Plopping tables and chairs on a sidewalk and calling it a patio is a popular move because Bostonians will sit outside in all kinds of weather. We’ll happily join you for a drink, but we prefer our libations without a side of exhaust fumes.
Cinquecento in the South End satisfies with two handsome outdoor seating areas as well as a great wine list, bartenders who are encouraged to “go mad” (impazzire), and a vast Amari selection. Poolside at Hojoko in the Fenway, dive into an over-the-top tropical cocktail for one, two, or four. At Legal Harborside in the Seaport, the bar (and raw bar) menus take a back seat to the magnificent view.
Over in Cambridge, Charlie’s Beer Garden at Charlie’s Kitchen offers everything the landmark restaurant does, including a perfectly acceptable beer menu and double cheeseburger platters, in an unexpectedly scenic Harvard Square backyard. Of the half-dozen establishments in the One Kendall Square complex, our pick for alfresco imbibing is something from the quirky house-made roster at Cambridge Brewing Company, the oldest brewpub in the Boston area. Across the river in Allston, Casa Caña is a splash of Cuban style — and rum.
At Branch Line in Watertown, the patio is both midafternoon retreat and after-work hot spot, with a thoughtful selection of Mediterranean wines and American beers and ciders. On the South Shore, at the Range Bar & Grille in Hingham, relax on an Adirondack chair or a cushy couch and take in the lush, green view — of the driving range that shares the property.
1. Branch Line — 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, 617-420-1900, branchlinearsenal.com
2. Cambridge Brewing Company — 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-494-1994, cambridgebrewingcompany.com
3. Casa Caña — In the Studio Allston Hotel, 1234 Soldiers Field Road, Allston, 617-415-5402, casacanaboston.com
4. Charlie’s Kitchen — 10 Eliot Street, Cambridge, 617-492-9646, charlieskitchen.com
5. Cinquecento — 500 Harrison Avenue, Boston, 617-338-9500, cinquecentoboston.com
6. Hojoko — In The Verb Hotel, 1271 Boylston Street, Boston, 617-670-0507, hojokoboston.com
7. Legal Harborside — 270 Northern Avenue, Boston, 617-477-2900, legalseafoods.com
8. The Range Bar & Grille — 306 Whiting Street, Hingham, 781-875-3382, therangehingham.com
Did your favorite patio bar make the list? Share your favorites in the online comments section.