Top restaurants with outdoor dining in New Jersey

Dining al fresco is typically enjoyed as part of the warmer weather months. Food just tastes all the better when you're surrounded by fresh air and the right ambiance. (Provided it isn’t ridiculously humid or too hot.) There are numerous places throughout New Jersey where you can experience an enjoyable evening with outdoor dining. Here are some of the top restaurants with the nicest ambiance and food to match.

Ristorante Toscana

Ristorante Toscana in Cherry Hill has a superb outdoor seating area that was intentionally designed as part of the theming to the restaurant; it enhances the overall feel of the Tuscan dining restaurant. You will sit not just under umbrellas, but rather under an atrium of grape vines to give you the feeling you are in Italy. The menu items are authentic Italian dishes—diners can choose from various types of manicotti and panna cotta and enjoy tiramisu for dessert. People rave about the fresh fish, pasta and veal. Toscana is family owned and mixes traditional Italian fare with popular trends currently in Italy.

Café Aldo Lamberti

Café Aldo Lamberti has an upscale service level and the food to match. Here you can go for a nice fine dining experience (and expect to pay for it with entrées around $30-$50 a person). Café Aldo Lamberti is an excellent choice for date night or a special occasion where you can get dressed up for a night out. The café is decorated beautifully with twinkle lights and light fabrics. All the outdoor tables have umbrellas. The food is fresh, and people rave about the seafood, especially the crab and seafood tower. Olives and fresh bread are served shortly after you are seated. Reservations are suggested, and the valet parking is complementary.

The Pier House

If you are considering a trip to the shore, the The Pier House in Cape May is one of the best for eating al fresco. Beautiful water views paired with delicious seafood makes for a lovely evening. The food here is Greek-American fusion (Greek inspired with a twist) such as the lamb shank, watermelon & feta salad or fried Kaseri cheese, which is served between slice tomato and basil. You can also get traditional seafood and steak house meals like calamari, crab cakes, mashed potatoes and steak.