For an essential guide to the city, sign up for How to Boston, Boston.com’s weekly culture and lifestyle newsletter.
The weather is heating up. On cooler spring and summer nights, though, it’s nice to gather with friends for some warmth — both literal and figurative. Several area restaurants are happy to create a space for that purpose, with fire pit-filled patios where guests can order food and drinks and relax around the flames.
ArtBar, the Royal Sonesta Boston’s restaurant situated along the banks of the Charles River, amps up the patio experience with a s’mores skillet made of chocolate, graham cracker, homemade marshmallows, and salted bourbon caramel drizzle. Other shareable skillet dishes great for ordering fireside include a queso dip with fresh tortillas, barbecue-spiced tots with chipotle aioli and scallions, and french fries with aged cheddar and bacon gravy. The patio’s two fire pits seat eight people on a first-come, first-served basis and begin burning at 5:30 p.m. each night. (40 Edwin H. Land Blvd., Cambridge)
Each of the four fire pits on City Tap House’s patio seats six on cushions atop granite benches. Greg Coote, the beverage director at the Seaport gastropub, said the fire pits give off a backyard vibe. “The idea is just to share drinks around a fire,” he said. Guests can order cocktails, craft beer, and food from the restaurant’s regular menu of mussels, smoked trout sliders, steak, and more. Reservations are not accepted at the fire pits, which begin burning at 4 p.m. or sooner if requested, Coote said. (10 Boston Wharf Road, Boston)
Grab a chair and dive into cider mussels and fries, charred octopus, and house-made chips and dip around one long, communal fire pit on the patio at Glass House. The Kendall Square restaurant, which serves contemporary American and international cuisine, can seat up to a dozen first-come, first-served guests by its flames, which begin burning at 4 p.m. every day. (450 Kendall St., Cambridge)
The fire pit area at this Italian seafood restaurant has two TV screens and couches that seat six to eight guests each. So imagine this: cocktails and fried calamari plus cushions plus the Red Sox, fireside. It’s good, right? The fires in the first-come, first-served area start up at 4 p.m. daily. (3 Mechanic St., Boston)
Whether your pizza of choice is margherita, shrimp scampi, or Hawaiian, you can munch on it by firelight at MidiCi, an Assembly Row restaurant with outdoor fire pits on its patio. The Neapolitan pizza place, which opened in February, lights four fire pits at sunset each night. Eight guests can fit on the first-come, first-served soft couches and chairs around each one. (463 Assembly Row, Somerville)
Take in views of the Mystic River from the patio at another Assembly Row restaurant, River Bar, a small, lively spot that serves eclectic street food. Its two fire pits seat up to nine people, according to manager Pete Ricci, who also said they’re a great way to meet new people. “People do tend to share the fire pit and create conversations with other groups,” Ricci said. The flames begin burning at sunset. Reservations are not accepted at the fire pits, and on weekends, Ricci warned, there’s often a wait. (661 Assembly Row, Somerville)