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Summer is in full swing, and although we might have warned you about the potential pitfalls of patio dining, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of places offering a great outdoor eating experience. Here are 11 restaurants from across the country that should be able to satisfy your urge to cash in on the stellar weather while enjoying some first-rate food.

Broward-Palm Beach

Downtowner Saloon

You’ve exited the jailhouse, and with just a few steps in the throwaway sandals so kindly provided, you’ve crossed the street — into the Downtowner Saloon’s lot. Because that insufferable block of cement has just vanished from view, dine outside and relish the backdrop of downtown’s…More >>

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Houston

Swampy’s Cajun Shack

If you like your mudbugs out on a patio with lots of beer and a Hawaiian Tex-Mex cover band, then Swampy’s is your kind of place. The rest of the Cajun menu is hit or miss. But the bar is always hopping, and the crawfish are a relative bargain. Last spring, while the average price in Houston was…More >>

Kansas City

Bo Lings

Single diners at Bo Lings in the City Market are treated as graciously as a table full of business executives. The cool stone dining room offers prime people-watching to go with classic and modern Chinese dishes. Diners can relax on the patio with dim sum, a book and a cigarette on a Sunday…More >>

Los Angeles

Fred 62

Like a cleft apricot, the logo of Fred 62 diner sits above a stretch of Vermont Avenue pavement in Los Feliz, where the smoking, chattering masses talk too much and too, like, loud as they ease your suffering soul. These are the outdoor tables, at which alcohol is not served, street gazing is…More >>

Miami

Loftin’s at Casa Casuarina

First you have to walk past the history: those front steps. But by the time you are seated at one of the elegantly draped tables on the über-romantic courtyard terrace, replete with cobblestones and gurgling grotto pool, memories dissipate into the breezy, beautiful present. Even the most…More >>

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Minneapolis

Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge

Driving by this tiki bar, one might not suspect that an awesome patio lurks behind the fence. Originally an A&W;, Psycho Suzi’s transformed the space into a tropical wonderland several years ago. The patio, open year-round (though not recommended in January), features all the amenities of a…More >>

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