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. 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

  • 2. Alley Bar

    Theater District | Bars/Pubs

    Tucked away in an alley, this long-standing gay bar has recently been revamped with multiple TVs and large booth seating in the downstairs area...Read More

  • 3. Club Café

    South End | Bars/Pubs

    This smart multiroom club and restaurant for Boston gays, lesbians, and their straight friends is livelier than ever going into its fourth decade...Read More

  • 4. Machine

    The Fenway | Dance Clubs

    The granddaddy of Boston gay bars, Machine, is still cranking, and you can chalk your cue at the downstairs Pool Room. They host various theme...Read More

  • 5. Midway Café

    Jamaica Plain | Live Music

    This very popular Jamaica Plain café books a lively mix of nightly rock bands, DJs, and noise artists. There's punk, soul, R&B, and Thursday...Read More

  • 6. Royale

    Theater District | Themed Entertainment

    Largely a concert venue and nightclub, the Royale's spacious interior resembles a 20th-century ballroom. but this club is hardly sedate. It...Read More

  • 7. The Trophy Room

    South End | Bars/Pubs

    Tucked under the Staypineapple Boston inn, this gay bar is popular with the local after-work crowd who enjoy live performances from local artists...Read More

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