Where to eat outdoors in Petaluma, from riverfront to the east side

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Sure, the calendar says September, but here in Petaluma it’s still plenty warm for outdoor dining, as long as the fog stays at bay. Whether enjoying a river view or a potentially warmer spot in town, here are five places to enjoy the end-of-summer light with your meal. Since there are so many good options in Petaluma, we’ve broken it up by location to cover all of the city.

Riverfront: Taps

If you’re going for riverfront dining, Taps has both the views and the space for a number of guests. That’s especially true if you’re a beer drinker, as this Petaluma staple has a full slate of local, regional and unusual brews. Head over on Thursday night or Sunday brunch for unique menu offerings (and bottomless mimosas), like German brats and blue crab benedicts. Bonus points: They have giant Jenga to keep the kids, and young at heart, entertained.

Address: 54 E Washington St.

Also consider: Water Street Bistro, Wild Goat Bistro and River Front Café

West side: Tea Room Café

This old-school charmer has just a few tables outside, but it offers a perfect place to people watch. It is only open for breakfast and lunch, but offers a wide range of healthy options at a reasonable price. Be sure to check out the local art on display while you’re there.

Address: 316 Western Ave.

Also consider: Topsy’s Kitchen, Speakeasy and Walnut Park Grill

Midtown: The Block

Have a group of diners who can’t decide what to eat? The Block is the answer you seek. This mixture of local food trucks has a little bit of everything, plus a conveniently central location. They also host a farmers market on Monday nights, so you can grab a bite and do your weekly shopping.

Address: 20 Grey St.

Also consider: Brewster’s Beer Garden, Plaza Tequila and Whole Food’s Market

East side: Pongo’s

While it may not be the most beautiful outdoor dining experience, the flavorful food is worth the trip. From crisp salads to spicy curries, there’s a wide variety of affordable offerings at this Asian-fusion restaurant. There is also gluten-free and vegetarian menus for those with dietary restrictions.

Address: 701 Sonoma Mountain Parkway

Also consider: Pub Republic, the East Side Farmers Market and Akre Coffee

North side: Lombardi’s BBQ

Looking for a classic, Southern-style experience? You can smell Lombardi’s well before you can see it, with its smoky aroma of freshly cooked meat wafting in the air. This is a no fuss, no muss type of place where you can pick from a wide range of sandwiches or barbecue plates that can be enjoyed at tables on the deck, assuming the plumes from the smoker don’t bother you. They also offering catering.

Address: 3413 Petaluma Blvd. N.

Also consider: Lagunitas Brewery, Twin Oaks Tavern, Penngrove Market

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