Fresh food and fresh air? Yes, please. Here comes our pick of city patios that put a distinctive spin on alfresco dining.
'Hood: Financial District
Battery Park's sequestered patio enhanced by leafy vertical gardens is a necessary—and popular—refuge among the skyscrapers of the Financial District. The house-infused glazed doughnut vodka and the late Friday afternoon (5-7 pm) "Weekday Wind Down" activity featuring alfresco chair massages are just two of the induglences to be had at this urbane sports bar and lounge.
33 Batterymarch St., Boston, 617.350.7275
Precinct Kitchen & Bar
'Hood: Back Bay
Fire pits, cushy seating and strings of tiny white lights overhead make Precinct Kitchen and Bar's patio a charming and cozy rendezvous off the beaten path (read: Newbury Street) in the Back Bay. And, since it's situated lower than street-level, it dons a private vibe that patrons enjoy while sipping classic cocktails made with small-batch liquors.
350 Stuart St., Boston, 617.532.3820
'Hood: Seaport District
In fair weather, it is nearly impossible to secure a table on the patio at the Barking Crab, and that's because locals love this gem of a spot overlooking Fort Point Channel in the Seaport District. This summer, the 20-year-old icon boasts a new chef, an updated menu and an incredible scratch-made quahaug chowder that you just. must. try.
88 Sleeper St., Boston, 617.426.2722, www.barkingcrab.com
Look back at Boston from the roof deck and patio at year-old Pier 6 in Charlestown. The restaurant’s sweeping, 180-degree waterfront views focus on the downtown skyline—and might be some of the best you’ll find. Young professionals head here for cocktails after work, but we like it best on the weekends for brunch. Here’s an inside scoop: Make a reservation and ask for the Captain’s Table; it accommodates two people in a completely separate and private space overlooking the water.
1 Eighth St., Boston, 617.337.0054
Rowes Wharf Sea Grille
Rowes Wharf Sea Grille boasts one of the season's hottest dining spots courtesy of Boston Harbor Hotel's Summer in the City entertainment series. Soul, Sinatra and contemporary blues bands entertain people seated or walking by, but the unsung hero of the night is chef Daniel Bruce for his menu of sophisticated takes on favorite casual fare. Fish and chips or oysters on ice, anyone? Also catch classic films on Fridays.
70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, 617.856.7744
Jerry Remy's Sports Bar & Grill
You don't have to score tickets to a game to feel like part of Red Sox Nation. At Jerry Remy's Sports Bar & Grill, the roof deck abuts fabled Fenway Park's right field wall and lets diners cheer along with the fans in the stands. Two unique mobile bars serve up Bud Light "Ritas," a rotating selection of Sam Adams specialty beers, and a few rare, 22-ounce High Octane numbers that pack a punch.
1265 Boylston St., Boston, 617.236.7369
'Hood: Kendall Square
Owned by former Fenway Park chef Nookie Postal, Commonwealth serves up local food and local views. Its large patio accommodates more than 100 people at tables and a drink rail, and boasts absolutely beautiful overlooks of nearby Broad Canal, which leads into the Charles River.
11 Broad Canal Way, Cambridge, 617.945.7030