Nothing is better than dining alfresco in Boston —

who doesn’t love some serious people watching? I wanted to put together a list of eateries that are currently setting their patios up (new and favorites), landscaping, etc. and will be ready any day.

I have listed «New» patios opening for the first time this spring 2012 and a few tried and true outdoor eating favorites. Let us know if we can further assist you or if you would like to check any of them out –anytime! I wish I had photos, but again they are just about to be set up for the 2012 season –will have them soon. Chris Haynes

New patios this year:
El Centro, Common Ground Bar & Grill, Sunset Cantina and Teranga.

Beloved patios:
Stella, Gaslight Brasserie, UpStairs on the Square, Masa, EVOO and Za.

Brand New Restaurant Patios, Spring 2012

El Centro will offer patio seating for the first time ever this spring, with tables set up along the West Concord Street sidewalk along the restaurant. Chef/Owner Allan Rodriguez is in the process of bringing back all the patio furniture that he hand selected in Mexico. The lunch, brunch and dinner menus will be available outside and will allow diners to experience authentic Mexican cuisine while soaking up the sun. The patio will be open for lunch from 11 am to 3 pm and again for dinner at 5 pm and weekend brunch from 9 am to 3 pm. El Centro is located at 472 Shawmut Avenue in the South End.

Common Ground Bar & Grill, the Allston favorite, has a new owner, new chef and a new secret patio in the back, away from the noise of the street and prying eyes. New patio furniture has been purchased and is arriving any day now, providing a comfortable hidden oasis to suck down a boozy milkshake or enjoy full dinner. The patio is open all day, with food being served from 11 am to 11 pm. Common Ground is located at 85 Harvard Avenue in Allston.

Sunset Cantina has just added a large outdoor dining space as it recently expanded into the space next door. Open till 2am every day, weather permitting. Sunset Cantina is located at 916 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.

Teranga, BostonÂ’s first and only Senegalese restaurant has a welcoming new sidewalk patio space. Located on Washington Street, diners can have a taste of worldly cuisine right on the streets of Boston. The beautiful space offers some privacy with aromatic herbs and plants in wooden planters. Lunch is served from 11 am to 2:30 Monday through Saturday and Dinner is 5 pm to 11 pm. Sunday brunch is 11:00 to 2:30 pm

Tried and True Patios

Gaslight Brasserie has been an outdoor destination for years and offers free parking. With a large, open space away from the street, and wide, white umbrellas, itÂ’s easy to forget you are even in Boston while dining at this classic French brasserie. White table cloths cover the tables, French music plays on outdoor speakers, and the whole patio is surrounded by climbing Hydrangeas. It is open nightly at 5 pm, and for weekend brunch from 10am to 3pm. 560 Harrison Avenue in the South End.

EVOO & Za. Both restaurants boast separate oversized patios next to each other. This year Owner/Chef Peter McCarthy is updating the spaces with landscaping and new umbrellas and a larger privacy wall blocking diners from the outside world. At EVOO Lunch is served from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and dinner begins at 5 pm. Za opens at 11:30 and stays open straight through until closing- 10pm Sunday through Thursday, 11pm Friday and Saturday. EVOO and Za are located at 350 3rd Street in Kendall Square, Cambridge.
(Za in Arlington — 138 Mass. Ave. does not have a patio).

UpStairs on the Square is a quintessential tried and true for outdoor dining in Harvard Square. Going into itÂ’s 10th year in the current space,

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