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Pier 6
Photograph: Courtesy Pier 6Pier 6

The 16 best waterfront restaurants in Boston

The best seats in town have stunning water views and serve great food

Written by
Tanya Edwards
Written by
Eric Grossman
&
Olivia Vanni
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Name a city with better seafood and waterfront views, we’ll wait. Fortunately, you can’t, and there’s plenty of waterfront restaurants in Boston to get your fix of sun, sea and fresh salty air. Everyone knows food tastes better outside (as demonstrated by our best restaurants with outdoor seating), and a view of the harbor just elevates that experience. Below, find Boston’s best places to enjoy sparkling water views⁠—including our city's best seafood spots and finest oyster barsall spring, summer and fall (with a little luck).

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Best waterfront restaurants in Boston

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Seaport District
  • price 4 of 4

Woods Hill Pier 4 brings farm-to-table dining to the Seaport, where the iconic Anthony’s Pier 4 restaurant once sat. As the name implies, this restaurant's patio is right on the pier, giving guests a front row seat to harbor views during their meals. As you dine on organic dishes made with the finest ingredients from local purveyors, order a glass of rosé and breathe in that salt air.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Seaport District

On the inside, Lolita Fort Point is a dimly lit, macabre masterpieceand on the outside, it’s a bright and airy waterfront paradise. The patio of this cocina and tequila cantina runs right alongside the channel, giving guests a front row seat to the Seaport as they pound queso and sip margaritas. 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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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • East Boston
  • price 3 of 4

This East Boston spot appropriately reels in a crowd during the summertimemainly because of its expansive waterside patio with stunning views. Because the coastal restaurant is situated in Eastie, its sprawling outdoor seating gives diners a rare look at Boston’s downtown in its near entirety. So pull up a bistro chair, munch down some tuna crudo tacos and feel that Harbor breeze against your face. (And if you're stuck South of the city, check out its sister location on Quincy's Marina Bay).

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Seaport District
  • price 2 of 4

As the flagship location within Legal Sea Foods' empire, Legal Harborside offers three floors of dining—all with fantastic fish-focused menus and sweeping views of Boston Harbor. On the first floor, crowds devour raw bar items and casual faves; the second floor is the epitome of elegance with its selection of upscale fare; while the third floor is reserved for private dining. After your meal, join the sea of people on its celebrated rooftop for a cocktail and the ultimate harbor views. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Charlestown
  • price 3 of 4

If you’re chasing water views, you’ll certainly find them at Pier 6. Located near Charlestown’s Navy Yard, this marina rooftop provides arguably the most incredible panorama of the Boston skyline. A colorful mix of locals typically congregate on the nautically themed deck to get their fill of fresh seafood and New England classics. A well-stocked bar is on hand to keep everyone hydrated as they drink in that salt air.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Waterfront

If you really want to show off our city’s views to an out-of-towner or your parents visiting from the ’burbs, reserve a seat at this swanky waterfront spot. Inside, you’ll catch sun and water, and outside seating affords some of the best views in town. Either way, enjoy a classic, sophisticated seafood-forward menu.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seaport District

Right off Fan Pier Park, this elegant spot serves sushi, Izakaya-style small plates and global seafood-forward dishes, on one of Boston’s largest outdoor patios. A sibling to its Nantucket location, this spot gives off fun, eclectic vibes and, if you squint on a sunny day, you might feel like you’re on The Cape.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • price 2 of 4

Kelly's is a local institution, feeding the frenzy of Revere Beach-goers with roast beef sandwiches and fried seafood since 1951.  The flagship location of this family-run business cranks out New England favorites like lobster rolls, clam chowder and fried scallops. But everybody knows that the real appeal of this place are its roast beef and its beachfront dining. Grab a juicy sandwich prepared in the North Shore's classic three-way style—that's with cheese, mayo and barbecue sauceand take in the ocean views.

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

Aptly named, this modern neighborhood restaurant gives folks an outdoor sanctuary tucked away in the shadows of TD Garden. While the impressive wine list and ever-changing menu of craft cocktails are enough to attract just about anyone, the view is the real clincher here. From its outdoor space, guests can gaze upon the calm waters of Boston Harbor, the Zakim Bridge or the herds of sports fans heading to a Celtics’ or Bruins’ game.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Seaport District

Where better to enjoy more than 250 varieties of tequila and elevated Mexican cuisine than on a patio with waterfront views? Sit back and watch the wake from this Seaport destination as you dine on inspired items like lobster guacamole, short rib empanadas and grilled skirt steak tampiquena. Wash it all down with the bar's piña picante margarita and a sunset over Liberty Wharf.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Seaport District

While this white table-clothed establishment considers itself a Northern Italian steakhouse, it also seems completely at home by the sea. Davio’s Seaport is located right on Fan Pier, where guests can savor sweeping views of Boston Harbor as they work their way through antipasti, house-made pastas, expertly grilled steaks and fish dishes. The patio’s panorama alone provides enough incentive to pull up a seat at this elegant eatery, but it’s this place’s expansive gluten-free and health-conscious options that also make it a must amongst diners with dietary restrictions.

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  • Restaurants
  • Fast food spots
  • South Boston
  • price 1 of 4

This no-fuss seasonal joint has been doing its thing on Castle Island since the 1950s. Its no-frills menu of cheap hot dogs, fish and chips, and burgers may not be glamorous, but its views of the Boston Harbor Islands are spectacular. It's well worth the trip deep into Southie to stop here for a wallet-friendly dog, raspberry lime ricky and some ocean air.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

Set right along the Fort Point Channel, this red-shingled seafood shack and open-air tent serves as party central during the summer months for locals and tourists alike. Gather at the spot's picnic tables, beneath lamps made of lobster traps strung with Christmas lights, for steamers, fried Ipswich clams or a full New England seafood bake. Just remember to stay hydrated and really push those Dels Shandies.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Waterfront

This classy yet casual spot serves fresh, inventive seafood dishes year-round from its Boston Harbor Hotel kitchen. As the name would imply, it's located right on Rowes Wharf, where its seasonal patio sits right on the water. In the summer months, the hotel hosts its live music series, Summer in the City, outdoors during the week, so we suggest snagging a table at the Grille on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for the perfect evening of food and cocktails, tunes and water views.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Seaport District

A popular place for power lunches and celebratory dinners, Strega Italiano Waterfront specializes in classic Italian-American plates, seafood and steaks. This fabulous Seaport spot features a glamorous interior filled with original artwork, but the real masterpiece can be seen from its outdoor dining area: those pristine Harbor views. Drink them in alongside a glass of wine and a big old meatball. 

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