Central Massachusetts’ all too short outdoor dining season has begun…with many local eateries capitalizing on the good weather and offering dining al fresco!

Dining outdoors means different things to different restaurants. Some restaurants, like Volturno, Lock 50, La Scala, Vintage Grille and The Mill 185 have built large open-air patios outfitted to take advantage of the good weather months. Others like Nuovo, Meze, Brew City and Corner Grille set up tables on the sidewalks in front of their restaurants giving your meal a bit more of an urban feel. Mezcal in Worcester brings the outdoors inside by opening the floor-to-ceiling glass doors while their Leominster location offers patio dining under umbrellas. Looking for waterfront dining? Guiseppe’s in Northborough offers upscale dining on a deck overlooking Solomon Pond and Point Breeze on Lake Webster bring deck dining (and drinking) to a whole new level. Still others like Smokestack, The Citizen and VIA offer covered patios to extend the outdoor dining experience even when Mother Nature doesn’t fully cooperate.

So whether it’s a quiet spot to enjoy a romantic dinner, a sun-drenched patio to people watch or dinner on the deck lakeside with cocktails and friends, there is an al fresco spot to match any occasion and mood!

Here are a few of our favorite places to eat, drink and enjoy the good weather months while they last!

Ceres Bistro

One of Worcester’s most elegant outdoor dining experiences, Ceres Bistro offers full-menu dining in the garden patio surrounded by luxurious plantings, flowers and landscaping. Live jazz on Thursday evenings and drinks at the open-air bar are also popular in the warmer months!

Flying Rhino

For outdoor dining, Flying Rhino has it all. Tables with umbrellas on the sidewalk for that urban feel, a huge outdoor deck for a more casual, relaxed experience and one weekend every summer, they transform their parking lot into a full blown, stick your feet in the sand beach and cookout experience that will make you forget you are on Shrewsbury St. One of the more popular decks in Worcester so get here early if you want a table.


At Zorba’s Worcester location, you can enjoy a full Greek dining experience under an enormous covered patio that runs the entire length of the front of the restaurant. A summer experience not to be missed is enjoying one of their famous sangrias and a selection of meze’s on this patio! And for when the weather isn’t perfect, Zorba’s patio is covered to make sure you can still enjoy the experience.

NU Café

Located right outside the front door, the big comfortable patio at NU Café features lots of tables with umbrellas to relax and enjoy coffee, fruit smoothies, breakfast and lunch. A great place anytime of the day, the patio at NU Café sits off the street, making it a quiet oasis from the hectic pace of the day.