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Bratislava's top spots for Outdoor Dining

Air conditioning is a rare luxury in the capital's eateries. So if you seek to either soak in the rays over lunch or enjoy dinner amidst evening breezes, head to one of the restaurants below. We list centrally-located places that encourage outdoor dining. Those with the greatest opportunities for people-watching or the most pastoral surroundings garnered the most favor.

Air conditioning is a rare luxury in the capital's eateries. So if you seek to either soak in the rays over lunch or enjoy dinner amidst evening breezes, head to one of the restaurants below. We list centrally-located places that encourage outdoor dining. Those with the greatest opportunities for people-watching or the most pastoral surroundings garnered the most favor.

1. Spaghetti & Co. - You would be hard-pressed to find a more convenient place for a pre- or post-opera dinner. The menu is extensive, offering dozens of choices. With any selection, you can count on quality and freshness. If you order a small glass of wine, it will come in a quarter-liter carafe. The spinach is out of this world. $$$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Gorkého 1. % 332-303. <

2. Prašná Bašta- Modern stained glass, cozy nooks for tables, and gothic, high-backed chairs give this restaurant and vináreą in old town an out-of-the ordinary feel. The food is tasty and cheap, mostly the basic Slovak menu with some twists, such as smoked trout and Armenian salad. The turkey curry is surprisingly good. Be prepared for a long evening - the service is friendly but slow; if you want to be left alone for a long conversation or even a game of cards, this is the place. $$.CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Zámočnícka 11. % 334-957. < 11:00-23:00, M-Su.

3. U Liszta- The cave-like backroom is generally cool on warm days, but the garden and its pavilion are the best reasons to come here. The restaurant memorializes the 1820 debut of nine-year-old Franz Liszt at the palace of Leopold de Pauli. Today, diners can get large portions of Slovak cuisine for very good prices. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Klariská 1. % 334-343. < 10:00-23:00.

4. Červený Rak- The ultra-modern decor of color and light is in sharp contrast to 14th century Michael's Gate, the foundation of which serves as one of this subterranean restaurant's walls. Venison filet, stagsteak in red wine and mountain goat sauté are followed on the menu by sharksteak and, of course, červený rak or red lobster, one of the city's priciest plates at 895 Sk. The trout is fresh, but other seafood is frozen. Heightened expectations, however, may lead to disappointment caused by grisly meats, paper napkins, and thumping rock music. $$$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Michalská 26. % 331-375. < 10:00-2:00 M-Su.

5. Aušpic- You get it all from your seat: the subtle sounds of the Danube rushing by and the romantic sight of the sun setting behind the castle. Its natural setting on the Petržalka bank of the Danube is Aušpic's greatest strength. The service and the food, including shark salad and calamari, are excellent. $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Viedenská 24. % 850-916. <11:00-22:00, M-Su.

6. U Konzula- Fish has been found. They have got grilled fish, fried fish, broiled fish, fish on a platter, fish and chips. It's not exactly English, but still delicious. The inside is full of traditional Slovak decor, and outside you find yourself in a backyard garden setting. The other specialty is a wide selection of turkey dishes. The palacinky are stupendously fresh, hot and with the right amount of walnuts and chocolate sauce. $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Palisády 40. % 533-4301. < 11:00-23:00, M-Su.

7. Music Café Hysteria- A Tex-Mex restaurant, the food is tasty but amounts vary with who is in the kitchen. Tex-Mex food is below-par, but hey, it's Tex-Mex, which is better than nothing. A lively crowd, dancing is not unheard of here. This is a little tricky to find -it's behind Zimný Štadión. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Odbojárov 9. < 11:00-2:00 Su-Th, 11:00-5:00 F-Sa.

8. Korzo- Well-known for its downstairs restaurant featuring a salad bar, traditional Slovak fare, and live folk music. For meat-eaters, the venison and steak are recommended. Also plan to visit the café on the street level which opens for breakfast at 9:00 and is an excellent place for a drink after the opera. Open until 23:00. $$$. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: no. Hviezdoslavovo námestie 11. % 334-974. < 8-24:00.

9. Jadran Gril- Mediterranean-style food, specializing in kabobs and gyros. Friendly service ad big portions make it worthwhile. If you miss MTV, come here and check out the corner television, where it's always playing. $$. CC: yes Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Rybná brána 5. % 10:00-20:30 M-Su.

10. Corleone Pizzeria- The namesake restaurant moved their pizza operations to a nice, yet more casual spot around the corner. The service is quick and the thin, wide pizzas will fill up a hungry stomach. We highly recommend the loaded vegetarian pizza. Arched roofs create a pleasant atmosphere, especially for smokers. $. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Hviezdoslavovo nám. < 10:00-22:00, M-Su.

11. Pizzeria Ciao- Genuine Italian thin-crust pizza, cooked in a wood-burning oven with real tomato sauce, as well as pasta, a varied salad bar, and hefty desserts that make a nice change from palacinky. Service can be slow but the food is worth the wait. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Trnavská Cesta 37. % 212-109. <11:00-24:00.

12. Čárda Kormorán- Bratislava's best salad bar, with 22 items including fresh crispy lettuce and three different dressings, is reason enough to venture out to this modern restaurant on a lake in Petržalka. The menu is essentially Hungarian with a few other rare items thrown in, such as T-bone steak and roasted cod. With menus available in five languages and a talented Gypsy band laying away, it is easy to get comfortable. $$$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Veľký Draždiak. % 828-252. < 11:30-23:00.

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