THE (GR)ATE OUTDOORS: Cambridge & Somerville – Events | Curiosities | Purchases | Catering | Night life

Photo: Dan Salafia

Our square-by-square guide to the best outdoor restaurants in Boston’s northern neighbors

Davis Square

This Somerville hotspot near Tufts University has long been home to some of the area’s most beloved restaurants, and luckily some of them even have outdoor seating. In the heart of the square, hungry customers can find the Mexican specialist Painted Burroclassic restaurant/pie shop RosebudIrish pub/music hall The Burren and old-fashioned pizzeria Mike’s food and spirits. More towards the outskirts of the area, you can find Neapolitan wood-fired pizza experts Job and From nowherepurveyors of fine Italian seafood.

Union Square

Near Somerville’s border with Cambridge, Union Square is full of restaurants of all kinds. Two of the oldest restaurants – which, perhaps not coincidentally, have large outdoor patios – are The Independenta popular gastro pub in the center of the square, and The neighborhood, a welcoming Portuguese-American hangout known for its baked goods and excellent breakfast menu. For those looking for a taste of Germany and Central Europe, Bronwyn fits the bill and even hosts a seasonal outdoor beer garden. Undecided diners can jump on the multi-level bow market, which offers a wide variety of global cuisines among its 15 food and drink vendors, all surrounding a central open-air courtyard. The property is on site Brewery and one wine bar certainly should not interfere with the decision-making process.

Assembly Square

Assembly line is the focal point of this area which has been extensively redeveloped over the past decade. Many of the restaurants in this bustling shopping/dining/entertainment complex face Baxter Waterfront Park and the charming Mystic River, including the world’s street food and craft cocktail specialist river bar, which features an expansive year-round outdoor patio with fire pits. Outdoor spaces facing the water are also found on the Legal seafoodLegal C Bar and Canadian import Earls Kitchen + Bar. A short walk away is Andy Husbands BBQ Palace The Smoke Shopwhich has its patio right next to the Assembly Row bocce courts.

Harvard Square

Home to world-renowned Harvard University, this popular Cambridge enclave has long been a foodie destination, and many of its fueling outposts feature exceptional outdoor spaces. One of the most picturesque is the courtyard garden at To harvest (pictured above), one of the best farm-to-table restaurants in the area. Moreover, the farmhouse cuisine can also be enjoyed on the terrace of the pioneer Henriette’s table at Charles Hotel. Another hotel-worthy dining experience can be found at Sheraton Commandantit is nubar, which offers a menu of modern New England dishes as well as outdoor seating. Great dining deals as well as a breath of fresh air can be found in both the classic hangout Grendel’s Lair and dive bar Charlie’s Kitchen, which houses a year-round beer garden. For modern American pub food, head to Russell House Tavern and enjoy a pint or a cocktail on the street side, or stroll through The red house, a romantic hideaway featuring seasonal New England dishes and a four-season patio. Another intimate hot spot is Mazewhich has an in-demand rooftop terrace perched above the piazza that offers a bird’s-eye view.

Kendall Square

This MIT-adjacent high-tech wonderland has its own vibrant restaurant scene, including a standout Jewish deli At Mamaleh, which is a favorite for bagels, sandwiches and more, all of which can be enjoyed in the fresh air. Chinese restaurant Sumiao Hunan Kitchen also has plenty of outdoor seating to relax with an authentic Asian meal and creative cocktails. And for a delicious pizza on the terrace, go to Area 4 for pies to die for.

Central place

Don’t overlook this bustling stretch of Massachusetts Avenue, as it’s home to some of the area’s top foodie destinations. Two such acclaimed restaurants—Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette’s little donkeyan ode to the cuisine of places that are both exotic and familiar, and paguwhich features a mix of Japanese and Spanish small plates, can also be enjoyed al fresco.

East of Cambridge

Although not technically a plaza, this area between Lechmere Square and the Charles River is nonetheless full of dining options. Two hotel hotspots with notable patios reside here: Bambara Kitchen & Barwhich resumes again Kimpton Marlowe Hotelduring the summer to serve its delicious Mediterranean-influenced food and drink and host games as well as a monthly Sunday brunch, while the Royal Sonesta Bostonit is art bar offers seasonal American cuisine, which can be enjoyed on its lively outdoor perch overlooking the water.

Please check with individual restaurants to see if their outdoor dining spaces are open for the season.

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