Bars & Clubs

Cafe ArtScience
Diego Navarro

New Addition

Cafe ArtScience

The region’s Mr. Wizard of mixology, Todd Maul, plies the cocktail craft with greater creativity than ever at this new Kendall Square venture, brainchild of food innovator and Harvard engineer David Edwards…

650 E. Kendall St., Cambridge (857-999-2193)
  • Row 34
    Diego Navarro

    Beer Selection

    Row 34

    The Island Creek team’s Fort Point seafood slinger (which just spawned a twin in Portsmouth, New Hampshire) has billed itself as a “workingman’s oyster bar,” but it’s beer director Megan Parker-Gray who does a bang-up job with the ambitious beer program…

    383 Congress St., Boston (617-553-5900)
  • Best-Kept Secret

    MAST’s Bottle-Locker Program

    Who needs BYOB when you can LYOB? L for “leave,” that is: This downtown trattoria has 27 liquor lockers where regulars can store unfinished spirits or wines until their next visit…

    45 Province St., Boston (617-936-3800)
  • Breakthrough

    More Liquor Licenses in Boston

    Bostonians love to complain about the red tape that reins in our nightlife scene…

  • Whisky Saigon
    Natasha Moustache

    Dance Club

    Whisky Saigon

    Turn down for what? In an era and city where big-room nightclubs are scarce, this downtown destination keeps alive the halcyon heyday of fog machines and laser lights…

    116 Boylston St., Boston (617-482-7799)
  • Dive Bar

    Silhouette Lounge

    There are plenty of college bro bars one might stumble into in Allston—and some fine beer bars, too—but for our money, one of the best watering holes in Rock City is the Sil’…

    200 Brighton Ave., Boston (617-206-4565)
  • Pier 6

    Drinks with a View

    Pier 6

    Tavern on the Water had its divey Charlestown charm. But the boxy tri-level building’s new inhabitant retains the killer harborside views while offering a much sexier look throughout…

    1 8th St., Boston (617-337-0054)
  • Hot Mess! Sundays at Candibar
    Hildenbrand Photography

    Gay Scene

    Hot Mess! Sundays at Candibar

    If your Saturday night wasn’t wild enough, come to this recently revamped club for sloppy weekend seconds, courtesy of a weekly party hosted by New England’s longtime LGBT nightlife kingpin Chris Harris…

    279 Tremont St., Boston (617-292-0080)
  • Highball Lounge

    Hotel Bar

    Highball Lounge

    No longer your grandparents’ lame, lamé-covered special-occasion joints, hotel bars have become some of Boston’s best spots to find top-shelf beverage programs and equally intoxicating vibes…

    Nine Zero Hotel, 90 Tremont St., Boston (617-772-0202)
  • Industry Hangout

    Tavern Road

    All roads lead here…

    343 Congress St., Boston (617-790-0808)
  • The Druid
    Patrick Marasco

    Irish Bar

    The Druid

    This cozy Inman pub is home to the best Guinness pour this side of Dublin…

    1357 Cambridge St., Cambridge (617-497-0965)
  • Lesbian Scene

    Flannel Takeover Company

    The Welcoming Committee (née Guerrilla Queer Bar) has been taking over traditionally “straight” bars in this city for almost a decade, gathering LGBTQ revelers to flash mob, say, some Fenway sports bar and make it more fabulous for one night…

  • Lone Star Taco Bar
    Jennifer Trebino

    Neighborhoods: Allston/Brighton

    Lone Star Taco Bar

    Lone Star has done for taquerias in this town what sister restaurant and next-door neighbor Deep Ellum did for beer bars: Upped the ante…

    479 Cambridge St., Boston (617-782-8226)
  • Post 390
    Emily Richardson

    Neighborhoods: Back Bay

    Post 390

    After quitting time, area offices empty a cast of suits, ties and pencil skirts into the bar at this city-sleek tavern…

    406 Stuart St., Boston (617-399-0015)
  • Neighborhoods: Bay Village

    Jacques Cabaret

    A deliciously seedy dive where you can also catch a professional drag show? Done and done…

    79 Broadway, Boston (617-426-8902)
  • Neighborhoods: Beacon Hill

    Carrie Nation

    The matriarch of the 19th-century temperance movement would have a fit if she knew her name was appropriated by this den of sin—a title intended, from our liquor-loving lips, as a huge compliment…

    11 Beacon St., Boston (617-227-3100)
  • Neighborhoods: Brookline

    The Publick House

    Brookline has really enhanced its food and drink game during the past few years, but when it comes to bars, nothing comes close to old standby the Publick House…

    1648 Beacon St., Brookline (617-277-2880)
  • Brick & Mortar
    Patrick Marasco

    Neighborhoods: Central Square

    Brick & Mortar

    Behind an unmarked door waits Central’s go-to spot for an expertly crafted, wittily named cocktail…

    567 Mass. Ave., Cambridge (617-491-0016)
  • Neighborhoods: Charlestown

    Warren Tavern

    Bostonians get blasé about our history—must we genuflect whenever we enter someplace one of the Founding Fathers picked his nose?…

    2 Pleasant St., Boston (617-241-8142)
  • Neighborhoods: Davis Square


    It’s owned by a former wine buyer, so no wonder we find wondrous sips at Spoke: Old World-skewing lists of painstakingly handpicked bottles, listed from light- to full-bodied for oenophiles on their training wheels…

    89 Holland St., Somerville (617-718-9463)
  • Ashmont Grill
    Mike Ritter

    Neighborhoods: Dorchester

    Ashmont Grill

    Dot’s got some grade-A dives, but classy-yet-comfortable watering holes are harder to find…

    555 Talbot Ave., Boston (617-825-4300)
  • Neighborhoods: Downtown Crossing


    This gastropub’s handsome wooden bar is big: The hand-carved UK import stretches 30 feet…

    48 Temple Place, Boston (617-426-0048)
  • Neighborhoods: Fenway/Kenmore

    Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar

    Bourbon nerds congregate at this classy little cocktail joint, where barkeeps pour more than 200 whiskeys as full servings and flights…

    1310 Boylston St., Boston (617-450-9000)
  • Granary Tavern
    Natasha Moustache

    Neighborhoods: Financial District

    Granary Tavern

    When spreadsheet-sorting days are done, Financial District denizens descend on this two-floor tavern housed in, yes, a former granary…

    170 Milk St., Boston (617-449-7110)
  • Lucky’s Lounge
    Jess Magoon

    Neighborhoods: Fort Point

    Lucky’s Lounge

    The Rat Pack era is alive and well at Lucky’s, a speakeasy-style bar that hosts weekly Sinatra Saturdays and Sundays and maintains a decidedly retro vibe…

    355 Congress St., Boston (617-357-5825)
  • Neighborhoods: Harvard Square

    Russell House Tavern

    Look, little shaver: When you’ve graduated from cheap scorpion bowls and karaoke at the Hong Kong, we’ll see you at this smart but still-fun cocktail den where two bars’ worth of masterful vest- and tie-wearing mixologists can school you on spirits one second and chat indie rock the next…

    14 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge (617-500-3055)
  • Neighborhoods: Inman Square

    Trina’s Starlite Lounge

    There was plenty of rejoicing in March when Trina’s announced it would start serving brunch on Sundays, an indulgence previously offered only on Industry Mondays, which have a packed house of revelers throwing back killer bloodies while old-school hip-hop jams pump out of speakers…

    3 Beacon St., Somerville (617-576-0006)
  • The Haven
    Nicole Popma

    Neighborhoods: Jamaica Plain

    The Haven

    Boston’s only Scottish bar has a vibe so warm, you can practically smell the burning peat…

    2 Perkins St., Boston (617-524-2836)
  • Neighborhoods: Kendall Square

    State Park

    Decked in retro paneling and studied kitsch, this subterranean dive is one of the few joints in town where boozy cocktail pitchers are available alongside diverse beer and cocktail lists, offering plenty of options to wash down the high-concept takes on lowbrow comfort- and junk foods…

    1 Kendall Square, Cambridge (617-848-4355)
  • Neighborhoods: Mission Hill

    Flann O’Brien’s

    Irish accents abound at this authentic pub near Brigham Circle, which wouldn’t feel out of place in downtown Dublin…

    1619 Tremont St., Boston (617-566-7744)
  • Neighborhoods: Newton


    Kids have Build-A-Bear; grown-ups get Build-A-Beer…

    292 Centre St., Newton (617-916-0752)
  • Neighborhoods: North End


    We adore its Back Bay spinoff, but nothing in the North End beats the original Lucca, a classic spot of which Little Italy dreams are made…

    226 Hanover St., Boston (617-742-9200)
  • Lizard Lounge
    Jillian Medugno

    Neighborhoods: Porter Square

    Lizard Lounge

    With bars offering live music dwindling, we’re happy we can still slither over to this intimate, subterranean performance haven in Porter…

    1667 Mass. Ave., Cambridge (617-547-0759)
  • Neighborhoods: Roslindale

    Redd’s in Rozzie

    Where’s the bar scene in residential Roslindale?…

    4257 Washington St., Boston (617-325-1000)
  • Gather

    Neighborhoods: Seaport


    If these cocktail napkins could talk!…

    75 Northern Ave., Boston (617-982-7220)
  • Local 149
    Holly Rike

    Neighborhoods: South Boston

    Local 149

    It’s fitting that a former union office is now home to Southie’s best post-work boozing scene…

    149 P St., Boston (617-269-0900)
  • The Gallows

    Neighborhoods: South End

    The Gallows

    Now five years old and lively as ever, this loud and hip South End gastropub serves some deadly serious cocktails, from the tea-and-vodka-based Grave Robber to the vanilla rum-centric Velvet Voodoo…

    1395 Washington St., Boston (617-425-0200)
  • Neighborhoods: Theate District

    Jacob Wirth

    The glittering marquees fail to mention one of the neighborhood’s choice sources of entertainment: this dark-wooded 19th-century piano bar, where ivories are tickled and stein-swinging guests belt gloriously off-key tunes…

    31 Stuart St., Boston (617-338-8586)
  • Brass Union

    Neighborhoods: Union Square

    Brass Union

    Taking up residence in the old Precinct space, Brass Union has maintained its predecessor’s laid-back vibe but kicked up the beverage program with craft brews and cocktails like the Rum & Smoke, made with Bully Boy rum, house-smoked lime juice, housemade orgeat and ginjinha berry liqueur…

    70 Union Square, Somerville (617-623-9211)
  • Porter Cafe
    Adam Detour

    Neighborhoods: West Roxbury

    Porter Cafe

    Stouts, pilsners and ciders, oh my! This cute little pub lays claim to its neighborhood’s largest selection of craft beers (keep an eye on the blackboard specials), though the well-prepared cocktails are nothing to shake a stemmed glass at…

    1723 Centre St., Boston (617-942-2579)
  • Pre-/Post-Fenway Park


    This rechristened cocktail joint (formerly Audubon Circle) offers Fenway crowds an alternative to sticky-floored sports bars serving watery beer and frozen buffalo wings…

    838 Beacon St., Boston (617-421-1910)
  • Pre-/Post-TD Garden

    Ward 8

    There are sports bars aplenty by the Garden, but gameday drinkers and concertgoers used to have to travel far to find a well-made cocktail served with a lively scene…

    90 N. Washington St., Boston (617-823-4478)
  • The Liberty Hotel
    Natasha Moustache

    Singles Scene—Over 30

    The Liberty Hotel

    Years after “hot nightspot” status typically wanes, we remain arrested by the former Charles Street Jail, where multiple bars spill the nightly overflow of pretty people into the luxury hotel’s rotunda…

    215 Charles St., Boston (617-224-4000)
  • Lincoln

    Singles Scene—Under 30


    For upwardly mobile, fresh-faced South Boston transplants (the kind that make grizzled old townies shake a Guinness-grasping fist), there’s no better place to drop early-career paychecks and trade digits than at Lincoln’s two big, buzzing bars…

    425 W. Broadway, Boston (617-765-8636)
  • Stage American Vaudeville
    Derek Kouyoumijian


    Stage American Vaudeville

    Variety is the spice of nightlife at this downtown club with rotating entertainers, including joint-jerking b boys, hoop-swinging aerialists, burlesque dancers twirling ta-ta tassels and graffiti artists swirling spray cans…

    19 Boylston Place, Boston (617-982-3000)
  • Tony C’s

    Sports Bar

    Tony C’s

    Here are some numbers you need to remember…

    699 Assembly Row, Somerville (617-666-8282); 17 Third Ave., Burlington (781-238-8282);
  • Summer Scene

    Legal Harborside

    We didn’t see it coming…

    270 Northern Ave., Boston (617-477-2900)
  • Trend

    Cider Programs and Taprooms

    Maybe it’s the gluten-free appeal, but suddenly cider is everywhere…

  • The Langham

    Watering Hole for the Well-Heeled

    The Langham

    Housed in Boston’s former Federal Reserve Bank, the Langham hotel is a fitting host for a moneyed crowd on the prowl…

    250 Franklin St., Boston (617-451-1900)
  • Wine Bar


    At this Cambridge boîte from the Central Bottle and Blue Room crew, co-owner Liz Vilardi shows a way with words as well as wine, infusing wit and poetry into a list that’s almost as fun to read as it is to imbibe…

    1 Kendall Square, Cambridge (617-494-0968)

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