While it’s no secret that Bostonians know how to eat, drink, and be merry, some of the best stops to grab a brew or two might not be household names … yet. Here are a handful of ’em.

The Best Bars in Beantown

JM Curley

Located on a quiet side street in Downtown Crossing section of the city, JM Curley just oozes that cozy-but-cool neighborhood vibe, and has amazing craft cocktails and inventive cuisine to boot. While it can be tough to snag a table — or even a seat at the bar — on weekend nights, there’s plenty of space to hang back while you scope out a spot (and munch on bacon butter popcorn). While the drinks stay the same, the food menu changes often, so there’s always something new to enjoy.


To those not in the know, Backbar’s entrance looks just like a service door in a Somerville alley, but those familiar with this Union Square gem realize that beyond that nondescript door lies a bar experience like no other. Classic drinks sit alongside inspired  modern options like the “barrel loco,” with tequila, bourbon, chartreuse, chocolate, and jalapeño. Small bar bites are also available; order a house hot dog with your cocktail for a fun highbrow/lowbrow experience!

Bukowski Tavern

Despite being neighbors with the Prudential Center, this no-frills beer bar isn’t the fanciest in town, but it’s been a local favorite for years.  The Cambridge outpost, in Inman Square, is a bit harder to get to, but retains the same gritty charm. It’s not Cheers, but the bartenders might just know your name after a while, as regulars are rewarded with their own mug after a designated amount of visits, so loyalty pays off here.


If you’re looking for a true “bartender’s bar,” look no further than Drink. Situated in the bustling Fort Point district, the sleek space is all about personalization. While there is a menu, it’s much more exciting to sidle up to the bar and tell the mixologist the flavors that you’re in the mood for. Sweet? Sour? Chocolatey? Bourbon-based? Let the expert work their magic and present you with a libation that speaks to you.



Saloon follows in the tradition of the old-fashioned speakeasy, and like Backbar, half of the fun is finding the place. Here’s a little hint: when you’ve reached the address, look up towards the lamppost, and walk down the stairs. Hidden away in the popular neighborhood of Davis Square in Somerville, you’ll feel miles from the hustle-bustle of the city in this cool, dark basement bar.