7 of Our Favorite Outdoor Cooking and Dining Areas

A gourmet grill, cozy fireplace and seating for a crowd: these luxury outdoor kitchens and dining rooms make it hard to turn in for the night.

I have a pretty small house, so whenever I entertain I have to extend any gatherings into my backyard in order to accommodate a large crowd. All I've got at the moment is a patio and a grill, but a girl can dream about having an outdoor kitchen and dining setup, can't she?

Contemporary Backyard With Outdoor Kitchen and Pool

Contemporary Backyard With Outdoor Kitchen and Pool

An outdoor kitchen and dining area are connected to a pool to make this backyard the perfect place to entertain on warm days, while an outdoor fireplace provides a toasty seating area for chillier nights.

This backyard designed by Pool Environments is the stuff that my dreams are made of: a pool, a fireplace and an outdoor kitchen, dining and lounge area. It transitions well from a hot day to a cool night, making it a great spot for an all-day gathering.

Mediterranean Style Patio with Built-in Grill

Mediterranean Style Patio with Built-in Grill

This luxury outdoor dining space is the perfect place for backyard entertaining, with ample seating and a large grilling station. The patio layout takes full advantage of the view.

From: Dorothy Willetts

This outdoor kitchen designed by Dorothy Willetts makes it easy for company to gather ’round while the chef does his or her thing, much like an indoor kitchens with island seating. And what a view you and your company get!

Neutral Outdoor Space with Stunning Kitchen and Dining Room

Neutral Outdoor Space with Stunning Kitchen and Dining Room

This spectacular backyard boasts a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen with stone counters and a long, neutral dining table that makes it ideal for entertaining. Greenery surrounds the perimeter of the space and ivy hangs from a contemporary metal pergola that supports wood ceiling fans and a paper lantern, which offers a soft glow above the dining table.

Photo by: JWT Associates

JWT Associates

A beautiful pergola defines the cooking and dining space in this gorgeous backyard by Jeff Troyer Associates. The cooking station includes storage and ample counterspace that can be transformed into a buffet for a big party.

Covered Patio Boasts Cozy Seating Area & Outdoor Kitchen

Covered Patio Boasts Cozy Seating Area & Outdoor Kitchen

This covered patio features a chic, cozy seating area with a curved sofa and stacked stone fireplace. The patio also boasts a complete outdoor kitchen with a high-end grill and barstool seating.



Are your dreams of doing more outdoor entertaining hampered by rain? This outdoor kitchen and gathering area by Lindross Remodeling is the perfect solution for less-than-ideal weather. Two large TVs and versatile seating mean no one will miss the big game(s).

Modern Outdoor Terrace With Custom Pergola

Modern Outdoor Terrace With Custom Pergola

This home features a detailed terrace that connects the indoor space to the outdoor space. Glass walls put the indoor dining room in view, creating symmetry between the spaces. The terrace includes a custom pergola, wood fire feature, grilling table and raised herb planter.

Photo by: Mark McWilliams Photography

Mark McWilliams Photography

This open-air space created by MESA Design Group draws the dining experience from inside to the outdoors thanks to an inviting contemporary fireplace. There's even a small herb garden to make seasoning the steaks at the grill a cinch!

Patio: Extraordinary Queen Anne Home in Seattle

Patio: Extraordinary Queen Anne Home in Seattle

With stunning views of Seattle and an outdoor kitchen, the patio is ideal for entertaining and enjoying the scenery. A wooden pergola with bistro lights adds charming ambience to the space.

Photo by: Windermere Real Estate, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Windermere Real Estate, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

You don’t need a backyard to have a great gathering. This Seattle home offered by Windermere Real Estate features a deck with an outdoor dining and kitchen area defined by a cozy pergola. A string of cafe lights adds to the ambiance without detracting from the amazing view.

Pergola Offers Shade to Rustic Outdoor Kitchen

Pergola Offers Shade to Rustic Outdoor Kitchen

A full outdoor kitchen is nestled just behind the fireplace and pizza oven on this extensive patio. A substantial wood pergola covers part of the kitchen, offering the grill-master a bit of shade on those sizzling summer days.

Photo by: Lindgren Landscape

Lindgren Landscape

This outdoor kitchen by Lindgren Landscape may be better equipped than my actual indoor kitchen! There is ample room for food prep and cooking, and the entire space is adjacent to a rustic sitting area with a cozy fireplace.

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Family-Style Cook Space

This fully equipped outdoor kitchen is separate from the rest of the living space, allowing the two areas to be utilized entirely on their own. Greg Schaumburg of Hursthouse Landscape Architects & Contractors says an outdoor kitchen is most efficient when it's zoned into logical uses. According to Greg, your cook space should have plenty of prep space, room to set down utensils and stage ingredients, and a comfortable buffer from the seating island to keep guests protected from the heat. Photo courtesy of Hursthouse Landscape Architects & Contractors

The Cook's Corner

Situated away from the dining area, the gas grilling station from HGTV Green Home 2012 offers the cook a spot behind a stacked-stone privacy wall. The four-burner stainless steel grill features undercounter carts that offer additional storage and trash space. Nighttime cooking? No problem! Sconces by the grill make evening food prep a breeze.

Casual Hosting

HGTV Green Home 2011 features an outdoor living space and grilling station created for alfresco gatherings. The compact grilling station, encased in synthetic limestone, features temperature zones, stainless steel cooking grates and an infrared rotisserie burner. To make summer entertaining even more enjoyable, an awning with a natural cedar underside was added to keep the deck and outdoor kitchen shaded and cool.

© 2011, HGTV

Room With a View and BBQ

With breathtaking countryside views and a brand-new accompanying outdoor room, these homeowners now have even more reason to be outside. To make use of the existing white and cream limestone patio, the designers built a barbecue unit and a two-level L-shaped grill area. For a Texas-style touch and extra shade, a hand-scraped cedar and stained pergola covers the entire space. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns

Wine and Dine

Designer Christopher Grubb created the ultimate outdoor kitchen with a grill, warming drawer, refrigerator and beer tap. The eating area can comfortably accommodate eight guests underneath built-in umbrellas, although surrounding bench seating and scattered lounge areas can easily host several more.

Cozy Courtyard Dining

The New England-style courtyard from HGTV Green Home 2010 is the ideal setting for hosting both small and large gatherings. Various seating areas and dining spots allow for larger groups to be hosted comfortably, while a more intimate family dinner can be enjoyed at a single table. For quick cleanup, simply slide the barn doors shut to conceal the outdoor cooking area in a snap.

Rustic Garden Patio

For the homeowners, the built-in brick grill was a selling point of this Spanish-style home. And after a serious outdoor remodel, their courtyard is now a comfortable place for both relaxing and entertaining. It's equipped with two grills, a living wall, hammock, shade panels and lush greenery.

Great Plains Party Room

This rustic outdoor kitchen is ready for summertime barbecues. To create this spacious entertaining spot, the designers used flagstone for the patio and red cedar to create the pergola above. The kitchen offers a large island, gas grill, side burner, refrigerator and bar seating. On the other side of the patio guests can gather around a cozy fire pit and seating area. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns

Luxurious Poolside Retreat

This covered outdoor patio is certainly not lacking in atmosphere. A trio of chandeliers helps create a stunning ambiance at night, especially when the light reflects off the nearby water. The patio itself houses a fully equipped kitchen and grilling area, spacious dining table, lounge and fireplace. Design by Randy Angell of Pool Environments

Outside Comfort

The outdoor living room from HGTV Dream Home 2012 focuses on casual, comfortable design and the surrounding views. A perk to this cozy spot is the 12-foot island, housing a gas grill, rotisserie, two warming drawers and hidden storage for grilling accessories.

A Trip to Cairo

When redesigning this tiny backyard, Jamie Durie used his recent trip to Egypt as inspiration. First he focused on ensuring the homeowners received the functional outdoor kitchen and dining space they wanted. Then he transformed the remainder of the space into a tropical, Cairo-inspired oasis with a water feature, Egyptian papyrus and palm trees and an earthy, desert-style color palette. Photo courtesy of Jamie Durie

At-Home Pizza Parlor

There's no need to fly to Italy when you have a personal pizza parlor right outside your door. This backyard is party-ready with a custom-designed patio enclosed by a two-sided sitting wall. Soft lights, lush plants and a genuine Italian pizza oven add the perfect finishing touches. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns

Convenient Cooking

This poolside patio has all the amenities of a high-end retreat. A steel arbor covers the entire outdoor living space, making it feel as though it's a continuation of the home's interior. The grilling station features a double side burner, sink, undercounter refrigerator and drawer/door combo beneath. Additional countertop space provides plenty of room for food prep and setup, creating the ideal setting for alfresco poolside entertaining. Design by Randy Angell

Texas-Inspired Saloon

This outdoor space boasts plenty of Texas charm and was actually created to resemble an open-range saloon. To shade the existing concrete patio and add Southern flair, the designers created a cedar arbor in a fan-shaped pattern. The kitchen and grill area were built with block and dry stack stone. Adjacent to the kitchen, there's even a fire pit and additional seating for extra guest entertainment. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns

Sierra Mountain Oasis

This ultra-green and mountainous backyard can be used for an at-home getaway, while taking advantage of its minimalist approach to outdoor living. A simple grilling station features a grill, undercounter storage area and a spacious stone countertop for food prep and display.

Indoor/Outdoor Living

Designer Trent Hultgren created an extension of the home's interior by leaving the entire outdoor space covered. Floor-to-ceiling draperies provide shade, privacy and protection from the wind, rain and cold. Outdoor cooking is simple and convenient with a fully equipped kitchen and bar right next to the dining area.

Lakeside Entertaining

Every lakeside retreat needs a spacious outdoor kitchen and grilling spot to host year-round parties. This living space is complete with an extra-large patio, retaining wall, dining area, fireplace, custom-built dining table and fireside sofa. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns

English-Style Outdoor Space

This home needed a tranquil outdoor space to calm the collective energy of the eight-member family inside. The old brick patio was updated into a quiet English-style retreat with intimate seating areas, arbors, statues, urns and an extra-large dining table for family meals. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns

Party-Ready Lounge

Nothing says "party-ready" quite like this outdoor retreat complete with a swimming pool, full kitchen, fire table, dining table, lounging area, aluminum shade structure and flat-screen TV. Day or night, this space is the ideal setting for friends and family to gather. Design by Ahmed Hassan

Alfresco Dining Spot

With a desire to host year-round soirees, these homeowners traded in their old picnic tables to create a one-of-a-kind outdoor dining oasis. The space's true focal point is the wooden gazebo at the far end of the yard next to a fire pit surrounded by Adirondack chairs and a decorative stone wall. The grilling, cooking and dining area are all in one spot, making the grill-to-table transition an easy one. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns

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