Endless Summer Fun: Eat Out

Everything from foie gras to fries tastes better outside. Here, a summer’s worth of places for terrific alfresco dining wherever your rambles take you — and no matter how much is in your wallet.

Delaware County

There are a lot of rooms in this sprawling Asian restau-bar, and on weekends, all of them are filled with spirited, well-dressed imbibers as well as minimalist white chairs and modern light fixtures that double as art. But step out onto the rooftop seating area, overlooking quaint State Street in downtown Media, and you’ll rediscover the charms of small-town dining. Split one of chef Takao Iinuma’s signature sushi rolls, and order the Kobe hot rock appetizer  —  you cook slices of beef on a hot stone, tableside.
Cost: $$$
217-219 West State Street, Media, 610-566-4750, azie-­restaurant.com.

Iron Hill Brewery
It doesn’t really matter that this expansive spot in Media accommodates upwards of 300 people. The best and most sought-after seats are the nine tables on the small, tree-lined patio along busy State Street, because the brewery’s seasonal beers (try the Belgian Witbier, with refreshing citrus tones) and the something-for-everyone menu of pizza, salads and burgers are perfect for out-of-doors. Oh, and the people-watching ain’t bad, either.
Cost: $$
30 East State Street, Media, 610-627-9000, ironhillbrewery.com.

Nifty Fifty’s 
We suggest you bypass those old-school red picnic tables outside Folsom’s outpost of blast-from-your-past chain Nifty Fifty’s, and instead do like the local teens: Order cheeseburgers (the “Royal” is topped with a homemade onion ring) and milkshakes (we like the mint Oreo) at the takeout counter, head to the parking lot, and enjoy on the hood of your car.
Cost: $
1900 MacDade Boulevard, Folsom, 610-583-1950, niftyfiftys.com.

South Jersey

La Campagne  The multi-room dining areas of this 20-year old Cherry Hill restaurant may show its age, but the outdoor patio, complete with overhead tent and mature greenery, invites savoring La Campagne’s classic cuisine and the chilled bottle of white you toted along. Appetizers like lavender-cured salmon with grainy-­mustard-tossed baby potatoes are nice, light complements to the pleasantly charred rack of lamb and rabbit Bolognese entrées.
Cost: $$$
312 Kresson Road, Cherry Hill, 856-429-7647, lacampagne.com.

Milano Modo  The narrow but spacious patio of Aldo Lamberti’s Milano Modo is the best way to enjoy the surprisingly affordable food here. Try not to fill up on the bread, so you’ll have room for one of the many pasta options  —  perhaps littleneck clams with linguine, or lobster ravioli  —  or the vast veal parmesan entrée. Designate a driver; drinks here can be pleasantly strong.
Cost: $$
1643 Route 38, Mount Holly, 609-261-2345, lambertis.com.

Weber’s Drive-In  Weber’s is fun for the whole family. Lower your window and flash your lights, and a smiley waitress hops on over, takes your order  —  super-affordable burgers, fries, dogs, cheesesteaks and, of course, a lip-licking root beer  —  then brings it back on a tray that hooks onto your car window. Open that sunroof and crank your favorite tunes.
Cost: $
6019 Lexington Avenue, Pennsauken, 856-662-6632.