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Boston's all too brief outdoor dining season is underway...whether you're looking for a sunny spot where you can watch the world go by, or a quiet little urban oasis in which to enjoy dinner, there's an al fresco area to suit your mood in the BostonChefs.com Outdoor Dining Guide.
Enjoy the salt air from a perch on the patio at 606 Congress at the Renaissance Boston Hotel in the Seaport District. Take your breakfast, lunch or dinner outside to soak up some sun or cool off with the summery sea breeze. Just don't let the coming and goings on the water distract you from the deliciousness on your plate.
Whether you’re ordering from the bistro or the sushi menus, enjoy your meal at Aka Bistro outside. Secure one of the 28 seats in the outdoor dining area, at one of the wrought-iron, umbrella-topped tables, and enjoy your meal overlooking the manicured lawns along Lincoln Road.
Amelia’s Trattoria, just outside Kendall Square, offers folks at nearby MIT and the biotech firms a perfect spot to get some fresh air and recharge over lunch or dinner en plein air. The petit sidewalk patio is lined with flowering plants and shrubs, and covered by shade-casting umbrellas.
With a little more room to spread out – one of the perks of their suburban location – Aquitaine Dedham at Legacy Place is the only of the three Aquitaine locations to boast outdoor seating. Enjoy classic French fare en plein air.
Finding harborside seats for dinner gets a little easier with the opening of Aragosta’s sophisticated yet casual outdoor seating area. Overlooking the harbor, the stone terrace is an ideal spot from which to enjoy cocktails (specially crafted with summer sipping in mind) or a bite from the vibrant Italian-Mediterranean menu.
Looking out over the green at Technology Square, Area Four’s sidewalk patio is a perfect perch for an outdoor meal. Snag one of the wrought iron tables for breakfast, lunch or dinner and enjoy chef-owner Michael Leviton's menu of small plates, sandwiches or breakfast pastries with a cup of coffee.
ArtBar, the Royal Sonesta’s signature restaurant, may be one of the city’s best kept al fresco secrets. The riverside patio, practically on the banks of the Charles, offers shaded tables where diners can escape the summer sun, and spectacular views of the twinkling Boston skyline after the sun goes down.
Warmed by powerful heat lamps and a central fire pit, Dorchester diners can sit outside from mid-spring well into October at Ashmont Grill. Chef-owner Chris Douglass, also of Tavolo, serves up delicious, fresh-from-the-farm comfort food at neighborhood joint prices.
In the summer months, oyster lovers and seafood fans spill out onto the picturesque little patio at B&G Oysters. Fresh seafood tastes best outside, so seats on the shaded, just-below-grade terrace fill up quickly.
It seems appropriate, given their environmentally friendly leanings, that Bambara at the Hotel Marlowe should carve out a little green space for itself. The petite, plant-lined patio is just a stone's throw from the banks of the Charles, and an awfully nice spot for a tired shopper or traveler to have a bite to eat and enjoy some fresh air.
The Beehive brings its own unique take on outdoor dining to the South End with their bricked, 80-seat, Tremont Street patio. An extension of their regular dining area, the al fresco alternative offers the same menu as the dining room, which can be paired with signature specialty cocktails from The Beehive's master mixologists.
Regulars at Bella Luna can’t wait for summer when they can catch some rays or a cool breeze on the patio at casual Jamaica Plain eatery. Outdoor diners relax at umbrella covered tables in the shadow of the historical Haffenreffer smokestack.
Sora at the Doubletree Bedford Glen Hotel invites guests to make the most of New England's all too short outdoor dining season on their beautifully landscaped stone patio, which boasts giant umbrellas to provide shelter from the afternoon sun and a fire pit for cooler evenings.
Bistro du Midi
Bask in the glory of summer on Bistro du Midi’s sidewalk patio. The coveted tables on the intimate patio can be hard to come by but diners lucky enough to secure one will enjoy an expertly prepared meal of exquisite French fare looking out over the picturesque and historic Public Garden.
Diners at Blu’s rooftop patio can enjoy urban outdoor dining in all its glory. Perched on the fourth floor at the Ritz Carlton in Downtown Crossing, the modern, metropolitan space is a perfect match for the luxurious menu.
Whether you’re wining and dining a client or lunching with the ladies, you can enjoy chef Ming Tsai’s award-winning fare al fresco on Blue Ginger’s petite sidewalk patio. Right on Washington Street, Wellesley's main drag, the simple outdoor dining area is a lovely spot from which to enjoy Tsai's east-meets-west cuisine.
Blue Inc.'s diminutive dining room gets a summer expansion with the addition of sidewalk seating. Coveted tables – there are only a handful – in the cordoned-off area offer picturesque views of the Rose Kennedy Greenway and salty breezes from the nearby Boston Harbor.
The Blue Room
The Blue Room’s subterranean patio brings the Mediterranean to Kendall Square. The wood grilled menu and well-appointed wine list, complemented by sunbaked bricks and lush greenery, make the transition from indoor to outdoor without a hitch.
BOKX 109 American Prime
BOKX 109 American Prime located in Newton’s Hotel Indigo boasts one of Greater Boston’s most stylish patios, with an outdoor bar, fire pits for cool evenings and a pool for hotafternoons. Technically there’s no dining on the patio unless you’ve rented one of the fabulous cabanas, which come equipped with individual flat screen plasma TVs, a waiter, and a special poolside menu for both cuisine and cocktails.
Take in the twinkling city skyline (as well as some delicious snacks and some signature cocktails designed for al fresco imbibing) from the heart of the Financial District on the BOND terrace. Seats on the terrace, which overlook the beautifully quaint Norman Leventhal Park, are available Thursday through Saturday on a first come, first served basis, weather permitting.
Get a little fresh air with your steak frites (or your charcuterie or duck confit or any other classic French dish). Brasserie Jo brings the flavors of Paris to the Back Bay and right out onto Huntington Avenue with the seasonal opening of their cozy sidewalk café.
Cambridge diners can get a head start on outdoor dining at Catalyst, where the beautifully landscaped patio is covered and heated. Fans of al fresco eats can enjoy dinner, lunch or weekend brunch overlooking the greenery of Technology Square well into the fall.
The Boys of Summer may be the Fenway’s biggest draw, but the patio at Church is a close second. The fenced off al fresco dining area is a perfect spot to unwind with a cocktail or grab a bite before catching an act at the neighboring nightclub or before heading to Fenway.
Whether the Sox are in town or on the road, the outdoor dining area at Citizen is one of the Fenway’s best spots for an al fresco bite to eat. The sidewalk patio provides an out-of-the-way spot from which to enjoy the bustle of Boylston Street and – on a good night – cheers from the ballpark, which is just a couple blocks away.
The 24-seat sidewalk patio at Coppa practically doubles the restaurant’s seating capacity – which might make it a touch easier to get a table. Score one and you can spend the afternoon or evening – whichever you prefer – snacking on Italian small plates, handmade pastas, charcuterie and wood-oven pizzas.
Nestled between the South End and the Back Bay just shy of the Theater District, Da Vinci's elevated, plant-lined patio offers an ideal spot from which to enjoy chef Peppino's artfully presented Italian fare.
The spacious outdoor dining area at dante affords some of the most spectacular views of the Charles River and of the Boston skyline. The fun, flirty atmosphere is the perfect perch for a riverside cocktail and a bite to eat.
Thanks to the high wooden fence, comfy patio furniture and plenty of greenery, the outdoor dining area at dbar has a cozy backyard feel – a backyard with an extensive menu of new American fare. Grab a table to enjoy summery treats from the restaurant’s rooftop garden.
Deuxave’s patio sits at the crossroads of two of the city’s most bustling thoroughfares – Commonwealth and Massachusetts Avenues – in the heart of the Back Bay, which makes it the perfect place to see-and-be-seen over a spectacular meal of contemporary French cuisine.
Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Kenmore Sq. from Eastern Standard’s covered patio. High powered heat lamps keep it toasty warm as early as April and up through October so it’s always a great pre- or post-Fenway pit stop – whether you’re celebrating a victory or drowning your Red Sox sorrows.
Chef-owner Peter McCarthy’s farm-to-table menu tastes even better when enjoyed out-of-doors on Evoo’s patio, which they share with sister restaurant and next door neighbor, Za. Snag a spot in the shade during daylight hours or relax at one of the stylish wrought iron tables after the sun sets.
Finale - Boston
For diners with a sweet tooth and a love of outdoor dining, Finale’s original Park Square location has just the ticket. The desserterie, just a short walk from the Theater District, has a plant-lined patio outfitted with cozy little two tops that are lovely on a warm summer evening.
Once the warm weather hits, the premium seats at The Fireplace aren’t the ones next to the fire, but just outside the restaurant’s floor to ceiling windows. Secure one of the coveted umbrella topped tables to watch the world go through Washington Sq. while enjoying chef-owner Jim Solomon’s rustic New England fare.
From early spring right through September, the patio seats at Forum are some of the most sought after. The elegantly-appointed tables with white table cloths and fresh flowers look right out onto bustling Boylston Street.
If the original Franklin Café in the South End is lacking in any way, it might be in the patio department. With a little room to breathe in his spacious new South Boston digs, chef-owner Dave BuBois made sure there’s plenty of room for al fresco dining. Pop on over for dinner any night of the week, or brunch on the weekend to enjoy a little green patch in the midst of the urban jungle.
Stroll down to the South End to grab a bite to eat on Gaslight’s plant-lined, bricked patio. At brunch you can catch some sun or cool off in the shade under big umbrellas. During dinner hours they’ll fire up the heat lamps to chase away the chill, so patio season can continue even after the weather starts to cool.
If you like to pair your food with great people watching, the patio at Grafton Street will suit your purposes perfectly. Over carefully-crafted comfort food, you can watch the comings and goings along Harvard Square's busy section of Massachusetts Avenue.
On the corner of Tremont and Clarendon, the Hamersley’s Bistro patio brings the rustic French feel of the dining room right onto the bricked sidewalk. With large umbrellas providing plenty of shade, the patio is as hospitable for Sunday brunch as it is for dinner.
Harvest’s tucked away patio is like an urban garden right in the center of Harvard Square. Lush green trees and full umbrellas offer plenty of shade for al fresco lunching and powerful heat lamps will chase away the chill of an unexpectedly cool summer evening.
Overlooking the plaza at the Charles Hotel, the spacious, pooch-friendly outdoor dining area at Henrietta’s Table is just removed enough from bustling Harvard Square to be a quiet, relaxing spot to enjoy farm fresh honest to goodness home cooking.
During the warmer months, L’Andana offers al fresco dining on its intimate (sixteen-seat) oasis of a patio, where guests can enjoy their meal surrounded by lemon trees and fresh herbs.
Ledge Kitchen & Drinks
One of Dorchester’s best kept secrets, the garden style patio at Ledge Kitchen & Drinks is an urban oasis covered with lush plantings and umbrella topped tables. Equipped with its own bar and flat screen TVs, it’s a lovely spot to enjoy brunch, lunch, dinner or just a drink and the ballgame.
Make the most of the summer months on Marliave’s outdoor patio. The cozy, flower-lined patio, tucked away at the end of Bosworth Street, is shielded from the midday sun by umbrellas and aglow with twinkling city lights in the evening – you’ll forget you’re in the heart of the city.
Masa’s intimate sidewalk patio offers South End dwellers and visitors a perfect little perch for outdoor dining. Choose from among a handful of candlelit two tops and tuck into sophisticated southwestern-inspired fare from chef-owner Philip Aviles.
For an authentic Provencal experience, Miel offers one of the best al fresco dining spots in Boston with a patio that’s surrounded by lush greens - fragrant herbs like basil, rosemary and thyme as well as brilliant lavender. Secure a seat to enjoy a meal looking out over the promenade, the Intercontinental gardens and Fort Point Channel.
Myers + Chang
Given that the menu at Myers + Chang is inspired by the street foods of Southeast Asia, it seems only appropriate to enjoy your meal outside. Secure one of the tables on the petit patio overlooking the action at Peters Park.
Soak up some of Boston’s most historic views from the comfort of North 26’s sidewalk patio. Perfect as a pit stop along the Freedom Trail or as a respite from shopping, the brick-lined al fresco dining area overlooks the goings-on at Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall.
Come warm weather, award-winning chef Ana Sortun serves her accolade-grabbing fare in one of Cambridge’s most beloved outdoor dining spaces. Oleana's lush, flower-filled patio is set back from busy Hampshire Street for a peaceful and relaxing al fresco experience.
Petit Robert Bistro Needham
You may not be able to see the Eiffel Tower from the patio at Petit Robert Bistro Needham but enjoy authentic French fare at one of the wrought iron tables and you’ll feel just like you’re in the City of Light.
Roof decks in Boston are hard to come by, which may be one of the many reasons the one at Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake is so popular – of course, it might also be the outdoor bar and the full menu. If the roof deck is full, see if you can snag one of the twelve patio tables available right on Boylston Street.
Red Rock Bistro
Enjoy summer in the city – from a distance. The Red Rock Bistro offers the best of both worlds with spectacular views of Swampscott Harbor and the Boston skyline so you can feel like you’re on a summer retreat without having to travel too far from home. Choose from among their array of lobster rolls for the quintessential summer meal.
Perched atop a mahogany deck, Rialto’s beautiful 32-seat patio overlooks the piazza-esque Charles Sq. courtyard. Sheltered by a giant pumpkin-colored awning and illuminated by an overhead trellis, the al fresco spot serves the full a la carte menu to diners as they relax on elegant woven furniture amid large herb-filled planters.
Rowes Wharf Sea Grille
Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, pop down to the Boston Harbor Hotel to enjoy your meal accompanied by a refreshing ocean breeze. The Rowes Wharf Sea Grille has plenty of patio seating overlooking the harbor so you can enjoy seaside dining in the heart of the city.
Russell House Tavern
Even when the students are off for the summer – Harvard Square is humming. Lucky diners looking for a restful respite from the commotion can snag one of the tables on Russell House Tavern’s bricked patio – just off the well-traveled thoroughfare that is JFK Street – to enjoy a dinner at one of a handful of wrought iron tables.
Once the sun finally comes out, what better way to celebrate then by eating a delicious meal and soaking up the rays? Sam’s, the super chic Waterfront restaurant at Louis Boston, has a glorious upper deck where patrons can look out over the harbor, soak up some sun and enjoy a cool ocean breeze.
Enjoy drinks outside or live music under the stars on the Scarlet Oak’s patio in Hingham. You can enjoy a menu designed for al fresco eating at tables and comfy sofas set up among garden beds where they’re growing produce to be used in the kitchen.
Sel de la Terre - Natick
Talk about suburban sprawl – in their new digs at the swanky Natick Collection, Sel de la Terre gives diners who prefer to eat outdoors ample room to relax and enjoy the menu of Provencal fare. Put your feet up after a long day – or in the middle of one – the patio is open for lunch and dinner, weather permitting.
While technically not a patio, Sonsie’s floor-to-ceiling windows, which open up onto Newbury Street, offer the best of both worlds – plenty of fresh air and shelter from the elements. They’re also one of the best people-watching perches in the city.
Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro
Diners at Patriots Place have reason to rejoice even in the off season –Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro’s outdoor dining area is the perfect place to while away those summer months (when it’s too hot for football, anyway). Guests can sip glasses of wine and nibble on globally-inspired small plates from elegantly appointed teak tables. Great views of Gillette Stadium will tide everyone over until pre-season starts.
A newcomer to the expanding Seaport District, Temazcal makes the most of its harborside perch with floor-to-ceiling-windows and prime patio seating right on the Harborwalk’s wooden boardwalk overlooking the water. An overhang offers shelter from the sun without impeding the view.
Located between Harvard and Porter Squares on Massachusetts Avenue, Temple Bar draws a lively crowd of young professionals and grad students. In the summer months all that youthful exuberance spills out onto the patio where a collection of tables offer a relaxing spot to enjoy the sophisticated bistro menu and specialty cocktails.
Munch on fish tacos and ceviche from one of Boston’s brightest culinary stars at Tico, Michael Schlow’s swanky Back Bay eatery. On the sidewalk patio, which runs along St. James Street, shadow-casting umbrellas provide relief from the summer sun while an outdoor fireplace casts off heat on cooler evenings.
During the summer months, the flavors of Spain spill out onto Washington Street with the seasonal opening of Toro's sidewalk seating area. Sit back and relax with a glass of cava and an assortment of small plates from chef and restaurateur Ken Oringer who brings his own take on traditional tapas to the South End.
Trattoria Il Panino
Enjoy the flavors of the Amalfi Coast from the comfort of Trattoria Il Panino’s cozygiardino, where you can get the full North End experience away from the commotion of Hanover Street. The covered patio also has overhead heat lamps – so the outdoor dining season at Il Panino starts as early as April and lasts well into September.
The pooch-friendly patio at Tremont 647 is the see and be seen spot for South Enders and their pups. Snag an umbrella-shaded table at this neighborhood favorite to enjoy chef owner Andy Husbands’ soulful and sophisticated comfort food.
UpStairs on the Square
UpStairs on the Square’s whimsical atmosphere spills out onto Winthrop Street. Pink tables topped with baby blue umbrellas give the area an Alice in Wonderland feel that’s perfectly in keeping with the inventive menu at this Harvard Square favorite.
Stylish Back Bay diners flock to Via Matta's Park Square patio where chef-owner Michael Schlow creates a menu of sumptuous Italian cuisine. Open until 1:00am, the umbrella-ed area is packed from the first pre-theater diner until the last late night hipster heads home.
Regulars at Zapp Brasserie and guests at the adjacent Red Lion Inn jockey for seats on the al fresco patio, carved into the craggy terrain of coastal Cohasset. Sheltered from the wind, diners relax under colorful umbrellas for lunch, dinner or drinks.
Whether you’re choosing from the new American menu or the sushi menu, your meal will taste even better on plant-lined patio at Zebra's Bistro. Make the most of the season’s warm weather at one of Medfield’s most highly-acclaimed restaurants.