If you are looking for quality music in an intimate atmosphere, this Cambridge spot fits the bill. Live music is on tap nightly, as are a variety of microbrews and a full bar. Local bands are a mainstay here, but national stars have stopped by to give performances as well.
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.
Drink pulls off that intimate feeling, not only with its decor and atmosphere, but also with its attentive and competent bartending staff. The mixologists are good at using fresh ingredients to create delicious and unexpected drinks on the spot. This gem of a bar also serves tasty bar bites. So feast on some pub fares that will deliciously accompany your specialty cocktail.
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 marys. Be prepared to wait or arrive early, as 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.
Thanks to its inviting decor, solidly mixed drinks and attentive staff, City Bar, though located on the premises of the Lenox Hotel, has built itself a reputation above and beyond that of the average lobby watering hole. The drink list alone does a lot of the work. With lengthy lists of signature martinis, champagne drinks, 'diabolical infusions' and other specialty cocktails, as well as impressive collections of scotch, bourbon, tequila and rum, no serious drinker will be without a variety of delicacies to choose from. Nosh on the tasty bar bites from their food menu.
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.