There are plenty of great restaurants to choose from throughout Boston, and there are also equally as many bars for day or night of drinking. This list includes something for everyone, whether you're looking for more casual dive or sports bars or prefer fancy cocktails for a night out in Beantown.
Right on Lansdowne Street next to Fenway Park is Bleacher Bar, which offers a unique Boston Red Sox experience from right below the bleacher seats. Here you'll feel like you're right on the field of Fenway Park, as there's a big garage window that looks right out onto the outfield. This is another no-frills bar, but one of the most popular Fenway bars to check out, especially if you're a baseball fan. Fun fact: the sports bar was previously the visiting team's batting cage.
One of Boston's most popular bars is Beantown Pub, located on the historic Freedom Trail in downtown Boston. This is a no-frills, casual American pub, with over a dozen draft beers on tap, TVs to watch Boston sports, and a billiards room with coin-operated pool tables and other games. According to the Beantown Pub staff, it's the "only pub in Boston where you can drink a Sam Adams while viewing the grave of Sam Adams!"
Bukowski Tavern is more of a hipster dive bar with beers on tap from local breweries and from around the world. Open since 1998, Bukowski Tavern is also known for having good American bar food and equally as good service. Locals join their Mug Club, which requires that you make your way down a beer card within six months. If you're closer to Cambridge than Back Bay, you're in luck, as there's another location there.
City Winery Boston
New to the Boston bar scene as of 2017 is City Winery, a wine bar, winery, and restaurant that is also a 300-seat music venue. Located on Canal Street, close to the TD Garden (where the Boston Celtics and Bruins play) and the Haymarket MBTA station, this is a fresh concept for the city. Here you'll find more than 400 wines from all over the globe, including 20 that are produced in-house. There's also a tasting menu inspired by Mediterranean cuisine. City Winery's concerts, which feature relatively big names despite the small-scale venue, take place about 20 times each month. You can also find City Winery locations in New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., Atlanta, and Nashville.
One of the best outdoor bars in Boston is on the top floor of Legal Seafood's Seaport location, Legal Harborside. This third level of the 20,000-square-foot restaurant is where you'll find the promenade deck, which has a retractable glass roof and walls to accommodate any season. There's a smaller menu than the lower floors, with sushi and shareable plates, but the views of the ocean are worth it. The rooftop bar is a trendy spot, so on a beautiful day, you can expect it to get crowded.
Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant
Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant is one of the bars and restaurants that put South Boston on the map when it comes to delicious food and drinks. This spot is an awesome restaurant, with menu items ranging from wood-fired pizzas to oven-braised short ribs over truffle mac and cheese, but it's also a popular bar. It's particularly packed on weekend nights, and their cocktail list, which rotates periodically, does not disappoint. Try the Southie Set Up (vodka, mango liqueur, lime, agave, cranberries) or Spicy Cucumber (tequila, lime, cucumber).
This is also a popular Sunday Funday spot, so if you plan to come for brunch, get there by 11 a.m., and then don't be surprised if you end up sipping cocktails or big bottles of Prosecco all day long. If you come at a time when there's a line, head across the street to Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, owned by the same group.
Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar
Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar now has two locations—one in Back Bay and the newest in Fort Point. This restaurant and bar serves up modern takes on traditional Mexican food and drinks. Their menu of 10 seasonal, hand-crafted margaritas are not to be missed, as they range from the go-to Lolita (Lolita blanco, house orange liqueur, lime and grapefruit) to the Spiced Apple (Lolita reposado, peach liqueur, muddled apple, cinnamon, lime and cane sugar syrup).
Lookout Rooftop Bar at the Envoy Hotel
Located in Boston's newly popular Fort Point neighborhood is the Envoy Hotel - and on the top floor of that is the Lookout Rooftop Bar. It's here you'll find some of the best panoramic views of the city. This popular roof deck bar is filled with a mix of locals out for post-work drinks and tourists late-afternoon through the evening when the weather is nice. There's a full bar serving up wine, beer, and cocktails, and you can even get a glass of frose here.
You can even enjoy this outdoor bar when the cold weather hits. During the winter months, they bring in six heated igloos that are heated and fit 10 people each. There's even a button you hit to request a drink so there's no need to leave your cozy seat until it's time to leave.
If you're looking for a bar with good live music, Lucky's Lounge is your place, especially on a Friday or Saturday night. This Sinatra-themed lounge offers everything a traditional bar would, along with a long list of seasonal cocktails. A popular stop in the Fort Point neighborhood, this bar does get crowded, so plan to get there on the early side unless you don't mind waiting in line.
The Grand Boston
For a nightclub scene, you'll want to check out The Grand Boston, the city's newest and most popular spot. Here you'll find people looking for a big night out—think VIP tables and bottle service with popular DJs and lots of dancing. You'll need to buy tickets when DJs are in town, so check out the website, along with the dress code, before planning a night out at The Grand.
The Hawthorne comes from the same group as Boston's Eastern Standard and is located within Hotel Commonwealth in the Fenway neighborhood. This craft cocktail lounge offers a variety of seasonal drinks and small bites.
Trillium Garden on the Greenway
There are plenty of local breweries popping up all over the Boston area, and one of the most popular is Trillium Brewing Company. Their flagship brewery is in Fort Point on Congress Street, but they also have a seasonal experience called the Trillium Garden. In 2017 and 2018, it was set up on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, which was the perfect location for both locals looking for a few drinks after work or tourists taking a stop while seeing the city's attractions. For more on where the Trillium Garden will be popping up next, check out the brewery's social media channels.
Ward 8 is located near both the North End neighborhood and TD Garden and attracts both locals and tourists, especially those who are catching a Boston Celtics or Bruins game but looking for more upscale food and cocktails. Ward 8 has more of a cocktail bar vibe than a sports bar feel, but there are plenty of TVs if you're looking to watch a game. Here you can enjoy craft beers, wine, and a variety of craft cocktails that they change up here and there. Their late night menu goes until 1 a.m., so after a few drinks you can enjoy bites like cheesy bacon fries, Ward 8 ramen, or even oysters.
Y'vonne's is unlike any other restaurant in Boston. It's a trendy spot to go out with a group of friends. Here you'll experience a '20s and '50s vibe—think antique crystal chandeliers, big tufted sofas, and marble floors with a mahogany bar as the dining room's center focal point. There are also bars in the lounge and library areas. For drinks, pick from an extensive cocktail and Yvonne's favorites list. You'll feel extra fancy when they arrive in crystal chalices.
If you're visiting Y'vonne's for dinner with a group, order a stone-fired pita and several of their social plates to share. And even if you didn't plan on eating, after several drinks you may find yourself hungry, and that's when the late night menu comes in handy.
One of Boston's best dive bars is Biddy Early's, an Irish pub serving up pitchers of beer and $1.50 PBRs, along with basic well drinks and food, such as burgers, steak tips, and club sandwiches. This Financial District staple also comes complete with Keno and an old-school jukebox.