Boston

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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Middlesex Lounge

    Bars/Pubs

    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

  • 4. The Burren

    Bars/Pubs

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

  • 5. Toad

    Bars/Pubs

    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

  • 6. 1369 Coffeehouse

    Cafes–Nightlife

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

  • 7. Alden & Harlow

    Bars/Pubs

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

  • 8. Beat Brasserie

    Harvard Square | Music Clubs

    An American brasserie and bar located in the heart of Harvard Square, Beat is inspired by the hippie and beat movements of the mid-twentieth...Read More

  • 9. Café Algiers

    Cafes–Nightlife

    Cozy, clustered tables fill both floors at this genuine Middle Eastern café, where you can peer at soaring, wood-paneled cathedral ceilings...Read More

  • 10. Cambridge Brewing Company

    Bars/Pubs

    This collegial, cavernous microbrewery has been the happy haunt for MIT techies and craft-brew geeks since its 1989 founding. Order CBC's Cambridge...Read More

  • 11. Club Passim

    Cafes–Nightlife

    Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive—thousands of folkies have strummed and warbled their way through Club Passim, one of America...Read More

  • 12. Comedy Studio

    Comedy Clubs

    Located on the third floor at the Hong Kong in Harvard Square, this comedy club serves up platters of silly offerings, including a host of local...Read More

  • 13. Dado Tea

    Cafes–Nightlife

    The new-age feel to this cheerful shop starts with organic teas (coffee, too) and extends to healthy noodles, dumplings, salads, multigrain...Read More

  • 14. Dante

    Bars/Pubs

    Boston's beloved chef Dante de Magistris presents an extensive Italian wine list, local beer selection (and seasonal beer dinners), and fresh...Read More

  • 15. Diesel Cafe

    Cafes–Nightlife

    This bright, window-y corner spot with bold local artwork and spacious tables draws in Davis Square hipsters, Tufts students, and the LGBT sets...Read More

  • 16. Druid

    Bars/Pubs

    You can feel like you're in Dublin here, sipping well-poured pints, eyeing the dusky atmosphere, eating black-and-white pudding or rib eye in...Read More

  • 17. Flat Top Johnny's

    Themed Entertainment

    In a mixed commercial and high-tech business park in Kendall Square, Flat Top Johnny's wears its hipster cred on its sleeve. This genuine pool...Read More

  • 18. Grendel's Den

    Bars/Pubs

    This quintessential grad-student hangout is low-lit and brick-walled. During happy hour, tasty entrées like crab dip, burritos, nachos, and...Read More

  • 19. Havana Club

    Dance Clubs

    At the Greek American Political Club overlooking Central Square, this 5,400-square-foot ballroom dance floor hosts a kaleidoscope of DJs and...Read More

  • 20. ImprovBoston

    Comedy Clubs

    This Central Square venue flips audience cues into situation comedy, complete with theme songs and commercials. Be careful when you go to the...Read More

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