BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. -- It's officially summer. Time to head outdoors and enjoy a slice of sunshine with your entree (or cocktail).
Lucky for Bergen residents, there are plenty of options for dining alfresco.The only hard part? Picking just one. What follows is a sampling of outdoor spots; feel free to add your favorites in our Comments or on Facebook.
- Cafe Matisse, Rutherford: Want to feel like you're dining in Europe? Head to the enchanting garden at Cafe Matisse where Chef/Owner Peter Loria always makes you feel special. Soak Up Summer: 167 Park Ave., Rutherford; 201-935-2995.
- Biddy O'Malley's, Englewood, Northvale: Cool down on the sidewalk patio with a cold pint and a steak sandwich, then head over to the BergenPac. Soak Up Summer: 36 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood, 201-608-5545 and 191 Paris Ave., Northvale; 201-564-7893.
- Dutch House Tavern, Fair Lawn: Yes, the burgers are great, but folks also rave about the front porch where they could hang all day. Soak Up Summer: 24-07 Fair Lawn Ave, 201-796-9886.
- Finca, Ridgewood: It's all about small plates at Finca where it's fun to mix and match orders with friends. Add a bottle of wine to the equation, a people-watching perch of sidewalk dining, and you may want to stay all day. Soak Up Summer: 20 E Ridgewood Ave., 201-444-1199.
- Haven, Edgewater: There's nothing like a river view and at Haven, you get both incredible skyline views (hello Instagram!) plus seasonal, locally sourced New American food. Soak Up Summer: 2 Main St., 201-943-1900.
- Hearth & Tap, Montvale: There are 50 craft beers, an inventive list of barrel-aged cocktails, an extensive wine menu and killer comfort food at this Gaelic craft-gastropub, but what makes it summer-worthy is its big, lively patio. Soak Up Summer: 125 N .Kinderkamack Rd, 201- 307-6300
- Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern, Ho-Ho-Kus: If the sizeable patio isn't enough to woo you, the history of this old inn, dating to 1796, should be. There's also plenty of tavern-style food, including lighter options like a salad, pizza or sandwich. Soak Up Summer: 1 Franklin Turnpike, 201-445-4115.
- Le Jardin, Edgewater: The view of Manhattan says it all. Add to that fine French cuisine, and attentive service and you'll be in outdoor dining heaven. Le Jardin, it should be noted, was a 2016 DVlicious winner for "Best Outdoor Dining in Bergen." Soak Up Summer: 1257 River Rd., (201) 224-9898.
- Locale, Closter: The soothing sound of a bubbling water makes this Italian restaurant’s pretty patio the ideal place to unwind and enjoy a drop of grappa -- or two. Soak Up Summer: 208 Piermont Rd., 201-750-3233.
- Nellie's Place, Waldwick: The outdoor patio and community vibe make this a popular spot in any kind of weather. Folks rave about the thin-crust pizza and crispy, secretly spiced “Elkin” wings. Soak Up Summer: 9 Franklin Turnpike, 201-652-8626.
- Pier 115 Bar & Grill, Edgewater: You can practically touch the Hudson at this modern, riverfront gastropub dispensing New American cuisine, wood-fired pizza and 100 tap beers.Soak Up Summer: 115 River Rd., 201-313-2155.
- Oceanos Restaurant, Fair Lawn: Oysters always seem to taste better in the fresh air and here, under shaded umbrellas, the seafood -- coupled with a cold glass of Chardonnay -- is divine. Soak Up Summer: 2-27 Saddle River Rd., 201-796-0546.
- Orama, Edgewater: There's nothing like a Hudson view and, from this perch, you can see Riverside Church, the tallest church in the U.S. Soak Up Summer: 595 River Rd., (201) 945-2020.
- Sofia's Mediterranean Grill, Hasbrouck Heights: Simple, but freshly prepared, Mediterranean fare and a paved outdoor patio surrounded by flowering plants makes this an ideal place to linger over sinfully rich baklava cheesecake and strong espresso. Soak Up Summer: 220 Blvd., 201-462-0123.
- Varka Restaurant, Ramsey: Enjoy a taste of the Aegean at this Greek pleaser where, come summer, tables spill out onto the sidewalk. Soak Up Summer: 30 N. Spruce St, 201-995-9333.
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