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An outdoor dining guide for Boston-area restaurants

Patio season gives fresh meaning to ‘dining out’

Diners on the patio at Sweet Cheeks.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Despite logistical wrangling between restaurateurs and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu over outdoor dining fees and protocols, April 1 traditionally marks the beginning of patio season.

Ahead, a list of some of the city’s superlative outdoor dining spots, from serene French bistros to rowdy Fenway haunts. Remember: Call ahead to confirm al fresco availability, as things are always subject to change based on weather and staffing.


A good bet if you’re heading to TD Garden, A&B has tacos, ribs, burgers, flatbreads, and a heated patio. 115 Beverly St., Boston, 857-449-2251, www.anbkitchen.com


With a convenient location near TD Garden, and a wide-ranging menu complete with kids’ portions, Alcove is a foolproof choice (especially now that chef Charles Draghi from Bay Village’s Erbaluce is in the kitchen). 50 Lovejoy Wharf, Boston, 617-248-0050, www.alcoveboston.com



This lively Portuguese-Spanish tapas bar from Michael Serpa (Select) opened its South End patio last weekend; call for availability. 600 Harrison Ave., Boston, 857-233-2898, www.atlanticoboston.com

Bar Enza

Mark Ladner from Manhattan’s acclaimed Del Posto runs the Charles Hotel’s new restaurant, serving Italian dishes (such as his rich, famous 100-layer lasagne). Out back, there’s a verdant covered patio with heat lamps on the ceiling. 1 Bennett St., Cambridge, 617-661-5050, www.bar-enza.com

The Barking Crab

Everyone’s favorite downtown seafood party resurfaces for the season with a large outdoor tent. 88 Sleeper St., Boston, 617-426-2722, www.barkingcrab.com


Get something for everyone: sushi (Tim and Nancy Cushman also run O Ya downtown), delicious salads, pastas, wood-fired pizza, burgers, and a full kids’ menu that includes introductory sushi (cukes and avocado), and a hi-lo cheeseburger (wagyu beef, but topped with American cheese). 47 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 857-576-8300, www.biancachestnuthill.com

Bistro du Midi

This tranquil bistro overlooking the Boston Public Gardens has patio seats for 20, and serves lavish shellfish towers for up to four. 272 Boylston St., Boston, 617-279-8000, www.bistrodumidi.com


Diners on the patio at Buttermilk & Bourbon in June 2020.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Buttermilk & Bourbon

I have a soft spot (or many soft spots, after too many biscuits) for this New Orleans-style restaurant, which has a Back Bay location but also a super-easy one in Watertown, with tons of parking. I’m told their patio is now open. Beignets, honey-glazed biscuits smeared with cinnamon butter, buttermilk fried chicken … You get the idea. 100 Arsenal Yards Blvd., Watertown, 857-760-7128, www.buttermilkbourbon.com

Casa Verde

Jamaica Plain’s family-friendly taqueria plans to unveil its patio this spring with luscious queso dip, nachos, and tacos ranging from yuca and tofu to fried chicken and spicy grilled shrimp — plus my kids’ go-to: quesadillas. To drink? Perhaps a watermelon shrub mocktail. Sister restaurant Tres Gatos (470 Centre St.) has a similar outdoor set-up. 711 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-477-9977, www.casaverdejp.com

Citizen Public House

This tavern behind Fenway Park opens a patio for the first time this year (partially enclosed for rainy days). Settle in for chili, burgers, meatball sliders, and even a whole roasted pig if you’re dining with a group. 1330 Boylston St., Boston, 617-450-9000, www.citizenpub.com

Davio’s Seaport

Get Northern Italian steak and seafood along the waterfront. 26 Fan Pier Blvd., Boston, 617-261-4810, www.davios.com/seaport

The greenhouse and rooftop deck at Dorchester Brewing Company. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Dorchester Brewing

Beer for the adults and barbecue for all ages from M&M: baked mac-and-cheese, cornbread, loaded fries, brisket, ribs, and much more. 1250 Massachusetts Ave., Dorchester, 617-307-7674, www.dorchesterbrewing.com

Grand Tour

The Newbury Street bistro from Michael Serpa (Select) invites guests to dine outdoors with bavette, duck, mussels, and plenty of wine. 314 Newbury St., Boston, 857-277-0800, www.grandtourboston.com



This neighborhood staple has a courtyard with a fireplace, plus a partial roof in case of rain. 44 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-868-2255, www.harvestcambridge.com.

High Street Place

Boston’s newest food hall has a little bit of everything: Mamaleh’s for Jewish deli; Gorgeous Gelato (for gorgeous gelato); Haley Jane’s fried chicken. Sit outside and order from the comfort of your table — no need to traipse from vendor to vendor. 100 High St., Boston, www.highstreetplace.com

The patio at Grand Tour on Newbury Street.Handout

The Lexington

Visit this rooftop at the growing Cambridge Crossing development for simple, people-pleasing dishes like roast chicken and steak frites from Will Gilson (Puritan). 100 N. First St., Cambridge, www.thelexingtoncx.com

LoLa 42

The Seaport’s LoLa 42 has 1,000 square feet of outdoor dining, so there’s space to spread out with sushi, global plates, and cocktails. 22 Liberty Drive, Boston, 617-951-4002, www.lola42.com

LoLa Burger

If you find yourself in the Seaport, stop into Lola for fried pickles, burgers, hot dogs, and 24-ounce shakes. Maybe even indulge small gourmands with fries topped with foie gras. 11 Fan Pier Blvd., Boston, 617-936-3170, www.lolaburger.com

Loretta’s Last Call

This country-music-themed bar in the shadow of Fenway Park, complete with a bluegrass-style brunch and dancing, has a 56-seat patio (with four outdoor bar seats). 1 Lansdowne St., Boston, 617-421-9595, www.lorettaslastcall.com

Mare Oyster Bar

Slurp bivalves and lobster rolls on this North End patio overlooking the Greenway, outfitted with heat lamps and fire pits on crisper evenings. 3 Mechanic St., Boston, 617- 723-6273, www.mareoysterbar.com



Douglass Williams runs these Italian standouts in the South End and in Newton; both locations will launch patios this month. 782 Tremont St., Boston, 617-936-3490; 261 Walnut St., Newton, 617-546-8010, www.midarestaurant.com

Pazza on Porter

This family-friendly neighborhood staple has a children’s menu, daily lunch and dinner, and $10 pastas on Tuesdays. 107 Porter St., Boston, 617-362-7663, www.pazzaonporter.com

Pier 6

This sleek seafood spot at Charlestown’s Navy Yard features roof-deck seating, a patio, and a new outdoor bar overlooking the Charlestown Marina. 1 8th St., Charlestown, 617-337-0054, www.pier6boston.com


If you need a sly way to get your kids to eat their veggies, head to Kendall Square for a plant-based menu of cauliflower barbecue wings, wild mushroom truffle pizza, and soft-serve from former Harvest chef Mary Dumont. 675 West Kendall St., Cambridge, 617-714-5452, www.plantpub.com


Do some shopping at the Prudential Center, then relax on the 94-seat patio at star chef Jody Adams’s Mediterranean restaurant. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday, depending on the weather. Ring Road, Boston, 617-536-1234, www.porto-boston.com

Publico Street Bistro

From sliders to grilled cheese to pizza, there’s a little bit of something for everyone on their street-facing patio. 11 Dorchester St., Boston, 617-622-5700, www.publicoboston.com


At this East Boston destination from the Pier 6 team, enjoy seafood and cocktails on a sprawling patio with city views. 6 New St., Boston, 617-895-4075, www.reelhouseboston.com



This Back Bay brasserie near the Hynes Convention Center offers al fresco seating, plus all-day dining. 900 Boylston St., Boston, 617-247-0400, www.rochambeauboston.com

Seafood at Rochambeau. handout

Season to Taste

Covered, private patio cabanas are a big attraction at this cozy, seasonal American spot in North Cambridge, where former Puritan chef de cuisine Sam Day is now in the kitchen. 2447 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-871-9468, www.seasoncambridge.com

Sophia’s Grotto

This cozy hideaway in Roslindale is the ultimate neighborhood spot, with a light-strewn patio and a family-friendly assortment of dishes, from thin-crust pies to succulent meatballs. 22r Birch St., Roslindale, 617-323-4595, www.sophiasgrotto.com

Sweet Cheeks

Tiffani Faison runs this barbecue parlor in the Fenway, with buttermilk fried chicken, ribs, and mac-and-cheese. The patio is big (60 seats) and there’s even a TV. It opened last weekend. 1381 Boylston St., 617-266-1300; www.sweetcheeksq.com


Comfort food is the theme here, from countless varieties of macaroni and cheese to buttery biscuits to crème brûlée made with peanut butter and jelly. Why not? 120 Kingston St., Boston, 617-936-3079, www.stillwaterboston.com

Stillwater in Boston.Stillwater

Time Out Market Boston

Their patio is open now: Order via app from Union Square Donuts, Taqueria el Barrio, Gelato & Chill, and lots more. Fills up quick, though; on weekends, arrive by 11 a.m. to snag a good seat. 401 Park Drive, 978-393-8088, www.timeoutmarket.com/boston

Trattoria il Panino

This North End classic has a fully covered patio, so it’s a safe option even when it rains. 11 Parmenter St., Boston, 617-720-1336, www.trattoriailpanino.com

Yellow Door Taqueria

Their tacos (scallop with prickly-pear molasses; fried pork belly) are creative and tasty. Street-facing patios are available now, with a larger one in the South End coming later this spring. 2297 Dorchester Ave., Boston, 857-267-4201; 354 Harrison Ave., Boston, 857-239-9276, www.yellowdoortaqueria.com

Kara Baskin can be reached at kara.baskin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin.