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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Fodor's Choice

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Cambridge 37

Back Bay and the South End 18

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Back Bay 10

South End 8

Downtown Boston 16

Government Center and the North End 14

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Government Center 9

The North End 5

Boston Outskirts 7

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Allston 5

Jamaica Plain 2

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

The Fenway 5

Charlestown 1

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Bars/ Pubs 64

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 1

Cabaret 1

Cafes–Nightlife 10

Comedy Clubs 5

Dance Clubs 8

Gathering Places 2

Music Clubs 23

Piano Bars/ Lounges 3

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Best For

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Gay and Lesbian 3

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Boston Nightlife

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Beehive

  • Music Clubs

A jazz-lover's dream deep in the South End, the 'Hive airs professional and up-and-coming acts; often faculty and student bands from...

Clerys

  • Bars/Pubs

Open-windowed, multiroomed Clerys can be your neighborhood bar, Irish pub, dance hall, sports hub, trivia source (Tuesdays), or painting...

Club Café

  • Bars/Pubs

This smart multiroom club-cum-restaurant for Boston gays, lesbians, and their straight friends has become livelier than ever going into...

Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen

  • Piano Bars/Lounges

This is a long-time neighborhood soul-food and jazz hangout but it looks spiffy, not old. Starters are half price until 6:30 pm. It's...

Delux Café & Lounge

  • Bars/Pubs

This unpretentious, cozy bar on a quiet corner attracts old-timers and young professionals with modest drinks and affordable comfort...

Franklin Café

  • Bars/Pubs

This neighborhood institution is known for great martinis, microbrews on tap, and upscale pub food. There's no placard bearing its name;...

Fritz Lounge

  • Bars/Pubs

This gay sports bar is popular with the local after-work crowd and the sports teams that Fritz sponsors. Casually dressed gentlemen drop...

Wally's Café

  • Music Clubs

A rare gem for jazz and blues fans, Wally's Café was founded in 1947 and is the oldest continuously operating family-owned jazz club...

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