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.
Island Creek Oyster Bar – Burlington
300 District Avenue Burlington, MA 01803 781-761-6500
If anyone knows how New England seafood is really done, it's Island Creek Oyster Bar. The Burlington counterpart boasts its shellfish acumen with an open display raw bar, full of dayboat lobsters, littlenecks, and hand-harvested razor clams you can stop to admire- before you dig in.
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.
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.
Oak + Rowan
319 A Street Fort Point Boston, MA 02210 857-284-7742
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.
Season to Taste
2447 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.
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.