Best of Boston

2002 Best Al Fresco Restaurant, Affordable

Casa Romero

If you think outdoor dining in the Back Bay is only about people-watching, take a detour to this hidden enclave off Gloucester Street. The restaurant’s tiles are direct from Puebla, Mexico, and so is the atmosphere: Tangled vines curl lazily over the wall, rays of moonlight bounce off margarita glasses, and the scents of lemon, garlic, and peppers mix in the air. Dig into a cactus and tomato salad, followed by the grilled filet mignon and tomatillos, then cap it off with a creamy flan and cinnamon-laced Mexican coffee. Suddenly, you couldn’t feel farther from the bustle of the Back Bay.

30 Gloucester St., Boston, 617-536-4341,