Whilst synonymous with the franks, Fenway park and clam chowder, Boston is one of the best cities in the USA for a fantastic night out.
It’s probably wise not to underestimate the nightlife in Boston.
Whether you are into disco or dive bars, clubs serving the best of hip hop or hipster bars, traditional Irish pubs, swanky rooftop joints and craft beer emporiums, Boston has it all.
From lively clubs with big name DJs to 80’s themed nights at a colourful local hotpot, there’s plenty of things to do when it comes to exploring the nightlife in Boston, in fact, it’s brimming with nocturnal opportunities.
Read on for our guide to exploring the best that Boston has to offer wen it comes to nightlife, so you can plan your ultimate night out before you’ve even boarded the plane.
Best bars in Boston
Serving some of the best craft cocktails in the city, Backbar is the backbone of quirky cool.
Situated in the heart of Somerville, the bar serves up meticulous, friendly service and superbly-crafted cocktails in a relaxed and fun setting.
Backbar likes to keep its customers on their toes as well as their creative juices flowing, so it frequently changes out one themed drink menu for another. Expect the unexpected!
If you look up an ‘absolute vibe’ in the guide to the best of nightlife in Boston, you will unequivocally find the Delux Cafe there.
One for those who love a dive bar vibe, this is where you will find the locals enjoying the music-themed interiors and the affordable drinks.
Think record sleeves, Elvis memorabilia and vintage Christmas lights. You can also eat here. The food is simple, tasty and is budget-friendly. All of this goes a long way to make this dive bar a South End staple.
Not only content with being a bar and one of the highlights in the nightlife in Boston.
The Beehive is also a restaurant and a live music venue, specialising in jazz. It’s certainly worthy of a visit during your stay in Boston.
All the cool cats of the South End district of Boston regularly frequent The Beehive, from the fabulous ambience to the classic cocktail list, there are two bars to choose from where you can enjoy live music and have a cosy chat with the mixologists.
There’s also a lovely vine-covered patio where you can retreat to for a slightly quieter evening for food or just a drink or two.
As with most American cities, there’s always a nod to their forefathers’ Irish heritage. No more so than Boston and embracing the city’s Irish heritage is a huge part of the nightlife in Boston.
One standout is Brendan Behan whose namesake is the Irish playwright.
Somewhat of a Boston institution, it’s a classic Irish pub and whilst it’s not the ideal place if you are looking to while away your time in a fancy bar with craft cocktails, Behan’s does have a charming ambience and it’s a great place to mix with the locals.
Make sure you eat before you visit as there’s no food, but if the munchies get you, you can order food from one of the many take-out joints nearby and eat it over a pint of Guinness.
Best live music venues in Boston
For those who love to rock…. This is the place to hang out if you love rock music and it’s an integral part of the nightlife in Boston.
As well as some great local bands and musicians, some of the creme de la creme of rock music have graced the stage here historically.
U2, Kings of Leon, REM and more. It’s a local rock landmark and has been a part of the city’s music fabric since the ’70’s.
Brighton Music Hall
From live music to playing pool, this is a great little place to watch live music and there’s a wide selection of genres to choose from. Who wouldn’t want a bit of live music as part of their nightlife in Boston experience?
From dance-pop to garage rock to industrial goth, you are certain to find a gig that ticks all your proverbial boxes.
Often described as the ultimate ‘listening room’, it’s easy to see why this music venue is regarded as one of the best places to enjoy nightlife in Boston.
This is a history changing, star making music venue and then some.
Passim was the place to be in the late 1950s’ and early 1960s’ especially if you were into folk music.
Historically, it was called Club 47 and it hosted the likes of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and Donovan.
Under its current identity as Club Passim, you can expect to see local artists passionate about their craft as well as singer-songwriters like Shawn Colvin and Suzanne Vega cut their teeth here.
This is one of the best venues in the city for intimate folk and world music performances.
Best nightclubs in Boston
Memoire at Encore Boston Harbor
You’ll make major memories at the suitably named Memoire at Encore Boston Harbor.
This nightclub is often the most visited when it comes to nightlife in Boston, thanks to its impressive selection of the world’s top DJs, excellent drinks and sophisticated interiors.
Set inside a huge casino complex in the city, if you are looking for a huge blowout night of drinking, dining, gambling and more, this will tick all the right boxes and more.
The Middlesex Lounge
We love this bustling and eclectic spot near Central Square! It’s one of the hippest spots to check out in the entire nightlife in Boston spectrum!
The Middlesex Lounge is a dynamic and vibey bar club where you can enjoy eclectic bites whilst underground DJs play their tunes.
From the best of vintage hip-hop and classic electro to underground dance and more.
Whilst this is not a traditional full-on nightclub, you can enjoy a dance or two on the dance floor.
Looking for the ultimate VIP nightclub experience?
The Grand in Seaport will give you that unrivalled celeb-style experience. It’s the palace to be at the weekend in Boston and is an iconic highlight in the nightlife in Boston.
Stylistically, this could almost be a nightclub located in Las Vegas.
It’s opulent and plush with a regal glass staircase leading down to the dance floor. Think decadent gold detailing, plush velvet couches and leather touches which make for a luxury experience.
The music lives up to its sexy interior, Jersey Shore’s own Pauly D is a regular on the turntable, but there’s a fabulous selection of DJ’s to check out.
There’s ample space to dance and several bars to enjoy, but if you are looking for the ultimate VIP experience, book a VIP table online. As its website states, “VIP is not dead. It’s your time to live. So hang on for dear life.” and why not?!.