Next Door eastie bar
Photograph: Courtesy Next Door

15 best speakeasy bars in Boston

Drink like it’s illegal at this hidden Boston bars.

JQ Louise
Written by: Tanya Edwards
Advertising

Maybe it’s the history, rooted in the wild 1920s, behind speakeasies that make them seem so romantic and mysterious. Or maybe it’s the feeling of doing something a little bit naughty (even though Prohibition ended back in 1933) by knocking on a secret door and knowing a password. Whatever the reason, we love a good speakeasy! Luckily, our city has quite a number of discreet spots that serve legal drinks while replicating that speakeasy vibe. Below, find our guide to the best basements, nooks and hidden spots that welcome in-the-know imbibers. 

RECOMMENDED: See the full list of the best bars in Boston

Best speakeasies in Boston

  • Beacon Hill
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

We’re playing a little loose with the definition of speakeasy for this one, but 1928 Beacon Hill’s vibes and menu make it the perfect spot for this list. Post up at the bar, or in a cozy armchair, in one of antique packed rooms for an intimate night out. The bar offers a full modern New England menu, and throwback cocktails such as the paper plane and pomegranate gin fizz.

  • Back Bay

We know you already love Krasi, and they’ve added an underground bar called Hecate. Named for the Greek goddess of magic and witchcraft, the bartenders at this bewitching speakeasy will mix up cocktails like nothing you’ve had in Boston. Don’t bother trying to call or get a reservation, the only way you’ll get a spot at this 24 seat bar is to show up, find the door and please don’t order a vodka soda.

Advertising
  • East Boston

In case you didn’t get the memo, the coolest neighborhood in Boston is Eastie, and of course they’ve got a hot speakeasy. Next Door, a speakeasy and raw bar, is tucked away behind a hidden entrance near Pazza on Porter. First, you’ll need to get a reservation (walk-ins are tough), find the door and then glide through sumptuous curtains to a sexy 30 seat lounge with creative cocktails, a killer wine list and caviar for days.

While not technically a speakeasy, this tucked away wine bar located in the basement of Ken Oringer’s Faccia a Faccia, feels like a secret the rest of the city hasn’t caught onto yet. Grab a seat at the bar, or at a dimly lit table surrounded by classic vinyl albums on the walls, and let the bartender steer you as you try Pallino’s specialty – organic, natural and biodynamic wines.

Advertising
  • Contemporary American
  • Downtown
  • price 3 of 4

At the heart of the Downtown Crossing, you can descend a dark stairwell for access to Boston’s whimsical supper club.  The seven table speakeasy is concealed behind a secret bookshelf at the back of the restaurant’s Library Lounge. You’ll find an intimate dining experience featuring pop cultural references woven into the artwork, an award-winning menu and an exclusive selection of wine and champagne.

  • Cocktail bars
  • Beacon Hill
  • price 2 of 4

By the name alone, you can tell this 1920s-inspired bar is going to have a little fun, at the expense of our country's temperance movement and Prohibition history. To get the full speakeasy experience, head past the shoeshine stand and up the backstairs to the secret club. Here, the Beacon Hill establishment offers pool tables and intimate seating. No matter which corner you choose to imbibe, you can select from a menu of both modern and old school cocktails, ranging from punches and barrel-aged libations to well-crafted classics.

Advertising
  • Leather District

Sandwiched between FiDi and Chinatown in Boston’s Leather District, Offsuit is an unassuming bar tucked inside Troquet on South’s French bistro. A backdoor entrance ensures a distinctly intimate experience, where burgundy walls, leather love seats and spinning vinyl impart a brooding aura. Order from a list of classics or trust the bartender's choice at this tiny, 20-seat spot; the beverage directors create original recipes seasonally.

  • Cuban
  • Downtown
  • price 3 of 4

This downtown hotspot is both a restaurant and a lounge dedicated to pre-revolutionary Havana. While the front-of-house restaurant and rum-lined bar sets the mood with a first impression, it’s the unmissable downstairs (aka Mariel Underground) that truly emphasizes Mariel’s tribute to a different moment in island time, with freshly made (not frozen) rum soaked daiquiris. Not always easy to get into, it’s worth the wait.

Advertising
  • Bakeries
  • North End
  • price 1 of 4

Modern Pastry is an iconic North End pastry emporium with a loyal following. This family-owned spot has been in operation for decades, offering old-world cakes, cookies, pizelles, and chocolates. Lesser known is the sweet cocktail spot downstairs, which you can tuck into by descending stairs at the back of the pastry shop. Check out Modern Underground where you can get a well-made cocktail with your dessert.

  • Cocktail bars
  • Somerville
  • price 2 of 4

This relaxed drinking place has the ad hoc feel of being off the beaten track. The entrance, down an alley, isn’t easy to find at first but is worth the effort. The attention to detailed drinking is what pulls patrons in. Themed menus focusing on cats and music are a thing they do well. Also, the classics? No problem. You’ll find a perfectly balance martini if that’s your thing.

Advertising
  • Cocktail bars
  • price 2 of 4

Baldwin Bar in Woburn has become a destination for connoisseurs to enjoy expertly-made classic cocktails. Look a little harder (the second floor to be exact) and you'll find the bar-within-a bar, Baldwin & Sons Trading Company. This cozy lounge focuses more on kitsch, with tiki glassware and exotic ingredients like acidified papaya pandan compound.

  • Cocktail bars
  • Roxbury
  • price 2 of 4

What better place to sample booze than right where it’s made? From whiskey and rum, to gin and amaro, this local, family-owned distillery is certainly off the beaten bar track; located in Boston’s industrial Newmarket area. Guests can visit for a distillery tour and tasting, or they can simply pop-in for a cocktail made with the brand's original spirits. The 26-seat tasting room has a Prohibition-era speakeasy vibe, with vintage fittings and a long black marble bar overlooking the stillroom.

Advertising
  • Central Sq
  • price 2 of 4

Head through Roxy's Grilled Cheese to the freezer door in the back and step into a hidden world of throwback fun for adults. The forces behind Area Four operate this speakeasy arcade filled with ‘80s classics (Galaga, Ms. Pacman). The distinctly grownup cocktail menu impresses, as does the selection of local craft brews.

  • Cocktail bars
  • Central Sq
  • price 2 of 4

Find this hidden Central Square gem by heading through a nondescript door and up a set of stairs. A giant horseshoe-shaped bar and ample stool seating make for a hip environment to enjoy expert mixology. The cocktails shine and the bar snacks (which include deviled eggs and “grandma’s” gooey garlic bread) are done just right.

Advertising
  • Cocktail bars
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

When Drink first opened in 2008, the concept of a menu-less cocktail bar attracted the masses. Today, the sunken lounge in Fort Point still beckons savvy spirits enthusiasts with its underground appeal to sip on something “different.” Whether you’re in the mood for something tequila-based and spicy, sweet and topped with champagne, or a total surprise, Drink’s mixologists are sure to deliver.

Recommended
    You may also like
    You may also like
    Advertising