Nightlife in Boston: Must-visit bars, clubs, and restaurants

What things can you do in Boston at night? Read our guide to uncover the best nightlife spots in Boston, including clubs, bars, and restaurants.


8 minute read
14 Jun 2024

Did you know that all nightlife in Boston ends at 2 AM? Yes, all bars and clubs in the capital of Massachusetts close early in the night. With such a tight time slot, every place you go to on a night out has to be great.

This is why we’ve curated a list of Boston's best nightlife spots including clubs, restaurants, bars, and pubs. We promise that by the end of this article, you’ll be able to plan your next night out and not worry whether you’ve made the right choice.

What area of Boston is best for nightlife?

Boston offers entertainment around every corner, yet some areas stand out for their vibrancy. Allston and Cambridge are bustling student hubs, perfect for celebrating passing your exams.

Fenway-Kenmore, home to the Red Sox, has a diverse selection of sports bars, especially along Lansdowne Street. Boylston Street in Back Bay offers a more dynamic bar-hopping experience.

Other notable night-out areas include Downtown Crossing and South End, or the upscale Seaport District, where you can find the best seafood in Boston.

Best nightclubs in Boston

While Boston’s nightlife might not extend to the early hours of the morning, you can still party hard at Boston’s nightclubs. Let’s see which are the 4 best nightclubs in Boston:

Royale: Best club in Boston for people in their 30s

With a capacity to hold 1,300 people, Royale is the biggest club in Boston. The club’s interior is a mix between the 90s and the present day, with leather couches, low tables, LED lights, and a pit for you to dance. Royale works only Friday and Saturday between 10 PM and 2 AM. Keep in mind that the club is expensive, with 4-person tables costing around $350. Don’t forget to make a reservation and check Royale’s dress code before you go.

Bijou: Best techno club in Boston

Experience Boston's nightlife at Bijou, a dynamic club with three floors dedicated to techno and electronic beats. Perfect for private events, the second and third floors can be rented out for exclusive parties. Bijou frequently hosts events with guest DJs from around the world. The club's interior has vibrant LED lights and large screens projecting colorful images. As Bijou is open only from Thursday to Sunday, 10 PM to 2 AM, making reservations is recommended.

The Grand: Best club in Boston for young adults

For an extravagant night out in Boston, head to The Grand, where EDM and hip-hop set the tone. The moment you step in, you're greeted by opulence: golden accents, sleek black walls, glass staircases, and LED displays. While special events require tickets, booking a table online suffices for a regular night. Located in the Seaport, The Grand offers an array of cocktails and bottle service. The Grand is open Wednesday to Friday, from 10 PM to 2 AM and 9:30 PM to 2 AM on weekends.

Wild Rover: Best club in Boston for college students

Wild Rover is an affordable nightclub near Faneuil Hall. Similarly to the rest, the Wild Rover has several floors playing dance music. You can enjoy a variety of drinks, including their special margaritas. The club is popular with students because of its affordable prices and the fact that it works Monday to Sunday until 2 AM. Tthe Wild Rover has themed nights like Boom Boom Tuesdays, Thursty Thursdays and Get Wild Saturdays.

Best bars and pubs in Boston

Boston’s bars and pubs have you covered for those nights you don’t feel like dancing but still wanting to go out. With such a vast selection of places to try, it can take time to find your favourite. So why not check out some of the 7 best bars and pubs in Boston we found?

Hecate: Best bar in Boston for cocktails

Hecate, located in restaurant Krasi's basement, is an upscale cocktail bar inspired by the Greek goddess. Candle-lit ambiance and black marble and gold furnishings evoke the enchantment of Hecate’s witchcraft. The cocktails feature unique concoctions with a witchy twist in both wordplay and ingredients, such as Equinox, Malleus Maleficarum, and Baba Yaga. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 5 PM to 1 AM, Hecate promises a one-of-a-kind experience in Boston's bar scene.

Offsuit: Best bar in Boston for a date

Offsuit, a quant speakeasy with roughly 20 seats, creates an ideal setting for a romantic date with its intimate atmosphere, superb drinks, and vinyl-spun tunes. The menu showcases unique cocktails such as Cash Only, Hired Gun, and Tuxedo Connection. To access the speakeasy, locate its hidden entrance in the Utica Street alleyway. Given its popularity, reservations are recommended. Offsuit operates from 5 PM to 1 AM, Tuesday through Saturday.

The Bell in Hand Tavern: Best pub in Boston's North End

Found in one of the safest neighborhoods in Boston, North End, the Bell in Hand Tavern stands as the oldest tavern in the US. The menu typically includes a variety of pub-style food and drink options. You can expect classic American fare, such as burgers, sandwiches, wings, and a selection of beers on tap. We recommend The Bell in Hand Tavern if you’re looking for a lively scene as its location in the Faneuil Hall area, makes it quite popular.

The Druid: Best pub food in Boston

Nestled in Inman Square, Cambridge, The Druid is a charming pub that immerses you in Irish warmth with its dark wood decor and inviting ambiance. Offering a blend of Irish and American delights, the menu features bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, and the classic Druid’s burger. Don't miss the chance for a traditional Irish breakfast on weekends from 11 AM to 3 PM. Established as a hub for socializing, The Druid is open every day from 12 PM to 10 PM, Saturdays from 11 AM to 10 PM, and Sundays from 11 AM to 10 PM, providing a cozy retreat for food and drinks.

Porter Cafe: Best pub in Boston's West Roxbury

Porter Cafe is your typical neighborhood pub where you go to grab a drink after work or lunch on Sundays. Located in one of the family-friendliest neighborhoods in Boston, West Roxbury, the pub has a relaxed atmosphere frequented by locals. Porter Cafe offers a diverse menu with a mix of pub-style comfort food and American cuisine. Items on the menu may include beer-battered fish & chips, shepherd's pie, and short rib tacos. Porter Cafe has a selection of wines, beers, and cocktails to enjoy with your meal.

Olde Magoun’s Saloon: Boston's hidden gem

Found in Somerville, Olde Magoun’s Saloon, a craft beer and spirits pub, offers a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. With a menu featuring dishes like burgers and bangers & mash, it complements its wide drink selection. This pub is a neighborhood favorite, especially for the locals living in one of Boston's best neighborhoods for young people. Known for its sports-friendly vibe, Olde Magoun’s Saloon is equipped with multiple TVs, making it a popular spot for socializing and catching a game in a welcoming setting.

Sullivan’s Tap: Best sports bar in Boston

Sullivan's Tap is a sports bar. Its proximity to the TD Garden, home of the Boston Bruins and Celtics, makes the bar an ideal spot for pre-game or post-game meetups. A haven for sports enthusiasts, the bar features numerous screens and indoor games. Offering a selection of draft and bottled beers, Sullivan's Tap is open every day, but it's advisable to check the varying hours online. Planning to catch a game? Arrive early as the bar tends to fill up rapidly, ensuring you secure a prime spot for the sporting action.

Best restaurants in Boston

Whenever you feel like dining out, Boston has culinary delights awaiting you. From quick bites to upscale dining, here are the 6 best restaurants in Boston.

La Fabrica Central: Best restaurant in Boston, Cambridge

Located in Cambridge, La Fabrica Central is a Spanish-Caribbean restaurant, offering a culinary journey through Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Indulge in dishes like Chuleta Kan Kan and Mofongo, complemented by a diverse range of traditional cocktails and live Latin music. After your meal, venture to the back for a nightclub experience. La Fabrica Central welcomes guests four days a week: Wednesday betwee 5 PM and 11 PM, Thursday from 5 PM to 1 AM, and Friday and Saturday from 5 PM to 2 AM

Yvonne’s: Best run restaurant in Boston

Inspired by mid-20th century supper clubs, Yvonne’s creates a social dining space for sharing delicious meals. Influenced by Mediterranean, American, Middle Eastern, and European flavors, the restaurant encourages communal dining with shareable dishes. Housed in the former Locke-Ober, one of Boston’s initial restaurants, Yvonne’s adds a modern touch to maintain its secrecy and discretion. The authentic entrance, located at the back of a hair salon, adds to the unique experience of discovering this hidden gem in the heart of Boston.

Anna’s Taqueria: Best restaurant in Boston for lunch

Anna’s Taqueria prides itself on being the best Mexican restaurant in Boston. There are 7 locations in the Greater Boston area, perfect if you want to grab a quick bite. And they even deliver if you don’t feel like going to eat out! Anna’s Taqueria has 5 main dishes: quesadilla, taco, salad, burrito or bowl, which you can personalize. All of the 7 restaurants work daily from 10 AM to 11 PM.

Sarma: Best Middle Eastern restaurant in Boston

Sarma is a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean gem that encourages communal dining with a shareable menu. Pair their specialty cocktails and craft beers with a delightful array of meze (small plate dishes). Offering traditional Middle Eastern fare with a Western twist, try specialties like latke falafel, eggplant parm börek, avocado muhammara, and harissa BBQ duck. Due to its cozy size, reservations are recommended. Open daily, the bar starts at 5 PM, and the kitchen operates from 5:30 PM to 10-11 PM, depending on the day.

o ya: Best Japanese restaurant in Boston

o ya, a renowned Japanese restaurant, has gained popularity and culinary accolades. While on the pricey side, the experience is well worth it. Indulge in a unique omakase dinner, featuring a 20-course tasting menu personally crafted by the Chef. Delight in Japanese delicacies, including nigiri and sashimi, showcasing seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Keep in mind that o ya exclusively accepts prepaid reservations, with the omakase dinner priced at $295 per person (excluding tax). A visit promises an exquisite culinary journey in a celebrated Japanese dining setting.

Boston Sail Loft: Best restaurant in Boston for clam chowder

Boston Sail Loft is a family-owned restaurant with beautiful views of the Boston Harbor. It’s famous for being the home to Boston’s best clam chowder, a traditional American soup with milky sauce and clams. In fact, their clam chowder is so famous that Boston Sail Loft even ships it internationally. As a harbor restaurant, Boston Sail Loft’s menu is entirely made of locally sourced seafood. All dishes are made in traditional New England style and paired with excellent wines.

Things to do in Boston at night

Boston has plenty of other entertainment to offer for those nights when you want to go out but don’t feel like a bar or a club. You can watch anything from Broadway shows to avant-garde plays and performances by the Boston Ballet. There is no other place better to catch a play than any of the theatres in Boston’s Theatre District.

Our advice is to check out the offerings at the Boston Opera House, the Wang Theatre, or Emerson colonial theatre. In the summer, definitely watch the Shakespeare on the Common. You can spend your night laughing at a comedy show at the Wilbur theatre or Nick’s comedy stop.

If you can, make a reservation at the Boston Observatory to see the city’s lights at night. If you can’t, take a stroll along the Boston Harbor (Fan Pier Park area), where you can also enjoy the city twinkling.

Does Boston have a good nightlife?

While nights might end at 2 AM, Boston’s nightlife has a lot to offer. From Anna’s Taqueria, Sarma, to the Druid for casual bites, to o ya and Yvonne’s for an upscale experience, choices abound. Sullivan’s Tap is ideal for game nights, while Hecate and Offsuit excel in cocktails. The nightclub scene spans from the upscale Royale and The Grand to the laid-back Wild Rover, ensuring something for everyone throughout the city. Whether exploring restaurants, theaters, or bars, Boston's nightlife promises an array of experiences to suit various preferences.

This article is for informational purposes only.

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