Can you think of a better way to savour the remaining summer months than dining alfresco in an exotic locale? Neither can we! We’re all about digging into a delicious meal while soaking up the sights and sounds of a new city from a bustling patio or quaint terrace.
From Montreal, Canada to El Nido, Philippines, we sample 7 of the best cities to dine alfresco. So, if you crave culture with your cuisine, join us. Because food tastes so much better outside, served with plenty of premium people-watching opportunities.
It’s terrasse season in Montreal! And there’s no better time to grab a friend and hit up one of the city’s many alfresco dining spots. Montreal is known for its outdoor dining and drinking culture: In summer, the city comes alive with music and comedy festivals, and people soaking up the sun along with the city’s old-world charm after a long, cold winter.
Montreal’s many terrasses are the perfect place to enjoy world-class food and wine while watching the city do its thing. You’ll find so much more than poutine, smoked meat and bagels in this foodie’s paradise. Santé!
San Francisco, USA
If you’re in the mood for a Westcoast vibe and craving a seaside city dining experience, check out San Francisco. With its eclectic neighbourhoods, distinct geography and unique architecture (think vertigo-inducing hills lined with narrow, wood-framed pastel buildings, featuring classic bay windows, of course).
For a distinctly San Francisco experience, head to the colourful Castro or Mission districts for a bite, or if you must dine bay-side, the Embarcadero is a great place to start.
We can’t have a list of the best cities for alfresco dining without including the iconic Paris, can we? If you’ve never been, be prepared to pay a premium to sit at a classic brasserie along the cobblestone streets in the city of light. Totally worth it though!
From fine, French cuisine to more basic fare, you’re sure to get your fill of steak-frites, quiche, moules, or coq au vin! Wander some of city’s arrondissements and let your senses guide you to the perfect outdoor dining spot. Or be a little more strategic in your choices with this guide to dining alfresco in Paris. Bon appetit!
If you prefer classic Spanish tapas and fresh seafood to French fare, then consider Barcelona for your next culinary adventure. Set on the shores of the Mediterranean, the city just begs to be explored alfresco! The iconic home of Antoni Gaudi offers so much more than fantastic art and unique architecture, here you can fulfill all of your foodie dreams as well.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Also known as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires ranks as one of the most romantic cities to eat alfresco…at least in our books! Red wine, steak and tango anyone?
With its cobblestone streets and decaying colonial architecture, Buenos Aires has an eclectic array of neighbourhoods to explore—from hip to trendy to downright posh. Stylish locals fill cafes and bars lining the Plaza Serrano and Plaza Armenia in the Palermo Soho District, a fashionable destination for design, bars, street culture and a great place to eat alfresco.
After a more upscale dining experience? Head to the affluent Recoleta neighbourhood. With its shady, tree-lined streets and luxe Beaux-Arts architecture, you’re bound to feel fancy! History buffs will enjoy visiting La Recoleta Cemetery, Eva (Evita) Peron’s final resting place. As well, there are plenty of museums, cultural centres and historic landmarks.
Dining alfresco could be considered a national pastime in Singapore, where you’ll find a diverse array of food from satay to falafel to traditional Chinese. Many of the restaurants are open 24/7; due to the oppressive heat, diners eat late into the night.
You’ll find sidewalk cafés, terraces and patios with gardens along the southern bank of the Singapore River. Or check out Clarke Quay, where boats have been transformed into floating pubs and restaurants. Smith Street, Singapore’s Chinatown, is great for walking and sampling from food stalls and cafés.
Singapore is also on our list of accessible senior travel destinations for 2019. Find out why!
El Nido, Phillipines
Looking for a beachier dining experience? Pay El Nido a visit! You’ll get delicious beach-front dining options at affordable prices, from wood fire pizza and spicy Thai food and Mexican to a wide variety of traditional Filipino fare as well.
Spend the day on a white sand beach, sipping fresh, fruity drinks under the palms, or make new friends playing beach volleyball to work up an appetite. Then make your way to one of El Nido’s many beach-eateries to fill your belly and stargaze with a night cap in hand.
We know there are so many other amazing cities to dine alfresco in. These are just a few we’ve been to and can vouch for. Which cities would you recommend? Share below!