7 Best Outdoor Seating Restaurants in Orange County

7 Best Outdoor Seating Restaurants in Orange County

“We’ll Sit Outside, Thank You”

Time to grab a table outside! Southern California is famous for its temperate climate. Our summers are long, warm, and clear, and our winters are short, cool and partly cloudy. October hits a sweet spot where the temps are perfect for meeting friends and family and enjoying outdoor dining al fresco.

Fun fact: when we use the term “al fresco” we are using Italian for dining outside, meaning to dine “in the cool air.” However, talk with an Italian and they will raise an eyebrow, as the expression ‘al fresco’ usually refers to spending time in jail! They prefer the terms ‘fuori’ or ‘all’aperto’ to mean dining outside on a patio.

But where to go? With our gorgeous weather, The Reed Team knows OC has a lot of great outdoor options, so it’s difficult to narrow it down, but here are a few for your consideration. Grab your favorite sweater and your best buds, and make a reservation!

Woody’s Wharf

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(photo courtesy visitnewportbeach.com)

Woody Payne was a longtime fisherman who used the property to fix and store boats. Guess his fellow fishermen got hungry, and in 1965 wanted him to open up a restaurant where they could knock down a pint or two, share a good meal and tell tall fishing tales. They kept coming back. Now, Woody’s is owned by four buddies and its outdoor patio gives you a direct view of the harbor. Can’t you just hear the stories of the ‘big one that got away’? Great outdoor dining and terrific brunch menu.


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(Photo courtesy Thank Love_Travel_39 on http://www.tripadvisor.com)

So let’s knock the sand off our sandals and move into Costa Mesa. Find The Lab, which is a hugely popular mini mall and Habana is a must-stop on your shopping journey. Great outdoor eats featuring a Cuban-inspired menu. Hey, the drinks are awesome, too. Habana has a gorgeous patio illuminated with string lights and candles. Very relaxing. So grab your handcrafted mojito and kick back for awhile.


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(photo courtesy Trip Advisor)

You know when you pull together that perfect outfit, that is trendy, stylish, flattering and gets you noticed? Sapphire understands. This Laguna Beach restaurant has it all pulled together: it is located across from one of the best surf spots in town, but it isn’t resting on location. The ever-changing international menu pics the best seasonal ingredients and combines them with a laid-back feel. Great food, wine, and a view that will have your smartphone camera snapping pics.  Enjoy the ocean view from the patio along with your hand-selected wine. Aaah yes.  It’s 5:00 somewhere.

Las Brisas

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(Photo Courtesy http://www.lagunabeachmagazine.com)

Light breezes. Doesn’t that just chill you out? Go to Las Brisas and you will be awash in light breezes while you enjoy the view of the Pacific Ocean. It’s the whole package: you would go there if the food wasn’t good because of the view, but the food is terrific. Wait for patio seating; it’s worth it. Patio menu features lighter dishes. Sunday brunch includes 4 courses and endless champagne. So there’s that.

Bluewater Grill

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(Photo Courtesy Trip Advisor)

Repeat after me: chow-dah. Chow-dah. That’s one of the amazing restaurant items you can order at the Bluewater Grill. Located in the Cannery Village on the Lido Peninsula, this restaurant has an enormous menu of amazing seafood and yes, homemade chowder.  Bluewater Grill has true waterfront dining. It’s a great way to sample some of the freshest fish available, and hey.. If you’re sailing and not driving, tie up to the City of Newport Beach Dock and walk in to order some…(say it all together now)  “Chow-dah.”


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(Photo Courtesy dinenb.com)

Now we understand you’re exhausted from a day of vintage and antique shopping or hanging out at the beach. You need somewhere to recharge! Gulfstream is in the middle of Newport Beach just off Route 1. The restaurant has a gorgeous patio that will have you soaking up the sun in the afternoon, and enjoying the ambiance after sunset. If it’s chilly, grab a seat by the fire pit. The restaurant also has a chef’s garden you can visit, and get up-close-and-personal with the heirloom tomato you may have on your salad in short order!

BLK Earth Sea Spirits

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(Photo courtesy Trip Advisor)

Okay, so you aren’t on a family vacay. You have a business meeting, and you want it to be special. BLK Earth Sea Spirits offers sweeping ocean views, a fabulous patio and outstanding food in an upscale, business-casual atmosphere. Need I say more? Impressive menu with Kobe beef, rack of lamb, stuffed chicken. Carnivores unite! Great environment and by the way, families are welcome too.