Top Boston Rooftop Bars: Where to Sip + Soak in the City Skyline

Whether you’re dining or just raising a glass, those who want to savor this awesome weather before the clocks turn in Boston have a plethora of options. Think Italian, sushi or BBQ, with craft cocktails and local brews to boot. Here are the top Boston rooftop bars — and a preview of what you’ll see.

Lookout Rooftop + Bar at the Envoy Hotel
Lookout may be perched high above Boston’s hottest neighborhood for nightlife, but if you don’t line up by about 4PM in the afternoon the line may snake around the block for the stunning Seaport views at this trendy newcomer. Head bartender Michael Ray works together with Beantown brewery Harpoon and local spirit makers like GrandTen for WireWorks gin and Bully Boy for rum, vodka, and whiskey to craft artisanal cocktails. The latest seasonal hit — the Rum for Your Life, with pineapple, lime, and simple syrup — celebrates the last blast of Indian summer. Views through modern glass walls offer a prime panorama of the city skyline and Boston Harbor. Post-game with noshes like tuna poke, flatbreads, and locally caught scallops from chef du cuisine Tatiana Rosana at Outlook Kitchen and Bar, also at Envoy Hotel. Make a reservation at Outlook Kitchen and Bar.

Boston Rooftop Bars

Legal Harborside
Good things come in threes at Legal Harborside, where the trio of sangrias (red, white, and strawberry) are the perfect way to toast the all-seasons rooftop bar and lounge —and three very different dining experiences on each floor. The first is a casual concept with “picnic tables” and a market, the second offers fine dining and an interior reminiscent of a ship’s dining room, and the third is the cherry on top: a four-season space with a copper fireplace and retractable glass walls and ceiling just right to admire those harvest moons glimmering over the marina. The adult slushies and Top Deck Margarita are the top choices to wash down a menu focusing on sushi and oysters. Make a reservation at Legal Harborside.

Boston Rooftop Bars

Though the vintage airstream trailer converted into a bar may be the most memorable décor on the Coppersmith roof deck, the drinks are far removed from the Solo cup beverages found in most double-wides. The mood is festive and casual, especially this fall as football lovers get a kick on Sunday and Monday game days when executive chef Jason Heard busts out a “rivals menu” including regional fare from the New England Patriots’ opposing teams including pierogies from Cleveland and crab cakes from Baltimore. Hungry for more? The Air Deck is the only space you can order “Air Deck Picnics,” family-style bites like BBQ, tacos, and sliders served up in vintage Radio Flyer wagons for 6-20 people (must be ordered in advance). Make it a party and tap your toes to live music being offered Sunday afternoons on the deck from 4-7PM, too. Make a reservation at Coppersmith.

Boston Rooftop Bars

 Top of the Hub
Top of the Hub may be in the heart of the Boston, but the drink menu hits are straight up Caribbean. Lead bartender Arley Howard serves up frothy pina coladas in a city largely devoid of frozen cocktails, in addition to a plethora of mojitos. One of the most popular tipples is the Level 52 — so named for the floor the restaurant occupies in the landmark skyscraper of the Prudential Center — featuring vodka and Chambord topped with Champagne in an ice-cold martini glass with raspberries. It’s great to raise a toast to the stunning views across Boston Harbor up to 80 out, and try one of the more than 3,000 bottles of bubbly or wine in the Hub’s two large wine rooms. Any and all drinks are a terrific way to get those dancing feet loosened up for live music or as a precursor to new executive chef Stefan Jarausch’s menu, which changes seasonally. Make a reservation at Top of the Hub.

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Introducing Premium Access Reservations in Boston: Frequent Diners Earn Special Access to Hard-to-Book Restaurants

We are pleased to announce that we are piloting a new Premium Access reservations feature, which rewards frequent OpenTable diners with special access to in-demand reservations set aside by participating restaurants especially for them. The new feature allows restaurants to fill seats with frequent, high-value diners while giving loyal OpenTable users access to some of Boston’s hottest tables using their OpenTable Dining Rewards Points.

You can experience the new feature at participating restaurants by signing into your OpenTable account via the mobile app, choose the Boston area, look for the “Premium Access” category on the home screen and select the restaurant where you would like to dine. If the restaurant’s standard reservations are fully booked, diners with enough points will be able to view and book Premium Access reservations.

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Election Drinks and Dishes: Red or Blue, It’s Up to You

Every four years, autumn shepherds the start of election season. As the leaves turn colors, so do cocktails and specials in restaurants around the country. In honor of that and National Voter Registration Day, we present election drinks and dishes that embrace the spirit of the campaigns and the candidates. Unsurprisingly, you’ll find many of these specials at restaurants in our nation’s capital.

SideBAR, New York, New York
This Union Square sports bar is game on with a couple of fun presidential candidate cocktails. They are: Hillary Clinton’s Secret Server, an Apple Martini which gives a nod to her stint as the Big Apple’s Senator but which also features blackberries because, well, you know. And, wait for it…The Donald Drumpf, a towering Apple Pie Punch (Amaretto, Sour Apple Pucker, and Goldschlager with gold flakes, and served in a Mr. Potato Head.) The cocktail is priced at $50 “because like Trump, it’s ‘huuge’,” says a restaurant spokeswoman. Oh dear. Make a reservation at SideBAR.

Election Drinks and Dishes

Del Frisco’s Grille, Hoboken, New Jersey
Del Frisco’s has debuted political burgers — The Donald and The Hillary — nationwide in its 21 restaurants “to give diners the chance to enjoy a couple of classic American burgers before moving to Canada.” Order The Donald and you’ll get a well-done prime beef patty (he’s known to order steaks well done), aged cheddar cheese, heirloom tomato, and Bibb lettuce on a gold bun served with a side of tiny pickles. The Hillary burger is classified — Grille guests can send an email to to receive burger details. Oh boy. Make a reservation at Del Frisco’s Grille.

Election Drinks and Dishes

FireLake Grill House, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The bar team here crafted a cocktail menu inspired by this year’s presidential mix: Feel the Bern, (Illegal Mezcal Joven, fresh lime juice, Sprite, and sriracha hot sauce). For the Republican presidential candidate “that always must have the last word,” FireLake came up with the Last Word, pictured, (J. Carver Grimm Farm Gin, Green Chartreuse, Luxardo, and fresh lime juice.) And, as a shout out to Ted Cruz being born in Canada, there’s the Maple Leaf cocktail with Evan Williams Bourbon, lemon juice, and maple syrup garnished with a cinnamon stick. Make a reservation at FireLake Grill House.

Election drinks and dishes

The Grill Room, Washington, D.C. 
Executive chef Frank Ruta of this D.C. politico favorite restaurant in the Rosewood Hotel has curated Red and Blue Plate prix-fixe lunch specials. A sampling: from the Red Menu, you’ll find the Texas-Style Pulled Pork Sandwich on Texas Toast. From the Blue Menu, check out the Maine Lobster Salad. And bartenders Cecilio Silva and Ismael Barreto crafted three election-themed cocktails to pair with the lunch specials — Thyme to Decide (gin, honey syrup, lemon juice, and blackberries, garnished with a thyme leaf), The Green Card (vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, and Blue Curacao, garnished with blueberries and lemon twist), and Pacific Blue (Mescal, honey, lime, ginger syrup and garnished with a lime wheel and basil leaves). There’s also weekly informal polling to see which cocktail gets the popular vote, too. Make a reservation at The Grill Room.

Election drinks and dishes

Lincoln, Washington, D.C.
This restaurant is a shout-out to Honest Abe, and if you cast your order for one of the presidential cocktails through Election Day, your sip preference will be tallied on a blackboard at the bar. The results of the cocktail voter poll are updated every Friday on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Drink choices include The Trump Tower, a smug twist on the classic Negroni with Earl Gre- Infused Absolut Elyx, Aperol, and Dolin Blanc. Hillary’s Inbox features nonclassified ingredients — Absolut Elyx, Drambuie, Blue Curacao, Orgeat syrup, lime juice, and soda. Make a reservation at Lincoln.

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Visual Sugar Rush: 8 Pastry Chefs on Instagram to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Pastry Chefs on Instagram

Scrolling through your Instagram can give you a visual sugar rush. That’s because pastry chefs are using the  photo-driven app to show off their most dazzling creations, give diners a peek into the baking process, and hint at what sweet treats might be coming to their menus next. Here are eight highly accomplished pastry chefs on Instagram you should follow if you’re trying to figure out what delicious dessert to dive into next.

Scott Green, aka @chef_scottgreen, of Pavilion, Chicago

Before he got into pastry, Green attended fine arts school to study oil painting and ultimately received a degree in graphic design. His dexterity with composition, color, shape, and form are showcased in the drool-inducing photos he posts. “Different medium, different tools, same principles,” he says.

He shoots on a Nikon D3200 using a strobe light and holds his photo sessions in a storage closet in the hotel where the restaurant is located. “When my colleagues see flashes going off under the door, they know I’m shooting and they shouldn’t come in,” he says.

Rather than follow fellow pastry chefs for ideas, his feed is full of architects, textile enthusiasts, tattoo artists, and illustrators. “I don’t want to repeat what I’ve seen,” he says. “There are a lot of people who will shoot specifically for Instagram, but I want to just shoot pictures that I like.”

Pro Tip: “Be in tune with what your audience likes and doesn’t like. I don’t put savory dishes up. I don’t put up personal shots very often. It makes me cringe when I post a photo that doesn’t fit with that I do.”

Pastry Chefs on Instagram

Chris Ford, aka @butterloveandhardwork, of THE Blvd, Los Angeles

“I want to kill it with every single post,” says Ford. “No filler. I’m not going to put a picture up if isn’t going to further me, my team, or the larger community of chefs. This attitude makes you push yourself further and harder.”

The self-taught shutterbug uses a Canon Rebel XSi to turn his pastries into Instagram stars. Occasionally, he snaps shots of his adorable French bulldog, Josephine. One of his most liked posts (nearly 6,000 hearts) features Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner. Along with Khloe and a film crew, they stopped by the hotel to score some of Ford’s well-loved cream puffs, which he topped off with edible pictures of Kanye and North. “Kris took my number, but I’m still waiting for the call,” says Ford.

We’re not sure what she’s waiting for, but we can’t urge her strongly enough to pick up the phone and call.

Pro Tip: “I shoot plated desserts from above, so you see the flow and the story of the dish. I want the viewer to see what I see.”

Pastry Chefs on Instagram

Brian Mercury, aka @mercurybrian, of Oak + Rowan, Boston

You won’t see any selfies in Mercury’s feed. No rants and raves. No political posts. His pictures fall into two distinct categories: family and food. “I’ve got a 3-year-old and an 11-month-old,” says the chef. “If I’m not cooking, I’m home with them.”

He captures his baked goods and his little ones using his iPhone 6. His go-to method for scoring a sweet shot of his baked goods is to place it outside or near a bright window and shoot it over the top. Occasionally, he’ll place a plated dessert on dirt or in the grass to add a natural element with interesting textures. “Sometimes you have to add some whimsy or put something in the background,” he adds. “But sometimes getting a good shot is just dumb luck.”

Pro Tip: “I’m a huge fan of negative space, both on the plate and in the background. I like bright white plates that makes colors pop.”

pastry chefs on instagram

Alex Levin, aka @alexnlevin, of Osteria Morini, Washington, D.C.

There’s a cult following for Levin’s best-selling warm dark chocolate cake. If he posts pictures of it too often, the restaurant gets swamped with orders and he runs the risk of running out. So, he keeps his feed lively with a mixture of his other desserts and a backstage look at the life of a pastry chef. “I enjoy inviting people to see what I do,” he says.

He wants to get his followers’ salivary glands working overtime, their hearts pumping, and have their eyes pop out of their head. “It’s about being a source of temptation,” he says. “It’s supposed to be food pornography.”

As well as enticing viewers, Instagram is a way for him to be a part of a larger community and to get a glimpse of what his peers are doing in kitchens around the world. “I get excited when I see what other chefs are doing,” he says. “It’s inspiring.”

Pro Tip: “You have to be smart about using hashtags, so you don’t annoy people.”

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