Destination Al Fresco
An hour and an engine are all you’ll need to hit up these worthy waterfront eateries beyond Boston’s borders.
Photo by Robert Boyd
30 Minutes or Less
A road trip for the time-challenged, gas-thrifty crowd. A 15-minute drive gets you seaside at picturesque Marina Bay for competently executed fried seafood and one of the very best French dip sandwiches (sliced prime rib, lots of horseradish) in Greater Boston.
332 Victory Rd., North Quincy, 617-471-3511, captainfishbones.com.
Red Rock Bistro
Make the drive for the $1 oyster specials (Mondays), lobster pizza, live music, and the celebrated Key lime pie martinis. Breathtaking sunsets show up nightly, and if you get homesick, yes, that really is the Boston skyline in the distance.
141 Humphrey St., Swampscott, 781-595-1414, redrockbistro.com.
Reliable Northern Italian fare by chef Paul Wahlberg attracts long lines, as does the sound of the rollicking waves just yards away. Look for the words "wood grilled" on the reasonably priced menu.
145 Nantasket Ave., Hull, 781-925-6336, bridgemansrestaurant.com.
Despite the suburban-nightclub name, Finz’s Pickering Wharf backdrop is lovely, the raw shellfish is flawless, and the buffalo calamari (drizzled with blue cheese) is worth every calorie.
76 Wharf St., Salem, 978-744-8485, hipfinz.com.
Come for the quick, casual eats at metal tables along the sands of Marblehead’s Devereux Beach. The basic beach-shack sustenance—fried seafood, clam rolls, steak tips—is solid, though the eponymous rickeys are, alas, only lime-spiked.
105 Ocean Ave., Marblehead, 781-631-6700, limerickeys.com.
My Place by the Sea
Set along the rocky coast of Rockport Harbor at the point of Bearskin Neck, this New American restaurant’s patio, dotted with umbrellas, is a contender for most romantic patio dining in all New England. Bring money.
Bearskin Neck, Rockport, 978-546-9667, myplacebythesea.com.
For those who prefer fried clams served in a fine-dining setting. The raw bar is extensive, the mixology targets discriminating imbibers, and there’s plenty of parking for your car and boat.
73 Rocky Neck Ave., Gloucester, 978-283-7967, rudderrestaurant.com.
authentic as you’ll find for seafood-shack dining, with plastic tables outside overlooking Plymouth’s commercial waterfront. The lobster dinners are excellent, as is anything fried. But if you spot freshly caught bluefish in late summer, get that—broiled, with butter.
15 Town Pier, Plymouth, 508-746-0261, woodsseafoods.com.
Go on to the next page for four impromptu picnics with great views…