Best Places to Dine Alfresco
This is one of those posts that deserves a sequel, if not two or three. Yet somehow, against all odds, we did manage to compile what we think is a very complete top ten in our look at the best places in the world to dine alfresco. From a beach in the Caribbean to a square in Italy, take a look at our faves.
Romans, rather famously, love good food and wine and it takes incredible effort and a complete lack of imagination to find a bad meal in the Eternal City. The city’s piazze, from Navona to Santa Maria in Trastevere, unfurl trattoria gems by the score and rooftop restaurants provde sublime overlooks.
Where to stay: Regina Hotel Baglioni Rome
Plush Anguilla lures gastronomes with arguably the best restaurants in the Antilles and, truly, the most gorgeous batch of beaches. From Shoal Bay West to Windward Point Bay it’s not too difficult to dine – and dine very, very well – with bare feet in white sand or on a wave-lapped deck over the Caribbean.
The Parisian passion for une belle terrasse is so powerful that even in nippy winter months abundant space heaters allow imbibers (and smokers) to sip coffee and Ricard and nibble on croissants and croque-monsieurs outdoors. The enclaves of Montmartre and Saint-Germain-des-Prés are particularly good for alfresco pleasures.
Where to stay: Shangri-La Hotel Paris
Uniform equatorial temperatures ensure that Singapore’s innumerable patios stay open year-round. Tropical downpours, of course, tend to put a damper on proceedings but at least the rain has consideration enough to be predictable.
Where to stay: Oasia Hotel By Far East Hospitality Singapore
Barcelona lives outdoors, from parks and rooftops, to boulevard sidewalk cafés and the Mediterranean waterfront. It’s not unusual, in clement weather, to stumble upon a plaza full of locals about to order apps and drinks at 1 a.m. on a weekday night. Re-adjust your internal clock and act accordingly.
Where to stay: El Palauet Living Barcelona Hotel
Sydney has the good fortune to enjoy a spectacular climate and, blessedly, photogenic geography in concert. Down Under’s gateway city is thus a pacesetter and alfresco ace (as is Australia), with posh upscale and convivial downscale spots from Darling Harbour to Manly.
Where to stay: Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour
Talk about low-hanging fruit. But how in the world can we omit Bali from a list of open-air restaurant all-stars? Perfect weather, lush Ubud, the central foothills and an extraordinary coastline make indoor dining the exception, not the rule.
Where to stay: Komaneka Tanggayuda Bali
Forget the false stereotypes about drizzly, foggy and damp London. The United Kingdom capital is a sprightly metropolis that spends a good chunk of time outdoors – even in the months of December and January – in Royal Parks, tony commercial streets and open-air markets. The city is duly chockablock with bar, café, pub and restaurant terraces.
Where to stay: Apex London Wall Hotel
Wine Country California
Fancy lunch amid the vines? You can traipse about Burgundy or Tuscany if you like but the best-kept oenophile secret is that, pound for pound, California is the place for wine tourist gourmets north of the equator. Whether Napa or Sonoma, excellent outdoor choices abound. And you need not splurge at The French Laundry to dine like royalty either.
Where to stay: Macarthur Place Inn & Spa Sonoma Valley
It’s disgraceful to discuss “alfresco” without mention of Argentina’s nocturnal capital. Practically every café, dive, lunch counter and sandwich shop in Palermo Soho, Palermo Hollywood, Las Cañitas, Recoleta et al has, at minimum, a stool and table on the sidewalk and no dissertation on porteño culture is complete without a deep analysis of the restaurant terrace scene.
Where to stay: Park Hyatt Buenos Aires Hotel