Best of Boston

2003 Best Al Fresco Restaurant, Affordable

Armani Cafe

When it comes to sidewalk repasts, it’s been years since we felt the call of Newbury Street—too much pretense, not enough table space. But something is very back about the Armani Café. Maybe it’s the improved menu, rejiggered under executive chef Seth Woods to include such straightforward, reasonably priced Italian staples as fettuccine alla carbonara and tiramisu. Or maybe it’s the self-consciously Euro stylishness of it all, which goes from laughable to lovable as soon as the black-clad waitstaff serves up your first glass of wine. Or maybe it’s just the luxuriously wide, sun-dappled stretch of pavement that feels tailor-made for scoping out Newbury’s passing parade of humanity.

214 Newbury St., Boston, 877-619-7813,