Boston’s Best Outdoor Dining – 52 Top Patios, Decks & More
From lush hidden gardens in the South End to raucous roof decks in Harvard Square, here are the sexiest, liveliest, prettiest, chillest places to dine al fresco this season.
Dine in full view of the historic Charlestown Navy Yard and the USS Constitution on the roof deck, or on the huge, first-floor patio. Downstairs, there’s an outdoor bar, with rosé magnums and cocktails like the Captain’s Mistress, a refreshing sparkler with tequila, Aperol, grapefruit juice, rhubarb bitters, and cava. Plus: There’s a complimentary (weather-dependent) water taxi directly to the equally scenic East Boston sister spot, ReelHouse.
1 8th St., Charlestown, 617-337-0054, pier6boston.com.
The patio at Jody Adams’ Mediterranean venture offers lounge seating, views of the Copley block, and an outdoor bar to boot. Take in the scenery over plates of raw fluke, squid ink bucatini, and barrel-aged Greek feta and olives.
Ring Rd., Back Bay, 617-536-1234, porto-boston.com.
Comfy orange couches, fire pits, landscaped trees, and an outdoor bar complement the sweeping views of the Mystic River from the year-round deck. In warmer months, the retractable roof is gone, for ultimate al fresco enjoyment of street food-inspired plates like Shanghai-braised pork shank with polenta, a crispy garbanzo burger, and togarashi-dusted street corn.
661 Assembly Row, Somerville, 617-616-5561, river-bar.com.
Get cozy on this small veranda, tucked into a former alleyway alongside the converted diner car. Chef John Delpha’s smoked chicken wings, garlic shrimp ‘n’ grits, and Asian barbecue hog’s head are pretty much meant to be enjoyed family-style, at picnic tables, underneath the pergola.
381 Summer St., Davis Square, Somerville, 617-629-9500, rosebudkitchen.com.
The Salty Pig
Step off the Orange Line at Back Bay station and settle in on this 60-seat patio to create your own charcuterie board with house-cured pig parts, and have few slices of chef Michael Bergin’s stone-grilled pizza. The fare partners perfectly with the restaurant’s wide selection of Old World wines, craft beers, and cocktails.
130 Dartmouth St., South End, Boston, 617-536-6200, thesaltypig.com.
This 40-seat roof deck, with umbrella-shaded high-top tables and iron patio furniture, is a haven above bustling Harvard Square. Your pre-concert, al fresco feast is complete with snacks like Nashville hot wings, barbecue Brussels sprouts topped with Fritos for crunch, and bacon-habanero deviled eggs.
52 Church St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-547-5200, sinclaircambridge.com.
This herbaceous patio in Roslindale is one for the books. The rustic outdoor space offers plenty of shade and greenery, perfect for an al fresco meal of spicy mussels and fontina-stuffed veal.
22 Birch St., Roslindale, 617-323-4595, sophiasgrotto.com.
Grab one of 12 seats on the front patio along Columbus Avenue to see and be seen, but the 46-seat, hidden deck behind the restaurant is where to have a secluded feast. The outstanding restaurant’s full menu is available on both patios.
569 Columbus Ave., South End, Boston, 617-536-9500, srvboston.com.
What’s better than a heaping tray loaded with brisket burnt ends, fried chicken, and Tiffani Faison’s softball-sized biscuits? Devouring said tray at Sweet Cheeks’ outside bar with a cold can of BBC Steel Rail, or a mason jar filled with whiskey-spiked sweet tea.
1381 Boylston St., Fenway, Boston, 617-266-1300, sweetcheeksq.com.
The covered patio at this Fenway area restaurant accommodates 30, and is just a short jaunt from the ballpark. Enjoy offerings from the Expo Kitchen, including small plates of roasted meatballs, slices of Neapolitan and Detroit-style pizza, and brunch options on the weekend. Stay tuned on social media for more information about patio parties during Red Sox day games.
69 Kilmarnock St., Fenway/Kenmore, 617-421-4470, tapestry.restaurant.
Located in the heart of the Financial District, this sidewalk seating area overlooks the vibrant Greenway, making for excellent people-watching to go along with chef Jody Adams’ butter-poached lobster, fun cocktails like the bright blue Fish Tank, and an extensive rosé menu.
540 Atlantic Ave., Waterfront, Boston, 617-451-1234, trade-boston.com.
Gambas (prawns) a la plancha, warm Medjool dates, lamb bocadillo, and other tapas and pinchos from Stephen Marcaurelle are as tempting as the vinyl soundtrack and the small but verdant patio. As is the sherry collection.
470 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, Boston, 617-477-9209, tresgatosjp.com.
This streetside patio is directly across from the Broadway MBTA station, so there’s a lot of people-watching potential to tap into—as well as an extensive list of 40 draft beers. Bar staples like bourbon-hoisin steam buns, and the only Chicago-style deep dish pies in town make it the perfect spot to post up for the day.
22 W Broadway, South Boston, 617-752-4206, wordenhall.com.
This list was first published in 2016, and is updated annually.