Sidewalk seats are easy to come by if you want to sip an apéro. Outdoor dining, however, is a trickier proposition. There are plenty of gorgeous spots where the food is grim, and there are delicious restaurants where the outdoor seating is drab. A handful of restaurants manage to do both – serving excellent food in delightful open-air surroundings. Here are our favorites.

Five Great Places for Outdoor Dining:

  1. Drouant – a collection of plant-protected outdoor tables, smack in the city center.
  2. Dans les Landes – café tables crammed into a sprawling sidewalk terrasse near Mouffetard.
  3. Caffé dei Cioppi – a cobbled terrasse tucked away in a quiet passage just east of Bastille.
  4. Le Mini Palais – towering columns, palm trees, spacious seating… c’est la classe.
  5. Le Bal Café – a handful of seats in a quiet, sunny spot facing an outdoor playground.

Runners up: Philou, Le 39VChez Michel, Hotel Amour, Le Pavillon du Lac (Parc des Buttes-Chaumont), La Grande Cascade

RejectsJaja, Le Saut de Loup

About our process: For each topic, we begin with a little research to identify options. We then ask our readers, by posting a question in the forum, to offer additional suggestions. From that discussion, we compile a list of candidates and ask our panel of contributing advisors to rank their top choices and identify any rejects. Their rankings are weighted, analyzed, and compiled into a new Five Great post every week.

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