The 10 Best Bars in Boston

The best bar in Boston is a difficult discussion to be had, simply because of the amount of bars here. To make a long story short, there are A LOT. Here are some of our favorites to make the decision easier.


Seaport District

This underground bar has been firmly planted at the top of local and national cocktail enthusiasts’ must-see lists for its personal approach to mixology. There are no menus or drink lists, and all bottles are kept out of view. Master bartenders listen to each imbiber’s preferences, crafting artisinal tipples from their stock of premium spirits, fresh mixers, and house-made accoutrements.

Eastern Standard


Eastern Standard’s bar program remains committed to a higher level of mixology, from using top-shelf spirits to freshly-squeezed juices. It’s common now to find Red Sox fans drinking Sazeracs instead of beers, and many a Fenway event-goer stops in for a composed entree rather than a quick bite. It’s a great anytime option, especially if drinks are involved. If the warm and inviting interior gets too packed and noisy, try to retreat to the sidewalk patio.

The Hawthorne


This swanky lounge is spread over several subterranean rooms in the Hotel Commonwealth. It can be difficult to find a free space on one of the many couches, but the impressive cocktails and variety of small plates are worth the wait. Drink options run the gamut from inventive mixed drinks to a well-curated assortment beers and wines.

ArtScience Culture Lab & Café

Kendall Sq

Science remains the driving force behind Artscience’s daring cocktail program. Past examples of the staff’s wizardry include a clarified piña colada and futuristic Rob Roy that involves a sensory cloud made from ArtScience’s famed Le Whaf. Many drinks feature outrageous garnishes, both edible and non, and rare is the cocktail that isn’t a feast for multiple senses.

The Baldwin Bar

One of the city’s most exciting mixologists is based out in Woburn. Ran Duan took over the drink menu at his parents’ suburban Chinese restaurant and turned it into an outré bar program that draws cocktail connoisseurs from all over. Duan even won an award at the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition for his Father’s Advice (rum, amaro, vermouth, sherry, creme de banana). If visiting on a weekend, head upstairs to check out the library-themed Baldwin & Sons Trading Co. for even more top-shelf cocktail magic.

Brick & Mortar

Central Sq

Brick & Mortar is still just as hard to find as its predecessor, the Enormous Room – once you head through the nondescript door and up the stairs, you’ll encounter a giant, horseshoe-shaped bar and ample seating. The cocktails shine and the bar snacks (which include bacon-wrapped dates and deep fried house-made pickles) are done just right.

Wink & Nod

South End

For its seasonal cocktail menu, this South End subterranean pseudo-speakeasy tweaks classic options by using house-made cordials, juices and infusions. Those looking to impress can splurge on one of the “black card” cocktails; packed with pricey ingredients, these run up to $100 each. Members of the Scotch Club spend their Tuesday evenings sampling top-shelf bottles with the beverage director, while a rotating pop-up restaurant churns out bold bites.

Bully Boy Tasting Room


The city’s first modern craft distillery has already changed the city’s drinking scene, as bartenders around town regularly incorporate its handcrafted spirits into their own cocktail programs. A trek out to the distillery’s tasting room is a must for any area cocktail lover. The intimate bar area features velvet booth seating and a collection of Prohibition-era spirit bottles, and there’s a large window overlooking the gorgeous copper pot still. Each cocktail showcases Bully Boy’s spirits with fresh juices and small-batch syrups and bitters.

The Gallows

South End

Situated near the spot where public hangings were performed in colonial times, The Gallows plays up its macabre location with an ominous black crow sign above the door. The bar area has an unassuming vibe, and the inventive cocktail list highlights original concoctions, including liquor infusions like apple bourbon and lavender vodka. One of the South End’s best beer lists also wins kudos.

JJ Foley’s


This low-key, low-lit bar near Downtown Crossing is a favorite after-work spot, bringing in a cross-section of patrons – everyone from weary suit-clad businessmen to tattooed bike messengers. Bono is one of the many Irishmen who’ve drank here, and you’ll never know who might pull up to the bar. Reasonable prices and well-poured drinks keep regulars happy.

All credit for this awesome list goes to TimeOut.

This entry was posted in Eats and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.