Boston Magazine Names Tavern to Al Fresco All Stars!
Make the most of the all-too-brief summer dining season with our enthusiast's guide to thinking outside the boite. Plus: How to score the best al fresco tables, order the choicest summer morsels, and pull off the perfect impromptu picnic.
The Al Fresco All-Stars
When summer rolls around, all the usual rules go out the door—in every sense. A restaurant that wouldn't make your top 100 most of the year suddenly bounces up to your shortest of shortlists, thanks to its idyllic patio or roof deck. Likewise, many a stuffy five-star locale loses luster once such variables as umbrella wingspan and warm-breeze velocity enter the craving equation. Behold: our 25 favorite places to eat al fresco.
The Tavern at Granite Links Golf Club
Outdoor Seats: 40
From any one of the 17 tables on this course-side lookout, diners can visually feast on Boston Harbor, the city skyline at sunset, and a new 45-foot fountain being installed in the quarry below. A well-mixed martini and the Tavern's terrific red pepper and mozz Fenway sausage are par for the course.
Getting a Table: Priority goes to members and regulars, so it doesn't hurt to look the part. We're betting pressed chinos (or a wrap dress) and a pre-meal G&T—mixed with proactive small talk at the bar—will reduce future wait times. Otherwise, order to-go and hit the new snack bar patio, where you can enjoy drinks and the same views.
100 Quarry Hills Dr., Quincy, 617-689-1900
The Complete List of Top 25 Al Fresco All Stars:
B&G Oysters, 550 Tremont St. Boston
The Barking Crab, 88 Sleeper St. Boston
Casa Romero, 30 Gloucester St. Boston
The Colonnade's Rooftop Pool, 120 Huntington Ave. Boston
Dante, 40 Edwin H. Land Blvd. Cambridge
Eastern Standard, 528 Commonwealth Ave. Boston
Gaslight, 560 Harrison Ave. Boston
Hamersley's Bistro, 553 Tremont St. Boston
Harvest, 44 Brattle St. Cambridge
The Hungry I, 71 Charles St. Boston
Intrigue Cafe, Boston Harbor Hotel 70 Rowes Wharf. Boston
Joe's American Bar & Grill, 100 Atlantic Ave. Boston
La Verdad, One Lansdowne St. Boston.
La Voile, 261 Newbury St. Boston
Oleana, 134 Hampshire St. Cambridge
Orinoco, 477 Shwamut Ave. Boston
Ristorante Fiore, 250 Hanover St. Boston
Rocca, 500 Harrison Ave. Boston
Sophia's Grotto, 22R Birch St. Roslindale
Stephanies on Newbury, 190 Newbury St. Boston
The Tavern at Granite Links Golf Club, 100 Quarry Hills Dr. Quincy
Tavern on the Water, One Eighth St. Charlestown
Tremont 647, 647 Tremont St. Boston
28 Degrees, One Appleton St. Boston
Via Matta, 79 Park Plaza, Boston