Outdoor dining is more than just a treat these days, it's also become a pandemic-era necessity, with OpenTable reporting that the number of restaurants offering alfresco tables has risen 54% since 2019, making the company's newly released 100 Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining for 2022 more important than ever.
After studying 13.6 million verified reviews on the platform, the restaurant reviews and reservation site released its list (in no particular order) with venues in 25 states making the list, all of which have amazing views, delicious food, and an overall fabulous experience for eating outside.
Sunny states had the most restaurants on the list — which was last released in 2019 — with California snagging 37 spots in cities ranging from Palm Springs (with three spots: Copley's on Palm Canyon, FARM, and Spencer's Restaurant) to Sonoma (El Dorado Kitchen), while Florida came in second with 11 in cities like Naples (with two restaurants: Mediterrano and Continental Naples) and Key West (Latitudes). A number of cities made the list for the first time this year, including Austin, Texas; Atlanta; Greensboro, North Carolina; and San Antonio, Texas.
Also among the highlights of OpenTable's top 100 outdoor restaurants were 1906 at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania; Barca Wine Bar & Pier in Alexandria, Virginia; Boat House Waterfront Dining in Tiverton, Rhode Island; Coastal Fish Company in Memphis; Duke's Beach House Maui in Lahaina, Hawaii; Girl & the Goat L.A. in Los Angeles; L'Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia; Le Diplomate in Washington, D.C.; RH Rooftop Restaurant in New York City; Ruthie's All-Day in Arlington, Virginia; Salty's on the Columbia in Portland, Oregon; Sunset Terrace at Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina; Tavern on the Green in Manhattan; and Zaytinya in D.C. For the complete list, click here.
"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," OpenTable's chief growth officer said in a statement sent to Travel + Leisure. "Offering outdoor dining is now a key part of restaurants' business, and we're happy to see that diners continue to embrace it."
OpenTable also noted that the cities with the greatest increases in outdoor dining were mostly urban areas, with New York rising 141%, San Francisco 126%, Las Vegas 108%, Boston 92%, Beverly Hills 83%, Brooklyn 89%, Philadelphia 74%, Pittsburgh 77%, and Nashville 70%.
To come up with the rankings, OpenTable looked at reviews between May 1, 2021, and April 30, 2022, considering all restaurants with a minimum overall score that included diner ratings, user klout, total number of reviews, and regional overall rating. They were then scored and sorted by the percentage of reviews in which "outdoor dining" was selected by the diners as a feature.