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A dining greenhouse at Bow Market
An outdoor dining greenhouse at Bow Market
Nathan Tavares/Eater Boston

11 Sheltered Patios for Outdoor Dining in Boston When it Rains

From igloos to retractable roofs to greenhouses, Boston boasts a number outdoor dining options for inclement weather

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An outdoor dining greenhouse at Bow Market
| Nathan Tavares/Eater Boston

Winter is finally over, spring is finally here, and patio season is finally upon us. As Greater Boston continues to thaw, its hungry residents are eager to partake in some al fresco dining. But as any Bostonian knows, the weather here can be a little, uh, unpredictable. No one wants to hang out on a patio while an unexpected rain storm rolls in and soaks their fish and chips. This list zeroes in on patios with rain cover — igloos, retractable roofs, greenhouses, etc. — to protect that otherwise pleasant open air dining experience from the elements.

Without further ado, here are 11 Boston-area restaurants with sheltered patios.

See also: The Eater Boston Outdoor Dining Guide for 2021

Please note that a number of Boston-area restaurants have resumed dine-in service, and the level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in the area, please visit the Massachusetts coronavirus website.

Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

For all the latest Boston dining intel, subscribe to Eater Boston’s newsletter.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Season To Taste

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2447 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 945-9535
Visit Website

One can still experience Season to Taste’s farm-to-table fare outdoors even when the weather forecast is foreboding. Check out the cabana-style patio tables, each with their own heat lamp. The cabanas provide the perfect amount of secluded cover to feast on snacks like bone marrow served with roasted garlic and toast, as well as entrées of halibut with rich coconut green curry.

Season to Taste is open for indoor dining and outdoor dining (reserve here), as well as takeout and delivery.

Outdoor dining setups in Cambridge, in the form of cabanas. A server greets a table, which is also under an awning.
The covered cabanas at Season to Taste in Cambridge
Provided

2. Bow Market

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1 Bow Market Way
Somerville, MA 02143

Along with a number of local retailers and the Comedy Studio, Bow Market features a host of restaurants, from the excellent Filipino-American cuisine at Tanám to the vegan Egyptian street food at Koshari Mama. The courtyard at Bow Market offers a number of covered dining spaces in the form of greenhouses, and patrons can reserve them the market’s host station. Head to Somerville and enjoy bibimbap  from Perillas, empanadas from Buenas — and more — all while shielded from the elements.

Check Bow Market’s website for a list of vendors, along with the level of service offered by each.

A dining greenhouse at Bow Market
A greenhouse at Bow Market
Nathan Tavares/Eater Boston

3. Tawakal Halal Cafe

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389 Maverick St
Boston, MA 02128
(617) 418-5890
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Along with some of the most flavorful and fiery hot sauce around (made in small batches with fresh mango and habaneros), this Eastie halal eatery features a covered outdoor dining area, where the rain won’t ruin your roti.

4. Trattoria Il Panino

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280 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 720-1336
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Guests can enjoy lunches and dinners of gnocchi and stuffed zucchini blossoms on the covered patio at Trattoria Il Panino in the North End, even on days featuring the most miserable weather. The heat lamps only bolster the cozy — as does the house special: chicken parmesan topped with creamy, melty mozzarella.

Trattoria Il Panino is open for indoor dining (reserve here), outdoor dining, and takeout.

Diners eat on a tent-covered patio in Boston’s North End.
The covered patio at Trattoria Il Panino
Provided

5. Mare Oyster Bar

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223 Hanover St, 3 Mechanic St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 723-6273
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At this seafood-centric North End spot, diners can look out at the Rose Kennedy Greenway while they snack on lobster rolls and raw bar delights. The patio features a retractable roof, with tables and lounge seating spaced around heat lamps and cozy fire pits. It’s an al fresco diner’s dream.

Mare Oyster Bar is open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, and takeout.

A patio in Boston’s North End set up with umbrellas and fireplaces, and backdropped by the skyscrapers of the Financial District.
The patio at Mare Oyster Bar in Boston’s North End can be covered by a retractable roof
Provided

6. The Barking Crab

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88 Sleeper St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 426-2722
Visit Website

Long before the gleaming towers and steakhouses rolled into the Seaport, the Barking Crab was dishing out buttery lobster rolls and no-frills fried whole-belly Ipswich clams. Hit up the spot’s tented dining space for seafood, ice cold beers, and other snacks from the sea, which is all served up with some of the best views in the city.

The Barking Crab is open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, and takeout.

7. Woods Hill Pier 4

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300 Pier Four Blvd.
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 981-4577
Visit Website

The igloos at Woods Hill Pier 4 provided a heated, sheltered spot for diners to enjoy a night out throughout the winter, and guests can still take advantage of the quirky spaces this spring. The igloos can fit up to six, though guests must reserve them ahead of time, and for a hefty sum at that.

Woods Hill Pier 4 is open for indoor dining (reserve here), outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

The lobster-piled popover at Woods Hill Pier 4 Courtesy Woods Hill Pier 4

8. Gather

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75 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 982-7220
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While not entirely protected from the elements, a fair number of the tables that hug the outside wall at Gather are protected by its geometric overhanging roof. The overhang is especially adept at protecting buttermilk pancakes from raindrops.

Gather is open for indoor dining (reserve here) and outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery.

9. La Voile

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261 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 587-4200
Visit Website

Drop anchor on the patio at La Voile on Newbury Street, where nautical themed cabanas invite guests to savor French fare en plein air. The roofed cabanas feature covered sides to shield from unexpected gusts of wind, too.

La Voile is open for open for indoor dining (reserve here), outdoor dining, and takeout.

10. Petit Robert Bistro

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02118, 480 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 867-0600
Visit Website

This South End bistro serves up steak frites, coq au vin, and other gastronomical delights from France. Come dreary weather, the retractable awning on the Columbus Street patio provides ample shelter during brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Petit Robert is open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, and takeout.

11. dbar

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1236 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02125
(617) 265-4490
Visit Website

Along with new American cuisine and exceptional cocktails (the “Grapes of Wrath,” made with vodka, muscat, and grapes, is a particular pleasure), Dorchester’s Dbar has a covered outdoor dining space that also functions as something of an open air gallery. The patio is partially covered and decorated with murals, and features a few greenhouses, which provide cozy cover from Boston’s fickle elements.

Dbar is open for indoor dining (reserve here), outdoor dining, and takeout.

1. Season To Taste

2447 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140
Outdoor dining setups in Cambridge, in the form of cabanas. A server greets a table, which is also under an awning.
The covered cabanas at Season to Taste in Cambridge
Provided

One can still experience Season to Taste’s farm-to-table fare outdoors even when the weather forecast is foreboding. Check out the cabana-style patio tables, each with their own heat lamp. The cabanas provide the perfect amount of secluded cover to feast on snacks like bone marrow served with roasted garlic and toast, as well as entrées of halibut with rich coconut green curry.

Season to Taste is open for indoor dining and outdoor dining (reserve here), as well as takeout and delivery.

2447 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

2. Bow Market

1 Bow Market Way, Somerville, MA 02143
A dining greenhouse at Bow Market
A greenhouse at Bow Market
Nathan Tavares/Eater Boston

Along with a number of local retailers and the Comedy Studio, Bow Market features a host of restaurants, from the excellent Filipino-American cuisine at Tanám to the vegan Egyptian street food at Koshari Mama. The courtyard at Bow Market offers a number of covered dining spaces in the form of greenhouses, and patrons can reserve them the market’s host station. Head to Somerville and enjoy bibimbap  from Perillas, empanadas from Buenas — and more — all while shielded from the elements.

Check Bow Market’s website for a list of vendors, along with the level of service offered by each.

1 Bow Market Way
Somerville, MA 02143

3. Tawakal Halal Cafe

389 Maverick St, Boston, MA 02128

Along with some of the most flavorful and fiery hot sauce around (made in small batches with fresh mango and habaneros), this Eastie halal eatery features a covered outdoor dining area, where the rain won’t ruin your roti.

389 Maverick St
Boston, MA 02128

4. Trattoria Il Panino

280 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
Diners eat on a tent-covered patio in Boston’s North End.
The covered patio at Trattoria Il Panino
Provided

Guests can enjoy lunches and dinners of gnocchi and stuffed zucchini blossoms on the covered patio at Trattoria Il Panino in the North End, even on days featuring the most miserable weather. The heat lamps only bolster the cozy — as does the house special: chicken parmesan topped with creamy, melty mozzarella.

Trattoria Il Panino is open for indoor dining (reserve here), outdoor dining, and takeout.

280 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113

5. Mare Oyster Bar

223 Hanover St, 3 Mechanic St, Boston, MA 02113
A patio in Boston’s North End set up with umbrellas and fireplaces, and backdropped by the skyscrapers of the Financial District.
The patio at Mare Oyster Bar in Boston’s North End can be covered by a retractable roof
Provided

At this seafood-centric North End spot, diners can look out at the Rose Kennedy Greenway while they snack on lobster rolls and raw bar delights. The patio features a retractable roof, with tables and lounge seating spaced around heat lamps and cozy fire pits. It’s an al fresco diner’s dream.

Mare Oyster Bar is open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, and takeout.

223 Hanover St, 3 Mechanic St
Boston, MA 02113

6. The Barking Crab

88 Sleeper St, Boston, MA 02210

Long before the gleaming towers and steakhouses rolled into the Seaport, the Barking Crab was dishing out buttery lobster rolls and no-frills fried whole-belly Ipswich clams. Hit up the spot’s tented dining space for seafood, ice cold beers, and other snacks from the sea, which is all served up with some of the best views in the city.

The Barking Crab is open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, and takeout.

88 Sleeper St
Boston, MA 02210

7. Woods Hill Pier 4

300 Pier Four Blvd., Boston, MA 02210
The lobster-piled popover at Woods Hill Pier 4 Courtesy Woods Hill Pier 4

The igloos at Woods Hill Pier 4 provided a heated, sheltered spot for diners to enjoy a night out throughout the winter, and guests can still take advantage of the quirky spaces this spring. The igloos can fit up to six, though guests must reserve them ahead of time, and for a hefty sum at that.

Woods Hill Pier 4 is open for indoor dining (reserve here), outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

300 Pier Four Blvd.
Boston, MA 02210

8. Gather

75 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

While not entirely protected from the elements, a fair number of the tables that hug the outside wall at Gather are protected by its geometric overhanging roof. The overhang is especially adept at protecting buttermilk pancakes from raindrops.

Gather is open for indoor dining (reserve here) and outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery.

75 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210

9. La Voile

261 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116

Drop anchor on the patio at La Voile on Newbury Street, where nautical themed cabanas invite guests to savor French fare en plein air. The roofed cabanas feature covered sides to shield from unexpected gusts of wind, too.

La Voile is open for open for indoor dining (reserve here), outdoor dining, and takeout.

261 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02116

10. Petit Robert Bistro

02118, 480 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118

This South End bistro serves up steak frites, coq au vin, and other gastronomical delights from France. Come dreary weather, the retractable awning on the Columbus Street patio provides ample shelter during brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Petit Robert is open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, and takeout.

02118, 480 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02118

11. dbar

1236 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125

Along with new American cuisine and exceptional cocktails (the “Grapes of Wrath,” made with vodka, muscat, and grapes, is a particular pleasure), Dorchester’s Dbar has a covered outdoor dining space that also functions as something of an open air gallery. The patio is partially covered and decorated with murals, and features a few greenhouses, which provide cozy cover from Boston’s fickle elements.

Dbar is open for indoor dining (reserve here), outdoor dining, and takeout.

1236 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02125

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