This venerable club, founded in 1947, was the first African-American-owned nightclub in New England. Wally's Cafe is a proving ground for young jazz musicians, and audience members (or famous visitors) often step up and jam. Much of the narrow space is filled with the bar, and it is standing-room-only on weekend nights. The crowd is a mix of musicians, locals and bohemians of all ages. Live music is played every night and there is a jazz brunch on Sunday afternoons.
Located in the heart of Boston's South End, Toro is a lively Barcelona-style tapas bar. Owned by acclaimed chef, Ken Oringer, Toro has become one of Boston's must-visit restaurants. Perfect for sharing, the traditional tapas served here are small portioned dishes that allow patrons to order and try various cuisine. Toro's vast menu features a variety of tapas including empanadas, sliders, charcuterie and more. Not to be outdone by their cuisine, the signature drink menu at Toro offers wine on tap, cocktails, champagne and bottled beer. Their brunch is one of the best in the city, offering pitchers of sangria, mimosas and bloody mary's. Be prepared to wait or arrive early, this popular establishment doesn't accept reservations.
Mainly a venue for rock 'n' roll acts, Paradise Rock Club draws a partying crowd in their late 20s and early 30s. If you do not want to dance, comfortable couches upstairs allow pleasant observation of all the goings-on downstairs. One of the best places in Boston to see live music, the club hosts pop, alternative and better-known local acts almost nightly. Prominent acts who have made appearances include Bare Naked Ladies, Flaming Lips, the Wallflowers, Goo Goo Dolls, and Jack Johnson.
One of the longest standing fixtures in the city's nightlife, The Royale was born in 1918, when Dave Ralph got together with designer Tom Telesco to transform an opera hall into one of the most mesmerizing and infectious party venues there is to know. The luxurious interiors and lighting along with a full bar, world-class DJs and top-notch sound system make it one of the most sought-after nightclubs in the city. There are also plenty of comfortable lounge areas and a VIP section that provide a little more privacy.
Housed in the Boston Center for the Arts, The Beehive restaurant and bar is almost like an opera house in itself with live jazz, cabaret and a lot more action. There are fine satin drapes and exquisite artifacts adorning the eatery. A popular hangout among the night birds; the bar and lounge scene here is also upbeat and lively. The food is a regular mix of the grilled and Mediterranean variety, with lamb ribs ruling the roost. Sausages, pasta and risottos also sit happily together on the menu. The wine sure flows freely on all days and everything about the place has an arty feel to it.
Tourists still flock to Bull & Finch Pub, a.k.a. Cheers Boston, the inspiration for the Cheers television series which ran for 11 years and won a number of awards. Avid fans should be forewarned, however; the exterior is very familiar, but the inside is nothing like the TV version. Drinks and food are served here, but its icon status is the main draw. It is considered by many to be one of the top tourist attractions in Boston!
This three-story Harvard Square institution is more of an entertainment megaplex than a mere Chinese restaurant. The first floor is a Chinese restaurant. The second floor is a sports bar with dartboards. The third floor functions as both a comedy club and a dance club. Comedy shows take place Thursday through Sunday. Food is available on all three floors, as are gigantic scorpion bowls and other exotic concoctions.
Dali Restaurant and Tapas Bar features a wide selection of tapas both cold and hot including poached octopus, grilled pheasant, paella, bacon wrapped prunes, tuna-stuffed squid and much more. There are also some simplified, yet delicious dishes especially for the unadventurous types such as the short ribs or lamb meatballs. The ornate decor replete with warm colors is adorned with vintage Spanish artworks, old photos, charming trinkets and soft lighting gives it a romantic ambience. The vivacious Barcelona environment of Dali and the delicious tapas platter along with the Sangria makes it a must visit eatery.
This small, friendly bar with an Irish flair has live music starting at 9p nightly, featuring blues, country and rock 'n' roll acts. Seating along the walls and at the bar is quickly filled, and a crowd of locals is happy to stand with Guinness and listen to some foot-tapping music. A lunch menu is served that includes glazed pork, seared trout and braised lamb. Soccer matches from Europe are televised every weekend.
Sit out on the rooftop deck of Daedalus and enjoy the view of the historic Harvard Square as you enjoy delicious New American cuisine and drinks. Known for its lunchtime sandwiches, beer selection and special Sunday brunch, the bar is usually bustling with people and has a lively vibe. Try out dishes like chicken wings, roasted cauliflower, calamari with chili peppers and crab salad. You can also catch a game on any of their screens.
Head to Trina's Starlite Lounge if you are with your friends and looking for an informal place to chill out. Covered with dim lights, the ambiance is retro Hollywood, and the food and drinks enhance the experience further. Cocktails like the Ray Donovan, Death or Glory and Mull It Over are some of the most popular, and are best accompanied by quick bites like tater tots and the signature Starlite chili. The fried chicken and buttermilk waffles offered at brunch are hugely popular too.