Summer is officially here, and with it comes gloriously warm temps, cool breezes and nonstop barbecuing — which is exactly why we all need to be eating our meals al fresco for the foreseeable future. After spending most of the spring inside practicing social distancing, there’s no better place to head these days than (safely) outside, right in your backyard or patio (or for you city dwellers, on your balcony or rooftop space).
Because let’s face it, everything’s better when you’re in the great outdoors. Sultry nights and a set of bistro lights can add some romance to an otherwise standard dinner, while some music and a pretty set of melamine plates will certainly up your outdoor entertaining game.
The key component to all of this, however, is the dining set. Because no one really likes eating picnic style if they don’t have to, right? And while there’s no shortage of gorgeous table-and-chair sets available right now, many of the options out there are super pricey.
Fear not though — we’ve scoured the internet and found a bevy of beautiful, sturdy dining sets that are affordable, too. From a French-inspired bistro table and chairs to a four-seater set to a pair of rocking chairs, our list includes seating for groups of two to four or more, and they all come in at under 500 bucks.
Hearst 3-Piece Bistro Set ($204.99; wayfair.com)
A top seller at Wayfair, this pretty set has more than 1,200 positive reviews and an overall 4.5-star rating. Crafted from cast aluminum awash in a copper finish, the table and two chairs are weather-, water- and UV-resistant, and they feature Old World-inspired details that will always be in style. More to know: The table has an umbrella hole.
Flamaker 3-Piece Outdoor Wicker Patio Set ($163.71; amazon.com)
Amazon’s No. 1 bestseller in the patio bistro set category, this Flamaker table and chairs combo has nearly 900 positive reviews and 4.5-star rating due to its sturdy steel frame and the simple clean design. While the included glass-topped table might not work for a five-course meal, it will certainly handle a roving selection of tapas and some wine pairings. We love that the seat cushion covers are removable for easy cleaning.
Threshold French Café 3-Piece Folding Patio Bistro Set ($200; target.com)
Oozing with French charm, we love that set is both lightweight — coming in at just 14 pounds! — and weather- and rust resistant. The best part, however, is that all three pieces fold flat, making for easy storage.
Ebern Designs Geyer 5 Piece Dining Set ($319.99, originally $840.05; wayfair.com)
We love all things practical over here, which is why Ebern made our list — not only does the hexagon-shaped table come with wheels for easy transport, but it also folds flat and stores its four matching chairs. Crafted of acacia wood in a matte stain, the set’s decorative highlights are the slatted table design and the seats’ curved backrests. Currently available in the gray stain, the set also comes in a natural teak hue that should be back in stock on July 1.
Halsted 3pc Patio Bistro Set - Threshold ($399.99; target.com)
Available with comfy seat covers in either navy, dark red, tan or light blue, this table for two is beloved for shoppers due to its durability, easy assembly and instant chicness.
Rosecliff Heights Angelos 9 Piece Dining Set with Cushions ($499.99, originally $529.99; wayfair.com)
Rather astonishingly, this set comes with nine pieces — four chairs, four ottomans and one large table -— on sale for less than $500. Perfect for a large patio or lanai, this is the ultimate outdoor upgrade.
Hashtag Home Gunner Swell Outdoor 3-Piece Bistro Set (starting at $199.99; wayfair.com)
Perfect for narrow spaces, this three-piece set includes two chairs and an oval table that’s only 19 inches wide (the chairs are 20.75 inches wide). Made of lightweight iron that comes coated in a sweet-as-pie pink or sage green hue, the retro-inspired set has slats that let rain run right through it, making it perfect for leaving outside 24/7.
Flamaker 4 Pieces Patio Furniture Set Outdoor Furniture Set (starting at $329.99; amazon.com)
Talk about a bargain. This set comes with two chairs and a loveseat with plush, removable cushions. The table, which is wicker just like the chairs, is glass-topped, making it look nice enough to bring inside, too.
Adams Manufacturing Quik-Fold Cafe Bistro Set ($168.40; amazon.com)
This ultraportable resin set is lightweight, and all three pieces fold completely flat, making it a great option for small spaces and for those times when you want a proper dining setup on the go. Made of UV-protected material, the all-weather set has an umbrella hole and will age without fading, peeling, rusting or rotting. More to know: With more than 700 positive Amazon reviews, it’s a top seller for the retailer.
Dezi 3 Piece Bistro Set with Cushions ($229.99, originally $289.99; wayfair.com)
Reviewers rave about how comfy these gorgeous rocking chairs are, with their sturdy rust-resistant steel armrests and weather-resistant cushions.
Hampton Bay Cayman 3-Piece Wicker Outdoor Patio Bistro Set ($296.10, originally $329; homedepot.com)
If you’re looking for a statement piece to anchor your outdoor space, look no further than this modern-meets-boho set from Hampton Bay. Including two chairs with a bold geometric pattern, the resin wicker and steel set also comes with a glass-topped table that is big enough for appetizers and cocktails.
Hampton Bay Rehoboth 3-Piece Wicker Outdoor Balcony Height Dining Set ($499, originally $599; homedepot.com)
Create your own bar-style dining area with this balcony-height set from Hampton Bay. Including two chairs and a steel slat-topped table — complete with built-in shelving on one side — the set will make you and your guests feel like you’re at a chic outdoor lounge called “Chez Moi.”
Novogratz Poolside Collection Bobbi Outdoor 5 Piece Bistro Set ($319.99, originally $749.99; wayfair.com)
This adorable bistro set from design gurus the Novogratz is majorly on sale right now and worth scooping up. Currently available in both sunny yellow and a retro turquoise, the table is topped in teak-looking resin and features a powder-coated steel frame, both of which are incredibly outdoors-friendly. We love the set’s nesting attributes — simply tuck the four stools under the table when not in use and the footprint is dramatically reduced.
Charlton Home Springmont 3 Piece Bistro Set ($183.99; wayfair.com)
This extremely pretty set, which features cutouts on the seats and along the table’s edge, comes in an adorable sage green. Reviewers love it because it’s easy to assemble and adds a sophistication to any outdoor space.
KidKraft Outdoor Table and Chair Set ($157.05, originally $164.99; amazon.com)
We added this cutie to the list because, well, kids need to eat, too! And this set from KidKraft would cost about 10 times more in an adult size, especially when you consider that it comes with an adorable striped umbrella and matching bench cushions (which are removable, by the way). Made of weather-resistant wood, the preppy set will be a welcome addition to your outdoor area.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed price at the time of publication.