Sea Level Oyster Bar
Photograph by Elise Sinagra
Sea Level Oyster Bar in Salem hits the dining trifecta: great food, an awesome view, and a welcoming come-as-you-are vibe. Alfresco diners love its prime perch over Salem Harbor and the energy that comes from being on the bustling Pickering Wharf, not to mention the fantastic fresh seafood, which includes an outstanding raw bar with everything you would expect—oysters, shrimp, littlenecks, and lobster—along with great burgers and entrees from the sea.
94 Wharf St., Salem, 978-741-0555, sealeveloysterbar.com
The Market Restaurant
The alfresco dining season on the North Shore is short, but that’s what makes it so sweet, and no place captures that fleeting magic better than the seasonal gem The Market Restaurant. Chef-owner Nico Monday grew up in Alice Waters’s kitchen at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and it shows. The dishes are a culmination of seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and waters. The menu changes daily with whatever its local farmers are harvesting that day, and the nearly 100-year-old building and deck set on pilings on Lobster Cove in Annisquam somehow makes everything taste just a little better.
33 River Rd., Gloucester, 978-282-0700, themarketrestaurant.com
Finz Seafood & Grill
Salem diners are spoiled with alfresco dining choices in beautiful Salem, where the patio at Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall and the deck at Finz Seafood & Grill are reader faves.
Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall, 43 Church St., Salem, 978-745-7665, turners-seafood.com.
Finz Seafood & Grill, 76 Wharf St., Salem, 978-744-8485, hipfinz.com