The 20 Coolest New Outdoor Restaurant Patios in Boston in 2020
A rooftop lounge with skyline views, relaxed new beer gardens, and other exciting al fresco spaces for the summer of social distancing.
Hungry for more time outside? Good news: Local leaders throughout the state have made it easier for restaurants to offer outdoor dining for this unusual summer. (Just look at the transformation of the North End.) Plus, many of the most anticipated new restaurants to hit the dining scene in 2019 are actually opening their patios for the first time right now. Below, check out a mix of fresh new spots to get fresh air—at socially distanced tables, of course.
Before heading out to dinner, check to see if your destination requires a reservation. Don’t forget to wear your mask there, and respect social distancing guidelines posted at the restaurant. Stay safe, be kind, tip well, and have a nice summer, Boston. (Want even more outdoor dining ideas? Find our recently updated, city-wide list of superlative patios here.)
Brato Brewhouse + Kitchen
Brighton’s new brewpub just debuted an outdoor beer garden in a private, paved lot along Glencoe Street. Strung with lights and furnished with garden chairs, tables, umbrellas, and repurposed whiskey barrels, it’s a perfect place to sip brewer Alex Corona’s summer saison, as well as fresh fare from chef Jonathan Gilman—say, a Korean chili-spiced lobster roll or weekend brunch. Reservations are recommended. Takeout is also available. Brato is open Monday through Thursday from 4-10 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
190 N. Beacon St., Brighton, 617-903-3766, bratobk.com.
The Brendan Behan Pub
This beloved Jamaica Plain watering hole had a patio in the works well before it was clear that summer 2020 would require one. Located behind the pub in a private backyard, the brick patio is secluded behind high, wooden fencing and has stone garden plots populated with pretty flowers. The Behan has an extensive craft beer list and regular food pop-ups.
378 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-522-5386, brendanbehanjp.com.
A spacious place to share in Cali-Mex fare is now open at the South End’s Revolution Hotel. The stone patio has spaced-out tables, plus an out-of-this-world selection of snacks like esquites, or street corn salad; shrimp rojo ceviche with tomato, lime, and tequila; and tons of tacos, like duck and pork carnitas with plantains and green mole. (Frozen mango margaritas also taste even better al fresco.) Reservations are strongly encouraged. Cósmica is open for takeout and patio dining Monday through Thursday from 4:30-10 p.m., Fridays from 4:30-11 p.m., Saturdays from noon-11 p.m., and Sundays from noon-10 p.m.
The Revolution Hotel, 40 Berkeley St., South End, Boston, 617-313-7878, cosmicaboston.com.
Dorchester Brewing Company and M&M BBQ
Its glass-enclosed Hopservatory beer hall, debuted in January, remains closed for now. But Dorchester Brewing Company’s new rooftop addition also includes an exterior deck with open-air tables and breathtaking views of the Boston skyline. Along with a wide spectrum of house beers, plus fresh brews from guest brands like Lone Pine Brewing Co., the place also boasts access to a full menu from in-house restaurant M&M BBQ, so dive in to chef-owner Geo Lambert’s famous ribs or the “Fenway” soft pretzel with smoked cheese sauce. The brewery also has outdoor seating on the ground level, and though reservations aren’t required, they are accepted. Both DBco. and M&M are open daily for takeout and patio dining at 11:30 a.m. Outdoor seating ends at 9 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays; 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; and 12:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Dryft has embarked on its first outdoor dining season on its nearly half-acre plaza overlooking America’s oldest public beach. The expansive patio can accommodate up to 100 diners with tables spaced at least eight feet apart. The latest from restaurateur Michael Aldi (Pier 6, Reelhouse, and Mija Cantina), Dryft’s menu is seafood-focused and leans Italian—think pasta dishes, steaks, and a selection of raw bar offerings. It’s open daily from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., including weekend brunch.
500 Ocean Ave., Revere, 781-629-1842, dryftrevere.com.
Faces Brewing Company
Malden has a brand-new brewpub, which is now pouring fresh beers like Ultrawave New England IPA, Modern Age Irish Stout, and Mango Blackberry Mahalo sour beer. There’s also a full menu of sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, and more by chef Ezra Gold, an alum of Alden & Harlow and Waypoint. Pork belly chicharrons with fresno lime aioli and tamarind sweet-and-sour sauce is a standout from the snack menu, but you’ll also find more substantial offerings like the Mondo burger, with bacon, beer cheese, and tomato chutney; and the Homegrown farro bowl, with charred fennel, roasted tomatoes, feta, and lemon-honey vinaigrette. To start, Faces is open daily for takeout and patio dining, from 3-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 3-10 p.m. on Fridays; noon-10 p.m. on Saturdays; and noon-5 p.m. on Sundays.
50 Pleasant St., Malden, 781-851-4672, facesbrewing.com.
Guy’s Tequila Cocina
An al fresco Latin American-inspired oasis is now open for takeout and outdoor dining on Causeway Street, at Guy Fieri’s first Boston restaurant. The patio at the Hub on Causeway offers plenty of margaritas and other agave-focused drinks, plus the Mayor of Flavortown’s signature trashcan nachos, dishes like fajitas and barbacoa cauliflower, churros, and more.
110 Causeway St., Boston, 617-896-5222, guyscocina.com.
Flock to the Kendall Square restaurant that chef Chris Parsons opened last year for buckets of buttermilk fried chicken, fresh oysters and shrimp from the raw bar, as well as cool craft beers, ciders, and cocktails. Lily P’s reopens Thursday, June 18, with patio reservations available from 4-8 p.m. for its first weekend back.
50 Binney St., Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-225-2900, lilypschicken.com.
The casual counterpart of nearby Lola 42, head here for burgers, fries (and foie gras fries) this summer. Spanning a full city block in front of the former Babbo restaurant, the Lola Burger patio is welcoming walk-ins with the proper protocols in place, as well as its full menu. Along with upscale pub grub (also available for takeout), there are beers, bubbles, and non-boozy milkshakes. It’s open daily from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
11 Fan Pier Blvd, Seaport District, Boston, lolaburger.com.
LongCross Bar and Kitchen
The latest from Gregory Coughlin, owner of popular pubs Olde Magoun’s Saloon and Blackmoor Bar + Kitchen, opened at Medford’s Station Landing last year. LongCross offers some menu items that will be familiar to fans of his Somerville and Charlestown spots, such as clam chowder, fish and chips, grilled steak tips with cherry peppers and fingerlings, and craft beers from around the world. But it also offers something totally new: Detroit-style deep-dish pizza. LongCross is open for takeout and patio dining nightly, Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from noon-10 p.m.
501 Fellsway, Medford, 781-874-1033, longcrossbar.com.
Chef Tiffani Faison’s “triumphant” take on throwback, fancy Italian steakhouses is back. For the takeout and patio dining era, she’s rolled out a more casual menu (think: shrimp scampi, an Italian sub, a “’roni calzoni,” salads, and more)—but there’s still a prime, dry-aged rib eye, as well as plenty of gin and bubbles to go around. Plus, expect fun, summertime desserts from Best of Boston pastry chef Dee Steffen Chinn. Beginning this weekend, Orfano is reservation-only for patio dining, Fridays from 5-9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 4-9 p.m. (Orfano takeout is also available on Thursday nights.)
1391 Boylston St., Boston, 617-916-9600, orfanoboston.com.
Next to the Italian food emporium Eataly Back Bay is a new, French-ish outdoor cafe. Rochambeau’s takeout and patio menu features the likes of rosé, patio-friendly classic cocktails, and shareable plates by chef Matt Gaudet. The former West Bridge chef does bistro fare with a twist, a la tuna tartare with avocado and puffed rice; a surf-and-turf set of sliders on brioche (lobster salad and flank steak); pecan-smoked ribs, and more. Rochambeau is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon-8 p.m.
900 Boylston St., Boston, 617-247-0400, rochambeauboston.com.
One longtime favorite debuting outdoor dining for the first time this summer is chef Cassie Piuma’s Sarma in Somerville. Reservations are required, and you’ll choose vegetarian or not—then settle in for a parade of Eastern Mediterranean mezze in the sunshine. Sarma also offers takeout of a la carte menu choices. It’s open nightly from 4-8 p.m.
249 Pearl St., Somerville, 617-764-4464, sarmarestaurant.com.
This rotisserie-fueled café hatched last year from the team at Branch Line, which is well-known for its Watertown patio. The casual, Cambridge counterpart also has outdoor space—18 socially distanced tables along Broadway—which is now open Monday through Saturday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (8:30 on Fridays and Saturdays).
1 Broadway, Kendall Square, Cambridge, shybird.com.
Rooftop at Six / West
This new rooftop bar played host to a few sunsets when it first opened last fall, but now the Cambria Boston hotel’s restaurant is back for its first full season. Head up to the 4,000-square foot terrace for skyline views and an all-day menu of plates like a daily flatbread; watermelon salad with basil, avocado, and feta; and rigatoni bolognese. Plus, plenty of drinks—hello, frozen Irish coffee. Rooftop reservations are required.
Six / West, Cambria Hotel, 6 West Broadway, South Boston, 857-496-0245, sixwestbroad.com.
Chef Sarah Wade has been dishing out craft comfort food from her downtown restaurant throughout the pandemic, and now she’s taken it outdoors with patio dining for lunch and dinner. Expect “sexy snacks” like homemade cheese-its and dip; grain bowls and sandwiches, including a lobster roll with a citrus-chive mayo; and vanilla-ricotta doughnut holes. You can also sip Stillwater’s “kickass cocktails” on the spacious, Chinatown-adjacent patio. It’s open Monday through Friday from noon-8 p.m.; Saturdays from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., with limited weekend brunch dishes until 3 p.m.
120 Kingston St., Boston, 617-936-3079, stillwaterboston.com.
Another COVID-era setup, the intimate and elegant Talulla has taken over the patio of a next-door coworking space to debut a 12-seat “summer terrace.” Chef-owner Conor Dennehy has created a new menu appropriate for the terrace—which is equipped with a grill—and is also now serving weekend lunch for the first time ever. His wife and service partner Danielle Ayer, meanwhile, is curating a selection of patio-friendly wines and lunchtime beers, including special brews from Hill Farmstead in Vermont. The Talulla Summer Terrace is open Thursday through Sunday from 5-9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (takeout hours differ).
377 Walden St., Huron Village, Cambridge, 617-714-5584, talullacambridge.com.
Table by Jen Royle
One of the many pop-up patios populating the North End this summer, the street space outside the Table by Jen Royle is distanced by lush green ferns. Instead of sharing your meal with the whole party, as is the typical experience at the family-style restaurant debut from sports reporter-turned-chef Royle, you’ll dine on the likes of burrata and prosciutto with pistachio pesto, meatballs and San Marzano tomatoes, and seared octopus with charred fennel with your own party only (and everyone gets their own serving utensils).
445 Hanover St., North End, Boston, 857-250-4286, tableboston.com.
The Washington Street tables are back out in front of Ken Oringer’s Spanish spot—but this season, and for future summers, Toro also has a brand-new hidden patio behind the restaurant. The brick patio has bistro lighting and is shrouded in greenery, with socially distanced tables available for both reservations—a Toro first—and walkups. The permanent addition, set to open later this week, will eventually add an awning and heat lamps to make it comfortable no matter the weather. While Toro is currently open daily from 4-9 p.m. for takeout and front-patio dining, stay tuned for the Toro back patio debut.
1704 Washington St., South End, Boston, toro-restaurant.com.
Trina’s Starlite Lounge
A lot behind this beloved bar has been transformed into an outdoor lounge with retro furniture and twinkling lights for the summer of social distancing. Email reservations are available Thursday through Sunday between 4-7:45 p.m. In addition, next-door sister spot Parlor Sports has temporarily transformed into the takeout-only Starlite Snack Shack, dishing out soft-serve ice cream, hot dogs, and more through a walk-up window.
3 Beacon St., Somerville, 617-576-0006, trinastarlitelounge.com.
Yellow Door Taqueria (South End)
Top-notch taco shop Yellow Door Taqueria, born in Dorchester, expanded into the South End’s Ink Block development last year, and has a spacious patio along Harrison Ave. The property itself has expanded this summer, as Ink Block Al Fresco, which features a YDT “margarita garden” in the driveway space between the taqueria and neighbor Bar Mezzana. The dine-in menu, meanwhile, is stocked with tacos, elote, and fresh guacamole. Along with takeout, it’s open daily at 4 p.m. and weekends at noon.
354 Harrison Ave., South End, 857.239.9276, yellowdoortaqueria.com.