OpenTable Has Revealed The Top 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants

Admittedly, outdoor dining might not be everyone's cup of tea (or long-stemmed glass of Aperol Spritz). A gusty afternoon isn't ideal for keeping hair out of an actively-chewing mouth, and a fly in your cocktail is unappetizing at best. But, eating al fresco is no longer reserved for picnickers – and, according to recent data, it's been rapidly gaining traction with U.S. restaurant-goers. In a press release earlier this week, global restaurant network OpenTable revealed its list of the top 100 best outdoor dining establishments in America, and with all these options, we hope you're hungry.

In 2022, it said, 54% more restaurants across the country started offering outdoor dining options compared to 2019. In fact, many restaurants enjoyed double, even triple-digit increases in outdoor seating reservations from April to May 2022, and again from May to June. The cities with the largest overall increases in outdoor dining options were New York City (141%), San Francisco (126%), Las Vegas (108%) and Boston (92%). Cities in cooler climates — like Pittsburgh (53%) and Chicago (49%) — saw their increased traffic hit starting in May with the onset of summer.

But, even though countless establishments nationwide were hungry to make the list, there was only room for the top 100. Here's who made the cut.

Waterfront and garden diners take the trophy

The data is based on 13.6 million verified OpenTable diner reviews, and the list encompasses 100 restaurants across 25 states nationwide — including Hawaii's Mala Ocean Tavern. Perhaps unsurprisingly, waterfront eateries comprised the bulk of OpenTable's top 100, like Coastal Fish Company in Memphis and Dry Dock Waterfront Grill in Florida. But, U.S. restaurant-goers also seem to have taken a liking to garden dining experiences in settings lush with hanging plants and full of greenery, like at Manhattan's Tavern on the Green. A number of luxury patio settings also made the list, like the candlelit Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens in Orange County.

Susan Lee, OpenTable's Chief Growth Officer, explains the key role outdoor seating options have played in the restaurant industry's post-pandemic comeback. "Outdoor dining played a major role in buoying the restaurant industry over the last few years, and restaurants took note — whether adding, expanding or elevating their offerings," Lee says, via the press release. "Offering outdoor dining is now a key part of restaurants' business, and we're happy to see that diners continue to embrace it."

Al fresco fans, rejoice. Sitting down to a meal at your favorite restaurant has never been more accessible and, judging by the recent data trend, it's likely to continue being a popular dining option. (Pro tip: for even greater ease, OpenTable offers an "Outdoor" filter on its restaurant search engine feature. You can thank us later.)