By Ashley Burnett

Looking to soak in the sun while enjoying some of Irvine’s finest dining? Lucky for you, Irvine’s eateries provide plenty of al fresco dining options. Read on for a few suggestions throughout the city.

At Irvine Spectrum

For lunch: The Melt

For a quick lunch, head to The Melt and grab a seat outdoors (the perfect spot for people watching at Irvine Spectrum). Enjoy the sunshine while eating guilty pleasures like the Mac Daddy, egg-in-a-hole, or chicken melt.

For dinner: CUCINA enoteca

Head to this Italian eatery after the sun goes down. The outdoor seating area is all lit up for a perfectly romantic setting that complements the decadent Italian dishes on the menu. Afterward, head around Irvine Spectrum for some world-class shopping.

Cucina Enoteca patio at Irvine Spectrum
Photo credit Urban Kitchen Group

Around the Airport

For lunch: Mick’s Karma Bar

For a quick but delicious lunch near John Wayne Airport, check out Mick’s Karma Bar. Enjoy a juicy burger (and perhaps an ice tea mojito or basil lemonade) while soaking in the sun outside in Main Plaza.

For dinner: The Copper Chef

Located near the airport, The Copper Chef is a natural choice for visiting guests. Impress them with the outdoor seating and the comfort food classics, like pot roast, lobster mac ‘n’ cheese and short rib tacos

Around UC Irvine

For lunch: Le Diplomate Cafe

This sandwich shop is a favorite among UC Irvine students. From Vietnamese banh mi to meatball subs, this cafe has every kind of sandwich you might want. Best of all, there’s ample outdoor seating to enjoy your sandwich outside.

For dinner: Eureka

The outdoor seating at Eureka is the perfect spot for dinner thanks to romantic lighting making it a great spot for date night. It’s the best place near the university to grab a mixed drink or brew, as well as dishes like the pan-seared salmon, flat iron dip, and Napa chicken sandwich.

Eureka outdoor patio at Spectrum Center

Ashley Burnett is a writer and editor living in southern California. Her work has previously appeared in Locale, LA Travel Magazine, TravelAge West and various other publications.