Best Outdoor Seating

The Cup Café

311 E. Congress St.

4310 N. Campbell Ave.

READERS' PICK: What's a person to do when orange blossom scents the downtown air in mid-April, when the brilliantly clear October sky demands an audience, when the monsoons make the prospect of sitting in a swamp-cooled indoors a terror? The knowing lover of open sky heads to The Cup Café, where wide umbrellas, wrought-iron tables, and a brand-new suite of wooden benches from the Cadillac of seatmakers, the Berkeley Forge & Foundry, await -- to say nothing of splendid food and strong coffee. It's a fine place to while away the hours, and a good reason to plan a field trip downtown.

Café Terra Cotta, 4310 N. Campbell Ave. (See Best Lunch Over $5, page 47.)

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Café Paraiso, 800 E. University Blvd. The occasionally waggish staff only add to the charm of this locally owned café nestled in what is surely the most dense concentration of coffee shops in the metropolitan area. The food is on the better side and the coffee is good and cheap, but it's the shady outdoor seating that draws office workers, students, their professors, a smattering of slackers, an occasional nut, and the last Vespa rider in Tucson together for coffee, smoke, and perhaps a game of chess.

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