While you might think of the Boston bar scene as being quintessential Irish pubs, there’s so much more to it than classic boozers. Sure, the city has some fantastic dive bars and iconic sports bars, but Boston is also a hot spot for cocktails and class.
Heading on a night out here? Follow our top picks for a DIY bar crawl and you’re guaranteed a night to remember.
Best bars in BostonHow do these rankings work?
This beautiful bar in the Baldwin Mansion is a creative cocktail hotspot, with a second, elegant library bar on the second floor. It attracts cocktail lovers from all over with its inventive menu and relaxed vibes. Don’t leave without trying the tart yet tasty Lion’s Paw (Maker’s Mark bourbon, lime, cinnamon, almond and Allspice).
This low-key bar in the heart of Downtown is everything that an iconic Irish bar should be – warm and welcoming, full of craic and home to a great selection of beers and ales. Bono is just one of the many famous Irish people to have stopped in for a drink, so you never know who you’ll be standing next to at the bar.
A bar entirely dedicated to the craft of the cocktail, Drink blends time-honored techniques and the classic cocktails of the prohibition era with a modern twist. There’s no drinks menu, so you don’t have a favorite drink in mind, let your bartender know a few likes (or dislikes) and they will create just the right cocktail for you.
“The Model” is a former dive bar turned new it-spot in Brighton, with loud music and cheap drinks. What more could you need for a fuss-free night out? There’s pretty much always a line in front of the Model Cafe after 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, but it’s worth the wait.
The Tavern has been around since 1795 and is one of the city’s most famous Alehouses, still going strong today. Not much has changed since it opened, and beer lovers will appreciate the local ales and ciders. With live music and a DJ on the weekends, it’s the perfect choice for a casual night out.
Bully Boy is a craft distillery that specialises in Whiskey, Rum, Gin, Vodka and Amaro. The classy tasting room and cocktail bar is guided by a “still-to-glass philosophy.” Made with fresh juices, house-made tinctures, and seasonal ingredients, each cocktail showcases a different Bully Boy spirit.
Named after a sailor’s leisure time on dry land, Shore Leave is a funky Tiki bar that serves up vibrant cocktails in Boston’s South End. Try their namesake cocktail for tropical flavors with ingredients traditionally connected to Boston’s culinary and beverage history. Think local and Jamaican rum and a dash of molasses.