The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Dining Across Greater Boston
After years of planning and preparation, the big opening day for Bianca, a family-friendly restaurant in Chestnut Hill, was set for last March, just days after the state-wide shut down due to COVID-19. Instead of setting aside her opening plans until after the pandemic, though, Bianca co-owner Nancy Cushman and her team started setting out tables on the patio and pivoting their focus to takeout and outdoor dining. Since debuting in August, Bianca has quickly become a Newton favorite due to its eclectic menu and two spacious patios. With the weather warming up, Cushman says she’s excited to serve guests al fresco and offer a much-needed change of scenery for friends and family to gather and enjoy a meal together again.
“One of the patios at Bianca overlooks The Street’s Community Green space and it is so refreshing to see families hanging out together, BC students playing ping pong, and friends dining on our patio,” she says. From picturesque patios to dazzling roof decks, there’s no shortage of restaurants like Bianca in and around Boston with outdoor dining setups to swoon over. Whether you’re craving sunny afternoon cocktails or seafood under the stars, this comprehensive guide to outdoor dining at five of the hottest open-air retail and dining destinations in the Boston area: Boston’s Seaport neighborhood, Derby Street Shops in Hingham, Legacy Place in Dedham, MarketStreet Lynnfield and The Street in Chestnut Hill, has all the info you need to plan a memorable meal out on the town.
Legal C Bar, an offshoot of Legal Sea Foods with locations at Derby Street Shops, Legacy Place, and MarketStreet Lynnfield, recently opened its outdoor dining for the season while adapting to the needs pandemic without compromising on its longstanding commitment to quality and freshness. “It is always our priority to offer guests a great experience…and an ingredient of that is a safe, comfortable environment,” says Ann Marie Escobar, president of Legal C Bar.
Patio dining opening dates and menu offerings are still being finalized, so be sure to check with each restaurant before planning your trip. Oh, and don’t forget to wear your mask and respect social distancing guidelines so everyone can safely savor their experience. Bon appetit!
Pick a Destination
Derby Street Shops
The Street Chestnut Hill
Culture and community converge in the vibrant and stylish Seaport neighborhood with plenty of patios and signature outdoor spaces like the Harborwalk and Seaport Common with scenic waterfront views. The state of the art, 24-hour One Seaport Garage takes the stress out of finding a parking space, and leaves more time for enjoying a cocktail atop The Envoy Hotel and YOTEL Boston after your meal. Outdoor dining options include:
Paris Creperie offers a fun and inventive French menu with an ambitious cocktail menu crafted by Boston’s own bartending legend, Brother Cleve. Their expanded outdoor patio in the One Seaport Courtyard is reminiscent of a Parisian al fresco experience. Visitors will enjoy a picturesque setting to enjoy Parisian favorites including omelets and shakshuka, along with new sweet and savory crepes and Le Burger. Paris Creperie’s cocktail menu will be expanding with new La Margarita and Bloody Mary menus, along with a new craft beer program. A dog-friendly brunch will be offered on weekends with special treats for four-legged guests to enjoy.
Scorpion Bar specializes in Mexican-inspired fare and is known for its large-format drinks such as Fiesta Punch, Margarita Pitchers, and Rojo Rocket Sangria and oversized Scorpion Bar bowls. Their outdoor patio is located on Seaport Boulevard and features items including Oysters with Habanero Mignonette, Tacos, and Mexican Pizza.
Open Date: April 15th
The Cisco Brewers Seaport Beer Garden is bringing a slice of Nantucket to Boston with its fourth season in Seaport featuring its award-winning craft beer and wine alongside food from local vendors. The outdoor beer garden features Cisco Brewers’ extensive portfolio of beers including favorites like Whale’s Tale Pale Ale, Grey Lady Wheat Ale, Wandering Haze Hazy IPA, and its seasonal Summer Rays Golden Ale, as well as hard ciders, wines, frosé, and coolers. On draft throughout the summer, Cisco will be serving up a series of refreshing small-batch brews, like a Mango Hazy IPA, and a Session Peach IPA – available only at the beer garden. Beginning Memorial Day Weekend, Cisco Brewers will serve its new Cisco Hard Tea.
Open Date: Early May
Il Giardino is an outdoor dining experience by Seaport favorite Tuscan Kitchen. Located at 65 Northern Avenue, this garden-inspired al fresco oasis returns for its second year and will offer an artisan Italian experience with features like an expansive dining menu, raw bar, gelato cart, pizza oven, and refreshing cocktails. The outdoor dining experience will consist of 23,000 square feet offering a mix of tented dining options and tables under the stars.
Follow @seaportbos on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Derby Street Shops
Derby Street Shops is the South Shore’s leading al fresco shopping and dining destination with an exceptional collection of over 60 stores, restaurants, boutiques. Located in the seaside town of Hingham, Derby Street is equidistant from Cape Cod and Boston making it a perfect stop for not just the South Shore resident, but also commuters looking for classic New England style, charm, and fare. Outdoor dining options include:
Burtons Grill offers fresh contemporary American cuisine. With their scratch kitchen, Burtons is able to customize menu offerings to meet guest’s dietary needs or wants. The menu includes artfully crafted salads, sandwiches, burgers, entrees, and desserts along with specialty cocktails.
From Legal Sea Foods, Legal C Bar emerges – a focused yet full-flavored social urban venue, casual in style. Classic “C” fare like clams, cod, calamari as well as custom cocktails and carafe provides a contemporary, comfortable experience out on the sidewalk dining area “tucked away” in a cozy corner of the shops and outfitted with heaters for cooler days. Additional Legal C bar locations with patios can be found at MarketStreet Lynnfield and Legacy Place.
COMING SOON: Nomai
Open Date: Late Summer/Early Fall 2021
Brian Moy, owner of popular Boston restaurants, Shōjō and Ruckus, will open Nomai, a new restaurant concept located at Hingham’s Derby Street Shops. Inspired by the way his own family gathers together, Nomai will be a destination for couples and long-awaited multi-generational family celebrations, with pan-Asian takes on raw bar offerings, shareable small plates, and larger format sharing portions.
Follow @derbystshops on Instagram and Facebook.
Conveniently located at exit 15 on I-95, Legacy Place in Dedham is the area’s dominant open-air shopping and dining destination, blending urban charm with suburban ease. Its spacious outdoor layout and diverse outdoor dining scene set it apart from anything nearby, allowing guests to enjoy food from their favorite fast casuals like sweetgreen and Cava, and full-service restaurants like Legal C Bar (also at Derby Street Shops & MarketStreet Lynnfield) and Yard House (also at MarketStreet Lynnfield), along with some dog-friendly patios (here’s a handy list). Outdoor dining options include:
Temazcal Tequila Cantina is a vibrant Mexican restaurant and tequila bar featuring Mexican cuisine, warm hospitality, and attentive service. The menu is complemented by an award-winning craft cocktail program and a bar featuring over 200 tequilas. Outdoor dining includes sidewalk seating with umbrellas for shade and a covered area featuring overhead heaters. This allows patrons to enjoy al fresco dining nearly year-round.
With a seasonal Italian menu inspired by the regional cuisines of Italy, Il Massimo’s signature dishes include Spaghettoni alla Carbonara with guanciale and a farm-fresh egg, Pesce al Guazzetto featuring local fish with littleneck clams in a tomato sea broth, and a house-aged rib-eye called Fiorentina. From Sunday Brunch and BuckaShuck Mondays to Happy Hour apps at the bar, Il Massimo is the perfect spot for date night or dinner with family. Il Massimo’s gorgeous patio, located right next to Legacy Place’s brand-new West Elm store, allows for luxe outdoor dining.
COMING SOON: Menya Jiro Ramen
Open Date: Summer 2021
Menya Jiro has been billed as the “Chipotle of ramen” for its build-your-own options. The restaurant’s standard base combines tonkotsu and chicken broth, with a spicy version as well as light and rich broth options. A vegetarian miso broth is also available. Customers then choose from a selection of protein options, such as Menya Jiro’s signature pork char siu, plus vegetable sides and additional toppings and seasonings. Comfortable sidewalk seating located near Menya Jiro at Legacy Place will be available seasonally.
Other Outdoor Dining Options: Caffè Nero, P.F. Chang’s, KINGS Dining & Entertainment, Shake Shack, and B.GOOD
Follow @LegacyPlace on Instagram and Facebook.
MarketStreet is a thriving village center in the heart of Boston’s North Shore where sought-after retail, dining options from fast to fancy, and family entertainment exist together in a perfect mash-up of modern convenience and small-town charm. Pet-friendly, gorgeous green space is all over for enjoying takeout, coffee, or a sweet treat with your pup. Outdoor dining options include:
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
The idea behind Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse is simple, regional Italian foods with a focus on the grill. Everything is made by hand from the best ingredients from the aged steaks to simple-yet-unique pasta creations. Davio’s outdoor seating sits right outside of their restaurant and looks out onto MarketStreet’s ever-popular Green, and the restaurant’s location at The Street in Chestnut Hill will soon open a new, sprawling patio in late Spring.
Yard House is an upscale-casual eatery known for great food, classic rock music, and 130 taps of imported, craft, and specialty ales & lagers. Whether you’re in the mood for a grilled burger and a pint of your favorite ale, or seared ahi and a chilled martini, Yard House has something for everyone. Yard House’s outdoor dining can be found adjacent to their restaurant, in a covered, heated patio, as well as open-air seating in front of their building.
COMING SOON: Acclaimed North Shore restaurant group, Serenitee, will open its exciting New American concept, Alchemy, this summer. Also opening is the successful local poké concept, The OkiPoké, GFG Café, an authentic Greek bakery and café out of New York City and New Jersey, the eponymous Mexican grill and fast-casual innovator, Chipotle, and Squeeze Juice Co., a Boston-born business offering pressed juice, smoothies, and more. Dig into the details here.
Other Outdoor Dining Options: Temazcal (also at Legacy Place), Legal C Bar (also at Derby St. & Legacy Place), and Wahlburgers
Follow @marketstreetlynnfield on Instagram and Facebook
The Street Chestnut Hill
Inspired by some of the best retail streets in the world, The Street brings the inviting, walkable feel of a downtown shopping district to the idyllic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill. In addition to the restaurant’s outdoor patios, guests can enjoy an expansive green space and common area outdoor seating across the entire property, all of which are dog friendly. It’s a destination brimming with town-center-like charm, art, community activities, and every day delights. Outdoor dining options include:
On the Bianca menu, you’ll find something for everyone—Roman Style and wood-fired pizza, sushi, sandwiches on homemade bread, salads, house-made pastas, delicious main courses, and much more. Within Bianca, you can also find Mr. Roni Cups, a Roman-style pizzeria that, in addition to pizza, offers wood-fire rotisseries, and highlights from the Bianca menu for takeout, delivery, and dine-in. Bianca has two spacious patios, including one that overlooks The Street’s Community Greenspace, and another overlooking Hammond Pond. Hot tip: Bianca only makes their popular donuts on Fridays and Saturdays, so be sure to pick them up early in the day before they sell out! Bianca is open 7 days a week for lunch, dinner, and takeout, in addition to weekend brunch. They will also be hosting a special Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday, May 9th.
The two-story seafood emporium is a classic neighborhood favorite in Chestnut Hill since 1975. On the ground level, Legal Sea Foods’ popular fish market offers the freshest Seafood to take home. On the 2nd level, guests will enjoy full-service dining with a large raw bar, open kitchen, and a glass-enclosed lounge with a retractable roof in the warmer months, in addition to an outdoor patio overlooking Hammond Pond, one of the best patio views in Chestnut Hill!
OddFellows Ice Cream Co. Is a small-batch ice cream company that has concocted over 500 wacky and quirky flavors, alongside reimagined and improved classics. In addition to scoops, OddFellows offers boozy “adult desserts” including Affogatos, boozy root beer floats, coffee frappes, and a rotating selection of local craft beer and natural wine. OddFellows at The Street offers a large family-friendly, dog-friendly patio to enjoy scoops and fun cocktails with family and friends. Cups, cones, and pints can also be taken to go and enjoyed on The Green.
Other Outdoor Dining Options: Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, patio opening late Spring also at MarketStreet Lynnfield), Shake Shack, Aquitaine, Blue Bottle Coffee
Follow @shopthestreet on Instagram and Facebook.
With five unique open-air destinations across Massachusetts, WS Development creates places people love with spaces to roam and room to breathe. Experience an eclectic mix of outdoor dining, distinctive retail, unexpected art, and family-friendly community events. Walkable, welcoming and open year-round. Discover WS DevelopmentThis is a paid partnership between WS Development and Boston Magazine's City/Studio