As Massachusetts continues to reemerge from the shutdown, restaurants are getting their al fresco areas up and running for dine-in patrons. Read on for a curated list of some of the best decks, patios, rooftops and sidewalk spots where you can enjoy a good meal while maintaining your social distance from fellow diners. You can sort by neighborhood if you’re looking for something nearby or just scroll to see if your regular hang is on the list — we’ll be adding restaurants as they open for on-site dining so stay tuned and definitely check back for updates.
Word to the wise: we’ll be adjusting the info below as the situation continues to evolve and restaurants figure out what works for them (and you!) so it’s still probably your best bet to give the restaurant a ring to make sure they can accommodate you.
Benedetto offers a rare opportunity to dine al fresco rain or shine. The Italian eatery's outdoor space, right in Harvard Square, is well equipped with heaters and covers to shield patio dwellers from the elements (if need be). The patio is equal parts charming and romantic, with twinkling lights and winding greenery, it feels like a little slice of Italy right in Cambridge.
Black Lamb, the stylish South End restaurant from chef-owner Colin Lynch (his third), expanded their pastio onto Union Park this season so there's plenty of room whether you're looking for al fresco lunch, dinner or weekend brunch.
Post up on Bodega Canal's brand new sidewalk patio the next time you've got a hankering for tacos and margaritas (which, be honest, is pretty much always). The West End Mexican spot is open for dinner Monday through Saturday so they've got you covered whenever the mood strikes.
Champions of industry, ladies who lunch and tourists all vie for spots on Bostonia Public House's sidewalk patio. Tucked right in the heart of the bustling Financial District, it's well-suited for an occasion - snacking on after-work apps or sipping one of their 70 premium wines.
321 Arsenal Street Watertown, MA 02472 617-420-1900
Branch Line brings the fun outdoors with an expansive patio for enjoying the warm weather in Waterown. The bar and restaurant boasts plenty of outdoor seating to satiate the masses, plus a Bocce court and garden to supplement the eats.
Burro Bar – Brookline
1665 Beacon Street Brookline, MA 02445 617-277-0427
Burro Bar Brookline's Washington Square patio is all gussied up and ready to go. You can spend the summer chilling out right on Beacon Street noshing on Mexican and South American fare and sipping margaritas out in the sun—or pick out something from their lengthy list (100+!) of tequilas to go with your tacos.
Burro Bar – South End
1357 Washington Street Boston, MA 02118 617-426-9300
The Burro Bar's picturesque patio may be the South End's best kept al fresco secret. Tucked down a rustic walkway surrounded by brick buildings and adorned with flowering window boxes, it has a whole secret garden vibe - just with more tacos.
Buttercup, the Natick little sister restaurant to The Farmhouse in Needham, has a lovely patio where you can savor creative dishes from husband and wife team Gabriel Sanchez and Dora Tavel-Sanchez Luz. Their hand-crafted fare, full of locally-sourced ingredients, is a perfect reason to skip the trip into the city.
Buttermilk & Bourbon
160 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA 02116 617-266-1122
Back Bay's New Orleans-inspired Buttermilk & Bourbon gets outdoorsy during Boston's warmer months. Tucked below street level, their patio provides the best of both worlds, offering a cozy spot to cool off in the shade on hot summer days, or to warm up by fire pits on chilly nights.
51 Lincoln Street Newton Highlands, MA 02461 617-928-5771
Newton Highlanders have a new, local option — chef-owner Dave Punch has added outdoor dining to the mix at Buttonwood. Reserve a table for either of two seatings (weather permitting, of course) and enjoy their award-winning rustic American fare al fresco.
Cafe du Pays
233 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue Cambridge, MA 02141 (617) 314-7297
The team at Cafe du Pays have transformed their French Canadian bistro into Vincent's Corner Grocery Store where they've got lots of groceries and a limited menu. Pop over to grab a spot on their sidewalk patio for a bite to eat before popping in to replenish your pantry.
South Boston’s mainstay for hearty Italian eats has set up shop outside this summer. Head down to West Broadway to post up on the sidewalk patio at Capo where you can tuck in to all your favorites from a safe social distance.