Every year, thousands of people come to New England to experience fall. You can’t really blame them since the leaves look better, the chowder tastes sweeter, and the football team is, somehow, still superior to anything in New York. But if you already live here, or you’ve leaf-peeped yourself to exhaustion, you’re probably looking for something a little more unique. Here are 10 outdoor dining experiences that will help you enjoy this beautiful time of year.
Harvest already boasts one of the best outdoor patios around. But during the fall, when the covered space comes complete with space heaters and a wood-burning fireplace, there may not be a better place to sip on some squash soup (if you’re the sipping type). Harvest also has a three-course dinner available for $44, which is a great deal considering that’s less than the price of two lobster rolls. Patio seating is first come, first served at the moment, but you’ve already waited in line for a patch full of gourds - and there wasn’t even a nice fireplace to keep you warm there.
We’re not quite sure what to make of the autumn-inspired space at Eataly. The sight of hay bales, pumpkins, and fake foliage against the glass-lined Prudential feels about as natural as whatever candy corn is made from. If you’re looking to dine on Boylston Street, head next door to Rochambeau instead, which is open for lunch and dinner, and brunch on the weekends. You’ll be able to enjoy some French onion soup and bread pudding while taking in the kitchy fall decor the same way we prefer dealing with those neon yellow-orange triangles - from afar.
Having too many choices is tough sometimes. Having too many choices while surrounded by fire pits and well-placed ferns, on the other hand, isn’t actually that bad - especially when you get to pick between our best new restaurant of 2019 and an award-winning natural wine bar. We didn’t even talk about the bibimbap bowls, craft brews, or poutine - yeah, go make some decisions at Bow Market this fall.
If you’re a Twin Peaks fan, then you must be a pretty dedicated individual. After all, there have only ever been 48 episodes made in the past 30 years - only Ironside lovers have less to hold on to. But this fall, Brass Union launched “The Brass Lodge,” a themed Friday and Saturday evening patio with small bites and Peaks-inspired cocktails. Special Agent Cooper will be behind the bar too, though, in the vein of social-distancing, close-up selfies won’t be allowed.
For us, rotisserie chicken pairs far better with the season than anything in the pumpkin-flavored category. That’s even more true under the string lights at Branch Line’s outdoor patio space, which feels like a very natural extension of the restaurant’s dining room. Grab a side of mac and cheese, rosemary fries, and a bottle of wine with that bird, and you’ll forget about those lattes in no time.
The outdoor plastic dome is the hottest nightclub in town - unless you happen to live in Florida, in which case all bets (and fines) are off. Parties of two to six people can reserve a heated, candle-lit bubble at this farm-to-table spot in Seaport, though there are price minimums for different nights of the week. Admittedly, the cost is a little steep (at least $75 per person before taxes and tip), but if you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion with a great view, Woods Hill should be at the top of your list.
The patio at Tres Gatos isn’t huge, but it is lined with sunflowers and a whole bunch of other manicured plant life, which makes it a pretty serene spot for dinner. It’s also one of the only places in town where you can purchase some records and books with your appetizers. The food here never disappoints, and for the fall, they’ll also have some psychedelic cat blankets available for you. Plants, books, and cat blankets - all the things we felt closest to in 2020.
The sculpture in the center of Bambara’s courtyard looks like it was lifted from the set of The Shape of Water. It may also have been the source of inspiration for the restaurant’s fall movie series, which takes place every Friday evening with dinner. The current line-up includes Dead Poets Society, Little Women, and, naturally, Hocus Pocus for Halloween weekend. Heaters and hay bales are included as well.
There’s a fireplace inside Pammy’s, and since the restaurant has set up plexiglass dividers, you’re welcome to dine right next to it if you want. But since the restaurant recently acquired heaters for their new-ish patio, you can also enjoy their three-course menu outside. If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of the infamous Cambridge turkeys, which may then prompt a conversation about whether ridges are important for cranberry sauce. It’s that time of the year.
Daedalus is already on our rooftops guide, and for the cooler months this year, they’ve set up some heated dining pods that look like enlarged amoebas with Christmas lights. It’s quite a sight to behold, especially since they sit in the shadow of Harvard’s bell tower. 10 years from now, when they make a movie about a yet-unknown start-up that began during the pandemic, these pods will feature heavily, and you don’t want to miss out on experiencing a piece of non-Zuckerberg history.