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Europe's Best Outdoor Dining

Europe's Best Outdoor Dining
© Il Splendido
La Terrazza at Il Splendido, Portofino

For the view alone over the harbor of glamorous Portofino, dining at La Terrazza is a requisite stop along the Italian Riviera of the Ligurian coast. But the pastas, perfumed by the local basil pesto sauces, and the exquisitely fresh seafood makes this as much a gourmet's pilgrimage spot as a place very wealthy Europeans go to relax.

For more information: Hotel Splendido

Europe's Best Outdoor Dining
© Starwood Hotels and Resorts
The Gritti Palace's Club del Doge, Venice

It seems like the Gritti has hosted every celebrated king and queen, author and movie star of the last 50 years, and to dine out on the deck of the Club del Doge restaurant here is to be in view of all that makes Venice unique. The Adriatic fish is splendid, the risottos sublime, and the prosecco sparkling wine requisite at any time of the day, but especially at twilight.

For more information: Doge Gritti

Europe's Best Outdoor Dining
© Ken Welsh / Alamy
Bom Jardim, Lisbon

No frills at all, but sitting outside under an umbrella in this beloved Lisbon restaurant known as "The Chicken King" allows you to eat the best roast chicken and fried potatoes in Portugal while hobnobbing with the Lisboans who have packed this place for generations.

Europe's Best Outdoor Dining
© Ajia Hotel
The Restaurant at the Ajia Hotel, Istanbul

Located on the Asian side of the Bosporus and accessed by a hotel ferry, Ajia is a marvelous renovation of an old palace, and it has drawn a slew of fashion clients and corporations who hold meetings in this little oasis of calm. The terrace offers a grand view of the city, and the Italian cuisine is both unusual in Istanbul and very refined too. Great risottos and pasta with spicy seafood.

For more information: Ajia Hotel

Europe's Best Outdoor Dining
© Harvey Nichols
OXO Tower Restaurant & Brasserie, London

Located on the eighth floor of OXO Tower on Southbank and run by Harvey Nichols, the outdoor terrace here affords a vast view of the Thames from St. Paul's to the Tate Museum. There's an excellent 3-course lunch, a wine cache of 800 labels, and dishes that range from old-fashioned shepherd's pie to roast halibut in red wine with Jerusalem artichokes. In the evening there is live jazz.

For more information: Harvey Nichols

Europe's Best Outdoor Dining
© Can Majó
Can Majó, Barcelona

Barceloneta (little Barcelona) is the fishing area at the city's harbor and it's packed with seafood restaurants. Can Majó is considered one of the best, not least for its lovely prospect on the water and its very reasonable prices as well as for wonderful local specials like bacalao, rice with squid, and impeccably grilled fish. Try the local wines too.

For more information: Can Majó

Europe's Best Outdoor Dining
© Eye Ubiquitous / Alamy
Pražské Selàtko, Prague

"Prague Piglet" is well named for its extraordinary pit-roasted suckling pig, its skin crisp, accompanied by fresh, hot potato chips, lettuce and tomato, along with items like grilled duck liver, breast of duck with thyme sauce, and filet of pike with spinach sauce. The Czech, Bohemian, and Moravian wines offered here are getting better every year too. The hilltop outdoor setting, near the Castle, provides an enchanting view of the city.

Europe's Best Outdoor Dining
© INTERFOTO Pressebildagentur / Alamy
Chinesischen Turm, Germany

Europe's largest beergarden and Munich's most famous, this is the place for huge steins of Bavarian beer, Wiener Schnitzel, plump German dumplings, and the fat, salty pretzels that make you thirstier and thirstier. The oompah bands are both loud and lots of fun.

For more information: Chinesischen Turm

Europe's Best Outdoor Dining
© Rhys Stacker / Alamy
La Rotonde, Paris

This Paris classic is set on a nexus of the Boulevard St. Germain and Boulevard Raspail, across from the equally delightful Le Dôme. Since 1903, La Rotonde has been as famous for its literary and artistic patrons, from Hemingway to Picasso, as for the bonhomie of its good brasserie fare of onion soup gratinée, beef tartare, and steak au poivre

For more information: La Rotonde

Europe's Best Outdoor Dining
© Le Bristol Hotel
The Summer Restaurant at Le Bristol Hotel, Paris

With two Michelin stars, this shimmering outdoor restaurant (in winter dining moves inside) has one of Paris' brightest toques, Chef Eric Fréchon, who serves both classic and modern haute cuisine like King crab with mashed tomato and avocado scented with curry and a mousse of green apple juice, as well as tiny delicate eels from the Sargasso Sea, pan-fried meunière-style.

For more information: Le Bristol Hotel

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