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 the restaurant's talented team.
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.
The shuckers take center stage at B&G Oysters, where guests can watch them in action behind the Oyster Bar. The shellfish experts at the South End spot may even share a tip or two for opening the tasty little bivalves with grace and speed, which is pretty much the name of the game.
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 this 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.
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.
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.
The Hourly Oyster House
15 Dunster Street Cambridge, MA 02138 617-765-2342
If you didn't make it in time to reserve your seat at the Hourly's marble-topped raw bar, nab one of the elevated communal tables adjacent to try and sneak a peek at the shuckers expertly handling island creek, cape cod bay, and wellfleet oysters.
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).
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.
With its large roll down projection screen (a homage to the building's original home as the State Theater), and sizable display kitchen cooking up modern Italian eats, Milton's Novara is two dining experiences in one.
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.
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.
Row 34 – Boston
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.
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.
Season to Taste
1678 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02140 617-945-9535
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.
Operating out Lower Mills, Steel & Rye is home to heirloom veggies, grains, pastured meats, hand-gathered seafood, and two prime first-come-first-serve spots overlooking the kitchen where these ingredients can be seen all coming together.
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.