Boston Nightlife

Boston is a Cinderella city, aglow with delights that for some end all too soon. With the T (subway and bus) making its final runs between midnight and 1 am and taxis sometimes scarce, most nightspots follow accordingly, with "last call" typically by 2 am. Though night owls may be disappointed by the meager late-night options, except in Chinatown, visitors find plenty of possibilities for stepping

out on the early side. The martini set may stroll Newbury and Boylston streets in the Back Bay or Downtown, selecting from swank restaurants, lounges, and clubs. Coffee and tea drinkers can find numerous cafés in Cambridge and Somerville, particularly Harvard and Davis squares. Beer enthusiasts often have a viable option on nearly every corner, except in Belmont, where you may have trouble finding a pub to down a pint. For dancing, Lansdowne and Boylston streets near Fenway Park have a stretch of student-oriented hangs, sports bars, brewpubs, and techno clubs. The thriving "lounge" scene in Downtown’s cooler hybrid bar-restaurant-clubs provides a mellower, more mature alternative to the student-focused indie clubs. Tourists crowd Faneuil Hall for its pubs, comedy club, and dance spots. The South and North ends, as well as Cambridge and Somerville, cater to the "dinner-and-drinks" set, while those seeking rock clubs should explore Allston, Jamaica Plain, and Cambridge, especially Central Square. College-owned concert halls host homegrown and visiting ensembles nightly. Prominent among these are Harvard University’s Sanders Theater, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Berklee’s Performance Center, and Boston University’s Tsai Performance Center.

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Cambridge 37

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Downtown Boston 16

Government Center and the North End 14


Government Center 9

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Allston 5

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Beacon Hill, Boston Common, and the Old West End 7

The Fenway 5

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Bars/ Pubs 64

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Cafes–Nightlife 10

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Boston Nightlife

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Bukowski Tavern

  • Bars/Pubs

This narrow barroom has a literary flair and more than 100 brews for your sipping pleasure. A cash-only policy may dissuade travelers,...

Cactus Club

  • Bars/Pubs

One of the few places in Boston that make a decent margarita, the Cactus Club has a popular outdoor patio for kicking back, sipping frozen...

Champions Sports Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

This bar calls all sports fans (rabid, yet civilized) with 40 TV screens—including a 12' x 24' whopper where you surely won't miss...

Oak Long Bar & Kitchen

  • Bars/Pubs

This flagship bar in the 1912 Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel had a centennial stem-to-stern makeover that reconstituted the oak paneling,...

Rattlesnake Bar and Grill

  • Bars/Pubs

Half a block off the Public Garden, this lively bar-resto has two patios. In season, both street-side tables and an insiders' rooftop...

Red Room @ Cafe 939

  • Cafes–Nightlife

By day a Berklee College coffee and snack bar, the Cafe by night opens its tidy, scarlet 150-seat concert space. Run and booked by students...

Skywalk Observatory

  • Bars/Pubs

The best aerial view of Boston is not in a helicopter or a blimp. This eagle aerie atop the Prudential Tower's 50th floor, two floors...


  • Bars/Pubs

The crowd spilling through French doors onto the sidewalk café in warm weather consists of trendy cosmopolitans, fun-loving professionals,...

Top of the Hub

  • Bars/Pubs

At 52 floors up, this in-the-clouds lounge has incomparable views embracing Boston Harbor, Back Bay, Logan Airport, and the far suburbs.

Trident Booksellers & Café

  • Cafes–Nightlife

Browse an eccentric collection of books and magazines at this crowded, pleasant café, then have coffee or tea while you read. This is...