Arizona outdoor dining

Five great restaurant patios in the Valley of the Sun
Melissa Castleman

PHOENIX

Christopher's Fermier Brasserie. This cosmopolitan spot excels at light, simple summer fare―think seared-tuna Niçoise salad. The vibe: Chef Christopher Gross shows up for work on a motorcycle. $$$. 2584 E. Camelback Rd.; 602/522-2344.

SCOTTSDALE

Los Sombreros Mexico Grill. Tucked inside a cute redbrick house, the patio bar serves up 10 terrific margaritas. Hot-weather dishes include crepas de mariscos in a poblano-spiked sauce. $$; closed Mon. 2534 N. Scottsdale Rd.; 480/994- 1799.

Roaring Fork. The huckleberry margaritas and ceiling fans provide a quick cooldown in the Arizona Room, a canvas- curtained patio. Kentucky-born chef Robert McGrath does barbecue with gusto, from a pork sirloin to salmon with chipotle vinaigrette. $$$. 4800 N. Scottsdale Rd.; 480/947-0795.

Zinc Bistro. Unpretentious French dishes like duck confit sandwiches and fries with garlic aioli and housemade ketchup (impossible not to devour) have made the sidewalk tables and garden patio perennial hot spots. $$$. 15034 N. Scottsdale Rd.; 480/603-0922.

TEMPE

Four Peaks Brewing Company. Sip a pint of 8th Street Ale on the streetside patio until the 2 a.m. closing. The pub grub is more than an afterthought, from the salmon B.L.T. to ale-dough pizzas. $. 1340 E. Eighth St.; 480/303- 9967.