Boston is one of the best places to go out once you turn 21. Before you are 21, good luck getting in with a fake because Boston is known to be one of the strictest cities for monitoring this and they know every time. Like most cities, the lines can get crazy long in Boston at the popular bars so make sure you get there on the earlier side to avoid being in line for an hour! The plus side is there are so many bars within walking distance of each other and almost everywhere is easy to get to by using the T (Boston’s subway system) if your first choice doesn’t work out. Here’s our list (in no particular order) of what we think are some of the best bars in Boston!
1. Bell in Hand
The Bell in Hand is located right near Faneuil Hall. It features two stories and 5 separate bar counters. The bottom floor has a chill hang out bar area on the side and a room with live music. Upstairs there is a DJ that plays top 40 music and throwbacks. Mixed drinks range from $7-$10. They have karaoke on Tuesdays. Warning: you have to wait in line outside and also wait in another line to get upstairs so plan accordingly time-wise, but it is so worth it when you get up there! The cover is $10.
This place has the feeling of a speak-easy meets a club. There is either the main room with a dance floor or the Bordello room. The Bordello room is more lit up, has booths for sitting, and a huge bar. The dance floor room is much bigger and has a DJ. People do say they can be picky about who gets in based on what you’re wearing, so make sure you dress your best! They have no cover charge and free coat check.
3. Society on High
This bar is more of a lounge bar and is located on High St. near Faneuil Hall. We hear that you can spot Boston sports players and other local celebrities there. They have an indoor area where you can reserve bottles and tables and an outdoor patio in the summer where you can do the same. Mixed drinks are over $10 and closer to $15 but this bar doesn’t have a cover charge.
Royale is in the theater district and is considered a club, not a bar. It is converted from an old theater so it is really fancy on the inside and has a balcony level above the main dancefloor. The fancy interior matches with the crowd and most people tend to dress up a lot when they come here. There is a bar pretty much anywhere you look, which is convenient. You can also attend concerts here, and it’s a really cool venue for that, too. The lines can get really, really long so make sure you have time for that! Drinks here are on the pricier side and on average they range from $10-$15. The cover is $20.
5. Whiskey Priest
Whiskey Priest is in the Seaport right on the water, so it has a nice view. It’s three stories and in the summer they have a roof deck. They have live music on the weekends but on Thursdays there’s a DJ. Warning: if you get a drink in a glass downstairs they won’t let you take it on the roof (they use plastic cups up there) so make sure you finish it before! The cover is $5-$10.
6. The Lansdowne
The Lansdowne is a large bar with live music on one side and a DJ on the other and is located near Fenway Park. The live band likes to perform throwback music so everyone loves to sing along here. They have karaoke nights on Thursday too. Cover charge is $5.
7. The Brahmin
It is located in a neighborhood where the South End meets Back Bay. It is a large place with two stories and three bars. There are multiple rooms depending on if you want to talk with your friends or dance. You can take the T to Back Bay station. They play recent music and also throwbacks and there is no cover charge.
8. Howl at the Moon
Howl at the Moon is located in the Financial District, is one story, and has a big dance floor. They have live music but they play contemporary songs so it’s fun to dance to. One cool thing about here is they offer really interesting bucket drinks for $25, which are enough for a lot of people to share. If you have a birthday or special event, you can pay for packages where you can all skip the line, get a reserved table and the birthday person gets a free Jell-O shot in a syringe and a shout-out on stage. The cover is $10.
9. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is considered to be a dive bar and is located right near Faneuil Hall. From the outside you’d mistake it for a Chinese restaurant. They have scorpion bowls, which everyone loves! The first floor is a bar (which has karaoke and serves $1 teriyaki) and the second floor is a club. Mixed drinks are around $8-10 and the cover ranges from $5-$15 depending on the night and if you want to be upstairs, downstairs, or both.
10. The Greatest Bar
This is a bar with four floors located near the TD Garden. Each floor is pretty similar and there is a DJ playing music that goes throughout. If dancing isn’t your thing they have plenty of seating all over. Mixed drinks tend to be over $10. Since this place is so huge, there multiple bars inside. The cover charge is $5-$10 depending when you get there and how crowded it is.
11. Whiskey Saigon
Whiskey Saigon is a club located in the theater district. This place is fancy and everyone dresses up to go. Their drinks are extremely pricey (one of the most expensive spots in Boston). On the plus side they have a machine for free filtered water to drink in the bathroom! They have a DJ and a dancefloor area but also a lounge area with seating, which looks like a dark library. Cover charge is $15 after 10:30 and their lines can get crazy long. Warning: they have been known to kick people out if they think they are sloppy or too drunk.
12. Tavern in the Square
To locals this bar usually goes by the nickname TITS and is actually in Allston. It has two really large rooms with a lot of space. They play really good music and one room is more like a club and one room has more of a chill bar atmosphere. Mixed drinks range from around $7-$10 and there is no cover charge here.
13. Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar
This place is fancier than a lot of the bars on this list and isn’t really much of a dancing place. It’s more for hanging out with your friends and they have seating located throughout. It’s one big open room with a bar. In the back there is an area with a tequila bar also with an amazing range of margaritas. Drinks tend to be on the pricier side and are usually above $10. The DJ plays current music and throwbacks usually, and there’s no cover charge. Warning: there’s always an extremely long line (which is known to take over an hour) but you can make reservations so plan ahead if you want to go here!
14. Ned Devine’s
This bar near Faneuil Hall is two floors with multiple rooms and most people tend to spend their time upstairs. Depending where you are there is either a live band or a DJ. Within Ned Devine’s there is also Parris Nightclub, which is where the dancing and the DJ is. You can take the Green line to Government Center. The dress code here is strict and you cannot get in wearing sneakers. Mixed drinks are $8-$10 and the cover charge is $10.