26 Outdoor Dining Spots to Enjoy in Boston This Summer

From a floating oyster bar to rooftop lounges with breathtaking views.

What would we do without outdoor dining? It saved both restaurants and our sanity over the past year and now, al fresco dining is back in a big way. Outdoor pleasures can be attained at patioed restaurants all over town as well as the beer gardens, wineries, and distilleries that waited months and months to fully reopen. So, where do we start? From rooftops to back patios to cozy sidewalk setups, the options are near endless—if you can actually snag a seat, that is. Make those reservations early and often, folks.

Tall Ship Boston

East Boston

This is about as quintessentially Boston as a restaurant gets—which is to say, it’s on an actual boat. The floating oyster emporium is docked at Pier One in East Boston and features three mahogany bars built around the grand mast. The menu gets right to the point with oysters, shrimp and lobster cocktail, sushi, charcuterie boards, and many a summery cocktail, including five frozen drinks. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Alcove

West End

It’s the outdoor space that has been begging for its close-up ever since opening day, and now it’s fully yours for the taking. Time for some oysters, salmon poke, charred avocado, and summery cocktails like the Wimbledon (strawberry Pimm’s #1, cucumber, ginger ale), all served with a side of epic water views. 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Bar Mezzana

South End

We all have a lot of Aperol spritzes to catch up on this summer.—and that’s just the start of the refreshing lineup here. Crudo, homemade pastas, summer salads, and grilled black bass make for the perfect warm weather spread on Bar Mezzana’s epic front patio, a prime spot for people-watching. 
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Cunard Tavern

East Boston

Yes, the roof deck is open, as is the sidewalk patio. Kick back for a relaxed meal of moules frites, blackberry and asparagus salad, and the famous Sam Cunard burger topped with fried clams. Then return for a brunch menu that includes chocolate chip pancakes and croissant French toast. 
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Saltie Girl

Back Bay

Before you can say, “But Saltie Girl doesn’t have patio space,” Kathy Sidell’s on it. She moved the Saltie GIrl menu over to the MET Back Bay’s sunken patio last summer; this summer she’s serving a full menu of raw bar items, grilled lobster, fried clams, cocktails, and the entire tinned seafood collection. Just expect a long wait—the setting is just that appealing. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Craigie on Main

Central Square

Last summer, chef-owner Craigie on Main Tony Maws ingeniously pivoted by creating Craigie Next Door, an outdoor dining area in the adjacent parking lot. The al fresco joys continue this year, as the restaurant dishes up family-style meals that Maws cooks himself on the outdoor grills. You don’t get a choice in the day’s selection (vegetarians excepting), but with food this satiating, you’ll hardly be complaining. (Note: the restaurant will be closed throughout the month of August.)
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Atlántico

South End

Chef-owner Michael Serpa is paying homage to the seafood restaurants of Spain and Portugal with a divine menu of dishes like ceviche, salt cod croquettes, crispy baby artichokes, and sauteed petite clams with chorizo. The large, sunny patio is a welcome addition to our pandemic dining needs. 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Craving your cocktail and Szechuan fix but unsure how to scratch that itch? The Baldwin’s gorgeous outdoor patio, complete with twinkling lights, lets you enjoy top quality dishes and top shelf tipples with a side of fresh air. 
How to book: Reserve via Tock.

The Dial

Central Square

Holy moly, an actual hotel in Central Square? With a patioed restaurant to boot? Dive into a global menu of Ethiopian beef tartare, jerk quail, and Brazilian shellfish stew. Then return for a brunch spread of stuffed crepes, shakshuka, and breakfast carbonara. 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Daedalus

Harvard Square

Daedalus’ sleek upper deck has plenty of tables, plants, twinkly lights, and a fully stocked bar so you won’t go thirsty. End your weekend right with Sunday brunch (pro tip: get the stuffed French toast), or show up for an afternoon fueled by mojitos and seasonal craft beers.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable

Pier 6

Charlestown

It’s the next best thing to your own private harborside veranda. This chic terrace’s seafood-dominated menu includes a raw bar, steamed mussels, and baked crab cakes, and for your summer sipper, indulge in the house Mai Tai made with Gosling’s and Real McCoy rums. 
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Coppersmith

South Boston

Once upon a time, this beloved Southie gastropub was headed for the chopping block. But reports of its demise were greatly exaggerated, and today the upper deck is a welcome haven, what with its hanging lights, well-spaced table, and epic brunch menu. And yes, the to-go “adult Capri Suns” are still on hand to keep the party going if you ever manage to pull yourself away.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Six West

South Boston

One of the city’s newest roof decks sits atop Cambria Hotel Boston and offers truly stunning sunset views alongside a chichi vibe. Pretend you’ve traveled to South Beach by ordering a frozen pineapple daiquiri and digging into small plates like truffled chicken nuggets and grass-fed beef sliders. 
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

For those in Fort Point who love roof decks but seek a mellower scene, Trillium might be your answer. The third-floor, 65-person space is a favorite al fresco hotspot, with its lounge seating and full bar pouring all of the star brewery’s latest offerings. And while there may not be water views, there are oysters—a selection of items from the main restaurant’s menu is available upstairs. 
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Like a gift that keeps on giving, Quincy’s favorite rooftop bar now consists of 5,000-square-feet of palatial outdoor space, an herb and produce garden, apple and pear trees, a sushi bar, and an open kitchen serving deck-only dishes. Perhaps the best feature? A louvered ceiling system designed to block out pesky summer showers.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Lookout

Fort Point

When this eighth-floor space opened a couple years back, the competition to nab entry was downright fierce. We're talking Boston Harbor and skyline views, many a refreshing cocktail made with locally produced spirits (including several large-format cocktails), and an exclusive-yet-chill vibe. An additional renovation awhile back netted us 2,500 additional square feet, all the better to enjoy brunch or snacks with your drinks. 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Legal Harborside

Seaport District

Legal’s flagship by-the-sea goes overboard with its posh indoor-outdoor rooftop lounge and appropriately named Promenade Deck. And it’s primed for year-round use thanks to a retractable glass roof and movable walls. Catch the sunset while slurping infinity oysters and treating your friends to pitchers of punch. There’s also a full sushi bill of refreshing bites, perfect for summertime noshing. 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Ashmont Grill

Ashmont Hill

This gorgeous back patio is open for business for both brunch and dinner as long as the weather permits (gotta love that fire pit). Dig into their famous trainwreck fries and spring for one of best burgers in town. 
How to book: Call 617-825-4300 to reserve.

The Sleeper Street tent is back in action. The menu hits all the high notes: chowder, fried whole-bellied clams, lobster rolls, and fish tacos, plus wine, beer, mai tais, and margaritas. And yes, boiled lobsters of all sizes are on the menu—and there’s never a bad time for lobster these days.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

The Bowery Bar

Lower Mills

The breakout star of this pandemic winter? Bowery Bar’s private yurts. But here, the summertime outdoor fun is even more epic, what with the backyard patio’s revitalizing misting system and twin side lounges. Cocktails, a lobster roll, and an afternoon spent at this city respite are all you need to refuel your soul.  
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Dbar

Savin Hill

It might be the coziest patio on the block, marked by vibrant murals painted by local artists—and it’s also covered, so you can even indulge in the rain. An espresso martini, some popcorn chicken, and a Niman Ranch hanger steak, all enjoyed al fresco, sounds like the perfect cure for whatever ails you. 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

It’s a twofer—a brewery and a restaurant. Order M&M BBQ and housebrewed beers from your iPhone and savor both on one of the two patios: the roof deck and the streetside deck. Just be strategic about your visit, as the place regularly reaches capacity. 
How to book: Reserve via Tock.

Harvest

Harvard Square

Harvest’s garden patio has seen us through many a celebratory time, and now it’s seeing us through a time of rebirth. String lights and a big gas fireplace conspire to deliver a truly special night out—and we can think of no better time to sit and revel in the restaurant’s famous brunch menu than the present. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

It’s one of the most sophisticated patios in town—and when we hit it up during the pandemic, we felt almost normal again thanks to a steady stream of al fresco oysters, crab cakes, lobster ravioli, and grilled branzino. Now our only concern is actually snagging a seat. 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Remnant Brewing

Union Square

Oh, how we missed Bow Market. Thankfully, Remnant Brewing’s back patio is still open for sit-down imbibing, complete with eats from Bow Market vendors like Saus and Hot Box. Plus, dogs are being allowed right now (!) but the four-footed set must adhere to social distancing or the privilege will be revoked.
How to book: Reserve via TableAgent.

Looking for the perfect waterside white tablecloth spot? Enter Woods Hill Pier 4, which wants to make sure you and your posse enjoy your caviar service in breezy style. Breathe in the salt air and keep an eye out for rabbits, which have been known to hop around at dusk. Be sure to return for brunch and the must-order lobster popover. 
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Meaghan Agnew is finally, maybe, sort of feeling a little bit of optimism? See how long that lasts by following her on Instagram.