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. 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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Cambridge 43

Downtown Boston 28

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The Back Bay 12

The South End 8

Government Center 10

Boston Outskirts 9


Allston 7

Jamaica Plain 2

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

The Fenway and Kenmore Square 6

The North End 5

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Bars/ Pubs 74

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Cafes–Nightlife 14

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Music Clubs 25

Piano Bars/ Lounges 2

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Historical 9

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Romantic 2

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Trendy 12

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Boston Nightlife

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1369 Coffeehouse

  • Cafes–Nightlife

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

21st Amendment

  • Bars/Pubs

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

Alden & Harlow

  • Bars/Pubs

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

Alley Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

This central gay bar caters especially to the Bear subset, with Bear Trivia on Thursday and Sunday karaoke. ("The Bear Went Over The...

Battery Lounge

  • Piano Bars/Lounges

This comfy but dazzling waterfront bar in the Fairmont Battery Wharf hotel offers two-story glass views of Boston's harbor accompanied...

Beantown Pub

  • 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...

Beat Brasserie

  • Music Clubs

Unlike the Beehive, its older, more complicated sister music club in the South End, Beat Brasserie presents a candid if playful face.


  • Music Clubs

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

Bell in Hand Tavern

  • Bars/Pubs

America's oldest continuously operating pub (founded 1795) is named after its original owner, town crier Jimmy Wilson, whose bell-ringing...

Bill's Bar & Lounge

  • Music Clubs

Music, DJs, and live bands play Thursday through Saturday, including rock, alternative, funk, and punk. Bill's has been around the block...


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