See how the sausage is made – almost literally – at these kitchen-side seats where you can watch the culinary goings-on while you eat. From intimate little tables for two that put you right in the middle of the action to first-come, first-served counters, you can see cookers, shuckers, ceviche-makers and sushi rollers doing their thing. Scroll on for 40+ spots where you can dine with a view.
Historic Concord’s 80 Thoreau is home to a four-seat counter that overlooks the restaurant’s open kitchen. Dine here on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays and enjoy a five-course tasting menu carefully created and curated by chef Carolyn Johnson and her team.
Abby Lane gives dinner theater a new meaning—the Theater District restaurant features a marble-topped chef's table set squarely in front of the kitchen, giving diners front row seats to the culinary stage where chef-owner Jason Santos and team prepare their starring plates.
Alden & Harlow
40 Brattle Street Cambridge, MA 02138 617-864-2100
Alden & Harlow’s high-top chef's table provides the perfect opportunity for curious diners (in parties of two or four) to take a peek under the hood to see how the engine of a restaurant runs. Guests can watch cooks work their culinary magic in the rustic-chic kitchen, all while enjoying a four-course meal.
Babbo Enoteca e Pizzeria
11 Fan Pier Boulevard Boston, MA 02210 646-308-2988
Belly up to the bars at the Boston outpost of Mario Batali's Babbo. Whether pizza or antipasto is your pleasure, the restaurant provides chef's counter seating so you can see your dish through from start to tasty Italian finish.
A spot at Banyan Bar + Refuge's chef's counter puts you at the center of this modern Asian gastropub's hustle and bustle. The industrial-style counter and its nearly ceiling-high shelves are adorned with stacks of dishware, lush green plants and a gold mermaid statuette. Surround yourself with this chic decor and watch as chefs effortlessly chop, cook and plate your dishes.
Bar Boulud's chef table gives guests a peek at the goings-on in the kitchen from a private perch. As many as eight guests can sit down for a customized, seasonal menu overlooking the chefly happenings, with details on the dishes provided by the chef himself.
At Bar Mezzana you can keep your eye on the kitchen while keeping a comfortable distance (y'know...if you can't stand the heat). Reserve one of the two-tops situated right in front of the open kitchen to watch chef-owner Colin Lynch and his team doing their thing.
1071 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02139 617-714-3693
Enjoy the best of both worlds at BISq's chef's counter which looks right into the bustling, open-concept kitchen. You can take in the sights and sounds of the back-of-house hard at work while you bask in the front-of-house ambiance (preferably with a glass of wine).
BOKX 109 has a chef's table that doubles as a demo kitchen. One side seats eight while the other features a stove, oven, and all the necessary cooking equipment. Make reservations 5 days in advance to enjoy a tasting menu or custom multi-course menu prepared right before your eyes.
See what's cooking - literally - at Bostonia Public House with a place at their kitchen-adjacent dining table. Guests get a peek at the pass and the culinary goings-on beyond from the comfort of their chair.
Get all the warmth of Tony Susi's Italian kitchen—from a comfortable distance—with a table close to Capo's spacious back of house. You can see the chefs at work, prepping, plating and pizza-making, at any of the tables that border the wood-fired brick oven.
Westwood diners interested in the chef's life can get a firsthand look at the hard work behind their meal at Chiara. The chef's counter looks over into the green-tiled kitchen where owner Steven LaCount and team work their culinary magic.
Chopps American Bar and Grill
1 Burlington Mall Road Burlington, MA 01803 781-221-6643
The dining room at Chopps American Bar and Grill features warm woods, leather furniture and stylish brass accents as well as a chef’s table situated right in front of the open-concept kitchen. With reservations at the table, guests will be able to meet the chefs and look on they prep, cook and plate the night's tickets.
Watch a master at work – literally – at the chef’s counter at Craigie on Main, where you can catch a glimpse of James Beard award-winning chef Tony Maws hard at work. He and his team work tirelessly to perfect every dish that leaves the kitchen – and you’ll have a ringside seat.
Pull up a chair along the line—Davio's chef's counter faces right into the kitchen to give you an up close look at the inner workings of the Italian eatery. Gnocchi, spring rolls, arancini: it's all prepped and plated before your eyes when you settle in to a chef-side seat.
Davio’s – Chestnut Hill
55 Boylston Street Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 617-738-4810
At the Chestnut Hill outpost of Davio's, the Italian kitchen is integral to the dining experience. Guests can step right up to the bustling back of house and have a seat overlooking the cookery at the bordering chef's counter.
Davio’s – Lynnfield
1250 Market Street Lynnfield, MA 01940 781-944-4810
Owner Steve DeFillipo recreates Davio's swanky Northern Italian steakhouse vibe in his hometown of Lynnfield. Skip the trip into the city and take in all the action (and spring rolls!) from the elegant chef's counter that runs in front of the kitchen at this suburban outpost.
A reservation at the Doretta chef's table brings guests into the kitchen, literally, starting with a back-of-house tour. With its rustic charm, the table itself hails from an old farmhouse and is set right under one of artist Adrienne Schlow's masterpieces. Great energy, Greek-inspired eats and beautiful art make for a one-of-a-kind dining adventure.
Enjoy dinner and a show at Empire. If you play your cards right, you can snag one of the seats at the sushi bar to watch the talented team slice and roll the freshest seafood into an array of traditional and inventive takes on maki and nagiri.
970 Great Plain Avenue Needham, MA 02492 781-449-6200
The four-seat chef’s counter at the farmhouse in Needham was originally intended for a tasting-menu-only perch but due to popular demand, the seats are available every night serving the regular menu which, coincidentally, you'll be watching them cook.
1682 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 617-441-2800
At Giulia, you can enjoy handmade pasta at a reclaimed white oak table—the very surface on which, just hours earlier, the signature carbs were crafted from scratch. When you dine at the pasta table, which the folks at Giulia call the “heart and soul” of their restaurant, you’ll be served a family-style tasting menu featuring seasonal dishes and—of course—Chef Michael Pagliarini’s custom pasta.
1271 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02115 617-670-0507
Sit down at the Hojoko sushi counter for a rock n' roll (emphasis on roll) dining experience at the Verb Hotel. A place at the long bar offers a first-look at (and taste of) the evening's fresh sashimi and sushi plates from the Japanese izakaya.
il Casale Lexington
1727 Massachusetts Avenue Lexington, MA 02420 781-538-5846
The kitchen is the heart of the Italian home and it's no different at il Casale Lexington where rasied rustic barnwood tables give guests a look at the back-of-house happenings. Hand-painted tiles from southern Italy provide a border but keep the kitchen open and airy (with a touch of the Amalfi coast).
L'Espalier invites you into the kitchen - or as close as you can get - for their chef's table experience. A dedicated dining area for up to four showcases the full scope of chef Frank McClelland's culinary domain, just on the other side of the glass. Book the Chef's Tasting Journey for a unique multi-course menu from start to finish.
Claim a couple seats at the end of Lincoln Tavern's back bar for a sneak peek at the kitchen happenings and a direct line of sight to the wood-fired pizza oven. You'll get the first glance at fresh-off-the-stone flatbreads, from the paddle to the plate, and a glimpse at the back-of-house busyness.
660 Cambridge Street East Cambridge, MA 02141 617-945-2576
The chef’s table at Menton provides guests with a “best of both worlds” experience, ideal for those who crave the excitement of the kitchen, but in a quieter, more private space. A long glass wall separates the 12-seat table from the kitchen, so diners can watch as their tasting menu orders evolve.
Myers + Chang
1145 Washington Street Boston, MA 02118 617-542-5200
Craving a dinner experience with your order of dumplings? Settle in at the cozy Myers + Chang counter for a bit of back-of-house flair—flaming woks, if you're lucky—as the kitchen team churns out pan-Asian plates and dumplings by the dozen.
Want to see what it takes to make award-winning (like, the award-winning-est) sushi? Secure a spot at the counter at Tim Cushman's O Ya, which tops just about every best-of list there is, to watch it all come together one plate at a time.
Outlook at the Envoy gives diners a different, well, outlook with tables by the kitchen. Back of house is brought into the dining room and guests can book a seat by the glass-walled cooking area for a close-up look at the culinary happenings.
345 Congress Street Fort Point, Boston, MA 02210 617-345-0005
Pastoral's spacious chef's table gives diners a clear line of sight to the open kitchen and its prized pizza oven. From the comfortable digs, guests can take in the sights, sounds (and smells) of the pizza-making process as they tuck in to chef Todd Winer's menu.
Puritan & Company
1166 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02139 617-615-6195
The chef's counter at Puritan & Company gives four lucky diners a one-of-a-kind seat at Will Gilson's rustic and charming Inman Square eatery. The exclusive spot affords guests a close look at the chefs in action and a cornerside seat to the culinary hub-bub.
383 Congress Street Fort Point, MA 02210 617-553-5900
Pull up a chair at Row 34 for a first-hand look at the chefs and shuckers. A place at the wrap-around counter gives you a good glimpse of the seafood preparations (and the bar taps) as you dine on the house specialties with pint in hand.
Sapore, the signature restaurant within the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, boasts a handful of seats that look straight into the kitchen. Reserve one to see where all the culinary magic (read: breakfast, lunch and dinner) happens.
Scampo makes room at the mozzarella bar for hungry guests in search of a little something extra. Diners at the orange stool-lined bar can partake of chef Lydia Shire's Italian-inspired menu as they're treated to an insider's look at the culinary pros as they whip up pasta, pizza, antipasti and more.
Sportello's open concept means every table has a good view of the chefs in action, but guests can get even closer to the kitchen with central, diner-style seating. The double U-shaped counters bring together back and front of house for a unique dinner from start to finish.
The Table at Season to Taste
2447 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02140 617-871-9468
Any of the twenty seats at Cambridge's intimate The Table offers a good gander at the open-concept kitchen where chef Carl Dooley and team whip up the evening's prix fixe menus and snacks. Guests can scooch in at a couple of dedicated counter seats for a firsthand look at the process.
69 Kilmarnock Street Boston, MA 02215 617-421-4470
Tapestry's airy expo kitchen may have a wall of windows looking out to the Fenway but it's the chairs along the chef's counter that offer the best view. Seating wraps around two sides of the central kitchen so you can see the cooks at work, even as you enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Get up close and personal with the chefs at Tico, where you can catch all the action from the six seats at the crudo bar. You can watch them prep and plate an array of seasonal ceviches for your own (or someone else's, even) dining pleasure.
154 Turnpike Road Southborough, MA 01772 508-481-8484
Southborough diners clamor for these counter seats facing the kitchen at Tomasso Trattoria. Get one for yourself and a companion so you can see the scratch kitchen putting your meal together from antipasti to tiramisu.
Townsman's crudo bar gets you a seat with the chefs—and the shellfish. The leather-topped stools and wooden counter abut the heat (or the chill, as it were) of the oyster shucking and prep stations with a sidewise look at even more kitchen action along the line.
370 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA 02215 617-536-7200
With a reservation at the sushi counter, the genre-pushing plates at Uni are constructed before your very eyes. Sit back and sip a sake as the skilled chefs put together nigri, sashimi, maki and more—or opt for the omakase to put yourself fully at the chef's whim.