Dine Al Fresco in Palm Beach/West Palm Beach

By Kristopher Neild, Travel Expert

Something about the breeze sweeping the ocean air around allows a travelers to truly get into relaxation-mode when visiting the Palm Beach/West Palm Beach vicinity. Taking a deep breath of said air sets off a stream of endorphins, clearing the brain of worries and fears. There's nothing quite like pairing that mindset with a dining experience. 

The restaurants on the following list all have one thing in common; they offer al fresco dining to their patrons. This can mean street-side, courtyard setting or a backyard patio-type setting. Air-conditioning does have some value, but when you are in South Florida, the elements are likely why you came. 

An establishment like Dada in Delray Beach allows you to eat in a bespoke outdoor setting complete with a sprawling tree adorned with lanterns. This environment invokes feelings of romance and harmony. It helps that the menu is chock full of amazing food options. 

Guanabanas - you will learn how to say it in good time - is a local hot spot with a huge layout. The place is basically entirely open air, with a multitude of different outdoor seating options available. Live music is on tap, allowing you to really get in the groove. Seafood caught right from the adjacent Intracoastal waterway is served up and is the recommended order. 

10. Brio Tuscan Grille
Photo courtesy of Brio Tuscan Grille

Brio Tuscan Grille has Italian eatery locations sprinkled all throughout the country. The West Palm Beach location is nestled in the heart of City Place. Grab a bottle of wine and dine al fresco with your closest friends and families, while enjoying light conversation and people watching. The entrees fill up the plate and are full of authentic tastes and flavors from the home land. Brio is a great place for a date night, always impressing its patrons with over-the-top service and quality meals. Reservations are able to be made online, so check out their website on your phone/computer prior to heading to the Downtown.

9. Pizza Al Fresco
Photo courtesy of brendan-c

If you find yourself craving pizza on Palm Beach or need a place to relax after shopping on Worth Avenue, Pizza Al Fresco is the place to go. A sprawling courtyard with light-wrapped trees and an expansive menu with a twist on traditional Italian thin crust pizzas are sure to please everyone in your group. The menu also boasts great pasta and salad selections, with the lobster salad being a crowd-pleaser. Of course no Italian meal is complete without an accompanying wine or a gelato to finish the meal. Another perk of this affordable casual dining experience, well-behaved dogs are also welcome to enjoy the courtyard.

8. Seasons 52 - Palm Beach Gardens
Photo courtesy of Seasons 52 - Palm Beach Gardens

The ambiance at Seasons 52 in Palm Beach Gardens is enough to get anyone in the door, but the food and great service will have you coming back time and time again. All of the menu items at Seasons 52 consist of fresh, in-season ingredients that are prepared to deliver the most nutrition without the added guilt of overindulgence. This restaurant is known all-over for its low calorie food and drink menus and listed nutritional information, making it easy to dine out no matter your diet. With so many excellent food and drink pairings, make a reservation to sit by the water and enjoy everything Seasons 52 has to offer.

7. Bice Ristorante
Photo courtesy of Cafe Boulud

Golden-hued and elegant, Bice is a formidable presence on the Palm Beach dining scene. Refinements like crisp linens and fresh flowers provide indication that a meal here will be nothing less than spectacular. Northern Italian cuisine is particularly authentic, given that the restaurant was founded in Milan in 1926 (and still maintains headquarters there). Society folks frequent the place for everything from light pastas to grilled meats and seafood, reveling in impeccable presentation and service. Pasta e fagioli, a favored dish, ranks highly, along with perfectly prepared calamari and great veal cutlets. The outdoor terrace adds romantic ambiance on balmy evenings.

6. Tommy Bahama's Restaurant and Bar
Photo courtesy of Tommy Bahama

Located in the Harbourside development in Jupiter, the Tommy Bahama Restaurant, Store, and Bar is a one stop shop to pick up the quintessential souvenir and enjoy an authentic Florida dining experience. Well-known for the island apparel and casual atmosphere, the Tommy Bahama location in Jupiter stays true to the brand. Whether it's enjoying live music and specialty drinks at the bar or dining al fresco on the patio, this place is great for groups looking to relax. The seafood entrees are creative and delight the senses, especially when paired with the water views. I definitely recommend saving room for the desserts, especially the key lime pie and Pineapple Cr�me Br�l�e.

5. Old Key Lime House

Lime green timbers and pink shutters adorn the exterior of this famous restaurant and watering hole. Tables, shaded by green awnings, line the dock, and there's also a covered, outdoor Chickee Hut Bar, where the rock and reggae bands frequently perform. If dinner's on the agenda, crowdpleasers like peel'n'eat shrimp, crab cakes, margarita pizza and hand-cut sirloin should satiate your cravings. This is a great place to come watch a sporting event, soak in rays by the dock and indulge in delicious key lime pie. If you are a boater, be sure to have this joint as a stop on your travel itinerary.

4. Cafe Boulud
Photo courtesy of Cafe Boulud

Housed in the Brazilian Court Hotel, Cafe Boulud is exquisite, contemporary-designed French-American restaurant with an irresistible dining terrace. Before dinner, enjoy a cocktail in the comfortably revamped bar overlooking the patio. An interesting variety of starters includes smoked salmon with herbed salad and Scandinavian brown bread, a Spanish tapas platter, and veal ravioli. Diners feast on artfully prepared mains such as the squab tartine with mushroom duxelle. Exquisite desserts draw the meal to a close; try the pear struesel with cinnamon ice cream.

3. Renato's
Photo courtesy of Renato's

Tucked away beside a charming, flower-bedecked courtyard, Renato's engages diners with its genial atmosphere and gracious surroundings. Inside, pastel tones, a white grand piano, and pink roses on tables promise gentility, and the eminently professional waitstaff attends to every need. Outside, courtyard dining is sublime, complete with the sounds of a fountain and chirping birds. The menu is completely in step with the ambience. Succulent gnocchi, mushroom pappardelle, honey-glazed salmon, rack of lamb, seared diver scallops, and sauteed veal scaloppine hint at the selection and only serve to highlight the delightful alchemy that can occur when first-rate cuisine conspires with natural beauty and service. 4 course prix-fixe: $35.

2. Guanabanas
Photo courtesy of Guanabanas

Guanabanas in Jupiter is one of the top nightlife destinations on Florida's east coast. The tiki jungle like atmosphere is enchanting, and adding in live music and fruity drinks only enhances the ambiance. Everyone is super laid back here, and the whole facility is open air. Sit back and enjoy a tropical rum drink while taking in the acoustic soundings of a national act. Slow dance in your lovers arms while you emulate Jimmy Buffet when ordering a cheeseburger. Banyan trees provide shade from the judging moon. Water borders one side of the establishment, where you can sneak away with a special someone to lock gazes and perhaps lips. There is even a fire pit in the center of the place for smore cookin'!

1. Dada
Photo courtesy of Dada

Dada, housed in a historic home, is a top restaurant in Delray Beach. The eclectic vibe at Dada is enough to venture off the well-traveled path for, and the menu promises not to disappoint. Choose an artistically decorated room in the old home and enjoy a cocktail, or dine outside under the large tree covered in twinkly lights; regardless of your choice, the experience is guaranteed to be unique. The food choices make it difficult to pick. It is recommended to bring company along and planning to share. With live entertainment nightly ranging from poetry readings to local musicians, the mood of Dada is more intimate than the hustle and bustle of the main strip.