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The Bowery Bar
Photograph: Courtesy The Bowery Bar

The best outdoor bars in Boston

Enjoy a drink and some fresh air at these great outdoor bars

Olivia Vanni
Written by
Olivia Vanni
&
Gerrish Lopez
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Sure, you can get your daily dose of vitamin D while frolicking through some of Boston's best parks—but it's so much more fun to get your fix of the great outdoors when you have a drink your hand. Head to one of these outdoor bars—from community beer gardens to waterfront patios—and you'll get your fill of sun, fun and alfresco beverages. To heighten your outside sipping experience (literally), the Hub also boasts a number of prime rooftop bars. And if the weather isn't working in your favor, be sure to check out the best indoor activities our city has to offer.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Boston

The best of the city under one roof

  • Restaurants
  • Fenway/Kenmore

Boston's premier culinary hub sports a large, wrap-around patio that's perfect for outdoor drinking. Enjoy the buzzy 401 Park environs while quaffing craft cocktails and award-winning local brews from two top-notch bars.

Best outdoor bars

  • Restaurants
  • Dorchester

This Dorchester tavern has a killer cocktail program and an even better patio. Take a seat outside this Lower Mills destination and order one of the 19 beers it has rotating on tap. If you’re in the mood for some harder stuff, check out its extensive list of whiskeys (to be sipped neat), as well as its craft cocktails mixed with house-made juices and syrups. Luckily, the kitchen also cranks out incredible, hearty plates of modern comfort food—perfect for absorbing all of that alcohol during a night of prolonged outdoor drinking.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • West End

Located within the old Charles Street Jail and the now Liberty Hotel, this ultra-trendy bar consistently has one of the most packed patios in town. On the inside, Alibi stays on brand with nods to the building’s criminal past, like its brick walls and cell doors. But on the outside, this place is a prison break dream come true, with tall, green hedged walls that shelter tables from the buzzing streets of Beacon Hill and create a garden oasis right next to MGH. On warm nights, there’s always a crazy line to get in, so do yourself a favor: Round up all of your friends, reserve a table and prepare to meet that drink minimum you know you’d hit anyway so that you don’t have to wait.   

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Charlestown
  • price 2 of 4

Enjoy drinks, family friendly games and vast harbor views at The Anchor, located in Charlestown‘s historic Navy Yard. This open-air beer garden occupies one of the Yard's pre-existing, brick mezzanine structures, providing a communal space for guests of all ages. The drink booth offers a wide array of local and international beers, wines and more, while regular events and live music keep all members of the public entertained. 

  • Bars
  • Waterfront

In the summer, Tia’s is the place to be—for tourists and townies alike. Since the ’80s, this waterfront bar and its patio have been packed, with crowds throwing back pricey vodka sodas and BudLights in exchange for prime people-watching and that cool breeze coming off of Boston Harbor. It may not be the most sophisticated of establishments—and you’ll certainly be paying top dollar for well liquor in a clear plastic cup—but the experience is always priceless.

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  • Bars
  • Waterfront

Open from spring through late fall, this fully outdoor bar always draws a big crowd, thanks to its spectacular spot right on Long Wharf. This patio is a great place for groups, as beers are served by the bucket and signature fish bowl cocktails like the 32 oz. Guppy Bowl and the 64 oz. Fish Bowl require more than one drinker. As you and the crew go to work on these large-format drinks, just don't forget to order a few snacks to keep up your strength.  

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Harvard Sq
  • price 2 of 4

Charlie’s Beer Garden is the favorite among the Harvard Square crowd but Daedalus’s rooftop patio offers a classier option for outdoor drinking. The patio features lush flower boxes and both heat lamps and fans to deal with our fickle weather. Tops on the extensive list of beer, wine, and cocktails is that summertime favorite, the cairpirinha.

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  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • North End
  • price 3 of 4

If you're looking for an outdoor space with a thoughtfully chosen wine list, Alcove is your place. It's fabulous patio offers stunning views of Boston Harbor and the Zakim Bridge, so you can pair that glass of mineral-forward pinot gris with some salty aired ambience. Fortunately, there's plenty of tables outside, so you'll likely still be able to score a seat during the after-work rush.

  • Restaurants
  • South Boston

Gray’s Hall lets you stretch out on those Southie sidewalks and order from one of the most painstakingly curated wine lists in the city. This East Broadway bar offers a slew of picnic table seating, where folks can collapse, get a generous pour of Pét-Nat, split a seasonal charcuterie board and watch the world whiz by. Word to the wise: Order your grapes by the glass—not by the bottle—because you’ll definitely want to give more than just one varietal a try.

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  • Restaurants
  • Dorchester

Sleek decor, addictive appetizers and tasty entrées keep Dorchester residents coming back to this Dot hotspot. But the excellent outdoor space attracts fans from much further afield for cocktails and fresh air. The vine-covered fence surrounding the patio creates a cozy vibe and makes it feel like a true oasis.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Seaport District

On the inside, Lolita Fort Point is a gothic masterpieceand on the outside, it’s a bright and airy waterfront paradise perfect for throwing back margaritas. The patio of this tequila cantina runs right alongside the channel, giving guests a front row seat to the Seaport as they sip sangria and watch the different circles of fellow bar-goers. An added benefit to Lolita’s dockish deck: The refreshing breeze coming off the water really keeps you alert between cocktails. 

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  • Bars
  • Allston/Brighton

Devlin’s massive patio, open in the warmer months, is a prime place to enjoy some alfresco drinking and dining. There's even a flatscreen at the outdoor bar, so you don't have to miss the Sox game during your outside escapades. Tables are plentiful, so settle in and try a few of the rotating drafts. There's a regular roster of musicians, plus live jazz playing during Sunday brunch. 

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