No one appreciates a patio more than sun-starved Bostonians, who stoically endure endless winters and rainy springs for the reward of summer’s precious sunny days. Fortunately, every year seems to produce more cafés, restaurants and bars with alfresco spaces to enjoy.
Here are five of Boston’s best.
OAK Long Bar + Kitchen Patio
Located at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Fairmont Copley Plaza, this seasonal patio on beautiful St. James Avenue draws you in with boozy freeze pops (flavors range from strawberry-basil Bacardi mojito to ghost pepper pineapple margarita) and buck-a-shuck oyster happy hour from 4 to 5 p.m.
Beer lovers can imbibe during the bar’s Craft in a Can pop-up series spotlighting three New England breweries — Mighty Squirrel (Waltham, Massachusetts), Down The Road (Everett, Massachusetts) and Zero Gravity (Burlington, Vermont) — on rotation.
No matter your brew of choice, be sure to soak it up with the Hub’s summer staple: a classic lobster roll enhanced here with tarragon aioli.
This Five-Star waterfront property pulls out all the stops for its Summer in the City entertainment series, now in its 21st year. Enjoy dinner and a show on the patio at Rowes Wharf Sea Grille every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night, when bands (running the gamut from soul to pop) perform from the hotel’s floating stage.
If that’s not enough, stop by on Friday evenings for Movies by Moonlight and catch alfresco screenings of romantic classics (Sleepless in Seattle, July 26), action staples (Raiders of the Lost Ark, August 2) and more recent blockbusters (Aquaman, August 9).
With its stunning view of Zakim Bridge and Boston Harbor (especially at night), and ideal location on Lovejoy Wharf mere steps from TD Garden arena, Alcove is hard to beat as a warm-weather treat for sipping on a cold beverage.
Summertime libations on the restaurant’s fun “flip flops” menu include refreshing options like Poolside, made with black pepper tequila, watermelon and lime, and Cabana Boy, composed of vodka, lemongrass and orange.
Plenty of delicious dishes, including a shellfish tower and cheese and charcuteries plates, are made for sharing with friends as you relax on the expansive terrace.
Another waterfront stunner, this East Boston eatery offers an enormous deck with panoramic vistas of the city’s harbor and skyline.
Sip on a Lifesaver (rosé vodka, strawberries, soda and lime) or Skinny Jeans (cucumber-mint vodka, coconut water, agave and lime) while sampling creative dishes like Kobe beef and foie gras dumplings or the mezze plate packed with jalapeño-whipped feta, beet tzatziki, hummus, sunchoke chips and sumac pita.
Brunch is especially fun on the patio, where you can order a bucket of bubbles — customize your champagne with fruit purees — and dishes like shrimp and grits or corned beef hash.
Aptly named, The Patios at Boston City Hall Plaza debuted in 2018. The summer pop-up gathering spot features Wachusett Brewing Company beer and margaritas; a rotating lineup of food trucks every evening; Sunday grilling, when you can BYO foods to cook at one of four electric grills; a twice-weekly farmer’s market; Wag Wednesdays, where you can play with adoptable puppies; mini golf; and plenty of other fun activities.
You can even ditch the office and bring your work to The Patios, which is outfitted with outlets and free Wi-Fi. City Hall Plaza never looked so good.