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Boston's Best Nightlife: Where to Drink, Dance, Relax or Enjoy the Music



Boston area nightlife offers a little something to suit all tastes. Selecting an array of nightspots that cater to all types of crowds with the common goal of enjoying a night on the town, you'll find a fit with a night spot on our 10best list.

The Boston area is prime for night life with popular places lining the streets of all Boston neighborhoods and popping up in hotels. Enjoy libations at Legal's Harborside where you can enjoy your drinks with breathtaking views from their rooftop bar or join the masses on Landsdowne Street where it is always hopping when the lights get dim and "play" at Jillian's. Club seekers won't want to leave the dance floor of the wildly popular Tunnel where young, well dressed twenty-somethings gyrate to beats well into the evening. While for those seeking the excitement of an old fashioned speakeasy, Drink allows you to watch your mixologist put on a show. Music lovers should not skip the Middle East where performers draw crowds on a regular basis. And hotel bars often have people lined up to get in like at  Oak Long Bar and Kitchen and the popular Bond. 


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Faneuil Hall/Government Center


Chill out at Frost Ice Bar. The world's largest permanent ice bar makes its home in Boston's Faneuil Hall marketplace where guests purchase tickets to enjoy a 45 minute stay inside the ice carved walls of Frost. Donning specially made capes and gloves, visitors purchase tickets for entry and drinks separately. Welcoming kids older than 6, and serving drinks other than alcohol, Frost is a fun family activity for a portion of an afternoon exploring, especially since mom and dad can enjoy a drink in a place where the decor will entertain the kids. After 4:15 the ambiance changes and children are no longer welcome, making Frost the ideal nightspot for those seeking something a bit different. Drink from the ice glasses, sit on the ice seats or simply gander at the sculptures, paintings and carvings that make Frost at home in Boston.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Frost Ice Bar is a timed experience that will have you in an ice palace for the duration while sipping chilled libations.

Jessica's expert tip: Buy a drink then wander around; when you're ticket expires you'll be done drinking and have seen everything.

Read more about Frost Ice Bar →




As if the W Hotel needed to get any cooler. Tunnel, one of the hottest nightclubs in Boston, has brought an even cooler crowd through their doors. You'll find jetsetters mingling with young professionals all looking to have a good time and dance. From spirits available to make anyone feel like a high roller with table service to ultra posh lounge areas setup fro both people watching and canoodling in corners, you'll find yourself flush at Tunnel. The top notch DJ's are always spinning the best of House, Dance, and Top Forty. To enter, use the discreet entrance on Stuart St., marked by frosted windows. Take the mirrored private elevator or modern staircase below ground to the "Tunnel". Be among those looking to see and be seen while getting their groove on and sipping their solid selection of specialty cocktails including the popular signature drink "the tunnel".

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Tunnel is one of the coolest clubs in Boston with the lure of secrecy as it's underground.

Jessica's expert tip: Tunnel offers a cool mix of tunes and an all but hidden entrance- look for the frosted windows.

Read more about Tunnel →




Bond can be found in the Langham Hotel. Here high-class clientele comes to wine, dine and linger. Serving food and drinks, this hotel bar truly has it all. An elegant space creates a need to be well-dressed. Begin with dinner and end the evening seated around the bar where you're sure to meet a variety of high powered individuals. Bond livens up as the night wears on, replacing the tables of diners with a scene that more closely resembles that of a cocktail party. Music adds to the ambiance. An evening at Bond is one that will surely be enjoyed.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Bond is an upscale evening experience for mature guests to mingle.

Jessica's expert tip: Dinner guests tend to dwindle around 10pm when the nightlife heats up.

Read more about Bond →


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Oak Long Bar and Kitchen replaced the legendary, upscale steakhouse/bar combo that resided in the Copley Plaza Hotel. This updated, modern space removes the formality and separation of the steakhouse and popular ballroom dancing spot; replacing it with a restaurant and bar within the same space. Maintaining touches of the past, Oak Long Bar & Kitchen has added a modern twist on the decor. An open kitchen sits behind the bar enticing bar side drinkers to order up from the menu that provides diners with American cuisine options ranging from simple snack and sandwiches to full meals. The bar scene is also lively and filled with a more mature crowd than you'll find at Boston clubs. Social and energetic, you'll find your fair share of locals looking to meet someone new.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Upscale and friendly, Oak Long Bar & Kitchen is an alternative to the chaos of the clubs.

Jessica's expert tip: Indulge in a signature cocktail; their short list is well executed.

Read more about Oak Long Bar & Kitchen →




The coolest bar in Boston for sports fans is the Bleacher Bar. Situated beneath the centerfield bleachers of Fenway Park, The Bleacher Bar is one of the most unique and best places in Boston to watch a game because you can actually see it through the windows that overlook the field. The best thing next to having a ticket yourself, the Bleacher Bar's small interior creates close quarters when the Red Sox are in town. But the bar is open year-round so sports fans can come to watch any game or just enjoy the view. The Bleacher Bar has a small menu of burger, snacks, hot and cold sandwiches, soups, salads, and sweets so you can spend the entire 9 innings watching the Red Sox if you wish.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Bleacher Bar is a cool sports bar that has a view of Fenway's outfield as it is under the bleachers.

Jessica's expert tip: Attempt to get a table by the big window to get the best view of the game without a ticket.

Read more about The Bleacher Bar →


Legal Harborside
Photo courtesy of Chip Nestor


Legal Harborside Floor 3 is a rooftop lounge with a retractable roof that makes it a perfect place to spend a warm summer night sipping cocktails, or a cold winter one watching ships pass by below. With a very limited menu, it is best to find your meal elsewhere (the first floor perhaps) but ideal for a little nibble. This hotspot gets packed almost every night, and is a good spot to meet locals. No worries, when the roof goes up the fun does not end; views of the water remain amazing, and the crowds barely dwindle as most of the fun is from the crowd within.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: You'll find lots of locals sipping drinks on the third floor of Legal Harborside. Enjoying the views as much as the menu.

Jessica's expert tip: This rooftop spot has a retractable roof making it ideal any time of year.

Read more about Legal Harborside →




Jillian's is your one stop spot for all kinds of night time fun. On their three levels you will find billiards, bowling and dancing, each spot segregated from the others to ensure you only have to partake in what you're looking for. 20 something locals folk to the first floor of Jillian's to dance the night away at Tequila Rain. Here it is like spring break year round, with patrons dressed in a bit less than you'll find on the streets of Boston on a crisp winter eve. Floor two lets you shoot pool into the wee hours on one of the tables in the Jillian's billiard room. while Lucky Strike on the third floor is filled with lanes letting you bowl while encouraging you to enjoy your beverage of choice. Make a night of it and explore the three floors to experience all that Jillian's has to offer.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Three nightspots under one roof makes the Jillian's complex a Fenway area hot spot for Boston nightlife among locals.

Jessica's expert tip: Jillian's may contain three spots under one roof, but if Tequila Rain is in your plans,dress to impress or you won't be walking through their doors.

Read more about Jillian's Boston →


Drink
Photo courtesy of Jessica Polizzotti


Drink differs from any other bar around. Walk into this basement bar and grab a seat, you'll need one as drink after drink you will not want to leave. Bartenders put on quite the show shaking and mixing concoctions you never knew existed. Without the option of ordering by brand, Drink challenges you to explore the options when you develop a fast forming relationship with your bartender,and trust that what they mix will be just right for you. Memorizing over 100 drinks, these bartenders are no joke. Share your desires clearly and you will surely be pleased, and if you are not they'll happily mix you another.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Drink is a modern day speakeasy where the bartenders mix your cocktails with a smile and make you feel special.

Jessica's expert tip: A little hard to find, Drink is located below Sportello on Congress Street.

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Offering live music in three distinct settings (Upstairs, the Corner and Downstairs), the Middle East provides a place for a wide array of bands to perform as well as affording space for local artists to display their work. The three performance rooms share space with a stylish restaurant that serves incredible Middle Eastern cuisine allowing you to dine before making your way into one of their always packed shows. "Eclectic" does not do justice to the description of this live music venue's week-to-week lineup of bands; including everything from bare-boned rock-n-roll and alternative bands to punk and rap acts the Middle East is a melting pot of music.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Middle East is where Boston music lovers flock to hear the latest and greatest. especially of the up and comers.

Jessica's expert tip: Check the schedule to ensure there is an act you will enjoy before showing up.

Read more about The Middle East Restaurant & Nightclub →


STAGE American Vaudeville Nightclub
Photo courtesy of STAGE


STAGE American Vaudeville Nightclub brings guests back in time to the American vaudeville era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Enjoy the epoch entertainers on the four stages that make their home inside the doors of STAGE, and the ease of getting a drink at one of the four well- staffed bars. You'll see something new and exciting around every corner of STAGE starting the moment you enter. Walk the red carpet and be escorted inside through the secret bookcase to the lounge areas where you'll find aerialists dangling from hoops, as well as glass walkers, knifethrowers, burlesque and flapper dancers, hoop illusionists and magicians. Making STAGE a choice of a mature crowd and a spot where even those over 30 will feel like the they belong.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: A unique nightlife venue, Stage American Vaudeville Nightclub adds live performances to your experience.

Jessica's expert tip: Reserve VIP seating and get a prime spot for performance viewing.

Read more about STAGE American Vaudeville Nightclub →


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Meet Jessica Polizzotti

Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand.  Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings. 

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