Where to Find the Best Patios and Outdoor Dining in Boston
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Where to Find the Best Patios and Outdoor Dining in Boston
Here comes the sun. Drawing from our carefully curated list of Boston’s top restaurants, here are the best patios, roof decks, gardens, and sidewalks now offering outdoor dining.
With a sprawling waterfront patio overlooking the Zakim Bridge, Alcove serves up an array of tempting plates inspired by the New England farm coast. Dishes like New England Lobster Dip with everything bagel chips; Blackened Fish Tacos with avocado crema; and Grilled Half Chicken with a green salad from Eva’s Garden in South Dartmouth pair perfectly with well-crafted cocktails. Reservations are available.
Head out back at Atwood’s Tavern to find a secret garden where German lagers and local IPAs are flowing, and big burgers and other comfort food is on the menu. The outdoor dining area at this Cambridge neighborhood beer bar and music venue is open year-round, as it’s heated and has a retractable roof. Seating is first-come, first-served and friendly dogs are welcome.
Though it’s off the main drag of the Fenway/Kenmore neighborhood, this classic spot isn’t exactly a secret—but its awesome backyard patio feels like one. The heated patio at Audubon boasts an outdoor TV, and is fenced-in and shrouded in huge bushes of bamboo. As we’d expect from the same owners as Trina’s Starlite Lounge and Parlor Sports, it serves up plenty of great cocktails.
Located in Woburn, Baldwin Bar a historic mansion serving up authentic Szechuan cuisine along with some of the coolest cocktails available in Greater Boston. Its unique property boasts a driveway (suburban luxury!) which becomes a tropical oasis during patio season. Big picnic tables have umbrellas for shade—and enough room for you and all your friends to share a large-format cocktail or two. Reservations are available.
This Italian-Mediterranean-neighborhood restaurant in Brookline boasts an open floor plan that extends onto a large patio along Beacon Street. Offset from the sidewalk with lush greenery and shaded with umbrellas and string lights, the patio is vibrant—and when the Green Line goes by, there’s no mistaking you’re in the midst of the action. At Bar ’Cino, we love to share a grilled flatbread or two and small plates like Baked Clams with white wine and pomodoro sauce.
The South End’s self-described Coastal Italian restaurant Bar Mezzana has reopened its street-side patio just in time for spritz season. Sip the titular Mezzana Spritz or the Truth You Can’t Hide (a fizzer with hibiscus-infused mezcal, pamplemousse and Italicus liqueurs, Ruby Red Grapefruit Polar Seltzer) alongside a plate of fresh crudo.
The sunken backyard patio at B&G Oysters has long been a South End gem. It’s back with bubbles and bivalves, and all manner of classic New England seafood hits—think: everything from Fried Ipswich Clams and a chive-dusted Maine Lobster Roll, to whole-roasted branzino and seared sea scallops. Outdoor reservations are available.
In the heart of the South End, this casual bistro from the Bar Mezzana team serves up $1 oysters every day until 5 p.m., among other raw bar selections, great salads and sandwiches, Hangar Steak Frites, and more. The Tremont Street patio has tower heaters and is a lovely place for a Highball, Martini, and other classic cocktails done right.
Reserve a table or fire pit at this Somerville courtyard to order a spread from an exciting mix of small restaurants. Bow Market is home to the Filipino-American cuisine of Tanám, shucked-to-order oysters from Hooked Fish Shop, bar pizza and roast beef sandwiches at Hot Box, and more local fare; plus the righteous natural wines of Rebel Rebel Wine Bar, Remnant Brewing beer and coffee, and cool cocktails from Variety Bar.
The patio at this Watertown favorite is covered and heated, ensuring that Branch Line diners at can stay comfortable on blazingly sunny days and unseasonably chilly evenings alike. Once seated, we advocate ordering the Sugar Snap Pea Salad with almond vinaigrette, mint, and ricotta, before splitting a whole Branch Line Rotisserie Chicken. Reservations are available.
Brassica Kitchen + Cafe
Located behind this eclectic Jamaica Plain restaurant is a tented parking lot-patio lush with plants (note: it’s not heated). Start things off at Brassica Kitchen with a funky wine or cocktail like Meguro #1, a rye whiskey drink tinted green with the superfood spirulina. The oft-changing dinner options range from Koji Risotto to Duck Khao Soi, and you shouldn’t miss the BK Fried Chicken: a crunchy companion for Brassica’s house-fermented pickles and hot sauces. Reservations are available for weekend brunch and Wednesday through Saturday dinner (Sunday coming soon).
Garage-style doors open up onto this Charlestown patio, from which you can see the Bunker Hill Monument. Known for wood-fired pizza and other fare plus an awesome selection of craft beer and wine, Brewer’s Fork never takes reservations and it’s a popular spot, but there’s plenty of room: The team has expanded into an adjacent parking lot for even more outdoor dining. They are also behind a provisions shop, bar, and restaurant called Dovetail nearby in the Navy Yard.
Bully Boy Distillers
This one’s not a traditional restaurant, but a cocktail garden outside of Boston’s first distillery. Bully Boy Distillers moves all service outside for the warmer months (weather-permitting) to a walkup-only patio with colorful shade sails. Seasonal libations include Roxbury Yacht Club, made with Rum Cooperative Vol. 3, lime, passion fruit, house Falernum, and Amaro; and Near East Cooler, with gin, watermelon, sumac, lemon, and pink peppercorn. Stay tuned on social media for food truck appearances, or bring your own food to enjoy.
The heated, covered patio at this Seaport spot is available by reservation or for walk-in diners. It provides the perfect venue to enjoy Chickadee’s standout cocktails, assorted meze, and house-made pastas like Lobster Campanelle fra diavolo. Stay tuned for the reopening of the team’s pop-up tropical cocktail bar, Mayday!, out of one of the shipping containers on the promenade where Chickadee is located. Think: flavored margaritas and blender drinks in plastic cups, plus canned wine, beer, and cocktails. In other words, perfect patio drinks.
Union Square favorite Celeste has outdoor seating on Bow Street, as well as a few seats in a separate heated outdoor area. Settle in for a Pisco Sour or two and an array of vibrant Peruvian food, such as fresh fish Ceviches, Causas (mashed potato terrines), and Locro, a vegan-friendly stew featuring squash, lima beans, black mint (huacatay), and Peruvian peppers. Make a reservation via Resy.
Cicada Coffee Bar
Cambridge’s Cicada Coffee Bar takes Vietnamese coffee culture seriously, so the relaxing vibe is as thoughtful as the drinks. Stay awhile on the garden patio behind the cafe and try a banh mi sandwich, noodle salad, or pastry by chef Brian Mercury paired with a cup of toasted-nutty coffee sourced from Vietnam, brewed strong and served hot. We also love a sweetened Vietnamese iced coffee, like Cicada’s frothy Sea Salt Shaker.
This cute Shawmut Avenue patio is a South End icon, providing people-watching plus a coveted place to partake in Coppa classics like Spaghetti Carbonara with sea urchin, and white Soppressata Pizza with burrata. (Added street-side seats are coming online again ASAP.) Don’t forget the Aperol Spritz! Outdoor seating is first-come, first-served for now, but reservations will come online soon.
This sweet new wine bar from the folks behind Field & Vine and Rebel Rebel has a Mass. Ave. street patio bedecked in greenery and twinkle lights. No reservations; walk in to Dear Annie to snag a seat outside and enjoy a dish like house-preserved Smoked Spanish Mackerel and an effervescent glass of natural wine. Total bonus: This Cambridge patio is licensed through December, so it will stay open all fall.
Located on the corner of Commonwealth and Massachusetts avenues, the upscale French-ish Deuxave has one of the more enviable patios in Boston with its unimpeded views of Back Bay brownstones. But more important than the scenery is the menu, which includes a set of Native Lobster Gnocchi Fricassée, Spiced Long Island Duck Breast, and gorgeously plated desserts. Reservations are available.
Dorchester Brewing Company
A roof deck with views of the Boston skyline debuted in 2019 as part of a huge expansion for Dorchester Brewing Company. M&M BBQ has also moved in, taking over the gleaming new counter-service kitchen with the former food truck’s legendary ribs, brisket, mac and cheese, and more. DBCo.—which produces its own fresh brews, beers from partner brands, wines, cider, and seltzer—also has a street-level patio. Make a reservation to secure a rooftop spot.
The big picnic tables off Boylston Street offer quite a different experience from the celebrated Portland, Maine, original, Eventide Oyster Co., but the spacious Boston outpost is equally worthy of a visit. With New England snack shack-inspired fare with Asian-inspired flair, like the signature Brown Butter Lobster Roll on a steamed bun, and Soft Serve sundaes exclusive to this location, Eventide is right at home near Fenway Park.
Another pandemic-era entrant to the outdoor dining game, the heated, paved back patio at Forage is here to stay. At this Cambridge restaurant, you can enjoy locally sourced, vegetable-focused dining (and wine), including omnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian, and even vegan tasting menus any night of the week. Reservations are available.
Fox & the Knife
Located just outside the aperitivo bar’s wide-opening windows, Fox & the Knife’s Broadway patio is an al fresco venue for spritzes, salads, homemade pastas and entrees. We’re particularly partial to pasta dishes like the Spaghetti con Vongole with saffron, clams, and tomato butter; and the crispy pork Milanese—and we always end a meal here with gelato. Stay tuned for outdoor reservations, but the Foxy crew also reserves some room for walk-ins.
This bicycling themed bistro has an intimate garden-level patio along Newbury Street perfect for people-watching, plus added more street-side seating offset by garden boxes. The second Back Bay spot from Select Oyster Bar restaurateur Michael Serpa, Grand Tour serves Parisian-inspired cuisine with a Boston soul for lunch and dinner, paired with exquisite wines from the U.S. and France. Think: Hand-cut, prime filet Steak Tartare, Asparagus with truffle vinaigrette and chopped egg, and a Niçoise salad with rare-seared yellowfin tuna. Reservations are available on OpenTable.
A wine bar in Downtown Crossing, Haley.Henry has taken its natural wine list, impressive tinned fish selection, and snacky, charcuterie-focused menu outside onto a new patio. The tiny spot takes limited reservations, as well as accepts walk-ins. You can also catch patio seating at its Fenway sister establishment, Nathálie.
High Street Place
Boston’s newest food hall boasts cool new tastes like Tenderoni’s Pizza, Dive Bar, and Bubble Bath—three new concepts from the Sweet Cheeks celeb chef Tiffani Faison—a cocktail bar called Daiquiris and Daisies, a craft-beer taproom called Alewives, Mediterranean fare by Hum’oveh, fried chicken sandwiches by Haley Jane’s, Gracenote Coffee, and so much more. Situated in the Financial District, High Street Place offers shaded, sleek, and welcoming outdoor dining for all your power lunching needs.
Chef Tim and Nancy Cushman’s offbeat izakaya Hojoko is a Fenway-side spot for sushi, ramen, sake, and cocktails. It boasts a poolside patio thanks to its location at The Verb Hotel, as well as outdoor seating out front. Reservations are available.
New Newton Centre neighborhood favorite Jinny’s Pizzeria comes from chef Lydia Reichert and her partners at nearby Sycamore. The pies start with flavorful, slow-fermented dough and high-quality toppings and are blistered to perfection. No matter how you feel personally about Hawaiian pizza, we think Jinny’s ham-and-roasted pineapple Luau was absolutely meant for the patio. Outdoor seating is dog-friendly, and (like all dining-in at Jinny’s) is first-come, first-served.
Craving Greek cuisine and fresh air? Consider Kava Neo-Taverna, where you can share Mezedakia (an array of small plates) and Kyrios (entrees) like Mousaka, grilled Mediterranean sea bass, and braised-beef short rib over orzo on a quaint patio in the South End. Limited reservations are available, but if you have to wait for a table, no one will mind taking a stroll around the neighborhood.
It’s not exactly the cobbled streets of Mykonos, but this Back Bay wine bar certainly evokes Greek hospitality. The outdoor patio at Krasi is a lively spot on Gloucester Street to order up a selection of unique house-baked breads and charcuterie, dips, and other meze—and whatever is grilling that day on the souvla. For now the patio is first-come, first-served, but reservations will become available in May.
Puritan & Company chef-owner Will Gilson opened three new restaurant concepts last year at a new East Cambridge development. The anchor is The Lexington, which boasts a roof deck overlooking Cambridge Crossing that’s open for walk-ins, weather-permitting. This spacious place is serving up the satisfying kind of food Gilson is known for, like Crispy Pork Belly with bourbon, smoked carrots and pecans, a Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop with miso crema and sautéed greens, and French Onion Soup Grilled Cheese with gruyére and mushroom jus.
The eclectic Cambridge sister restaurant to Toro, Coppa, and the brand-new Faccia a Faccia, Little Donkey has a heated patio. Get ready to indulge in favorites like the Caviar Sandwich with whipped butter on a Martin’s Potato Roll, the sublime Burger with foie gras and onion soup mayo, and of course, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for dessert.
The outdoor scene at the Fort Point location of Lolita Mexican and Tequila Bar has its own bar overlooking the Fort Point Channel. Covered but open-air and with lush flowers and greenery in season, it’s one of our favorite places to day-drink Margaritas in Boston.
Lone Star Taco Bar
The Allston location of Lone Star Taco Bar has a hidden, back-deck patio, which is just the perfect place to enjoy a Mugarita. Meanwhile, the Cambridge location’s street-side patio is also back in business. Visit either location for plenty of Lone Star Margaritas, Queso, and Beef Barbacoa or Carnitas Pork tacos.
Located on the two levels above basement sister spot Alden & Harlow, Longfellow Bar has a rooftop patio for enjoying the latest “Track List” of cocktails and finger foods.
Bucatini all’Amatriciana with guanciale and pecorino; Eggplant Parmesan; Roasted Chicken with mushroom risotto: You can now try any of these dishes on the street-side patio operated by the innovative South End Italian restaurant Mida. The newer Newton location has outdoor seating, too. Call day-of for reservations.
Spice things up with outdoor seating at Moona. The Cambridge meze restaurant (whose name is Arabic slang for “pantry”) serves up Smoked Baba Ghanoush bejeweled with fresh pomegranate seeds, merguez and coconut-milk Moona Mussels, and more fresh Mediterranean fare on a serene patio draped in pink trumpet flower vines. Reservations are available.
Myers + Chang
This miniature, 12-seat patio overlooking Peters Park is a serene refuge during dim sum brunch. Or, take a date away from the lively diner on a weeknight to share a mixed-and-matched menu for two under the stars. Reservations are available.
Nautilus Pier 4
With a spacious patio overlooking Boston Harbor, a favorite Nantucket restaurant is docked in Boston. Nautilus Pier 4 is a larger, swankier version of the island original, with a local chef’s fresh take on the globe-yachting menu (think: Tempura East Coast Oyster Tacos, signature Blue Crab Fried Rice, and Charcoal Prawns). Glass doors lead out from the bar to the 1,000-square foot deck, awash in a sea monster mural that goes swimmingly with the new spot’s retro-chic submarine theme inside. Stay tuned for reservations.
The backyard garden at Cambridge jewel Oleana is a serious contender for Greater Boston’s prettiest patio. Of course, it’s not all about looks: Just as important is the menu, featuring meze like Spinach Falafel with beet tzatziki, Za’atar Bread with parsnip tershi, and the classic Sultan’s Delight (tamarind beef with smoky eggplant purée and basil). Reservations are available (in theory—like we said, this is a pretty, and popular, spot.)
An eclectic Japanese-Spanish tapas spot, Pagu features one of the more generous patios in Central Square. All the more room for enjoying Squid Ink Oyster Bao and Pagu Sangria. Reservations are available.
Pammy’s debuted a patio for the first time in 2020 and never looked back: The dreamy deck along Mass. Ave. is back for another sunny season. Reservations are available outside for a three-course meal—choose from options like Hiramasa Crudo with citrus and green garlic tofu; Baby Beets with goat yogurt, dried Turkish figs, and spring onion relish; and the signature Lumache pasta with gochujang Bolognese.
The Publick House
This Brookline beer bar has a stellar outdoor situation including a heated, backyard beer garden, plus a covered, open-walled structure for the street-side patio in Washington Square. Reservations are available for all options at The Publick House, and there’s plenty of fresh beer on draft to accompany your Monk’s Frites with dipping sauces; orecchiette Mac and Cheese; and Ahi Tuna Nachos.
Puritan & Company
Puritan & Co. has a charming, well-constructed patio on Cambridge Street, complete with a string light-lined clear roof, which lets in the sunshine but not other weather. The outdoor area is first-come, first-served, and it offers chef Will Gilson and team’s full menu of Parker House Rolls, Seafood Risotto, Barbecue Beets, and more.
The Quiet Few
The Quiet Few is East Boston’s neighborhood bar with dim lighting, impressive lists of whiskey and wines, and hangover-preventing food like house-fried Luda Crisps with French onion dip and an optional add-on of Caviar from East Boston Oysters. The “top shelf, low brow” vibes take over Sumner Street in-season with TQF’s plant-lined patio out front. Seats are first-come, first-served.
The Fort Point location of Row 34 has a spacious covered patio where you can enjoy the impeccable draft beer list, Island Creek oysters by the dozen, and Ethel’s Creamy Lobster Rolls (there are pickles in the lobster salad!). Reservations are available.
There’s a lot more Saltie Girl these days, as the once-pint-sized seafood restaurant expanded last year to an adjacent space and patio. The outdoor seating area is first-come, first served, and once you secure a seat you’ll get to enjoy dressed-up crudo, plates of Fried Lobster & Waffles with spicy maple syrup, trays of imported tinned fish, and more decadently fun seafood.
Select Oyster Bar
The Mediterranean vibe at this Back Bay bar is enhanced on a small back patio and additional outdoor dining out front on Gloucester Street. The chic Select Oyster Bar is open for lunch and dinner with plenty of fresh fruits de mer like Dressed Maine Lobster, Faroe Islands Salmon Crudo, and Gloucester Swordfish—with plenty of Champagne to keep cool. Reservations are available.
This Chinatown favorite has outdoor dining in the heart of the neighborhood. Shōjō has tables on the sidewalk and into Tyler Street, where you can enjoy a Mai Tai or a Cold Tea for Two, and a couple rounds of plates like Karaage Chicken Bao, Shadowless Duck Fat Fries, and Ruckus Noodle Soup. Reservations are available.
The fun-loving crew of South End tropical bar Shore Leave has a camp-themed cocktail garden on the street-level courtyard of the 345 Harrison building. Walk up to indulge in a succinct, outdoor-only menu of loaded burgers, chicken sandwiches, soy-braised spareribs, and Thai-style street corn—and plenty of Shore Leave Cocktails. (To try the awesome sushi menu, you’ll need to sit inside.)
Sofra Bakery & Cafe
Sofra in Cambridge has a handful of cafe-style tables outside where you can lunch on its takeout-only Middle Eastern-inspired pastries and sandwiches. Seats are first-come, first-serve, but you can preorder ahead of time.
This Venetian-style bacaro has a cute street patio, but the courtyard-like back patio—a wooden deck with twinkling lights, abutting ivy-adorned brick walls—is pure South End charm. Head to SRV for snacky cicchetti (small plates) and stellar pastas and risotto. You can never go wrong starting with an SRV Negroni and the Polpette (meatballs). Reservations are available.
When the dim, dive-bar ambiance of State Park isn’t what you need—but pitchers of booze and a Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich is exactly it—head out to the patio. The slim, subterranean space in the heart of Kendall Square’s startup scene is one of our favorite outdoor dining options in Cambridge, and not just because we can bring our dogs.
Steel & Rye
This American restaurant in Lower Mills is a bakery by day with walkup outdoor seating at lunch, and reservations available for dinner. The expansive patio at Steel & Rye has umbrella-covered picnic tables for enjoying dishes like Ricotta Gnocchi with ramp pesto or a Griddled Double Cheeseburger with black pepper mayo.
Sweet Cheeks Q
Something about eating barbecue outdoors just feels right. Thankfully, Sweet Cheeks Q has a spacious patio so you can enjoy trays of Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Heritage Breed Pulled Pork, and—naturally—the huge, soft and crumbly Buttermilk Biscuits in the open air. Reservations are available.
Taberna de Haro
Classic tapas dishes—along with a selection of over 300 Spanish wines and sherries—can be sampled on the European-style sidewalk patio of longtime Brookline favorite Taberna de Haro. The Beacon Street patio opens whenever the weather is above 50 degrees. Call or email to make reservations.
The small, Huron Village restaurant Talulla has a garden-style patio terrace, including some coveted covered greenhouse tables. Make a reservation to try White Gazpacho with pink muscat grapes and smoked almonds; Ricotta Gnudi with tomato and mushroom sugo; Striped Bass with charred corn and littlenecks; and other creative, seasonally focused dishes from the husband-and-wife team.
Thistle & Leek
London-inspired gastropub Thistle & Leek debuted from a married pair of chefs in 2021. Located in Newton Centre, it has outdoor seating and is open for weekday lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. It serves elevated pub plates like a crispy Potato Rosti with clam dip; Smoked Mackerel Rillettes with cauliflower piccalilli and seeded crackers; and Pork Schnitzel with fingerlings, cucumber, and cherry mustard. Reservations are available.
Time Out Market
The Park Drive edge of the Fenway neighborhood is home to Time Out Market, a food hall featuring some of Boston’s best eats. What to get is not always an easy choice with options like Taqueria el Barrio tacos, Cusser’s lobster roll, a cult-favorite Fried Chicken Sandwich at Bisq, and fresh takes on comfort food at Anoush’ella. Union Square Doughnuts, Gorgeous Gelato, and a nice local beer selection also make this place a prime spot. Outdoor seating overlooks a grassy public space in springtime (and an ice skating rink come winter), plus Trillium’s indoor-outdoor Fenway taproom.
Getting a table on the garden patio at Tres Gatos makes for a memorable evening in Jamaica Plain, where you can tuck into tapas like Tortilla Española with pimentón aioli, Lamb Bocadillo on a house-baked roll, and Paella; then browse an eclectic book-and-record store after paying the tab. Outdoor dining is first-come, first-served.
Trillium Brewing Company
Popular Boston beer makers Trillium Brewing Company have three local locations, which all have outdoor seating and dining options. At the restaurant in Fort Point, snag a seat on the roof deck or outdoor courtyard and pair your draft-poured Fort Point Pale Ale with farm-to-table fare like Composed Oysters with Oenobier Wild Ale mignonette and chili crisp, Roasted Half Chicken, or a house Burger. In the Fenway neighborhood, the taproom and beer garden is conveniently next door to Time Out Market food hall. Trillium’s flagship Canton brewery overlooks the Blue Hills, and has a wood-fired kitchen open Wednesday through Sunday and light snacks available on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Trina’s Starlite Lounge
The backyard patio at Trina’s Starlite Lounge manages to capture much of the beloved quasi-dive’s retro appeal. There are plenty of cocktails, of course, and comforting favorites like Mac & Cheese with crunchy Ritz cracker topping; Fried Chicken with hot pepper syrup; and the Starlite-Style Burger that tops two beef patties with cheese, fries, coleslaw, and aioli. Patio seats are first-come, first-served.
There is plenty of patio to be had at Toro, since the treasured tapas joint has a backyard patio despite its small South End footprint. Reservations are an option, and so are all-time favorites including the Maíz Asado (Grilled Corn) with aioli, lime, and aged cheese; sweet and salty Dátiles con Jamón; and the ever-satisfying Paella Valenciana with rice, shrimp, chorizo, and chicken.
From the same folks as State Park and Mamaleh’s, Vincent’s is an all-day restaurant Friday through Sunday, with dinner served most nights (closed Tuesdays). A number of sidewalk tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis during lunch and brunch hours, and reservations are possible for dinner. On the weekends you’ll find “Bodega Brunch” hours and a menu of breakfast tacos and egg sandwiches. Friday lunch features sandwiches, tacos, and colorful salads. Dinner brings more elevated fare, such as Montreal Spiced Parsnips with béarnaise aioli and garden pickles, and Masa Gnocchi Parisienne. Any time of day you can expect shaken-to-order cocktails from these pros.
Yellow Door Taqueria (South End)
Bright sun-colored umbrellas and picnic tables populate the sidewalk on Harrison Avenue around Yellow Door Taqueria. It’s a lively place to convene with friends for an array of colorful tacos, including a fun take on New England’s fried seafood with Frito Scallop with pickled jalapeño and celery mayonesa and pico slaw; and tequila-soaked drinks like a Spicy Pineapple Margarita. Reservations are available.
Eric Twardzik contributed reporting