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Top Ten Outdoor Dining Restaurants





Eating is one of my top ten things to do. Whether it is with my family or friends, I LOVE IT! Crisp beautiful days when we can eat outside are the best. Fresh air, good food and lovely company are all you need to reach one of those perfect moments in life.


1-  Numero Uno, my absolute top favorite restaurant for outdoor dining is my house. It is becoming a tradition to have Saturday dinners out on our covered terrace. We like to fire up the grill to enjoy yummy meals such as my father’s famous ribs paired with bourbon root beer floats and my mother’s egg salad. Sometimes we bring a little of South America into our menu with some churrasco and chimichurri. Great with Mojitos! Whatever food we eat, it is the best outdoor dining because we are surrounded by our children, our friends and our family.

2-  With their small outdoor summer patio and most excellent food, Hot & Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama is definitely on my top 10 list ranking in at number two.  Every restaurant is indentified by their food and Hot & Hot has the best seasonal food in Alabama. From their Stacked Tomato Salad to their Shrimp ‘n’ Grits to their Pork Trio…it’s all good out on their patio. Chris & Idie Hastings even grow fresh rosemary outside of their intimate quaint restaurant. It’s unbelievably romantic and perfect for any occasion.

3-  Third has to be the Lone Eagle Grille at the Hyatt Incline Village on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful sights ever, surely one to check off your list of things to see before you die.  The water is every shade of blue and incredibly hypnotic. The service at Lone Eagle is perfect and their Buffalo Burger is the best!  After your meal accompanied by a delicious wine from their extensive list, you can stroll down to the beach which is just steps away.  From there you can either grab a cabana and chill by the water or take a walk out on Pier 111. During the summer get an afternoon cocktail out at the pier bar and relax to the pleasures of the lake. While Mr. Lake Tahoe strums away on his guitar the locals will talk about favorite past times on the lake. Trust me when I say that you will create many great memories here.

4-  Another place high on my list is Nikki Beach in South Beach, Florida. It’s amazing! It is one restaurant that you absolutely need to visit. Outdoor dining on white sand with white umbrellas, cabanas and lounge beds makes for an unforgettable dining experience. The feel is like a ‘beachy’ tropical paradise, luxurious, totally sexy with totally great music. On Sunday afternoons this is one of my favorite places to be. You can see celebs and those on the A-list everywhere… beautiful people and intense music. Costumed dancers dressed like butterflies and Indians; they added a new element to this magical spell. Nikki Beach Miami is so successful there are now twelve more around the world in some of the most lavish cities.

5-  Staying in SoBe for number five is Sushi Samba. Holy yummy! They have this Latin-American mixed menu with Asian Sushi. Just dee-lish! People from all walks of life pass by as they stroll up and down the open air mall of Lincoln Road. This successful restaurant has also branched out with restaurants in New York and Las Vegas. Good music, good food and outdoor dining plus people watching…it rocks! 

6-  Tacky Jack's in Orange Beach, Alabama is another local hot spot where you can always depend on good food and good times. The pancakes are huge (about the size of your plate) and they will be the best you have ever had. They smell so sweet and taste like cake batter and butter. Tacky Jack's serves all day and all sorts of eats from crab claws to burgers to salads. To keep the awesome vibe, live music is played on the weekends, nights and holidays. If you have a boat you can get there by water. Make sure to bring the whole family because they are super friendly for all ages.

7-  Switching over to the West Coast, Las Brisas in Laguna Beach, CA, is awesome. What’s not to love with the combination of Mexican food and a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean! It just makes you smile at how beautiful life is. The chicken nachos are my favorite, but make sure you share them because they are huge! My hubby loves the fish tacos; even before we met he would rave about Las Brisas’ and how yummy they were. Originally called Hugo Victor Inn, this great outdoor dining experience has been around since 1938. Changed to Las Brisas in 1979, this place is by far one of the best and a sure bet to have great food and an excellent view.

8-  Sinclair’s on Lake Martin, Alexander City-Kowaliga, Alabama has to be another one of my top favorites. It is that hidden gem that caters mainly to boaters on Lake Martin. The food is not for ‘foodies’, but great for every day eaters. We text our friends, “Missing Sinclair’s ‘bloody’s & burgers’… let’s go now!” A major part of our summer is getting the boats out, cruising the lake, swimming, going to Chimney Rock and then going to Sinclair’s to get some good food and drinks.  In 2009, Aquapalooza, the World’s largest boat party, was located right next to Sinclair’s July 24th-26th.  Alan Jackson performed and about 35,000 people floated on boats tied together to watch him. Awesome!

9-  THE VIG in Phoenix Arizona is on my ‘must visit’ list. So many of my friends have told me that this is a fabulous place and looking at their online menu, one can understand why! The outdoor patio is perfect for any sunbather who wants to get some great food, drinks and sun. The music vibe is supposed to keep you rocking too. Their summer menu with the Carne Asada on a Potato Pancake & the Pan Seared Mexican Grouper sound super tasty. Be sure to check it out if you’re in Phoenix.

10-  Now last but not least, Boudro’s on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas. Having lived there as a little girl, the Riverwalk has given me many fond memories.  Friends told me about this restaurant and it will go on my ‘must try’ list. One of the drinks at Boudro’s is a Bloody Mary served with a Gulf Shrimp stir stick. Doesn’t that sound delicious? While checking out the menu online I couldn’t stop salivating! Sitting on their outdoor patio, sipping a cold cocktail and eating scrumptious food, now that’s the life!

If you love to eat and have any suggestions on great places to dine outdoors, please send me your ideas; Suntan Gal.  



-Suntanglobal/Suntan Gal


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