Ahhh, the music of wavelets lapping a bulkhead, the reflection of city lights on a still river, the sound of crickets in the night. Could there be anything better than dining en plein air? Herein, alfresco for foodies.
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Kate’s has defined the great outdoors in Newark for ages. Any mild afternoon in spring or fall will find its modest deck dripping with wayward co-eds on so-called study breaks, and those breaks can stretch into the evening, so reserve early if you intend to win a table for dinner. 158 E. Main St., Newark, 737-6100
From the second-story deck at Mango’s, diners can see the ocean better than they can from the boardwalk—the perch provides a view of Bethany’s growing dunes. It’s not a bad way to embellish your frozen mango margarita and coconut shrimp. Garfield Parkway at the Boardwalk, Bethany Beach, 537-6621
McGlynns is a classic pub, one of the first places locals hit for beer and roast beef sandwiches. When the Dover location opened in October, casual got classier, thanks to its elegant patio on Silver Lake. A wraparound black wrought iron railing reflects off glass tabletops. Eight wicker table and chair sets accommodate about 25 people. A slate floor complements large bronze lanterns. McGlynns’ standard numerous draft beers and free happy hour buffets are also available on the patio. But without the televisions, the space offers a quiet escape and a surprising view. 800 N. State St., Dover, 674-0144
McKenzie Brew House
The best part about deck dining at McKenzie—besides the passion fruit mojitos—is not feeling like you’re sitting smack in the middle of busy Wilmington Pike, despite, well, being smack in the middle of Wilmington Pike. Diners can enjoy a bit of tranquility as they sip a Unicorn Ale. 451 Wilmington-West Chester Pike, Chadds Ford, Pa., 610-361-9800
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