Lots of people love dining out. But let’s take a moment to also show some love for dining outdoors.

Something special seems to happen when meals are shared in the open air, whether we’re gathered around a picnic table in a park, or on a cozy restaurant patio bedazzled with lights. Evenings seem all the more elegant and entrancing under starry skies, allowing a sense of intimacy that can be elusive inside rambunctious dining rooms.

Those good-weather vibes are in the air right now in Greater Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley. Laid-back meals in the evening breeze are a soothing way to end a day after a enjoying May’s festivals: Winterthur’s must-see Point to Point steeplechase races are here (May 5), followed in short order by the Wilmington Flower Market (May 9-11), A Day In Old New Castle (May 18), the Wilmington Grand Prix Weekend (May 17-19), and The Ladybug Festival Wilmington (May 31).

When the festivities end, some of the city’s best restaurants are waiting to help you keep that outdoor vibe going:

The Quoin Rooftop
519 N. Market St, Wilmington

Sip craft brews and snack on elevated bar fare as you soak in the elegant “penthouse” vibes at the city’s first rooftop lounge, a perfect place for raising a toast to the setting sun.

Park Café
2510 West 5th St, Wilmington

The pretty setting is part of the charm at this fresh-feeling newcomer, so why not grab a table outside and roam through the menu of carefully crafted salads and sandwiches (or the lively brunch).

Tonic Seafood and Steak
111 W 11th St, Wilmington

Here’s a quieter perspective on the city center, nestled between the office towers in a semi-secluded sidewalk patio. The well-pedigreed beef is always tempting here, but be sure to also check out the lively starters and raw bar.

Explore Greater Wilmington's Alfresco Dining

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Riverfront
620 Justison St., Wilmington

You can enjoy picturesque views of the city skyline and soak in the Riverfront Wilmington scene as you enjoy house-brewed beers and a menu full of time-tested “pub grub” favorites.

Banks Seafood Kitchen and Raw Bar
101 S. Market St, Wilmington

For a more intimate Riverfront setting, check out the patio along the water, an ideal spot for enjoying some of the city’s best seafood-centric creations.

Makers Alley
804 N. Orange St, Wilmington

Laid-back vibes, an expansive craft beer selection and a creative cocktail menu seem perfectly suited to this cozy patio tucked into the city center.

Hamilton’s on Main
102 E. Main St, Newark

The patio along Newark’s bustling Main Street offers a pleasant perch for people watching, and the menu reaches for an elegance not typically seen in this untucked college town.

Dew Point Brewing Co.
2878 Creek Road, Yorklyn

Sitting handsomely in one of Greater Wilmington’s most scenic settings, Dew Point smartly emphasizes its outside charms. Live music and food trucks add to the weekend fun, so grab a picnic table, toss some horseshoes and chill.

Grain H20
3006 Summit Harbour Place, Bear

See the big ships slowly pass as you soak in the setting sun along Delaware’s Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.

Crooked Hammock Brewery
316 Auto Park Drive, Middletown

Sunny weekends draw fun-lovers to the outdoor “back yard,” where lawn games and yummy pub food supplement the house-brewed beers.