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Outdoor dining on the North Shore?

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Does anyone know of any good places for al fresco dining on the North Shore. I'm open to cuisine and atmosphere, it's more important for sitting outside. I'd appreciate your suggestions.

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  1. It is a very controversial place, but I think Red Rock in Swampscott has the best overall views of any place on the North Shore. The food is generally very good as well, but the attitude of the owners and staff can put a damper on the whole experience.

    There is also the Barnicle in Marblehead. Basic chow.

    5 Replies
    1. re: kate used to be 50

      I agree that Red Rock has a great patio on the water with great views of Boston. My on trip there was fine. I sat at the bar and had a beer or two and some very good, if not a tad expensive, fried clams.

      Another suggestion, though I haven't been there in a while, is Striper's Grill in Salisbury. They have a great deck overlooking the Merrimack River and the food was great and fairly reasonable.

      1. re: gusman2424

        check out my post on Lime Rickey's in Marblehead. Its the owner of Red Rock for less $$ and less attitude. Also are some places in Gloucester like Mad Fish and the Studio but I cant tell you much about the food. They both have music. Captian Carlos too. Used to be a low key family takeout place on the harbor but now its co-owned by Whoopi and more upscale but still casual. If you want great food without the atmosphere there are outside tables at Zaleks in Wakefield. Best food around but you are basically in the police station parking lot. Michaels in Newburyport on the river has reggae and looks nice but i havent tried it cuz there always seems to be a wait. If you just want to sit outside and relax in a very old school place, there's Haywards in Lynne(not downtown Lynne, its really close to Rte 1 on the Lynnfield border) Its pretty decent traditional seafood and american food. Pretty fresh.. dad loves the baked stuffed lobster, reasonable and they have umbrella seating on a river on the dock. They used to have waitress service but now it's just get your food takeout and bring it down to the dock yourself. There are a lot of stairs to get down in case accesibility is an issue. Also if you want casual, a few years ago we sat at Santorinis on Revere Beach. Basic greek and fried seafood, or there is Kellys. Theres a week long sandcastle competition in July on Revere Beach so may be more festive than usual then. Also in Nahant is a great ocean view at the Dockside but the food is prettty mediocre. Oh yeah, just remembered 2 more. Lobster Shack in Rockport, way up on 127 . Its a very gorgeous spot with picnic tables almost right in the ocean on rocky coast where you can actually watch the sunset over the water in the east! Phenomenal view and average food. Only was there once so dont know lot about the food. Also we enjoyed a really cute little shack called Bob Lobster on the road from Newburyport to Plum Island. It was very fresh and good food and picnic tables in the middle of all the flats so you can see for miles and watch a great sunset. Otherwise there are probably plenty of expensive chi-chi places all over Marblehead and Newburyport.

        1. re: chompie

          Ate at Lobster Pool a week ago and the food was downhill from last summer. Lobster was not fresh-boiled which is a sin. Scallops were overcooked. Fries greasy tasting.

          Great view, though.

          1. re: three of us

            I had a lobster roll there last weekend and had no complaints. Our fries were fine as well. Lines were insane as always.

          2. re: chompie

            Hey that'll make the Old City sound more chi-chi,
            we'll call it Lynn(e) Town(e), LOL.
            Not to pile-on chompie, but that body of water behind Hayward's on Lynnfield St.
            is Sluice Pond. I caught my first trout there on opening day many years ago. Hayward's definitely qualifies as a "Hidden Boston" kinda place. There's a reason that it's been there forever. And speaking of more chi-chi views, not mentioned on this post, are The Plum Island Grille and The Black Cow in Newburyport. :-))

            Harp00n

      2. Periwinkles in Essex has GREAT food and sit on the Essex River