Summer season has arrived, and al fresco dining is calling your name. You’d love to maximize your time spent outdoors and enjoy a meal with a friend or partner on your patio. Perhaps you can’t wait to host people that you haven’t seen since before the pandemic. The only problem is that you live in an apartment or condo and have an outdoor area that isn’t exactly the most entertainment friendly.
Balcony areas are often ignored because finding a dining table or set that will fit can sometimes feel impossible. Awkward layouts and small sizes create spaces that aren’t compatible with most outdoor furniture items, so people get trapped into thinking that their only option for outdoor dining involves a tiny table and a couple of uncomfortable chairs that end up never being used. The good news is that there are actually a ton of options out there, it’s just that they’re a little harder to find and sometimes require a bit of creativity. We’re removing the guess work for you and have compiled a list of 10 outdoor dining ideas (in no particular order) that will work specifically for small patios and balconies. It’s time to get outside and start getting some use out of your space!
Top 10 Best Balcony Dining Tables and Sets for 2021
1. Balcony Bar Table
Not having a lot of area depth is a tricky problem to address. Very few furniture items will fit, let alone look good. For those with a very narrow balcony, a bar table that rests on top of your railing can be a fantastic solution that provides functionality and doesn’t take up a lot of space. Measuring at just under 16 inches deep, this Balcony Bar Table will work in the tiniest of spaces and will entice you to take in the views while enjoying your morning cup of coffee. The bonus with this bar is the versatility it provides – it can be used as a standing desk, as an intimate outdoor bar, or as a large entertainment space. It comes in 8 different lengths, which means you can extend the bar across the full length of your balcony (as shown) and create an inviting area for your guests to enjoy food and drinks.
2. An Outdoor Dining Table You Probably Never Considered
Pictured in weathered grey, the sustainably sourced Portside Outdoor Dining Table from West Elm is probably not something you’d normally consider for a balcony or deck, especially since most photos of it are featured poolside or in a large backyard. It has matching benches that neatly tuck underneath the table when not in use, and at less than three feet deep and five feet wide, this table will make a perfect addition to your outdoor space as long as you have the dimensions to accommodate. This table can be paired with two benches to comfortably seat four (as shown in the photo), and also has enough space for a chair on each end, making seating possible for up to six people. Alternatively, the table can be placed up against a wall or railing with one bench and two chairs on either side to seat four.
3. Bring On the Extra Storage!
We all know that storage space is a premium – particularly if you live in an apartment – and the best part about this Outdoor Wicker Bar is that it comes with two shelves of storage space that provide some extra room to store bar supplies or those items that you might not need all the time, but still want to conveniently have on hand. This mini bar also comes as a set, meaning you’ll receive the table and two stools with built in footrests for a pretty reasonable price. Reviewers note how sturdy this table is (which is not always the case for wicker), and the fact that it’s only 24 inches deep means it will work in spaces that are wide and narrow.
4. Narrow Outdoor Dining Table for Balcony
If your space is short on depth and you want a dining set that’s an actual table vs railing top, check out this Industrial Wood Bar Set from Christopher Knight. Measuring at only 18.25 inches deep and with bar stools that fit perfectly without taking up much room, it will fit into very narrow spaces while also providing a little bit more depth than comparable options. The barstools have backs (a big plus for anyone looking for extra lumbar support), which means you can add additional pops of color with small back cushions. We also love that this photo showcases the potential for a skyrise glass balcony, which we rarely see being used. A glass box that sits high in the air can be scary or intimidating for its residents, but as you can see, adding a bar table and chairs creates an appealing space that you want to spend time in. Much better looking than a completely empty space!
5. A Bistro Set You Can Actually Eat Dinner On
Bistro sets are great options for very small outdoor spaces, however most of the time the tables are too small or sit too low to enjoy them as a full blown outdoor dining option. This 3 piece outdoor dining set (which includes two chairs and a table) provides plenty of room for you to enjoy that al fresco meal outdoors. Keep in mind that at three feet in diameter, it won’t fit in the tiniest of areas – particularly when you factor in the chairs – so it’s probably best to consider this option for small to medium size patios only. If you’re lucky enough to have a larger than normal outdoor space, it also comes in a dining set of five.
6. A Pretty Pop of Color for a Narrow Outdoor Space
Vibrant colors and a generously sized table that still works in the narrowest of outdoor spaces make this super cute Bistro Set ideal for anyone looking to add some style to their small balcony with a simple item. The table is long but not deep, and both chairs can neatly be tucked in under the table, making this an even more ideal option when space is at a premium. Customers love the easy assembly, which means this table can almost immediately be put to use after receipt. This set comes in a variety of colors, including coral, teal and green. Add a cool rug and some colorful pillows to give your space even more of a “wow” factor. Did we mention that this entire set will only set you back $250?
7. Comfort & Style
This Bar Height Dining Set is deceiving at first glance because the photo makes it appear to be much bigger than it actually is and will still fit on a small balcony as long as the measurements work. This is a great table for those looking for a mix of bar height and a larger amount of dining space that can accommodate up to six people. Like many of the other options we’ve mentioned, these chairs tuck perfectly underneath the table, which makes for a tidier look when not in use. A bonus is that the set comes with a table, four chairs and chair cushions for each, which is a fantastic package considering that it costs less than $500. Customers also note how comfortable the seats are.
8. Murphy Bar
If you have outdoor wall space, a Murphy Bar is a creative, stylish and space saving solution that enables you to create a dining and entertainment area in the tightest of spaces. Murphy bars resemble an outdoor cabinet when not in use and fold downwards into a table when in use. They come in different sizes and shapes and typically include a decent amount of storage space for bottles, mixers or glasses. Pair your bar with some outdoor stools or ottomans that can conveniently be stored right below the cabinet when not in use.
9. A Unique Bistro Table with Curb Appeal
There is a lot more character in the Zoey Outdoor Bistro Table than you’ll find in a traditional piece, and we love the hand-painted designs and extra personality that it adds. While this table includes a weather-resistant finish, it is recommended for use in shaded, covered areas, meaning it’s probably not ideal if you plan on putting this on an uncovered balcony or a space that’s often exposed to the elements. Check out some of the other bistro chairs from Grandin Road to match the table or pair with other chairs that you like.
#10 – Ergonomic & Mobile
Another great option for more narrow spaces, this Outdoor Rattan Dining Set includes a table and two chairs with cushions and measures at just 20” deep. The chairs feature an ergonomic design and can be neatly stored under the table when not in use. The entire set can easily be moved from one location to another, and the tempered glass table makes for a more sturdy surface for your wine glass.
Summer is the best time of the year to be outside, and all patio spaces should be enjoyed, no matter what size. Hopefully we’ve given you some dining ideas for your small outdoor space. Happy entertaining!