As any of my friends will tell you, I’m a sucker for outdoor dining. There’s just something so enticing about the idea of sitting outside while dining al fresco and people-watching along Newbury Street or perhaps Harvard Square. Even if there are tables available inside, I will often insist that we wait for an outdoor table instead. Now that warm weather is returning to Boston, this is prime time for patio dining.
Here are some of my favorite Boston restaurants, coffee shops, and bars with outdoor seating:
- The Rattlesnake Bar & Grill – This is one of Boston’s few rooftop bars (the others being the Black Rhino, The Baseball Tavern, and Daedalus to name a couple), and I just can’t get over the novelty of being on a breezy patio high above Boylston Street (I told you I’m sucker for outdoor dining). A margarita and an order of chips and salsa make the perfect post-work snack.
- The Living Room – This friendly restaurant and bar overlooks Christopher Columbus Park in the North End. While Tia’s (just across the park) is always hopping during happy hour, The Living Room is less crowded and more laidback. Relax on the patio with a few martinis and appetizers, then head to one of the North End’s many Italian restaurants for dinner.
- Tremont 647 – Nothing says Boston in the summer like brunch in the South End. Tremont 647’s pajama brunch is legendary, as are the generous-sized pastries and the raspberry gimlets made from house infused raspberry vodka. Since dogs are practically de rigueur in this neighborhood, the restaurant also caters to dog-owners and their pups.
- Uptown Espresso Caffe – For a quick cup of joe and a slightly quieter atmosphere in the South End, head to Uptown Espresso Caffe. Free wifi and mini-cheesecakes (available in three flavors the last time I visited) make this small, artsy cafe one of my favorite places for relaxing with my laptop or a book. The patio in back is so secluded and quiet, I almost feel like I’m relaxing at home (that is, if my home had a nice large patio shaded by trees, which, alas, it does not).
- Crema Café – Ever since this cozy little coffee shop opened in Harvard Square last year, it has been my go-to spot in the Square for a quick, inexpensive Panini (try the sweet potato one –yum!) or pastry (macaroons – mmm…). When the weather is nice, they open the front windows and let the warm breezes wash over the rows of students and intellectuals poring over their books and laptops. They also put out several tables and chairs outside, which gives patrons a front row seat for the street performers entertaining passerby with their music or juggling
What about you? What’s your favorite place to eat al fresco in Boston? Any suggestions for other places I should check out?