Like its history, the bar scene in Boston is fittingly complex. From wine bars to pubs to mixology concepts, you have no shortage of choices when it comes to bars in Boston. Having so many choices is just as much a good thing as it is a bad thing. When it comes time to pick which bar to go to, we face choice overload and can’t seem to make a decision at all. We’ve put together this list of the ten best bars in Boston for a drink so that you can spend less time agonizing over your decision, and more time enjoying the bar you do choose.
Do you want to give a loved one the gift of a drink at one of their favorite bars in Boston? With GiftYa, you can do that easily. GiftYa allows you to choose from almost every merchant in the country to send a loved one a gift card to their favorite store, business, or restaurant. You can send a gift up to $100 straight to their phone! Sending a gift through GiftYa is a great way to show someone you care about them. Thoughtfully give with GiftYa today!
525 Tremont St | South End | barcelonawinebar.com
This bar offers chef-driven tapas influenced by the food of Mediterranean, Spanish, and South American cultures, as well as a wine list featuring nearly 400 wines. To make their tapas, they use the finest seasonal picks from local markets as well as unusual specialties from Spain and the Mediterranean.
Featured favorites include Patatas Bravas, Grilled Hanger Steak, and Paella Mariscos. In addition to wine, they have a variety of delicious cocktails including the Summer Street Cocktail that is as sweet and citrusy as it sounds.
“The tapa selection was delicious! Great for sharing and trying lots of different things. The patatas bravas and the brussel sprouts were especially well-flavored. I also really enjoyed the flan, which was rich in texture and full of caramel flavor.” - Yelp Review
25 Thomson Pl | Seaport | bartaco.com
This taco restaurant and bar is the perfect spot for when you want food that is just as delicious as your drinks. Bartaco offers a variety of unique tacos like Roasted Duck, Sesame Ribeye, and Tuna Tatako, as well as rice bowls and other Mexican-inspired entrees with a Bartaco twist.
Now, let’s talk drinks. We highly recommend getting a Caipirinha, the national cocktail of Brazil, made with Cachaça 51, limes, and sugar. But you can’t go wrong with the Bartaco Margarita or the Paloma Fresca, either.
Naturally, churros are a big hit for dessert.
“The Pineapple Express cocktail was EXCELLENT, and reasonably priced as well. I can easily see a drink like that going for $16-20 at a speakeasy. I loooove that they have citrus squeezes and make their own pineapple purée.” - Yelp Review
92 Hampshire St | Cambridge | lordhobo.com
If you want to try innovative New England style beer in a taproom teeming with other thirsty and dedicated fans, Lord Hobo is the place to do just that. Their core lineup features double IPA Boom Sauce, India Pale Ale Juice Lord, session IPA Life, and hazy IPAs 617 and Angelica.
One of the best parts about coming to the Lord Hobo taproom is that you get to try beers and series available exclusively in their taproom. This includes beers with bold flavors and great drinkability, and beers only available for a limited time.
They serve refreshingly laid back fare including Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders, Truffle Fries, and their “Big Mac Daddy,” their house interpretation of the fast food icon. In addition, they offer cocktails and LH Drink Specials like their Strawberry Lemonade Sour Ale.
“One of, if not THE, best breweries in camberville! I've come here a few times and always been impressed with the huge selection of great beers (specializing in all sorts of IPAs) and good vibes. Highly recommended!” - Yelp Review
150 Bowdoin St | Beacon Hill | 21stboston.com
This cozy pub was originally designed in 1899 as Boston's most luxurious hotel. Its elegant furnishings and amenities attracted some of Boston's most famous, including Louisa May Alcott, Alexander Graham Bell, and Charles Lindbergh. It was a hangout for some of the state's most colorful figures—a good part of the Commonwealth's business was transacted within this very building, and John F. Kennedy was even rumored to write speeches by the fireplace in the back.
Today, this pub offers elevated bar food and drink. Sip on a Watermelon Margarita—suerte silver tequila, cointreau, and watermelon meyers lemonade—draft beer, or craft cider as you snack on wood grilled tavern pizza, specialty sandwiches, or New England clam chowder.
Round up a team of six (or fewer) for trivia on Sunday nights from 8–10pm.
“This is an old bar with a hometown feel. There's a small seasonal cocktail menu that we got drinks from and enjoyed. During our second visit we grabbed food which was good. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.” - Yelp Review
184 High St | Financial District | howlatthemoon.com
This bar attracts a younger crowd, especially Thursday–Saturday nights starting at 7pm when the live music starts. Here you will find an energetic crowd dancing the night away to top hits and party anthems.
Their alcohol buckets are also quite popular among the college-aged crowd. Choose from 12oz, 32oz, or 86oz buckets in flavors like Sex on the Moon—SKYY Peach Vodka, New Amsterdam Vodka Apple, DeKuyper Melon Liqueur, and sparkling water—and Hot Girl Summer—Bacardi Limon Rum, Don Q Coco Rum, lime juice, Finest Call simple syrup, Red Bull Red Edition (Watermelon), and Red Bull Coconut Edition (Coconut Berry). Get something to share with friends, or something to keep all to yourself.
They also have fun shots if you’re celebrating a birthday or just trying to make the most of your Saturday night. Our favorite is the Strawberry Shortcake—Pinnacle Whipped Vodka, Finest Call strawberry puree, and whipped cream.
“This place is awesome!! The punch buckets are definitely worth trying. The Jell-O shot syringes are so fun and you can order them from a roving bartender. Expect a loud, college-aged crowd here. We went on a Saturday and the cover was $10 if I remember correctly.” - Yelp Review
100 Tremont St | Downtown | beantownpub.com
This traditional American pub is nestled in the heart of historic downtown Boston. Located along the Freedom Trail, Beantown Pub is the perfect spot for tourists to drop in as they walk along the trail and Boston locals to meet up after the night’s big game alike.
On their menu, you will find smaller plates like Wings, Cheese Fries, and Fried Pickles, as well as entrees like New England Fried Chicken, New England Pot Roast, and Fish & Chips. Their Jumbo Lobster Roll and their Lobster Grilled Cheese are also fun favorites—if you like lobster, that is.
“Drinks were high quality and made well. The wait staff was very attentive and we never went without anything we needed. The overall atmosphere of the place is great - the perfect spot for casual conversation and low-key, chill vibes.” - Yelp Review
5 Utica St | Leather District | offsuitboston.com
This intimate cocktail bar is discreetly located in Boston’s Leather District. You’ll want to take the backdoor entrance to this tiny, 20-seat bar, tucked inside Troquet on South’s French bistro. Here you’ll find a cozy spot serving classic cocktails and decked out with antique lamps and bookcases.
However, it’s not as serious of a place as you might think. The bartenders are friendly, and they even have ticketed events purely dedicated to Taylor Swift.
If you’re going to eat anything, get the Crispy Pig Ears and the Hash Browns.
“This is exactly the type of spot that Boston has always been missing: a legit craft cocktail bar, with speakeasy-vibes, that's super dark, and romantic. Offsuit is the perfect spot to impress a date, or for couples who hired a babysitter for the night.” - Yelp Review
11 Beacon St | Downtown | carrienationcocktailclub.com
Named after a fiery member of the temperance movement, this cocktail club brings back a little bit of that secretive drinking spirit. Slip along the bar of the main restaurant to a corridor just beyond, and you’ll find yourself in Boston’s original speakeasy. A windowless lounge with plush leather seating, billiards, and a full bar will take you back in time, and will make your drink taste all the sweeter.
Choose from classic cocktails, seasonal drinks, or even a cocktail served in a teapot.
“This bar had such a cool vibe. I got the G and Tea, which literally comes in a teacup, it was so cute. The drink itself was also delicious. I would definitely come back here again.” - Yelp Review
241 Hanover St | North End | bricco.com
This Italian restaurant is known for their espresso martinis. It’s easy enough to find a bar in Boston that serves espresso martinis, but Bricco has the blend of Absolut Vanilla, Bailey’s, Kahlua, Frangelico, Disaronno, and espresso just right.
If you don’t want the coffee jitters, choose a wine from their selection of more than 100 different wines sourced from all across Italy and the United States.
Featured favorites include Ricotta Pillows dressed with truffle butter, wild mushrooms, and gnudi di ricotta garnish, Zucchini Flowers stuffed with truffled ricotta cheese and tempura grilled vegetables, and Pappardelle al Cinghiale, wild boar braised in red wine with porcini mushrooms.
“Bricco has one of my favorite menus in the North End. There are so many fantastic options, from pasta, to meat, to seafood. The portions for the pasta dishes can be a bit small, but you'd be surprised how full you get! I had the ricotta pillows and they were fantastic.” - Yelp Review
142 Berkeley St | Back Bay | citrusandsaltboston.com
If you want to sip on fun cocktails in a bright atmosphere, Citrus & Salt is just the place to provide you with agave-loaded cocktails and Insta-worthy backdrops.
This Baja-inspired restaurant reflects chef Jason Santos’ enthusiasm for the coastal cuisine of Southern California and Mexico. Menu favorites include the Grilled Street Corn with Flamin Hot Cheeto crumbs, smoked mayonnaise, and cotija and the Beer Battered Fish Tacos.
As for drinks, Citrus & Salt offers a variety of tequila and mezcal based cocktails. From the classic Citrus & Salt Margarita to the Blood Orange flavored margarita to the Smoke Show made with Rosalina mezcal, pineapple, grapefruit, and Fuego bitters, your only problem will be deciding which drink to try first.
“My friends and I came for a birthday brunch and this place was amazing! Lots of fun options on the menu and just such a cute place. We got guac for the table which was also amazing! We want to come back to try the dinner menu!!” - Yelp Review
50 Dalton St | Boston | bukowski-tavern.com
Bukowski Tavern has been serving the best beer available to the Boston area since 1998. They serve beer from local, regional, and global breweries. They also serve American cuisine that is made with the freshest ingredients possible. All this is done in a casual setting that primes customers for relaxation.
“Best bar in town! Make sure to visit this pub in the heart of Boston. Excellent service, super fun vibe, wide variety of draft and bottled beers, fun menu. Try the peanut butter burger! Also the chicken quesadilla and zucchini fries are awesome. Guinness on draft. I can't wait to get back there myself!”–Yelp Review
230 Hanover St | North End | parlaboston.com
Parla is a restaurant and bar located in Boston’s historic North End. They like to focus on fun and whimsical creations rather than just traditional ones. That’s why you’ll find plenty of outlandish and exciting cocktail creations along with fun twists on classic recipes. Their food even happens to be a fun departure from Italian American cuisine.
“Awesome food and if you are looking for creative cocktails Parla is a must. Feeling frisky roll the dice and let the mixologist whip something up!”–Yelp Review
45 Union St | Government Center | thebellinhand.com
The Bell In Hand Tavern is America’s oldest tavern. They poured their first drink all the way back in 1795. They offer a fun atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating where guests can relax with their company. The beers available are great and they also offer a few bourbons. They also have a great menu where they offer burgers, appetizers, soup, and even dessert.
“Super cool historical spot! We sat at the bar and enjoyed the Bell in Hand Ale and a coconut water Mojito! The atmosphere was awesome and service excellent!”–Yelp Review
2 Winter Place | Boston | yvonnesboston.com
Yvonne’s is a restaurant and cocktail lounge that gives its visitors a very unique experience. Their decor is dark, moody, and extravagant at the same time, making customers feel as if they are in an early speakeasy. And their cocktail list does not disappoint. They have several unique favorites on the menu as well as several options for wines and beers.
“This place is highly recommended if you want to be wowed. The ambiance is romantic or just a sexy place to have drinks. The food was flavorful and delicious. If I lived in Boston this would be a frequented place for sure.”–Yelp Review
115 Huntington Ave | Boston | thecheesecakefactory.com
If nothing else has seemed appealing to you so far, you can always get drinks at a countrywide favorite. The Cheesecake Factory has a wide selection of great drinks you can enjoy. Some of those include the passion mint fizz, pineapple cherry limeade, guava blood orange sparkler and much more. And you can’t forget all the cheesecake!
“My friends took me here for my birthday and it was so stinkin cute! highly recommended and the ambiance is super nice too. Loved the food (we got the Margherita Pizza, Lettuce Wraps, and Loaded Nachos and a Red Velvet Cheesecake).”–Yelp Review
From wine bars known for their espresso martinis to historic pubs that John F. Kennedy once frequented to speakeasies that offer ticketed events purely dedicated to Taylor Swift, there are so many different kinds of bars to choose from in Boston. Hopefully you get to try them all if you wish to, but let us know in the comments which of these Boston bars you try first. We love to hear from you!