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Overhead shot of a charred octopus tentacle on a white plate, garnished with a black sauce, pickled fennel, and bright red peppers. It’s on a light wooden table; a wooden floor is visible underneath.
An octopus dish at Atlántico, a South End restaurant that is open for lunch on Fridays and offers outdoor seating.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Where to Eat Lunch Outdoors on a Weekday in and Around Boston

Looking to book a business lunch on a patio on a Monday afternoon? Try one of these 25 spots.

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An octopus dish at Atlántico, a South End restaurant that is open for lunch on Fridays and offers outdoor seating.
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Whether one is sneaking out of the office for a weekday lunch date or booking a business meeting over a midday meal or just changing up the usual routine, it can sometimes be difficult to find a great restaurant that is open for lunch on a weekday and offers a nice outdoor seating area. Here are 25 such options in and around Boston, serving tapas on a South End sidewalk, tacos on a hidden patio in Allston, banh mi in a Cambridge garden, and more.

Please note that while operating hours mentioned in this map were accurate at the time of publication, restaurants’ hours are subject to change without notice — and many restaurants are changing them frequently these days, given the immense staffing challenges. Lunch service is often first on the chopping block, so it’s best to double check with a restaurant directly before heading over.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Snappy Pattys (Monday through Friday)

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The partially covered patio tucked away behind this West Medford mainstay is cozy and casual — great for a weekday lunch with friends, and it’s family-friendly, too. It’s comforting fare: the eponymous snappy pattys (essentially sliders in a variety of styles, which diners can mix and match), sandwiches, salads, and more. Don’t miss the chowder and the fried chicken, and be sure to order a side of tater tots, which come in a generously sized bowl. Solid beer list, too.

A stack of mini burgers on buttery toast sit in a white paper container on a patio table, with a big white bowl of tater tots and a mojito visible in the background.
Snappy pattys and tots on the Snappy Pattys patio in Medford.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Sugar & Spice (Monday through Friday)

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Even though it’s right on busy Massachusetts Avenue in the heart of Porter Square, the Sugar & Spice sidewalk patio always feels like an oasis, decorated with plenty of flowers and partially covered with umbrellas. It’s one of the best Thai restaurants in town — while its menu is huge, it expertly dials into various regional specialties — and there are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. No reservations, but diners can add themselves to the waitlist on the way over.

A gold bowl of Thai soup with pieces of pork belly, an egg, and rolled rice noodles visible, as well as crushed chile flakes.
Guay jub at Sugar & Spice.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Gran Gusto (Wednesday through Friday)

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Hidden away in a quiet part of Cambridge, Gran Gusto is one of the best Italian restaurants around; the pizza, the lasagna, and the paccheri are all must-tries. There’s some patio space out in front, embellished with trellises and greenery. The restaurant does take reservations, but not specifically for outdoor seating.

Paccheri garnished with a meaty short rib ragu and a sprig of rosemary sits on a white plate on a dark background
Paccheri with short rib ragu at Gran Gusto.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The Neighborhood Restaurant (Monday through Friday)

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The Neighborhood’s enormous breakfasts are legendary, and the cream of wheat is iconic, but there are plenty of lunch options too — hearty comfort food with a Portuguese twist. Seating is first come, first served; the wait for the grapevine-covered patio is long on summer weekend mornings, but you shouldn’t have a problem getting a seat during weekday lunch hours.

A blue outdoor table is covered with large plates of breakfast food. Two pink plates in the foreground hold chocolate chip pancakes, hashbrowns, egg, and sausage.
Neighborhood’s meals are gigantic.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Bow Market (vendor schedules vary)

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On weekday afternoons, Bow Market’s courtyard seating is first come, first served, and it’s dog-friendly and kid-friendly. Hours vary for the vendors at the Somerville collection of restaurants, bars, and shops, but you’ll almost always find at least a few dining options available. Mike & Patty’s and Saus are open for lunch every weekday, for example, serving sandwiches (Mike & Patty’s) and vegetarian poutine, Beyond dogs, and salad bowls (Saus). Catch Perillas (bibimbap) Tuesday through Friday, Hooked (poke bowls and lobster rolls) Thursday and Friday, Koshari Mama (vegan Egyptian food) on Friday, and more.

Overhead shot of a compostable bowl full of bibimbap. A soft-boiled, marinated egg is split in half on top of a pile of sliced cucumbers, carrots, and other veggies as well as bulgogi beef.
Bibimbap from Perillas, one of Bow Market’s food vendors.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Brewer's Fork (Monday through Friday)

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This friendly Charlestown destination features excellent wood-fired pizzas and more (not to mention a stellar beer list), with plenty of patio seating. Lunch is available daily, starting at 11:30 a.m., and there’s an abbreviated menu available between 3 and 5 p.m. (pizza, oysters, a few small plates). No reservations. If the patio’s full, get pizza to go and take a short walk to the Charlestown Navy Yard, which has plenty of green space for picnicking. Or, check out the Brewer’s Fork’s new sibling spot in the Navy Yard, Dovetail. The Dovetail restaurant isn’t open until dinner on weekdays, but its grab-and-go shop opens midday and offers sandwiches and more.

Closeup view of a pizza topped with crumbled chorizo and a green sauce. Patio furniture is visible in the background.
Chorizo and tomatillo pizza (a special) on the patio at Brewer’s Fork in Charlestown.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

ReelHouse (Monday through Friday)

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Enjoy East Boston’s stunning waterfront views from ReelHouse, serving a seafood-heavy menu daily from 11 a.m. Want to eat a giant shellfish tower for lunch? You can do that here. Patio seating is first come, first served.

A silver bowl on a metal stand is full of ice, shrimp, crab claws, and more. Dark blue restaurant booths are visible behind it.
ReelHouse’s seafood tower.
Brian Samuels Photography

Cicada Coffee Bar (Tuesday through Friday)

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This new Vietnamese cafe features a dreamy little garden out back with a bit of seating. Try a noodle salad or banh mi from the pescatarian menu with Vietnamese coffee on the side.

Three banh mi with different fillings sit on a straw tray on a beige tiled floor
Cicada Coffee Bar’s banh mi.
Cicada Coffee Bar

Alcove (Monday through Friday)

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Set away from the main street in Boston’s increasingly bustling West End, Alcove — from longtime industry vet Tom Schlesinger — offers Zakim Bridge views from its outdoor seating area and daily lunch that features New England seafood, meats, and produce. Try it for a casual lunch with work colleagues or clients who would appreciate Maine crab nori rolls, blackened fish tacos, and bits of prosciutto with local stracciatella. Diners can reserve outdoor seating.

Overhead shot of a white plate on a light wood surface at Alcove in Boston’s West End. On the plate is prosciutto, a small bowl of straciatella, and several bite-sized bits of fried dough.
Prosciutto with stracciatella and fried dough at Alcove.
Emily Kan

Commonwealth (Tuesday through Friday)

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This Kendall Square favorite serves lunch until 4 p.m. on weekdays (except Mondays) and features ample outdoor space. The concise menu is mainly sandwich-based, with a few salads available. Commonwealth fans are particularly enthusiastic about the restaurant’s fried chicken sandwich. Outdoor seating is first come, first served.

Naco Taco (Monday through Friday)

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The Naco Taco patio, located near MIT, is lively and spacious, and there are heat lamps if needed. Tacos and tortas dominate the menu, and there are plenty of margaritas available to make that midday meeting a little more fun. Reserve online.

Peregrine (Monday through Friday)

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Sibling to Somerville’s acclaimed Juliet, Peregrine — located at the Whitney Hotel in Beacon Hill — draws inspiration from Catalonia, Sardinia, and Sicily, as well as New England. It has plenty of lovely courtyard and patio space, where diners can eat things like fancy ham, pasta pomodoro, Catalan tomato bread, and more. Reserve online.

Servia (Tuesday through Friday)

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Modern Eastern Mediterranean cuisine — with a full cocktail list — for the Financial District lunch crowds: hearty pastitsio, kebab wraps, meze, and more. Servia, a late 2020 arrival, features some umbrella-bedecked sidewalk seating, set back a bit from foot traffic with some boxy hedges. Weekday lunch, beginning at 11 a.m., is available Tuesday through Friday; Servia only takes reservations for dinner.

Closeup shot of a lasagna-like dish, pastitsio, dripping with a white sauce. The top is browned in the oven and sprinkled with green herbs.
Servia’s pastitsio.
Brian Samuels Photography

Lone Star Taco Bar (Monday through Friday)

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Fans of Allston mainstay Deep Ellum shed a tear when its sibling and neighbor Lone Star Taco Bar took over its space, but now diners can enjoy tacos, margaritas, and more on the former Deep Ellum patio, one of the best hidden patios around. No reservations.

Stillwater (Monday through Friday)

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Stillwater’s patio opens at 11 a.m. daily, serving up comfort food like smoked pork mac and cheese, a “hangover” burger with tater tots, and peanut butter and jelly creme brulee where Downtown Crossing, Chinatown, and the Leather District meet. Patio reservations are available.

Buttermilk & Bourbon (Monday through Friday)

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The sunken, heated patio at the original Buttermilk & Bourbon location features Back Bay vibes but a bit of separation from foot traffic. Inspired by the cuisine of New Orleans and the broader South, Buttermilk & Bourbon is the place to go for a hearty lunch of fried chicken, honey-glazed biscuits, and roasted oysters. Reserve online.

Several pieces of fried chicken sit in a high-rimmed white bowl on a table with a vase of red flowers visible in the background. Plush red booth seating is also visible.
Fried chicken at Buttermilk & Bourbon’s original Boston location.
Maria DeNapoli

Saltie Girl (Monday through Friday)

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Over the course of the pandemic, intimate Back Bay seafood restaurant Saltie Girl moved into a much larger space next door — which includes garden-level and street-level dining al fresco — while its seafood pizza offshoot took over the original space. Saltie Girl 2.0 is still serving up fun seafood dishes of many genres, from fried lobster and waffles to moules frites to lobster rolls to torched salmon belly (which is particularly good). Patio seating is first come, first served.

 

Yankee Lobster Co. (Monday, Wednesday through Friday)

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Make the trek to the far end of Boston’s Seaport District for lobster rolls, fish sandwiches, and chowder at Yankee Lobster Co., which dates back to 1950. Customers can also grab fresh seafood to cook at home from the market section — live lobsters and crabs, steamers, salmon filets, and more.

Chickadee (Tuesday through Friday)

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Not far from Yankee Lobster (see above), Chickadee draws inspiration from the Mediterranean. On the lunch menu, this means a mix of cold and hot meze, as well as pita stuffed with various fillings — try the slow-roasted porchetta or crispy chicken. Diners can reserve outdoor seating.

Atlántico (Friday)

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Michael Serpa, the chef and restaurateur behind Select Oyster Bar and Grand Tour, added Atlántico to the mix in late 2020, featuring a seafood-focused menu of small plates inspired by the Iberian Peninsula: crudos; sauteed clams with chorizo; bomba rice with cuttlefish; and such. Normally offering simple cafe service on weekday mornings into the early afternoon, the restaurant serves its full dinner menu for Friday lunch, starting at noon — great for a date. Diners can reserve outdoor seating.

Three small tapas dishes sit on a light wooden table with a glass of white wine and red wine visible. The dish in the foreground is a tuna crudo, while the other two dishes are blurred in the background.
Atlántico’s crudo de atun (yellowfin tuna with guindilla peppers).
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar (Monday through Friday)

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When one’s weekday lunch craving involves tacos, oysters, and maybe some tequila, enter Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar. The Southie hotspot offers daily lunch on a festive sidewalk patio.

Doña Habana (Monday through Friday)

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If you can wait for a late lunch, Cuban restaurant Doña Habana opens at 2 p.m. on weekdays, serving its full dinner menu — ropa vieja, vaca frita, paella, and more. The restaurant does take reservations, but not specifically for its outdoor tables.

A whole lobster sits on a white plate. Flames are coming off of it.
Flaming lobster at Doña Habana.
Doña Habana

Brassica Kitchen & Cafe (Wednesday through Friday)

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Funky Jamaica Plain restaurant and cafe Brassica serves weekday breakfast until 3 p.m., with some lunch items coming into play at 11 a.m., Wednesday through Friday. The lunch menu is mainly sandwiches, and yes, Brassica’s excellent fried chicken is available. The patio is covered (and heated when the weather calls for it), and reservations can be made specifically for outdoor seating.

Two hands hold a wicker basket full of fried chicken toward the camera
Brassica Kitchen’s fried chicken.
Brassica Kitchen

The Bowery Bar (Monday through Friday)

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This big, colorful patio in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester is the weekday lunch spot for lobster mac and cheese, crab rangoon dip, and nachos topped with Buffalo fried chicken. Reserve online.

Steel & Rye (Wednesday through Friday)

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Just past Dorchester, Milton restaurant Steel & Rye introduced its onsite bakery and cafe in 2020, making for a good lunch option during the week. (Outdoor seating is available on the restaurant’s pleasant parking lot patio — first come, first served — and diners can order inside at the counter or via QR code on their phones.) Choose among sandwiches like meatball parm or sourdough grilled cheese, and leave room for a pastry or two, such as a blueberry muffin or a peach and white chocolate scone. Fresh juices and coffee round out the menu. And don’t forget to take home a loaf of bread.

Snappy Pattys (Monday through Friday)

The partially covered patio tucked away behind this West Medford mainstay is cozy and casual — great for a weekday lunch with friends, and it’s family-friendly, too. It’s comforting fare: the eponymous snappy pattys (essentially sliders in a variety of styles, which diners can mix and match), sandwiches, salads, and more. Don’t miss the chowder and the fried chicken, and be sure to order a side of tater tots, which come in a generously sized bowl. Solid beer list, too.

A stack of mini burgers on buttery toast sit in a white paper container on a patio table, with a big white bowl of tater tots and a mojito visible in the background.
Snappy pattys and tots on the Snappy Pattys patio in Medford.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Sugar & Spice (Monday through Friday)

Even though it’s right on busy Massachusetts Avenue in the heart of Porter Square, the Sugar & Spice sidewalk patio always feels like an oasis, decorated with plenty of flowers and partially covered with umbrellas. It’s one of the best Thai restaurants in town — while its menu is huge, it expertly dials into various regional specialties — and there are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. No reservations, but diners can add themselves to the waitlist on the way over.

A gold bowl of Thai soup with pieces of pork belly, an egg, and rolled rice noodles visible, as well as crushed chile flakes.
Guay jub at Sugar & Spice.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Gran Gusto (Wednesday through Friday)

Hidden away in a quiet part of Cambridge, Gran Gusto is one of the best Italian restaurants around; the pizza, the lasagna, and the paccheri are all must-tries. There’s some patio space out in front, embellished with trellises and greenery. The restaurant does take reservations, but not specifically for outdoor seating.

Paccheri garnished with a meaty short rib ragu and a sprig of rosemary sits on a white plate on a dark background
Paccheri with short rib ragu at Gran Gusto.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The Neighborhood Restaurant (Monday through Friday)

The Neighborhood’s enormous breakfasts are legendary, and the cream of wheat is iconic, but there are plenty of lunch options too — hearty comfort food with a Portuguese twist. Seating is first come, first served; the wait for the grapevine-covered patio is long on summer weekend mornings, but you shouldn’t have a problem getting a seat during weekday lunch hours.

A blue outdoor table is covered with large plates of breakfast food. Two pink plates in the foreground hold chocolate chip pancakes, hashbrowns, egg, and sausage.
Neighborhood’s meals are gigantic.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Bow Market (vendor schedules vary)

On weekday afternoons, Bow Market’s courtyard seating is first come, first served, and it’s dog-friendly and kid-friendly. Hours vary for the vendors at the Somerville collection of restaurants, bars, and shops, but you’ll almost always find at least a few dining options available. Mike & Patty’s and Saus are open for lunch every weekday, for example, serving sandwiches (Mike & Patty’s) and vegetarian poutine, Beyond dogs, and salad bowls (Saus). Catch Perillas (bibimbap) Tuesday through Friday, Hooked (poke bowls and lobster rolls) Thursday and Friday, Koshari Mama (vegan Egyptian food) on Friday, and more.

Overhead shot of a compostable bowl full of bibimbap. A soft-boiled, marinated egg is split in half on top of a pile of sliced cucumbers, carrots, and other veggies as well as bulgogi beef.
Bibimbap from Perillas, one of Bow Market’s food vendors.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Brewer's Fork (Monday through Friday)

This friendly Charlestown destination features excellent wood-fired pizzas and more (not to mention a stellar beer list), with plenty of patio seating. Lunch is available daily, starting at 11:30 a.m., and there’s an abbreviated menu available between 3 and 5 p.m. (pizza, oysters, a few small plates). No reservations. If the patio’s full, get pizza to go and take a short walk to the Charlestown Navy Yard, which has plenty of green space for picnicking. Or, check out the Brewer’s Fork’s new sibling spot in the Navy Yard, Dovetail. The Dovetail restaurant isn’t open until dinner on weekdays, but its grab-and-go shop opens midday and offers sandwiches and more.

Closeup view of a pizza topped with crumbled chorizo and a green sauce. Patio furniture is visible in the background.
Chorizo and tomatillo pizza (a special) on the patio at Brewer’s Fork in Charlestown.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

ReelHouse (Monday through Friday)

Enjoy East Boston’s stunning waterfront views from ReelHouse, serving a seafood-heavy menu daily from 11 a.m. Want to eat a giant shellfish tower for lunch? You can do that here. Patio seating is first come, first served.

A silver bowl on a metal stand is full of ice, shrimp, crab claws, and more. Dark blue restaurant booths are visible behind it.
ReelHouse’s seafood tower.
Brian Samuels Photography

Cicada Coffee Bar (Tuesday through Friday)

This new Vietnamese cafe features a dreamy little garden out back with a bit of seating. Try a noodle salad or banh mi from the pescatarian menu with Vietnamese coffee on the side.

Three banh mi with different fillings sit on a straw tray on a beige tiled floor
Cicada Coffee Bar’s banh mi.
Cicada Coffee Bar

Alcove (Monday through Friday)

Set away from the main street in Boston’s increasingly bustling West End, Alcove — from longtime industry vet Tom Schlesinger — offers Zakim Bridge views from its outdoor seating area and daily lunch that features New England seafood, meats, and produce. Try it for a casual lunch with work colleagues or clients who would appreciate Maine crab nori rolls, blackened fish tacos, and bits of prosciutto with local stracciatella. Diners can reserve outdoor seating.

Overhead shot of a white plate on a light wood surface at Alcove in Boston’s West End. On the plate is prosciutto, a small bowl of straciatella, and several bite-sized bits of fried dough.
Prosciutto with stracciatella and fried dough at Alcove.
Emily Kan

Commonwealth (Tuesday through Friday)

This Kendall Square favorite serves lunch until 4 p.m. on weekdays (except Mondays) and features ample outdoor space. The concise menu is mainly sandwich-based, with a few salads available. Commonwealth fans are particularly enthusiastic about the restaurant’s fried chicken sandwich. Outdoor seating is first come, first served.

Naco Taco (Monday through Friday)

The Naco Taco patio, located near MIT, is lively and spacious, and there are heat lamps if needed. Tacos and tortas dominate the menu, and there are plenty of margaritas available to make that midday meeting a little more fun. Reserve online.

Peregrine (Monday through Friday)

Sibling to Somerville’s acclaimed Juliet, Peregrine — located at the Whitney Hotel in Beacon Hill — draws inspiration from Catalonia, Sardinia, and Sicily, as well as New England. It has plenty of lovely courtyard and patio space, where diners can eat things like fancy ham, pasta pomodoro, Catalan tomato bread, and more. Reserve online.

Servia (Tuesday through Friday)

Modern Eastern Mediterranean cuisine — with a full cocktail list — for the Financial District lunch crowds: hearty pastitsio, kebab wraps, meze, and more. Servia, a late 2020 arrival, features some umbrella-bedecked sidewalk seating, set back a bit from foot traffic with some boxy hedges. Weekday lunch, beginning at 11 a.m., is available Tuesday through Friday; Servia only takes reservations for dinner.

Closeup shot of a lasagna-like dish, pastitsio, dripping with a white sauce. The top is browned in the oven and sprinkled with green herbs.
Servia’s pastitsio.
Brian Samuels Photography

Lone Star Taco Bar (Monday through Friday)

Fans of Allston mainstay Deep Ellum shed a tear when its sibling and neighbor Lone Star Taco Bar took over its space, but now diners can enjoy tacos, margaritas, and more on the former Deep Ellum patio, one of the best hidden patios around. No reservations.

Stillwater (Monday through Friday)

Stillwater’s patio opens at 11 a.m. daily, serving up comfort food like smoked pork mac and cheese, a “hangover” burger with tater tots, and peanut butter and jelly creme brulee where Downtown Crossing, Chinatown, and the Leather District meet. Patio reservations are available.

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Buttermilk & Bourbon (Monday through Friday)

The sunken, heated patio at the original Buttermilk & Bourbon location features Back Bay vibes but a bit of separation from foot traffic. Inspired by the cuisine of New Orleans and the broader South, Buttermilk & Bourbon is the place to go for a hearty lunch of fried chicken, honey-glazed biscuits, and roasted oysters. Reserve online.

Several pieces of fried chicken sit in a high-rimmed white bowl on a table with a vase of red flowers visible in the background. Plush red booth seating is also visible.
Fried chicken at Buttermilk & Bourbon’s original Boston location.
Maria DeNapoli

Saltie Girl (Monday through Friday)

Over the course of the pandemic, intimate Back Bay seafood restaurant Saltie Girl moved into a much larger space next door — which includes garden-level and street-level dining al fresco — while its seafood pizza offshoot took over the original space. Saltie Girl 2.0 is still serving up fun seafood dishes of many genres, from fried lobster and waffles to moules frites to lobster rolls to torched salmon belly (which is particularly good). Patio seating is first come, first served.