We may not be able to travel very far due to the pandemic, but staycations are still very much an option. One way to channel vacation vibes: Head to the nearest rooftop bar or restaurant, taking in views of the harbor or a sparkling cityscape with a cocktail in hand.
These rooftop bars and restaurants are still open, many having altered their rules and regulations to maintain a safe and sanitary environment. Some require reservations, others allow walk-ins, but all of them provide a momentary respite as we adjust to a more sequestered summer.
Head to the upper deck of this popular Southie restaurant, where spaced-out tables and hanging lights provide a dreamy gathering spot. Weekend brunch features shakshuka, French toast, and egg sandwiches, while a drink menu includes cold beers, wine, and cocktails. Coppersmith also offers cocktails to go in the form of adult Capri Suns, which feature a new flavor each week. Reservations are encouraged and can be made on OpenTable. (40 W. Third St., Boston)
Located in the Jeffries Point neighborhood of East Boston, Cunard Tavern has expanded its outdoor seating options with sidewalk seating. But if you’re looking for a rooftop breeze, make a beeline for the top deck bar, where you can load up on bacon-wrapped dates, oysters, and fish tacos, plus beer, wine, and cocktails. If you’re enjoying your drinks, you can order a couple to go — Cunard Tavern offers takeaway cocktails like a honey melon martini and a frozen spicy paloma. Reservations are required (each reservation has a cap of 90 minutes) and parties are limited to six people. (24 Orleans St., Boston)
Find your way up to the roof deck of this Harvard Square restaurant, where lights twinkle at night and plenty of umbrellas provide shade on sunny days. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant serves burgers, fish and chips, tacos, and quinoa bowls, while cocktails run the gamut from Moscow Mules to a Daedalus Smash. Reservations through OpenTable are highly recommended. (45 1/2 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge)
Deck12 at Yotel
Formerly known as Sky Lounge, Deck 12 offers Seaport views from Yotel’s rooftop, where you’ll find plenty of comfortable seating and an extensive food and drink menu. Caribbean nachos, bifteki, fried chicken sandwiches, and Mexican chocolate bread pudding are all available, as are sparkling wines, beer, and cocktails like the Deck 12 Spritz. Make a reservation by calling 617-377-4747 or e-mailing [email protected]. (65 Seaport Blvd., Boston)
Dorchester Brewing Co.
After a massive renovation last year, Dorchester Brewing Co. emerged with a phenomenal rooftop patio. Not only can guests enjoy a solid lineup of beer, but M&M BBQ, the brewery’s in-house restaurant, offers some truly top-notch barbecue. The move: Pair a Helles Bier lager with a plate of ribs and side of coleslaw. Dorchester Brewing encourages reservations but also accepts walk-in guests. (1250 Massachusetts Ave., Boston)
Have a hankering for Mexican food? Head to Felipe’s in Harvard Square, where you can get your fill of tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and churros on the restaurant’s rooftop deck. Pair your meal with a frosty margarita or a refreshing horchata. Felipe’s doesn’t take reservations, so you may need to wait in line for a spell. (21 Brattle St., Cambridge)
Legal’s third-floor promenade deck features a retractable roof and walls, making for a breezy, sunlight-filled space to sip wine while looking out onto the harbor. The menu on the top floor is a bit more concise, comprised of shareable plates and a separate sushi menu, but the beverage menu boasts 27 wines by the glass, plus cocktails and pitchers of punch. Sanitation stations are available throughout the three-story restaurant, and reservations are strongly encouraged. (270 Northern Ave., Boston)
The Envoy Hotel’s rooftop bar is a prime spot for taking in waterfront views with friends or a date. Open for lunch and dinner, Lookout serves classic bar fare — think burgers, truffle parmesan fries, and chicken thighs — alongside a concise cocktail, beer, and wine menu. Sunset views with a glass of wine? Sounds like a solid Friday night. Reservations are currently required and can be made here. (70 Sleeper St., Boston)
Charlestown’s Pier 6 boasts a rooftop deck right on the water, where guests can tuck into shrimp cocktail and lobster rolls while watching boats taxi across the harbor. Local craft beers are on tap, along with wine, frozen cocktails, and concoctions like the Percy Fawcett, made with tequila, jalapeño, lemon, orange bitters, and agave. Reservations are strongly encouraged, and carry a maximum 1.5- to 2-hour seating time. (1 8th St., Boston)
Overlooking downtown Boston, this hotel lounge is one of the largest rooftop bars in the city, with more than 16,000-square-feet of space. Take a seat at the bar’s high top tables, comfy sofas, or lounge chairs with a bourbon-based Saratoga cocktail or vodka-infused Secret Garden. To eat, the bar offers snacks like guacamole and chips and chicken thighs, as well as larger items like lobster rolls and skirt steaks. Reservations are required and can be made on OpenTable. (200 Stuart St., Boston)
This relatively new rooftop bar atop the Cambria Hotel Boston debuted in South Boston in October, sporting stunning views of the city and, if you’re lucky, a panoramic sunset. While the menu is currently reduced as the hotel brings back staff, small plates of homemade meatballs, eggplant croquets, and truffled chicken nuggets can still be found, along with larger entrées like bolognese and carbonara. To drink, a Sixpresso on the rocks made with coffee cordial and cold brew will provide a proper caffeine jolt. Reservations are highly encouraged and can be made on Resy, and are limited to two hours. (6 W. Broadway, Boston)
The Colonnade Boston
If you’re heading to the rooftop at the Colonnade, it’s likely to use their pool. (And rightfully so! It’s a good one.) But while you’re there, hit up the Colonnade’s rooftop bar, where you can sip on strawberry margaritas, mocha mudslides, white and red sangrias, and Aperol spritzes. Hungry? The kitchen also offers a poolside menu that includes turkey wraps, Caesar salad, chicken tenders, and oysters. Hotel members can access the rooftop bar and pool for free, but non-members must pay $45 and make a reservation no more than 48 hours in advance by calling 617-425-3408. (120 Huntington Ave., Boston)
Trillium Fort Point
The Seaport branch of Trillium offers a small but mighty rooftop deck, perfect for people-watching while enjoying a Permutation 16, Channel Charge, and whatever else they have on tap that day. For noshing, the Eastern Standard pretzel is a solid snack, and arrives with Bavarian mustard and warm beer cheese. Reservations are required and can be made on Resy day-of, starting at 9 a.m. The maximum party size is six people, and guests must limit their visit to 90 minutes. (50 Thomson Place, Boston)
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