Boston’s Best Patios for Winter (Yes, Winter) Outdoor Dining
Between the insulated igloos, fire pits, and hot cocktails, they'll keep you toasty all season long.
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Typically when the weather gets cold, New England’s frigid, bone-chilling weather forces restaurant dining to move exclusively indoors. But last winter, when the pandemic limited indoor options—and when it felt a little too soon for sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers inside—Boston’s restaurants came up with a solution. Many solutions, actually.
Last year’s heated igloos, insulated greenhouses, and propane heaters aplenty have re-emerged this year. Stop by one of the more than two dozen spots below for an outdoor experience with fantastic food, fire pits, and hot cocktails, too.
75 on Liberty Wharf
When in the mood for upscale New England-inspired fare, 75 on Liberty Wharf is a smart first choice. This winter, the Seaport spot is bringing back its “Bubble Village”: a collection of ten heated, individual igloos on the deck. Even on a frigid day, you can nibble on crab cakes with chipotle aioli or indulge in lobster gnocchi while overlooking the harbor in your own private bubble of warmth.
220 Northern Ave., Boston, 617-227-0754, 75onlibertywharf.com.
Stunning views of the waterfront, Zakim Bridge, and watercolor sunsets are accessible all winter long thanks to Alcove’s arsenal of outdoor patio heaters. Soak up the scenery while sipping on sports-themed cocktails before a game at the Garden, or choose from a new rotating selection of hot and cold punches to accompany your meal of locally sourced New American cuisine—maybe the soul-warming pumpkin soup with curried coconut cream.
50 Lovejoy Wharf, Boston, 617-248-0050, alcoveboston.com.
The oysters are served on ice, but that doesn’t mean your fingers need to feel frozen. Enjoy your bivalves outside at this South End seafood favorite’s cozy back patio, which is equipped with heaters and overhead coverage to keep the winter weather at bay.
550 Tremont St., Boston, 617-423-0550, bandgoysters.com.
The Bowery Bar
If it’s vintage-tavern vibes you seek, the Bowery Bar in Dorchester is your spot. And if you’re looking to cozy up inside heated, private yurts (decorated with twinkling lights around the holidays), the Lower Mills mainstay is also your spot. Up until the warm weather rolls around, they do require a food and drink minimum—but meeting it won’t be hard to reach with a rotating draft beer selection and a menu full of comfort food.
2261 Dorchester Ave., Lower Mills, Dorchester, 617-698-2261, bowery-bar.com.
City Tap House
For craft beer and elevated bar food, City Tap House is where it’s at. Enjoy rib-sticking favorites like shrimp and grits or blue crab mac n’ cheese around four outdoor fire pits. Don’t pass up a “Hand Warmer”—a create-your-own-cocktail special, with a selection of bases and boozes to choose from. (Our favorite? Hot chocolate spiked with Skrewball’s peanut butter whiskey.)
10 Boston Wharf Rd., Boston, 617-904-2748, citytap.com/location/fort-point.
At the corner of Comm Ave. and Mass Ave., Deuxave will offer dining en plein air as long as diners are willing to brave the cold. The modern French-American cuisine tastes just as good under heat lamps, but the staff does invite guests to bring a blanket on cooler nights.
371 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-517-5915, deuxave.com.
This Dorchester spot’s industrial-chic outdoor patio space is a hot spot in the summer. And come winter? It’s got heaters galore, as well as overhead covering, making it a comfortable locale for comfort food (and creative cocktails) even when the temperatures drop.
1236 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, 617-265-4490, dbarboston.com.
Earls Kitchen + Bar
This Canadian chain’s Prudential Center location not only touts exceptional food (created by their international Chef Collective), but an expansive rooftop patio, too. It’s open all winter, so you can enjoy their signature tequila drinks and sweeping views all year.
800 Boylston St., Unit 107, Boston, 857-957-0949, earls.ca.
Starting in November, Gather’s Seaport patio will get a winter makeover with a collection of heated igloos. Filled with ambience-enhancing string lights, the District Hall spot will be decked out for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, when you can snag signature plates like the chicken and waffle bites.
75 Northern Ave, Boston, 617-982-7220, gatherboston.com.
A covered patio with heaters and a giant stone fireplace? An outdoor diner’s dream awaits at Cambridge fan-favorite, Harvest, where the patio will remain open until at least December.
44 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-868-2255, harvestcambridge.com.
Harvard Square’s resident farm-to-table restaurant offers a changing menu each day. Here’s one thing you can always count on, though: the heated outdoor patio with provided blankets to keep you cozy even on the most brisk of winter days. Outdoor seats are first-come, first-served, so make sure to get there early.
1 Bennett St., Cambridge, 617-661-5005, henriettastable.com.
Between the small plates (like pork and shrimp potstickers and kimchi fried rice), the specialty sushi rolls (try one topped with truffle salsa) and the premium sake, you shouldn’t need any more convincing to head to Hojoko. If you do, though, the brand new batch of heaters on the extra toasty patio will probably do the trick.
1271 Boylston St., Boston, 617-670-0507, hojokoboston.com.
The Envoy Hotel’s Lookout Rooftop is one of the most popular spots during the summer, with sweeping views of both the city and the waterfront. And it likely will be this winter, too, with heated igloos boasting the same views. They’ve also set up “Ice Boxes,” or private, glass-walled pods with fire pits and lounge-ready couches.
70 Sleeper St. (Envoy Hotel), Boston, 617-338-3030, theenvoyhotel.com.
Loyal Nine’s semi-covered and heated space, affectionately nicknamed “The Barn,” as well as its open-air patio, serve up everything from cappuccinos and coffee cake during the day to oysters and double-cheeseburgers at night (and all winter long).
660 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-945-2576, loyalninecambridge.com.
Mare Oyster Bar
North End staple Mare is known for its extensive raw bar (anyone for a shellfish tower?) and seafood-focused bites. Just as destination-worthy, however, is its sunroom-like back patio, complete with glass walls, a retractable roof, and fire pits galore.
223 Hanover St., Boston, 617-723-6273, mareoysterbar.com.
Harvard Square’s Charles Hotel is home to Noir, which boasts a heated, covered patio and an inventive list of craft cocktails. For the best of both worlds, take a seat and start sipping on the warm apple cider spiked with rum, or the “Martini Expresso,” with cold brew and cookie butter syrup.
1 Bennett St., Cambridge, 617-661-8010, noir-bar.com.
Petit Robert Bistro
Two heated greenhouses will soon take up residence on the front and back patios of Petit Robert Bistro, a South End staple for French cuisine. The back greenhouse will fit up to 30 people—perfect for a holiday season gathering or New Year’s celebration.
480 Columbus Ave., Boston, 617-867-0600, petitrobertbistro.com.
Porto’s side patio—enclosed and covered by a retractable awning—means the Back Bay eatery’s Mediterranean fare (from James Beard Award-winning chef Jody Adams) can be enjoyed al fresco straight through winter. A can’t-miss? The fresh, homemade pasta with black truffles and wild mushrooms.
Ring Rd., Boston, 617-536-1234, porto-boston.com.
Publico Street Bistro
Come December, the interior courtyard at this Southie bistro will be known as “The Lodge at Publico,” outfitted with apres-ski-inspired digs, including faux moose and deer heads, flannel blankets, and even an artificial snow machine. Once you’re sitting by the fire pits sipping hot cocktails, you might forget that you’re not actually in Aspen.
11 Dorchester St., South Boston, 617-622-5700, publicoboston.com.
Season to Taste
Custom-built by chef-owner Robert Harris, Season to Taste’s five private cabanas are the pinnacle of winter-proof outdoor dining. Outfitted with electric fireplaces and pendant heaters, they’ll keep you warm while enjoying the likes of house-made gnocchi and goat-cheese-stuffed squash (even when it’s almost freezing).
2447 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-945-9535, seasoncambridge.com.
Six \ West
Once December rolls around, a couple dozen greenhouses will make their way to Six West. Each is equipped with an individual heater, furnished with a mix of couches and tables, and offers up full dinner and cocktail menus. Don’t snooze on hot cocktails like ciders, cocoas, and Irish coffees.
6 West Broadway, Boston, 857-496-0245, sixwestbroad.com.
Heavy on ambiance and Venetian-style cuisine, the intimate back patio at SRV (which stands for Serene Republic of Venice, because we know you were wondering) is an outdoor dining locale you don’t want to pass up. Under heat lamps and shimmering string lights, indulge in squid ink halibut or agnolotti with sunchokes and kombu.
569 Columbus Ave., Boston, 617-536-9500, srvboston.com.
State Street Provisions
Permanent heaters are attached right to the exterior of State Street Provisions, right over its Atlantic Ave and State Street patios. The cozy atmosphere is boosted with some free-standing heaters (and a warm bowl of lobster bisque or clam chowder), so you’ll be well-covered when it comes to to keeping away the cold.
255 State St., Boston, 617-863-8363, statestreetprovisions.com.
Fine dining at Cambridge’s Talulla will look a little different this winter, with five weather-tight and individually heated greenhouses—a cozy setting for parties of two. Choose from the full a la carte menu or enjoy the five course tasting menu (with wine pairings, of course).
377 Walden St., Cambridge, 617-714-5584, talullacambridge.com.
Toro is serving up its award-winning Spanish tapas menu until the New England weather is too cold for even the most stubborn Bostonians to brave. Opt for the warm dishes like patatas bravas, pimientos, and, of course, paella.
1704 Washington St., Boston, 617-536-4300, toro-restaurant.com.
Woods Hill Pier 4
This Seaport spot’s five igloos are furnished to the max: You’ll find space heaters, sheepskin rugs, and fur-covered seats with views of the harbor. It has all the comforts of home—and, thanks to standout chef Charlie Foster, much better farm-to-table cuisine than anything we could whip up in the kitchen.
300 Pier 4 Blvd., Boston, 617-981-4577, woodshillpier4.com.