Outdoor restaurant dining is a thrill. Enjoy a table with a sweet view, favorable weather, or just some hardcore people watching. Here’s where to go in Jamaica Plain for al fresco dining while the sun still shines—and a few suggestions for what to get once you’re there.
Bella Luna and Milky Way Lounge, 284 Amory St.
Seats: 30 dining seats, plus 15-20 bench and stool seats for bar-only patrons
What to get: The Milky Way’s Sunset Summer Series of monthly events on the patio features themed food, drinks and music. Expect Spanish sangria and tapas, Mexican tequila and Mariachi, Caribbean appetizers and some killer steel drum beats.
Ula Cafe, 284 Amory St.
What to get: Chilled cucumber gazpacho makes a cool addition to this local café’s superb seasonal menu. Look forward to their forthcoming summer apricot tarts. Ula’s honey-jasmine limeade and coconut-mint-lime spritzers are this summer’s thirst-quenchy faves.
Wonder Spice Cafe, 697 Centre St.
What to get: Mammoth portions of Thai and Cambodian fare. The crispy Pad Thai is well regarded and locally regaled, as are most noodle dishes here. Veggie-friendly dishes are aplenty. The "Saraman" entrée—fresh shrimp simmered with coconut curry, freshly ground peanuts and pineapples—is likely addictive.
Canary Square, 435 South Huntington Ave.
What to get: A basil and grape mojito will do, resplendent with its artisanal vodka, local basil and ginger fizz. Paprika-spiced grilled shrimp and pulled pork corn tacos with roasted salsa and Mexican Cotija cheese are welcome tablemates.
Tres Gatos, 470 Centre St.
What to get: Famed Spanish Ibérico ham, tangy Manchego cheese and doughy-sweet churros (Spanish donuts) beg to be enjoyed in the open air. A lengthy and thoughtful wine menu of reds and whites leaves no palette unengaged.
JP Licks, 659 Centre St.
Seats: 11 tables, improvisational seating options
What to get: I scream, you scream…fresh-batch ice cream is the de rigueur order here. This month’s featured sundae stars fresh mango and raspberries. Licks’ ice cream flavors du jour include fresh strawberry rhubarb, peanut butter cookie dough and cheesecake Oreo.
James’s Gate, 5 McBride Street
Seats: About 60
What to get: Come for the expansive beer selection, stay for the Gate’s new summer menu fare. The grilled crostini with prosciutto, cherry and pear tomatoes, caramelized red onions and garlic aioli is aces.