Outdoor Dining Roundup 2024

We’ve picked ten of the best al-Fresco dining destinations in Scotland and why you should visit this summer.

Please see a selection of high-res images here. 

  1. The Bridge Inn, Ratho

Why go…

  • Idyllic canalside setting
  • Perfect for a post-walk pie and pint along the towpath from Edinburgh

Nestled alongside the serene Union Canal, just a 20-minute drive from Edinburgh, The Bridge Inn is set to welcome guests back for the spring and summer seasons after a recent makeover.

Its beer garden offers peaceful canal views, shaded by mature trees, making it the perfect spot for a well-deserved pint and pub lunch along the towpath from Edinburgh and watching life go by on the canal.

The drinks menu features local beers and refreshing cocktails infused with Edinburgh Gin. On Thursday – Sunday from 12 pm a pop-up converted container in the garden serves pizzas to hungry drinkers. Guests can also dine on the outdoor terrace from the la carte menu where favourites include the famous homemade pie or ham and Ratho eggs.

The Bridge Inn

27 Baird Rd, Ratho, Newbridge,

EH28 8RA

01313 331320


  1. Café Cùil, Isle of Skye 

Why go…

  • The magical mountain and coastal location
  • The on-site coffee roastery
  • Seafood caught by the owners’ pals
  • 12 minutes from the famous Fairy Pools

Café Cùil is a modern, Hebridean brunch spot located in Carbost on the Isle of Skye and founded by Skye local, Clare Coghill. The Café is nestled at the foot of the Black Cuillin Mountains, with views over the glimmering Loch Harport, a sea loch that sits on the west coast of the island. 

Through the floor-to-ceiling windows, guests can watch as the wild and whimsical weather of Skye casts rainbows over the nearby village of Drynoch, and downpours across the loch. Or, when the sun is out, you’ll be lucky to snag one of Cafe Cuil’s six outdoor tables, with breathtaking views over the loch and to the Cuillin hills. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a morning coffee by the on-site roastery, Caora Dhubh, and a modern breakfast of locally sourced, fresh, Isle of Skye produce.

Outdoor seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Café Cùil

Satran,Carbost,Isle of Skye,

IV47 8SU

01478 640575


  1. Contini, Edinburgh

Why go… 

  • For people watching on Edinburgh’s grand George Street
  • It’s the closest you’ll get to the Piazza San Marco in Scotland
  • The lemons in the G&T come weekly from Amalfi

Family run Contini George Street, is the only restaurant in Scotland to be officially recognised as an ‘Authentic Italian Restaurant’ by Accademia della Cucina and has retained its reputation as one of the best places to dine in the city due to its commitment to authentic ingredients sourced weekly from Italy for two decades.

In the warmer months, Contini opens up its outdoor ‘Venus terrace’ for guests to sit outside and take in the sun whilst people watching on busy George Street. Diners can enjoy small plates lovingly made with produce sourced directly from the Italian markets and Contini’s own vegetable garden; whether it’s the sweet Amalfi lemons, their own family single estate olive oils (made on the family farm in Tuscany) or the Mozzarella di Bufala sourced exclusively for them from Caseificio di Luca Ponticorvo in Alvignano all are guaranteed to bring a taste of the Italian sunshine. From May, Contini will extend the seating area with the dog-friendly ‘Rocco terrace’. 

Contini George Street

103 George Street Edinburgh


03301 649385


  1. The Steak Barn, Balgove Larder, St Andrews 

Why go… 

  • Close to St Andrews’ iconic West Sands beach
  • Wood fired BBQ 
  • Fully traceable beef

Balgove Larder, close to St Andrew’s iconic West Sands beach is famous for its range of meats – reared on the Strathtyrum farm, hung and cut in-house by a team of award-winning butchers. The Steak Barn menu includes a range of steak cuts, which are hung for at least 28 days and cooked to order on the massive wood-fired BBQ.  Burgers, sausages, vegetable and chickpea burgers, all made at Balgove Larder, are also available alongside classic sides like twice-fried chips and crispy beer-battered onion rings. 

The Steak Barn, which is housed in a repurposed sawmill with distinctive potato crate walls, is open weekly from Wednesday to Thursday from 5 pm to 9 pm and Friday to Sunday 12 pm-9 pm.

The Steak Barn,

A91, St Andrews,

KY16 9SF

01334 898145


  1. Celentano’s, Glasgow

Why go…

  • For stunning views of the Cathedral and Necropolis
  • Bib gourmand al fresco food
  • The herb-scented garden

Celentano’s outdoor dining space offers the perfect afternoon suntrap. Located in Glasgow’s east end at Cathedral Square, the terraced garden allows guests to enjoy delicious Italian-inspired small dishes, seasonal cocktails, and a glass of biodynamic wine al-fresco while overlooking the city’s breath-taking Necropolis.

Celentano’s also uses this space to grow seasonal fruits and herbs, meaning that guests taking advantage of the space are seated amongst a selection of the ingredients that they’re enjoying in their dishes and cocktails.

The space offers six bench tables, nestled between greenery and blooming flowers, with awnings and heaters to keep guests cosy as the evenings draw in. Additional seating around the herb beds can be used for those just visiting for drinks only.

Celentano’s, by chef Dean Parker (ex-The Dairy) and his Glasgow-born wife Anna, is built on a passion for sharing good food and drinks with family and friends. Awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand just six months after opening, Celentano’s offers clever, wholesome dishes and innovative serves made using the best seasonal ingredients.

The outdoor terrace is open every Saturday from 12:30-10 pm and Sunday from 12:30 – 4 pm and dining reservations can be made up to four weeks in advance.


28-32 Cathedral Square, Glasgow,

G4 0XA

01415 523519


  1. The Crusoe, Largo

Why go…

  • Birthplace of the real-life Robsinon Crusoe
  • Local suppliers on the menu, including fish landed on the pier 
  • Beautiful beach for walking
  • Dog friendly

The Crusoe is perched on the edge of Lower Largo pier, in Fife, overlooking the beach and was recently named one of Scotland’s most romantic hotels.

It is also, probably the only bar in Scotland to feature a footprint supposedly belonging to Alexander Selkirk, the real-life pirate and desert island adventurer who inspired Daniel Defoe to pen Robinson Crusoe in 1719. Take an amble along the beach to admire his statue, before tucking into fish and chips and a freshly poured pint in the sunshine, brewed in the neighbouring village. Chef Ritchie D’aeth collects the lobster, crab and mackerel that feature in the menu, direct from the pier and uses locally reared meat for the popular Sunday roast.

The new Levenmouth train line, launching this spring, makes The Crusoe easily accessible by train from the station at Leven for a day trip or book one of the sea view bedrooms for a relaxing overnight stay. 

The Crusoe,

2 Main Street, Lower Largo, Leven, Fife, 


01333 406775


  1. Maryculter House, Aberdeenshire

Why go…

  • The stunning riverbank setting 
  • The hotel’s fascinating Jacobean history 

Nestled on the banks of the River Dee, Maryculter House is one of Scotland’s oldest hotels, steeped in history and full of character. The outdoor terrace is flooded with sunlight all day long, meaning that guests can enjoy a full Scottish breakfast, light lunch or afternoon tea al-fresco in the picturesque Royal Deeside.

Please call when booking to enquire about al-fresco dining availability.

Maryculter House

North Deeside Rd, Aberdeen,

AB12 5GB

01224 732124


  1. Nick’s at Port of Menteith

Why go…

  • Idyllic flower-filled garden setting surrounded by meadows
  • Julia Nairn’s on-site interior and kitchen shop
  • Have a sneak peek at Nick’s iconic cook-school

Chef Nick Nairn has created a unique dining setting amongst the fruit trees, herbs and vegetables of the kitchen garden that serves his cook school and restaurant. Situated in the stunning Stirlingshire countryside on what was once the Nairn family farm near the shores of Lake of Menteith in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, the restaurant’s garden offers the perfect sunshine spot for countryside al fresco dining amongst the vine trailed pergolas or under fairy lights on the terrace. Or if things get a bit too chilly, guests can enjoy a view of the picturesque garden from the restaurant’s glass-fronted dining room. 

Nick Nairn Cook School

Lochend Estate, Port of Menteith, Stirling,


01877 389900


  1. The Scottish Cafe and Restaurant, Edinburgh 

Why go…

  • A dining terrace in Edinburgh’s famous Princes Street Gardens
  • Views up to Edinburgh Castle
  • Take in Scotland’s finest art collection 

The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant at the National Gallery offers picturesque views of Edinburgh’s East Princes Street Gardens with a menu that offers classic dishes like fish and chips and cullen skink alongside seasonal favourites – dishes that reflect the best seasonal Scottish larder with the menu changing monthly.  

In one of the city’s most iconic settings overlooking East Princes Street Gardens, The Scotsman Building, Waverley Bridge and the Balmoral Hotel, the outdoor terrace is the ideal location to take in Edinburgh’s picturesque scenery. The terrace is open all year round and is best enjoyed from April to September.

Scottish National Gallery 

The Mound, Edinburgh,


01312 251550


  1. The Prancing Stag, Glasgow 

Why go…

  • For its “secret” garden atmosphere
  • To escape the hustle and bustle of Glasgow city centre

The Prancing Stag is Glasgow’s best-kept dining secret. Behind a wall of ivy in the heart of the West End lies a family-run bijou dining room and outdoor terrace that focuses on delivering exceptional food and service to locals in the know. Chef Neil Keevill’s menu offers simple, yet refined Scottish cooking using the best local suppliers. During the warmer months, The Prancing Stag opens its outdoor covered terrace or  ‘Sitootery” –  for guests to enjoy a drink and bite to eat. The perfect setting to sip on a glass of wine from The Prancing Stag’s vast wine list and enjoy an I.J Mellis Cheese Board.

The Prancing Stag, 

1a Ashwood Gardens, Glasgow,

G13 1NX

01419 599666