From shady Roman piazzas to the A-list haunts of Malibu’s Pacific coastline, the best places to eat in the world when the sun’s out.
THE RED BICYCLE, SANTORINI, GREECE
The Red Bicycle on Santorini has mythical status amongst the gastronomes and pleasure-seekers who flock there to soak up its magical energy. The restaurant’s balcony undoubtedly commands the best position of any restaurant in the Cyclades with stunning views across the caldera. The very chic owner, Hara Kourti, makes her guests feel utterly at home. Expect modern Greek cuisine with respect for tradition and a menu designed around local, seasonal ingredients. Drink in the Aegean sunset along with the fine Greek wine and revel in the ouzo-tinted warmth.
Best for: Bohemian sophistication with a view
Image: Via The Red Bicycle
ROCK BAR, BALI, INDONESIA
Perched on a rock 14 metres above the Indian Ocean, Rock Bar’s drama and glamorous after-dark vibe draws a stylish crowd. Globetrotting bohemians with a penchant for five star food and decadent sundowners gather here to capture the sunset. End a day in tropical paradise at one of the bar’s candle-lit tables as the sun sinks below the horizon. The menu consists of local seafood with a Mediterranean influence and after dinner you can dance the night away to the blissed-out beats of the resident DJ.
Best for: Sunsets in paradise
Image: Via Rock Bar, Bali
CHILTERN FIREHOUSE, LONDON, UK
Marylebone’s Chiltern Firehouse opened to a celebrity fanfare five years ago and is still one of the best places in London to enjoy a VIP lunch. The hidden terrace is an oasis from the thundering pace of the city and the perfect spot to while away long, leisurely afternoons in the sun during summer. Linger over a platter of sea-fresh fruits de mer and a glass of chilled rosé poured by their resident sommelier.
Best for: An urban escape
Image: Via Chiltern Firehouse
NOBU, MALIBU, USA
Where the beautiful people go to get their sushi fix, Nobu sets the standard for upscale Asian dining in the Western world and its Malibu outpost is one of the group’s most laid-back but decadent locations. Set right on the beach, nab a table on the ocean-view terrace that wraps around the restaurant proper. Few experiences can beat eating sashimi by the sea, and here you can listen to the comforting swell of the Pacific waves as you pick your way through rock shrimp tempura and salmon kelp rolls.
Best for: Sushi and celebrity
Image: Via Nobu, Malibu
MAISON PREMIERE, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
A rare and precious commodity, the courtyard at Maison Premiere in Williamsburg is a world away from the hulking skyscrapers just over the East River. Inspired by the cocktail dens of Paris and New Orleans in days gone by, the atmosphere is electric but relaxed. An old-world patio and wrought iron furniture contribute to the garden feel of the leafy space, and diners can make their way through oyster and absinthe menus late into the balmy summer nights.
Best for: Old world glamour in the garden
Image: Via Maison Premiere
ROMA SPARITA, ROME, ITALY
To compile a list of the world’s best al fresco dining without acknowledging the concept’s Italian heritage would be wrong. That’s where Roma Sparita comes in. It’s a vibrant but understated place in the heart of Rome’s popular Trastevere where tables full of locals and piled high with dishes of rustic Italian fare spill out on to the quiet of Piazza Santa Cecilia. Unlike other restaurants in the neighbourhood, this is a proper Italian serving up the classics and according to Anthony Bourdain has the best cacio e pepe in town. When in Rome.
Best for: An authentic slice of la dolce vita
Image: Photo by David Lázaro on Unsplash