Al Fresco Dining in the North End

By: Tristyn Surprenant

There is nothing like the ambiance of al fresco dining on a warm night. This is markedly true in the pandemic era, when all that’s been available to restaurant patrons for the past few months has been takeout. Fortunately, North End establishments have been able to take advantage of the existing charm of the neighborhoods—and the sidewalk space—to cater to customers in a safe, entertaining way outdoors. Considering the al fresco experience is something that many revel in during the summer under regular circumstances, this solution truly is a win-win. If you’re looking to enjoy a meal and the lively, outside atmosphere of the North End, check out some of these locations.


At Mare Oyster Bar on Hanover street, you’ll enjoy a more modern vibe on their rooftop lounge. There are couches and low tables with fire features that create a high- end, cocktail-chic experience. Head over for drinks and a bite or to sample the signature raw bar.



At Forcella in North Square, you’ll be seated in a courtyard bordered by the walls of adjacent brick buildings. It’s a shade-filled, intimate spot outfitted with bistro lights and cute furniture. With a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine, it’s the perfect destination for date night.


Right down the main vein of Hanover Street is Trattoria Il Panino, “Boston’s first original trattoria.” Their famous pasta dishes are best enjoyed at the covered patio area, open to the breeze and the sidewalk which is prime for people-watching.



Mother Anna’s has been serving devoted customers at its Hanover Street location for more than 85 years, and will continue to do so at its new outdoor seating area situated in front of the establishment. You’ll get the same homey, traditional dining experience–only in front of the building rather than in it.


Ristorante Fiore always offers al fresco seating on its ground level patio, which is gated off from the sidewalk, and its deck area on the back of the building. High-top tables and an outdoor bar make it a fun atmosphere to catch up with friends in.

Photo Credits-Rocco Campano

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