Brittany from Boston is back! She’s here to give us the scoop on the best bars in Boston for every occasion – dancing, a classy night out, breathtaking views and (of course) to watch the Sox.
Whenever you New Yorkers need a break, you should come visit Boston. We’ve got lots of historic sights and cultural attractions, but the fun really gets started after the sun goes down! I’m here to help you navigate the best of Boston’s nightlife, where to get a drink for every occasion. Don’t make the rookie mistake of going out near Faneuil Hall, it’s all for tourists. If you want to go out and meet real Bostonians, these are the best bars in Boston.
Best Upscale Bars
When you’re in the mood for a nice cocktail and mingling by the bar, these are the spots that raise the bar for your drinking experience.
Yvonne’s – This speakeasy bar is reminiscent of Gatsby-era glam with its unique lux décor and swanky drink list. If you’re looking for an upscale drink downtown, head to Yvonne’s.
Drink – For a bar with no drink menu, Drink offers probably the best cocktails in town. To order, you simply tell the bartender what flavor you want and which alcohol base to use, and they craft a cocktail catered specifically to your taste.
Tiger Mama – When the sun goes down, this Asian fusion bar becomes every bit as exotic and alluring as a luxury bar in Asia. Step in and be transported!
Best Sports Bars
We may not agree on what sports teams to cheer for, but we all enjoy watching a good game (especially with beer in hand!). Head to these sports bars for a fun time during the game.
Bleacher Bar – Mixed in with all the sports bars on Lansdowne Street beside Fenway Park, is the Bleacher Bar which is nestled right in under the bleachers of the park. Watch the game from under the bleachers and save yourself a boatload on tickets!
The Lansdowne Pub – Across the street from Fenway is The Lansdowne Pub, where you can watch the game and get a little rowdy. Be sure to stick around after the last pitch, because the crowds from the park all spill into this and nearby bars to celebrate the game.
West End Johnnie’s – Come winter, we cheer for the hockey and basketball games by TD Garden and one of the best sports bars to catch the action is West End Johnnie’s.
Best Bars with a View
For those special occasions when you want to enjoy a drink with a view (like a Friday night to celebrate the end of the week!), head to these bars that offer up views of the city that may even do more for you than the cocktail!
Envoy – In the summer, there’s no better view of the city skyline than Envoy Hotel’s rooftop bar. Head up after work to enjoy a drink while watching the sun set over the city.
Legal Harborside – Further out on the seaport is Legal Harborside, which offers views of the Boston harbor from all three floors. Relax and watch the boats go sailing by!
Top of the Hub – The highest point above the city is the Top of the Hub, on the top floor of the Prudential Center. What could easily become a cheesy tourist trap is actually a classy bar experience complete with great cocktails, live jazz music, and the best views of the city. I go there often!
Best Bars for Beer
I’m a wine-girl at heart but you can’t deny the movement that’s sweeping the nation of fine craft beers that are as complex in flavor as a sommelier could hope for in a wine. Join the beer movement and throw back a pint at these bars.
The Yardhouse – With thousands (okay maybe hundreds) of beers on tap, there’s really no end to the beer options you have at Yardhouse. And if you find one you particularly like, try drinking a whole yard of it!
Sam Adams Brewery – One of our most famous Revolutionary War heroes, and now the face of one of our favorite beers, Sam Adams is born and brewed here in Boston. Tour the brewery and try some of the beers for free at the Sam Adams Brewery!
Harpoon Brewery – The other beer that’s famously brewed here in Boston is Harpoon. Enjoy a free tour and tasting at their brewery, and if you’re around when they host the HarpoonFest, I highly suggest attending!
Best Bars for Dancing
Sometimes you just want to get out there and dance, so when the music strikes you, head to these bars where you can get your groove on.
Brahmin – With dance floors on two levels and a large bar area for mingling, it’s no wonder Brahmin draws a crowd of classy young adults. Just don’t show up after 11 unless you want to wait in line!
Scholar’s – With two large bar areas, a big dance floor, and a billiards room, this bar has something to please everyone in the group. The vibe here is always fun and there’s lots of dancing to be done!
Royale – Boston doesn’t have as many dance clubs as NYC, but if that’s what you’re after then head to Royale. High energy, loud music, and big crowds to get lost in as the strobe lights set the mood, Royale is always a party.
Best Bars for Happy Hour
In fairness, we don’t technically have happy hour in Boston because there’s a law against discounting drinks for that purpose. But! People do go to the bars after work lets out, and it’s a fun time to have a drink and chat with people.
Smith & Wollensky’s – Right on the waterfront and next to the financial district, S&W’s is the perfect post-work watering hole for young professionals. And in the summer the patio is open to enjoy your drinks alfresco.
Liberty Hotel – On Wednesdays there is a pop-up bar in the garden at the Liberty Hotel that hosts Yappy Hour, a happy hour where people bring their dogs to the bar. It’s unbelievably cute, and there’s nothing else like it!
Tia’s – Between the North End and the financial district, Tia’s is a waterfront bar where the drinks are cheap and the after-work crowd is friendly. Join in on the fun, especially in the summer when the patio is open!
About Brittany: I’m Brittany from Boston, a travel blogger making my way around the world and sharing the best of it with you on BrittanyfromBoston.com. Head over to my blog for travel advice, destination inspiration, and wanderlust. Thanks and happy travels!