The largest city in the part of America known as New England, Boston is the capital and most populous city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and one of the premier locations in the United States for tourism and nightlife—a nightlife that is anchored by some of the best and most entertaining bars in the country.
Boston boasts an exemplary combination of colonial history and forward-looking modernism. From the amiable streets of Beacon Hill and the historic attractions along the Freedom Trail, to the cutting-edge campus of Harvard University and the emblematic Fenway Park, Boston is a great place to visit, both by day and night. After a fun day exploring all the sights this great city has to offer, you’ll find a countless number of enjoyable drinking establishments in which to relax and unwind, establishments that range from swanky cocktail lounges to historic bars to laidback neighborhood pubs and taverns. Whether you’re looking for some of the finest whiskeys, gins and vodkas America has to offer or a simple pint of lager to quench your thirst, Boston is definitely the place to be for those who enjoy an occasional libation.
In the following article we will introduce you to some of the best and most popular bars the city of Boston has to offer, including a comprehensive description of each establishment’s design and characteristics, and what you can expect when you visit them.
Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale
For an authentic Boston experience, you simply can’t beat Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale. Walking into this bar, which is located in Boston’s downtown district, will take you back to a simpler time. Souvenirs from this building’s original tenant, Chandler’s Corset Store, hang from the walls of this historic drinking establishment’s foray. Inside you will find an atmosphere highlighted by high vaulted ceilings, an oaken bar that is straight and long, and well-dressed and very knowledgeable bartenders that are difficult to stump.
And while the ambience at Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale is simply amazing, this drinking destination is also well-known for having one of the best selections of local beers in the city, particularly if you’re into cask beer, and their cocktail menu, which includes a $10 Moscow Mule, is also top-notch.
Located at 48 Temple Place, Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale is situated smack-dab in the middle of Boston’s theater district, making it a great place for sipping down a pre-show or post-show drink.
Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks
If you’re looking for a classy, yet un-snooty place to drink, you may want to visit Boston’s renowned Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks. Located in the city’s Kenmore Square, this fantastic drinking spot is very popular among both locals and visiting tourists, and its outdoor patio makes it a wonderful locale for relaxation and epic people watching during the warmer spring and summer months.
While Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks boasts an impressive wine list and a very wide-ranging selection of tasty beers, it is in their cocktails where this bar truly shines. Their cocktail menu includes all the traditional favorites along with a broad assortment of signature drinks. Some of these original cocktails include their Whiskey Smash; and a number of egg-based cocktails such as the frothy and delicious Flip Royal (made with ginger liqueur, rooibos tea syrup and Angostura bitters). All of these cocktails are designed to pair well with the restaurant/bar’s excellent food menu, which includes genuine Massachusetts oysters and an octopus cocktail that is truly to die for.
Situated at 528 Commonwealth Avenue, Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks is located just a short hop away from Boston’s Fenway Park, making it a very popular (and often crowded) place to drink, particularly on game nights on which the historic Kenmore Square comes alive.
Brendan Behan Pub
The city of Boston is renowned for its many great pubs, and the Brendan Behan Pub may just be the best of these. Boasting a cozy and rather basic atmosphere, the pub falls just short of being a traditional dive bar. However, the bar’s simple design and fun bartenders make it hard to leave once you begin drinking here.
The Brendan Behan Pub feels like a neighborhood bar—even for visiting tourists—and their pet-friendly policy only adds to the comfort of this drinking establishment. The bar has over a dozen draft beers on tap, including domestic and imported brews and a number of local and national craft beers. The fully-stocked pub also has an impressive menu of signature cocktails, and while there is no food served here, the Chinese restaurant next door is always happy to deliver.
All the best NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL games are shown on the pub’s 10+ televisions, particularly the city’s beloved Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots. There bar also boasts a number of fun diversions to enjoy, including pool tables, dart boards and arcade-style games.
Positioned at 477 Cambridge Avenue in the West Boston neighborhood of Allston, Deep Ellum is a charming place for delicious food, hearty beer and fruity cocktails. If beer is your drink of choice, this relaxing lounge definitely has you covered. Deep Ellum offers a rotating selection of draught beers; a variety that includes all the best domestic beers and an extraordinary assortment of Belgian, German and even Spanish brews. The cocktails are cool and refreshing, especially their traditional Old Fashioned, a mix of rye whiskey, cherry and orange flavorings, sugar and bitters. The beers and cocktails here go perfect with the bar’s sparse but tasty food menu, which includes their famous “Best Wurst Appetizer,” made with homemade sausage, mustard and pickles—and selling for a mere $6. For a spicier menu, you can head next door for tacos and signature tequilas.
Deep Ellum is reminiscent of the bars and lounges of old—a dimly lit space with well-dressed bartenders and old western movies showing on the establishment’s few televisions. The lounge has ample seating at the bar, as well as a spattering of comfortable booths where friends often get together to chat and drink after a long day. Deep Ellum is open from 11:00 AM to 2:00 AM daily.
Boston downtown skyline by skeeze/Pixabay CC0 license