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.
In Boston, Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks has become a standard favorite for avid diners. Their immaculate decor - the tasteful art adorning the walls, the mosaic tiles at your feet, and their friendly staff make this restaurant a crowd-puller. Offering one of the best outdoor dining experiences in the city, the restaurant is equally known for its impressive drink list.
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.
The brightly-colored decor at Margaritas complements the rainbow of specialty tequila-infused concoctions, which trump most Mexican chain restaurants, because they are big, flavorful, and have a satisfactory alcohol content. Whereas it's tough to taste the tequila in a frozen margarita that's made with one carefully measured shot, Margarita's popular "Heavens to Margatroid" features an infusion of 7 types of liquor. It can be tempting to work your way through the drinks menu—the Spider Cider margarita is also fab—but save room for the delicious food, served in plentiful portions. Mark your calendars for the infamous "Full Moon Madness" nights, a monthly party with giveaways, contests, and drinks galore. The best part? They donate a percentage of the evening's profits, so you can justify some mid-week drinking in the name of charity and good will. - Caitlin Fahey
Bison County is your go-to grill in Waltham. Awarded one of the best in Boston, the place serves up some of the best steaks and barbecue in town. Specializing in Southern BBQ, tuck into wood-fired and smoke steak and cuts, made from the choicest meat and charred to your preference. Also on offer are delectable seafood, sides and burgers. They pride themselves on their impressive list of draft beers. Enjoy your drink amidst exposed-brick walls, earthy undertones and industrial accents. The lively place is a hub for locals and visitors and exudes a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Solea introduces Spanish flair to the city of Waltham. The quaint tapas bar encapsulates the South American appeal with a decor of vibrant walls and antique accents. Tuck into the delectable tapas menu, enjoyed best with a pitcher of their signature sangria. In addition, their wine list represents versions from Portugal, Argentina and Chile.
Jocos Bar & Kitchen is a popular spot on Moody Mile. It offers over 20 drafts, cocktails and spirits paired with American classics like chicken bacon ranch sandwich, meatball panini and chipotle burger.
If you wish to relish authentic Italian cuisine without taking a flight to Italy, Il Capriccio is the place to go. An award-winning restaurant with aesthetically pleasing interiors, the place is known for its creative and delicious seasonal menu complemented by an extensive Italian wine list. The wild mushroom, spinach, and onion lasagna is a delightful mix of flavors and textures, while the seared sea scallops have a sweet and tarty taste. The Chocolate Budino is served warm, drizzled with salted caramel sauce and a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream. A visit here is incomplete without sampling their wines, or a house cocktail such as Cool as a Cuke.