We spend plenty of winter days requesting fireside tables and warming up with chowder at our favorite restaurants. When the mercury rises, however, the coveted tables are often the ones outside, adjacent to the sidewalk. Eateries love to open their patios and windows and crank their umbrellas up, while patrons love to linger over drinks and soak in the ambiance and the rhythm of the city. There are dozens of Boston-area restaurants where you could enjoy delicious al fresco dining with side orders of gentle breezes and sunsets. Here are a few:
  • North 26 Restaurant & Bar Near Faneuil Hall, Boston 
    Relax at a sidewalk table at the Millennium Bostonian Hotel's restaurant, watch the hubbub at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and indulge your lobster cravings with lobster bisque, a lobster roll, or, if you are feeling adventurous, lobster quesadilla or a lobster Cobb salad.
  • Del Frisco’s Seaport District, Boston. 
    The mouth-watering steaks, extensive wine list, and seafood specialties, such as oysters on the half shell and stone crab claws, taste particularly good when paired with the stunning views available on the outdoor patio and balcony that overlook the harbor.
  • 29 Newbury Back Bay, Boston. 
    The trendy shoppers walking past on Newbury Street put on a show for free as you sit at a sidewalk table. Enjoy trendy entrees such as an organic wheatberry salad, a rice bowl with spicy black beans and grilled romaine, or "Over the Top," a warm shrimp salad mixed with, among other things, asparagus and a basil-lemon emulsion.
  • Kika Tapas Kendall Square, Cambridge. 
    Dine on the red umbrella tables in the bustling square and savor traditional Spanish paellas (saffron rice) or fideuas (pasta). Or try the namesake tapas and share small plates of patatas bravas (potato), gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp), or many other dishes.

Photo: North 26 Restaurant