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. Microbrew enthusiasts find viable options at sports bars and brewpubs, especially near campuses and sports arenas. For dancing, Lansdowne and Boylston streets near Fenway Park have a stretch of student-friendly hangs, DJ rooms, and techno clubs. The thriving "lounge" scene in Downtown’s cooler hybrid bar-restaurant-clubs provides a mellower, more mature alternative to the collegiate indie clubs. Tourists crowd Faneuil Hall for its pubs, comedy spots, and dance scenes. 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 and Cambridge, especially Central Square. College-owned concert halls regularly host homegrown and visiting ensembles. Prominent among these are Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Berklee College of Music’s Performance Center, MIT's Kresge Auditorium, and Agganis Arena at Boston University.

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  • 1. Beantown Pub

    Downtown | Bars/Pubs

    Right on the Freedom Trail, this is the only pub in Boston where you can enjoy a Sam Adams lager while pondering the grave of that Founding...Read More

  • 2. Beehive

    South End | Music Clubs

    An underground bohemian bistro featuring delicious food, libations, and live music nightly, the Beehive is nestled under the historic Cyclorama...Read More

  • 3. Caffe Vittoria

    North End | Cafes–Nightlife

    The glorious matriarch of North End cafés, glistening with marble-topped tables, mirrors, and shiny machines, lets you glimpse la dolce vita...Read More

  • 4. Cantab Lounge

    Music Clubs

    This place hums every night with live bands cranking out rhythm and blues, soul, funk, rock, or bluegrass. The theme-driven bar hosts open-mike...Read More

  • 5. Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen

    South End | Cafes–Nightlife

    This longtime neighborhood soul-food and jazz hangout still looks spiffy, and features real Southern cooking and live bands nearly nightly at...Read More

  • 6. Doyle's Cafe

    Jamaica Plain | Bars/Pubs

    Truly an institution since 1892—and the first pub to put Sam Adams on tap—this friendly, crowded neighborhood Irish pub is a political as well...Read More

  • 7. Drink

    South Boston | Bars/Pubs

    This area favorite lounge in a brick Fort Point Channel warehouse offers a short beer, wine, and food list, but no cocktail menu. Patrons rely...Read More

  • 8. Jacque's Cabaret

    Theater District | Cabaret

    There's nothing traditional about Jacque's Cabaret, an institution for more than 60 years. Nightly drag-queen shows draw bachelorette parties...Read More

  • 9. Middle East & ZuZu Restaurant & Nightclub

    Music Clubs

    This nightclub has balanced its kebab-and-falafel menu with three ever-active performance spaces to carve its niche as one of New England's...Read More

  • 10. Middlesex Lounge


    For those looking to avoid the ubersceney clubs of Boston's Theater District, the Middlesex is a welcoming, laid-back club for all sorts of...Read More

  • 11. Sonsie

    Back Bay | Bars/Pubs

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

  • 12. Sunset Grill & Tap

    Allston | Bars/Pubs

    In the heart of student heaven, the Sunset looks, at first glance, like any neighborhood hangout. But venture inside and you'll be bowled over...Read More

  • 13. The Burren


    Your true-emerald Irish music pub pulls in devoted locals and all fans of craic (enjoyable environment). Enthusiastic staff and professional...Read More

  • 14. The Sevens Ale House

    Beacon Hill | Bars/Pubs

    Serving beer and wine, this classic dive bar is an easygoing alternative to Beacon Hill's tony stuffiness, with its dark tones, simple bar setup...Read More

  • 15. Toad


    Bands, beers, and burgers sum up this amiable little Porter Square club attached to Christopher's. The bar is maple, the toads ceramic. Nightly...Read More

  • 16. Wally's Café

    South End | Music Clubs

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

  • 17. Warren Tavern

    Charlestown | Bars/Pubs

    This venerable Colonial-era watering hole, rebuilt in 1780, was frequented by Paul Revere; even George Washington had a few drinks here. Today...Read More

  • 18. 1369 Coffeehouse


    Quirky characters rub elbows with book-writing professors and tweeting students at this Cambridge institution devoted to espresso and cold-brewed...Read More

  • 19. 21st Amendment

    Beacon Hill | Bars/Pubs

    Named for the amendment that ended Prohibition, this convivial pub across from the State House draws legislators, lobbyists, and neighborhood...Read More

  • 20. Alden & Harlow


    This subterranean haunt adjacent to Brattle Theater provides fascinating pre- or postmovie dining with provocative locally sourced, rustic American...Read More

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