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. Tucked inside Nine Zero Hotel, Highball has hints of hipster: rubber ducky drink garnishes, menus glimpsed through ’80s View-Finders, shelves filled with board games for guests and vinyl records for live DJs. It’s playful, not cloying, because the spot still makes its masterfully crafted cocktails the highest priority.
Nine Zero Hotel, 90 Tremont St., Boston • (617) 772-0202
2014 Winner: Highball Lounge
We love a bar that boasts a serious cocktail program—but doesn’t take itself too seriously...
- Nine Zero Hotel, 90 Tremont St., Boston
- (617) 772-0202
2016 Winner: Eastern Standard
As Yoda was to Luke and Mr. Miyagi was to the Karate Kid, so has Jackson Cannon been an indispensible mentor to Boston’s collective beverage industry...
- 528 Comm. Ave., Boston
- (617) 532-9100
2017 Winner: Hojoko
This kooky izakaya inside the rock ’n’ roll-themed Verb Hotel is the antithesis of all those unstylish lobby bars where sad traveling salesmen slump and get sauced...
- 1271 Boylston St., Boston
- (617) 670-0507
2018 Winner: Ruka
- 505 Washington St., Boston
- (617) 266-0102