With summer approaching, the best towns and cities in Ireland for outdoor dining have been revealed - with Kilkenny topping the list. 

Research conducted by OutdoorLiving.ie looked at the largest towns and cities in Ireland, comparing the percentage of restaurants that have outdoor dining facilities, their ratings, and the chances of a sunny day in each location. 

Kilkenny, with its charm of historical landmarks and ethereal beauty, ranked number one on the list.  A fifth of all the city's restaurants have outdoor dining, with 14% of these rated five-star for experience.

The Marble City also had one of the smallest likelihoods of rainfall, with average weather highs at 18 degrees celsius (64.4 F) in June.

Coming in second place is Wexford, home to the highest proportion of outdoor restaurants overall for anyone looking for a location for open-air cocktail nights and sunny brunches. 

Newry, Limerick and Bray all also fared well in the ranking, with plenty of options for people to enjoy outside dining experiences and while away the hours drinking Aperol Spritz and Guinness.

While the capital, Dublin, has the largest number of restaurants overall, the city came in eighth place due to having fewer restaurants with outdoor dining - meaning people visiting in the busy summer may struggle to beat the crowds to find a seat outside. 

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Derry came last in the ranking, due to having the lowest average weather highs, and one of the smallest proportions of outdoor dining available - at 11% of all restaurants. 

“As we approach summer, many people will want to seek out places to dine and drink outdoors with their friends and family to catch the sun rays and enjoy a drink in the fresh air," said Alan Murphy, store manager at OutdoorLiving.ie.

“With a diverse range of restaurants on offer that have outdoor seating, Kilkenny has been crowned as Ireland’s alfresco culinary haven, with no shortage of places to dine out while overlooking the sites of the historical city. 

“And, even though many like to enjoy a drink come rain or shine, Kilkenny has the second lowest amount of rainfall in June, making it ideal to enjoy a summer beverage outside this summer.”

The top towns and cities in Ireland for outdoor dining this summer :

  1. Kilkenny
  2. Wexford
  3. Newry
  4. Limerick
  5. Bray
  6. Dundalk
  7. Waterford
  8. Dublin
  9. Drogheda
  10. Navan

For the complete study, click here.