Spring is almost 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 winter 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 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 ($256.99, originally $279.99; 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 ($124.99; 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.
Christopher Knight Home Cast Aluminum Bistro Set ($199.99; target.com)
Oozing with sophistication, we love that this set is both lightweight — coming in at just 11 pounds! — and features an umbrella opening.
Ebern Designs Geyer 5 Piece Dining Set ($349.99, 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.
Best Choice 3-Piece Bistro Set: ($144.99; target.com)
Available in color combinations of either brown and red or gray and navy, reviewers raved about this product due to its dainty look, sturdiness and easy assembly.
Nuu Garden 3pc Steel Bistro Set ($369.99; target.com)
Complete with two chairs, cushions and a circle accent table made from all-weather wicker, this top-rated set from Target is perfect for the backyard.
Hashtag Home Gunner Swell Outdoor 3-Piece Bistro Set ($259.99; 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 $333.99; 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.
Best Choice Products 3-Piece Acacia Wood Bistro Set ($144.99; amazon.com)
This ultraportable resin set is easy to clean, maintain and all three pieces fold completely flat, making it a great option for small spaces. Made of acacia wood, the all-weather set fights against rot, staining and moisture build-up.
Dezi 3 Piece Bistro Set with Cushions ($275.99; 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 ($279; 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.
Charlton Home Springmont 3 Piece Bistro Set ($239.99; 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 ($188.39, originally $259.99; 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.