Bars

All the best Boston bars, including bar reviews and editors' picks

Bars

The best bars in Boston

From low-key Irish pubs and dive bars to swanky cocktail lounges, the best bars in Boston cater to every kind of drinker

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Bars

The best dive bars in Boston

Head for one of our favorite dive bars for a laid-back night of cheap drinks in an appealingly bare-bones setting

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Bars

The best cocktail bars in Boston

Boston is filled with excellent cocktail bars, whether you’re after a perfectly shaken martini or more creative sips

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Bars

The best wine bars in Boston

Mad for Merlot? There are a bunch of great wine bars in Boston—here's where to find the city's best.

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Bars

Boston craft beer guide

Fantastic craft beer bars and breweries abound in Boston—here's where to find the best artisanal suds in the city

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Where to go for cocktails

Bars

Backbar

This hidden sister bar to popular restaurant Journeyman is best found by looking for the disoriented would-be patrons wandering the parking lot between neighbors Bronwyn and the Independent. Once you find yourself inside, you’ll be treated to outstanding service and meticulously crafted cocktails while seated at low-key wooden block tables. Show up early or make reservations—staff will make people wait rather than letting them crowd the space.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Bars

Brick & Mortar

It’s still just as hard to find as its predecessor, the Enormous Room, but once you head through the nondescript door and up the stairs, the similarities end. A giant horseshoe-shaped bar and ample bar stool seating have replaced the low, rug-clad seating platforms and hybrid drink/bathroom line. The cocktails shine and the bar snacks (which include bacon-wrapped dates and deep fried house made pickles) are done just right.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Bars

Drink

This underground bar has been firmly planted at the top of local and national cocktail-enthusiasts' must-see lists for the personal approach to mixology. Master bartenders present patrons not with a menu but with an ear to listen to each imbiber's preferences, crafting artisinal tipples from their stock of premium spirits and mixers.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Eastern Standard

Jackson Cannon might well have started it all. When the onetime musician took over the bar program at this hotel restaurant, he changed the city’s entire cocktail scene by committing to only the finest ingredients and techniques. Fresh juices, house-made infusions and impeccably sourced liquors and bitters translate to a massive drink menu that is seasonally inspired and populated by reimagined classics as well as more unconventional offerings. Don’t bypass the wine and beer lists, either, as both are surprisingly expansive. 

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Bars

The best Irish pubs in Boston

Separate the craic from the crap with our guide to the city's finest Irish pubs

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Bars

The best karaoke bars in Boston

Sing karaoke till your voice is croaky at one of these top three Boston karaoke bars

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Bars

The best gay bars in Boston

Discover where to hit the town in style with our guide to the best gay bars in Boston

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Bars

The best patio bars in Boston

Get your dose of suds and sunshine at one of these great bars with patios

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Best bars for beer

The Haven

It’s the only Scottish bar in the city, and the only place you can get Kelpie with your Haggis. Kelpie blends seaweed and chocolate flavors, and is as dark as the blackest porter. But it’s got a brisk, light taste, tinged with ocean salt. Other Haven perks include Brew Dog on tap and deep-fried chocolate bars. The atmosphere is immersive: Belle & Sebastian on the soundtrack, tartan curtains, antler chandeliers and a bathroom plastered with obscure Scottish comics. Signature brew: Skull Splitter, a strong 8.5% wee heavy.

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Bars

Lord Hobo

Enter through dark curtains and your attention is immediately drawn to the bar, with its 40 taps raised up in the center like an altar to the god of hops. Here, the bartenders are more than happy to introduce you to the delicious and obscure—such as a pale ale lovingly brewed by a Belgian father and son in their spare time away from their day job at a big brewery. Signature brew: Cantillon Vigneronne, aged with Italian Muscat grapes, smooth yet lightly bubbly.

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Bars

Bukowski Tavern

Named for the booze-loving author, the Bukowski is all attitude. The style reflects the interests of the beer-slinging crew: Sex Pistols on the jukebox and a beer menu that lists “Ales,” “Lagers” and “Funky Shit”—which includes a Brooklyn Chocolate Stout and a Blanche De Bruxelles Wit from Belgium. The usual local suspects, such as Pretty Things and Magic Hat, are also on tap. Signature brew: Deus De Flanders, aged for 2 years, and clocking in at a hefty $45 a bottle.

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Bars

Cambridge Brewing Company

CBC is a veteran of the Boston beer scene. It certainly has the merchandising down: hats, T-shirts and pint glasses are all for sale. Founded in 1989, it’s the oldest brewery-restaurant in the city, and the first in the country to produce a Belgian-style beer: the Triple Threat. The room itself is spacious and comfortable, with lots of long, shiny pine surfaces. The brewing tanks are visible from every seat in the house, but the best tables are to be found on the front patio. Signature brew: Cerise Cassee, a tart, barrel-fermented ale made from sour cherries.

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See more of the best craft beer bars in Boston