LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - The weather is starting to get pretty nice out, and people are taking notice. You'll start seeing more people walking around downtown Lafayette, at local parks, and even grabbing an outdoor table at a local spot with outdoor dining.

Often, people enjoy outdoor dining restaurants for several reasons. It allows patrons to enjoy the fresh air and natural surroundings, providing a more relaxing and enjoyable dining experience compared to indoor dining.

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Additionally, outdoor dining offers a change of scenery and can provide scenic views or pleasant outdoor settings, such as gardens, patios, or waterfront locations. This creates a unique and memorable dining atmosphere that enhances the overall dining experience.

Outdoor dining also provides more space and a sense of openness, which reduces the feeling of overcrowding.

Restaurants often offer a more casual and laid-back atmosphere with their outdoor dining areas, making them ideal for socializing with friends and family or enjoying a leisurely meal. Whether it's brunch on a sunny weekend morning or dinner under the stars, outdoor dining provides a refreshing and enjoyable way to dine out.

In Lafayette, there are several great spots you can visit to enjoy the weather, view, and, of course, food.

Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant

The old filling station in Downtown Lafayette has become a favorite of locals who love a good spot for unique bites and good drinks. That's what Spoonbill brings, and with a large outdoor seating area, you can enjoy good weather and good food and drinks all at once.

That outdoor seating makes the experience when the weather is just right. "The food quality, great prices, relaxing ambiance, great service, and available indoor/outdoor seating at peak brunch time were very refreshing for a gorgeous day like the one we chose to visit," one positive review noted.

Park Bistro

Recently celebrating a year having been opened, Park Bistro has an incredible menu and an outdoor patio that fills up fast. We've mentioned them on our Best Brunch Spots list before, and for good reason - try heading up for a beautiful Sunday morning brunch and sit outside in this fantastic weather.

"Honestly, didn't know what to expect," one Yelp reviewer noted. "I hadn't looked at the menu before being invited to join some friends for brunch. I was visiting from out of state, but I knew this was an up-and-coming spot in Lafayette."

Ruffino's on the River

We've mentioned Ruffino's before when it comes to Lafayette's Most Instagrammable Restaurants, and part of what makes Ruffino's Instagrammable is its view and outdoor dining. You can enjoy a great meal on the patio overlooking the Vermilion River.

"We love the atmosphere and their outdoor seating," one person on Yelp said. Another praised the "intimate outdoor seating, great bar booths, engaging servers, and outstanding service."

Antoni's Italian Cafe

A noted "gem of a place," according to one reviewer online, Antoni's has a beautiful outdoor dining spot "if you care to dine al fresco!" The Italian food and the right temperature outside make Antoni's a nice, romantic spot to enjoy a good meal with a loved one.

"Eat here several times a month for lunch," a review at TripAdvisor explained. "In spring and fall the outdoor tables are best."

Adopted Dog Brewing

A newer establishment in Lafayette, Adopted Dog Brewing is Lafayette's only brewery, and features covered outdoor dining along with food and drinks, TVs for watching whatever the game of the night is, and more. Being covered means that, even in warmer weather, you aren't out in the sunlight and melting.

"5++ Rating!!!!" one Yelp review exclaimed. "Love love the outdoor seating, game room, corn-hole games, big TVs and huge fans and water bowls for the fur-babies!"

The Flats

This one is a bit trickier, as it just opened. But we've been excited about this place since it was first announced it was coming, and the outdoor dining at the previous restaurant in that location, Tula Tacos, was wonderful in the Downtown atmosphere.

There aren't many reviews available yet, since it just opened, but one Facebook recommendation did say "the atmosphere in the restaurant was precious and I can’t wait to go back to have after work drinks on their patio!"

A Bite and Fresh Air

There is something very calming about eating outdoors, enjoying good weather good food. As always, there are several spots that didn't make the list. Head on over to our Facebook page and tell us: Where are your favorite outdoor dining spots located?

The Top Restaurants Lafayette Misses Most

It's no secret that we in Lafayette love our food, and we've had a lot of great restaurants come and go. Here are some of the ones you all said you missed the most.

Gallery Credit: Joe Cunningham