The 10 Best Bars in Downtown Boston

The Bell in Hand | © Ben W / Flickr
The Bell in Hand | © Ben W / Flickr
Photo of Ashley Kane
Freelance Writer12 March 2017

There is an abundance of great bars in downtown Boston. As a visitor, it can be hard to choose where to go – even locals tend to stick to the same few watering holes. Here is a guide to the best bars in the downtown area. A few of these are seasonal for the summertime months, but others are open all year long.


Bar, Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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Tia’s is a warm-weather destination located in Christopher Columbus Park, right near the Boston Harbor, where you can enjoy delicious frozen cocktails and seafood. This bar is always packed during the summer months, especially at night, so plan to go with a group early and sit outside to enjoy the warm evenings.

The Landing

Bar, American, Pub Grub, $$$
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The Landing is another fair-weather bar located on the Boston Harbor. Located on Long Wharf, this outdoor patio serves up beer, cocktails, and giant fish bowls. It is a perfect hangout spot during the summer months where you can catch up with friends or meet new people. Wear your shorts at this casual outdoor bar, and enjoy the long summer nights.

The Hub Pub

Bar, Restaurant, American, Pub Grub
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The Hub Pub is a classic bar in downtown Boston and is a no-frills, popular place for the after-work crowd or bar lovers on the weekends. They serve up traditional bar fare and have a decent beer selection on draught. Enjoy a round or two of pool, watch sports, or sit at their oval-shaped bar.


Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub, American, Cocktails, $$$
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Xander Brown (1)
Drink, Boston | © Xander Brown
Drink is a well-known establishment created by Barbara Lynch. It’s a well-to-do cocktail bar serving up elegant drinks in the Fort Point neighborhood. You can order a craft cocktail with artisanal ingredients in a Prohibition-style setting, or you can ask for your own preferred cocktail; give the bartender a few of your favorite tastes, and they’ll create a cocktail for you.

Lookout Envoy Hotel

Bar, Cocktail Bar, American, Pub Grub, $$$
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The Lookout Bar at Envoy Hotel has a beautiful rooftop deck in the summer months. Look out over the Seaport District at a stunning view of the Boston Harbor. During the winter, the bar puts heated igloos on the roof deck so that you can still enjoy the vistas in a unique environment. There is also seating inside. Enjoy a craft cocktail as you look out of the igloo at the city lights.

The Bell in Hand

Bar, Restaurant, American, Pub Grub, $$$
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The Bell In Hand Is The Oldest Tavern In America Established 1795 On Union Street, Boston.
The Bell in Hand Tavern opened its doors way back in 1795 | © Norman Pogson / Alamy Stock Photo
The Bell in Hand is the United States’ oldest tavern, a historic establishment where you can enjoy a beer or another drink. Located in downtown Boston near Faneuil Hall, the pub has live music on the weekends. Eat on the restaurant side, the bar side, or spend the night dancing on their dance floor located upstairs.

Boston Beer Works

Bar, Restaurant, American, Beer, $$$
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Boston Beer Works
Boston Beer Works | © Luiz Eduardo / Flickr
Boston Beer Works is a brewery with a couple of locations in and around Boston. Try out one of their delicious microbrews, such as their blueberry beer or the vanilla porter. They also serve up classic American fare and have plenty of seafood options from which to choose.


Bar, Bistro, American, Cocktails, $$$
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Steps away from Downtown Crossing, Scholars is a cocktail lounge in downtown Boston and features a vibrant nightlife with its multi-story dance floors, billiards, and DJs on the weekend. From the front, this venue looks tiny, but once you walk inside, there is plenty of room to dance or mingle.

J.J. Foley's

Pub, Restaurant, Irish, American
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J.J. Foley’s is an Irish neighborhood pub, first founded in 1909. They serve up classic, hearty portions of Irish-American eats and always have a great selection of beers on tap. Hang out at this no-frills bar to watch a sports game, enjoy a few pints, or play some darts.

Elephant & Castle

Pub, American, British, Pub Grub, $$$
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Elephant & Castle is a British pub located in the Financial District downtown. They have a range of beers on tap and serve delicious fish and chips as well as other traditional pub favorites, such as their bangers and mash.

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