How to Eat Well During Terrace Season

Food and nutrition

Published on 23 April 2019
by Isabelle Huot

The first summer days are finally here, and it feels amazing! After months of hibernation, the sun is emerging—and so are you! Enjoying an aperitif on a sunny terrace is one of life’s greatest pleasures; but as enthusiastic as you may be to hit the patios, you know those outings come with their share of temptations. How can we stay sensible on summer outings? Where there’s a will, there’s a way!



High in calories, alcoholic beverages can cause your daily energy consumption to spike. But you don’t have to give them up completely. Simply try to consume in moderation and make the right choices. Be aware that two factors influence a drink’s energy density: alcohol percentage and sugar content.


The best choices are light beer, white wine, red wine, and dry rosé.


Try to avoid strong beer, sweet rosé, cocktails, and sangria.


I also recommend alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. If a glass of water simply won’t cut it, opt for sparkling water lightly flavoured with fruit.



Terraces are a popular setting for happy hour, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., when hunger typically strikes. Try not to show up starving. If necessary, eat a snack on your way. This will help you make the right choices when you arrive.


When ordering, try to stick to only one of the menu’s main dishes, which are usually quite generous at restaurants. Are others ordering appetizers? Instead of skipping them, why not order two for your main meal? This way, you’ll have two dishes to enjoy and won’t feel like you’re missing out. After your second appetizer, you’ll realize that the pair was more than enough. 


Lastly, always avoid replacing food calories with alcohol calories. This is a terrible strategy. Calories from alcohol don’t nourish your body, which means that you’ll be starving—probably the next day—and compensate by overeating.


Isabelle Huot
Doctor in nutrition