Great outdoors - the best al fresco dining in St. Petersburg

Though it's hard to imagine in the depths of a northern winter, attentive readers of Dostoevsky will be aware that St. Petersburg can be a sultry city come the summer. The opportunity to sit outside with a meal and a cool drink and just watch the world go by can be extremely welcome.

From June through August, and especially at the height of the White Nights, St. Petersburg becomes a city with an incredibly active streetlife day and night. Although it has never been a common feature of St. Petersburg bars and restaurants, an increasing number are finding ways to incorporate street seating so that patrons can enjoy the extended days and (hopefully) the extra sunlight. Some establishments can even offers views of St. Petersburg's most famous landmarks. In good weather, booking a table is generally recommended.

Selected al fresco dining in St. Petersburg:

Grad Petrov
German, International $$
This unassuming German beer bar on Vasilievskiy Island serves draft beer brewed on-site, and a reasonably priced menu of German sausages. The main attraction, however, is the spectacularly located summer terrace, right on the Neva River Embankment with views of St. Isaac's Cathedral and the Winter Palace, as well as the city docks.
French, International, Italian, Sushi $$$
Run by the immensely successful Ginza Project, Terrassa verges on the banal with its modish mix of Pan-Asian, Italian and sushi on the menu. What is exceptional about this stylish restaurant, however, is the superb views onto Nevsky Prospekt and St. Isaac's Cathedral from the top of a modern office centre next to Kazan Cathedral.