It's finally getting warm enough for enjoyably eating outside, so here are our top picks for patio dining in Central Ohio.

It's finally getting warm enough for enjoyably eating outside, so here are our top picks for patio dining in Central Ohio.


Alana's
2333 N. High St., North Campus
614-294-6783
www.alanas.com

Alana's is housed in a rambling old house right on High Street, so the "patio" is actually a roomy front porch overlooking bustling North Campus. The patio-porch hybrid is fitting, because eating at Alana's is kind of like eating at the home of a great friend who happens to be an excellent cook. The menu is seasonal and changes often based on chef-owner Alana Shock's mood and what she found at the market that week. The daily risotto is always a good bet.


Barcelona
263 E. Whittier St., German Village
614-443-3699
www.barcelonacolumbus.com

Any discussion of the best patios in Columbus has to include German Village's Spanish-influenced Barcelona, which is overflowing with tropical plants and flowers. Add in some white twinkle lights and shareable tapas, and you've got one of the most romantic date spots in the city.


Basi Italia
811 Highland St., Victorian Village
614-294-7383
www.basi-italia.com

Basi is your quintessential neighborhood restaurant. Hidden away among the rambling homes in a Victorian Village alley, the cozy Italian spot boasts a charming courtyard terrace, filled with colorful flowers and ready-to-be-picked herbs.


Bel-Lago Waterfront Bistro
170 N. Sunbury Rd., Westerville
614-891-0200
www.bellagobistro.com

You'll spot the striking bright-blue-and-white building, formerly home to the Hoover Grille, from far away - it looks like it was airlifted in from some stretch of New England coast. The semi-circular covered patio offers some of the best waterside views to be found in Columbus, and they're definitely worth the trek to Westerville.


Bon Vie
4089 The Strand East, Easton
614-416-0463
www.bon-vie.com

There are a few great patios at the shopping mecca known as Easton Town Center, but our favorite is this French-inspired bistro and bar. The outdoor dining area overlooks a lit fountain and is a great place to sit back, sip cocktails, nibble on upscale comfort food like Chicken Crepes and watch the shoppers hurry by.


Eleven
591 N. High St., Short North
614-225-9611
www.hydeparkrestaurants.com

The luxurious outdoor seating area at Eleven, the stylish restaurant and bar attached to sister Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse on the Cap, is made for lingering all evening long. From cozy couches to fireplaces to a fantastic bar that starts inside and stretches outside, the covered and heated patio is a great place to enjoy Eleven's lineup of small plates and complex cocktails.


Figlio
1369 Grandview Ave., Grandview
614-481-8850
www.figliopizza.com

When you eat outside at one of the small tables right on Grandview Avenue, you'll feel like you're lunching at a great European sidewalk cafe. The reliably delicious wood-fired pizzeria serves handcrafted old-world-style pizzas with updated toppings like pesto chicken with feta, wild mushrooms with blue cheese and fontina, and grilled asparagus spears with portobellos, prosciutto and roma tomatoes.


Maca
5 S. Liberty St., Powell
614-436-1212
www.macahome.com

This spring is a great time to try out Maca, the Spanish-style tapas cafe way up in Powell. Starting April 19, the restaurant will start serving a Sunday brunch from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. And while the kitchen will close at 2:30, guests can linger on the patio and order half-price sangria pitchers till 5 as part of the new Sit N Sip promotion.


Mezzo
130 Creekside Plaza, Gahanna
614-476-9900
www.mezzoitalian.com

At the right time of year (right on the verge of summer, when the trees are green but the temperatures still aren't too high), Mezzo's brick patio is nothing short of magical. Overlooking the Big Walnut Creek and the Creekside fountains, the patio lights up at night with a stone pit fire and hanging strands of white lights.


Northstar Cafe
951 N. High St., Short North
614-298-9999
www.thenorthstarcafe.com

There's no better people-watching in Columbus than in the Short North, and the patio for this oasis of organic and local cuisine gives you a perfect vantage point. Northstar serves an excellent brunch menu, and their massive veggie burger, made with organic brown rice, black beans and beets, is famous citywide.