The MFA Is Opening an Outdoor Café in July

The colorful patio will serve sandwiches, gelato, and more.

Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The MFA entrance. / Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

It’s officially summer, which means there will certainly soon be days you need to escape the heat in the temperature-controlled halls of the Museum of Fine Arts. It’s the best museum in Boston, after all! And now, you can fuel your museum visits al fresco, with a new dining option right on site: The MFA debuted a colorful café at the Huntington Ave. entrance on July 2.

The outdoor café is one of more than 50 new programs of director Matthew Teitelbaum’s “MFA 2020” strategic plan, aimed at bringing in new audiences to the museum.

The full-service café is open, weather-permitting, every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., as well as Wednesday evenings from 3-9 p.m. (the museum stays open until 10 p.m. that night). The patio seats about 20 at bright tables and Adirondack chairs, and is shaded by umbrellas painted by students of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. There is also ample space on the front lawn for picnicking.

Brian Flagg, executive chef of the museum, designed the crowd-pleasing menu of sandwiches, and is also responsible for a rotating lineup of gelato and sorbetto flavors—check out the menu below. There is also a selection of cold soft drinks, including Izze and Honest Tea.

The outdoor café will have extended hours to coincide with special events like Sunset Cinema, and Free Fun Fridays, which return on July 21 “Matisse in the Studio” continues through early July, and on Saturday, July 8, the museum brings in Night Shift Brewing to toast a successful run of the traveling exhibition—the MFA is its only U.S. stop—with Matisse, a crisp, floral saison with lavender.

Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-267-9300,

MFA Outdoor Café

Roasted Pulled Chicken Salad Sandwich
Tarragon Citrus Mayo, Spinach, Carrots, Celery on a White Baguette

Black Forest Ham Sandwich
Havarti, Creamy Wholegrain Mustard, Baby Lettuces on a White Baguette

Baby Kale Salad
Red/White Quinoa, Toasted Sunflower Seeds, Snap Peas, Radishes, Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Selection of Gelato and Sorbetto, including
Vanilla Bean
Sea Salt Caramel
Cookies & Cream
Mint Chocolate Chip
Mixed Berry
Blood Orange

Deep River Potato Chips

Note: This post was updated July 6 to reflect that the café has opened.