Who has the best outdoor dining setup (distance, heat and good food)? [Boston, MA]

We had a great dinner along these lines at Alcove last week. Some places just lucked out with their physical setup during this pandemic.

I’m looking for a place to bring a small group for an early dinner on Saturday. It is supposed to be a nice day but in the high 40s by dinner time. The title says it all. We’d like somewhere with good food and drink that takes covid precautions including distancing seriously. We’ll be dining outdoors so heat lamp game is important. Not as interested in tents unless they are quite open.

Feed me Onions!

1 Like

A couple of our old stand-bys, Branchline and Il Casale Belmont (I’ve been disappointed with the food at the Lexington location), come to mind although I haven’t been to either under quarantine conditions. I think both teams would take safety for guests and staff seriously.

I wanna to try Chalawan badly. But the thought of eating outside on Mass Ave is a deterrent. :neutral_face:

ETA: I wonder if SRV’s patio has heat lamps?

1 Like

I’m not sure about the heat situation, but Semolina Kitchens outdoor setup has looked enticing to me. It’s set up off to the side of the restaurant and is tucked back off the sidewalk. They’ve been doing a great job for takeout all through the pandemic, imo, and I’d guess they are also handling the sit down stuff well.

@digga I dont think I’d want to eat out front of Chalawan either, haha.


Semolina is a good thought. They only accept reservations for up to 4 people unfortunately. Someone suggested Benedetto. Not sure we are looking for that high end though.

May I suggest you read my post on Craigie Next Door ? Excellent precautions, roomy, in a empty parking lot and heat lamps, too! Ample portion size, delicious meal.

I like Semolina. Not as impressed with their Covid precautions, follow through. Different story at parent Dave’s Fresh Pasta. Dave watches everything, consistent follow through imho.

Interested to know where you choose, your experience. TIA.

1 Like

I’d consider Spoke. I’m not sure how big a group they’ll take but their outdoor setup is quite nice and they appeared to be taking very good COVID precautions when we ate there.

I haven’t been since having spring onion but I loved it then. The current menu looks absolutely Felisha (aka Flea)-worthy.

Curious minds look forward to a post-meal report @uni (no pressure!).

ETA: What happened to the full-on sun that we were supposed to have today? That might make heaters even more imperative this evening, but hell, we’re hearty New Englanders, correct?!


If you’re in the Waltham area - Gustavos (which moved from Main street to Moody street this year) has a pretty nice outdoor set up. Their seating is not directly on Moody street (unlike others), it is in this little open space beside the building. It is surrounded by acrylic panels to cut down on any breeze (top is still open, so not tented in) and they have lots of heaters. They’ve really put a lot into trying to extend their dining season . . . .


We had an early lunch at B & G Oysters. Two outdoor options to choose from, a below-grade terrace in back and street level tables on the side. Tables well-spaced, and abundant heat lamps.


We’ve enjoyed a lot of Semolina Kitchen take out since March, though I have no experience with eating on the patio.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold