shore below.
The very first international location of Wolfgang Puck’s signature restaurant, Spago, at The St. Regis Istanbul is located on the rooftop of the hotel, where a panel of floor-to-ceiling sliding doors open onto the veranda overlooking Maçka Park and the Bosphorus.
Showcasing the flagship location’s dedication to seasonal cuisine, the innovative menu changes regularly to show off the area’s best ingredients, and the wine list features more than 500 standout selections.
La Terrasse, Nice
You’ll enjoy dishes featuring the bounty of Provençal, including olives, tomatoes, fresh seafood and local cheeses — plus fresh-baked breads like the must-try focaccia and pizzas — as you ogle the fashionistas below.
The JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa is situated on its own island in the Venetian Lagoon, ensconced by a lush, century-old park with views of Venice’s essential landmarks.
The chefs at this property will put together a signature “Chic-nic” picnic dining experience for you to enjoy under the weeping willows with your family or as a romantic cena per due (dinner for two) for just you and your partner.
Enjoy a custom selection of sandwiches, salads, pasta and local snacks while watching vaporetto boats glide past on the water.
Laid Back, Seychelles
Featuring exciting dishes from Michelin-starred Korean chef, Akira Back — the restaurant’s namesake — Laid Back at North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, Seychelles is where the best ingredients from the islands meet freshly plucked ocean delights like langoustine, snapper and local octopus.
But the location, under a thatched-roof pavilion directly on the sand and extending onto the beach, is the reason you’ll want to visit before nightfall — sitting under a takamaka tree here is the perfect perch from which to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean and stars appear.
Al Diwaan, Dubai
With sprawling views of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, an outdoor experience at Al Diwaan, the fine dining restaurant at Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, is a must.
The menu features a mix of indigenous recipes and international delicacies, but if dinner isn’t in the schedule, head up to the terrace bar’s loungers and cocktail tables for breathtaking views from your seat or stargaze using the terrace telescope.
Fish Beach Taverna, Dubai
A family-friendly menu of Greek and Turkish delights awaits at Fish Beach Taverna at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Waterpark, overlooking the Dubai Marina and the iconic Palm Islands.
Grab a table on the lawn and enjoy shareable small plates like octopus marinated in fresh rosemary, garlic and oregano or baked feta with honey and sesame.
The restaurant can also arrange private tables or a meal in their iconic “teepee” for a more intimate experience.
Beach Pavilion, Muscat
Between the dramatic lobby entrance and the village of Muscat surrounding Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, there’s no mistaking the romance of the Middle East.
The hotel is located between the Al Hajar Mountains and the Sea of Oman, and the Beach Pavilion — perched ton the sea’s edge — showcases the property’s unparalleled views.
The internationally inspired menu places a firm focus on fresh seafood and grilled meats, while a backdrop of relaxing waves and gentle sea breezes are the perfect combination for a spectacular outdoor dining experience.
Al Matal Bedouin Tent, Petra
During your Petra stay to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, enjoy dining the way the Bedouins do with music, dinner and drinks at Al Matal Bedouin Tent at the Petra Marriott Hotel in Jordan.
Reservations are required for this experience, open between May and October, which features the unique pastoral, nomadic Bedouin culture and cuisine, including dishes like zarb and mandi.
Le Relais du Parc, Paris
Settling into an outdoor table on the shaded garden terrace of Le Relais du Parc at the Renaissance Paris Nobel Tour Eiffel Hotel epitomizes all that is distinctly delightful about Parisian dining in warm weather.
The restaurant’s elegant Sunday brunch is a must, though Le Relais du Parc’s all-day dining also offers simple yet flavorful lunches and dinners. The lush, peaceful surroundings are the perfect respite from a busy day of sightseeing across the City of Light.