Boston might be better known for craft beer, but the city still has its share of excellent wine bars. Many of the best restaurants in Boston proudly maintain notable, award-winning wine programs, and several offer bars and lounges where you can explore their wine lists. Sip your way through notable vintages and varietals while discovering lesser-known producers. If cocktails are more your thing, check out our list of the best cocktail bars in Boston. For oenophiles, however, these wine bars and restaurants offer Boston’s best opportunity to taste great wine on its own or with food.
RECOMMENDED: See the full list of the best bars in Boston
Best wine bars in Boston
Decamp to No. 9 Park’s sophisticated bar to enjoy selections from Cat Silirie’s award-winning wine list. The list—comprised of old-world varietals as well as lesser-known wines—not only complements Barbara Lynch’s cuisine perfectly, but stands alone for those who want to focus on the wine. Silirie mentors the staff personally, so be sure to take advantage of their knowledge as you sip your way through the stunning selections.
Troquet has one of the city’s best wine programs. The list of 50-plus wines by the glass and more than 500 bottles includes well-known producers and vintages as well as hard-to-find wines from around the world. Pours are offered in two- and four-ounce increments, so wine-lovers can easily cover more ground in one sitting. Explore the wines on their own, but don’t miss the opportunity to dine at Troquet and savor the exceptional pairings offered with the food.
This stylish Italian wine bar features wine-themed decor and a 25-page wine list. The list is not overwhelming, however, as staff will gladly help you select a wine to suit your mood. Stick with sample pours to try a range of offerings, or get a carafe to pair with simple, delicious small plates, cheeses, and charcuterie.
Recognized by Wine Enthusiast as one of America's 100 Best Wine Restaurants for 2016, BISq is one to visit for its unique, French-focused wine program. You’ll find small production wines, grower-producers, natural wines, champagnes, and other interesting selections of sherry and madeira by the glass. Sister restaurant to Bergamot, BISq also has an excellent menu of small plates.
Tinned fish, charcuterie, and other luxurious small plates set the stage for unique wines at this Downtown Crossing wine bar. Small producers, especially female winemakers, are the stars of the list of primarily natural wines. If you’re not familiar with natural wines, the friendly staff is willing to help. Sample from the list of wines by the glass, or—if you commit to two glasses—they’ll open any available bottle for you. For your non-wine-drinking friends, there’s also a solid craft beer list.
Grab a seat at Craigie's casual bar area, now known as COMB, to sample from the Old World-dominant wine list at Craigie on Main. With more than 800 selections, the list is impressive and moderately-priced. Fans of German Riesling and Burgundy will have plenty to choose from. And of course, the offerings pair perfectly with the French-leaning menu.
Chef Peter Ungár's tiny restaurant offers an in-demand, ticketed culinary experience in Somerville. During off-hours Tuesday through Saturday, however, you can enjoy some of the wines that are paired with Chef's dinners — no reservations required. The natural wines on the list are all organic or biodynamic, with hand-harvested grapes that are fermented with wild yeast. As a bonus, small plates are available, many just $5.
The gorgeously appointed upstairs restaurant may be a paean to French fine dining, but it’s the downstairs bar that will evoke your Paris yearning/nostalgia. Wines from France, Italy and the U.S. make up the list, which includes half-bottles and many a wine by the glass. But by all means settle in with a friend and order a full bottle; the insanely well-stocked cellar includes some amazing finds from Burgundy and Bordeaux and at least one $1,000 bottle.
This sleek South End purveyor of rustic French cuisine has as a wine list that pairs perfectly with food. The list of 30-plus offerings by the glass covers all of Europe, not just France, so try a few glasses with some cheese or charcuterie. In warm weather, you’ll feel like you're sipping your wine in Paris on the lovely patio.
With red banquettes, a zinc bar, vintage decor, and regular live jazz performances, Les Zygomates nails the wine bar vibe. The massive list features eclectic selections and many affordable options. Keep an eye out for wine tastings with their in-house wine expert.
This beloved, intimate Davis Square spot has a small but well-curated wine list. As with their approach to the food menu, owners work closely with winemakers to offer a diverse and thoughtful wine list. The seasonally-influenced menu pairs well with selections. Special wine dinners offer guests the chance to learn more about specific wine regions, alongside delicious regional dishes.
After shopping along Newbury Street, intimate Piattini Wine Cafe is the place to unwind with a glass and tapas-style Italian small plates. With dozens of offerings by the glass and an even larger selection of bottles, this wine list will satisfy all. Each glass of wine is presented with a card detailing its origins and tasting notes. The tiny patio is perfect for an intimate wine-focused date.
For a casual wine experience, this wine bar and bistro/deli has an extensive wine and cheese list. It’s a popular spot for the after-work crowd, but a decent place to sample wines and cheeses from around the world as well as other quality snacks. Try a few wines and cheeses and, since it’s a deli, you can take your favorite bottle and some cheese home with you.