Do you love that dirty water? Do you also like dem apples? As a New Yorker, I must confess that our East Coast rival wins when it comes to weekend getaways. While traveling to Maine from New York requires a vacation day spent terrorizing fellow drivers on Route 95, Bostonians can leave work on a Friday afternoon and arrive by dinnertime. But what about the weekends when you stay local? For this week’s escape guide, we’re heading to New England to round up the best places to eat, drink, and be merry, in Boston.
PUT EM BACK
Drink Fort Point // 348 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210
The aptly-named Drink serves up craft cocktails in South Boston. And don’t bother checking out the menu. Just tell the knowledgeable bar staff which flavors you like (if you’re a regular, they’ll already know) and watch them whip you up a custom (heavenly) cocktail.
Oak Long Bar & Kitchen // 138 St James Ave, Boston, MA 02116
Located at the Fairmont, head there for the farm-to-table offerings & craft drinks.
The Sail Loft // 80 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02110
If you’re looking for a frattier environment, head to Sail Loft—Boston’s answer to Dorrian’s. The guys dress like they’re still in college, and everyone drinks like they never graduated,
Harvard Gardens // 316 Cambridge St, Boston, MA 02114
Another rowdier option, head there during Christmastime—the space is done up with lights to rival Winona Ryder’s setup in Stranger Things.
Lion’s Tail // 354 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118
Go here for a cocktail before heading to the newly-opened Bar Mezzana for dinner, where you’ll order small plates, and more craft cocktails. They’re right next to one another in the (also newly-opened) Ink Block.
Bushwood Cocktail Club // 131 Broad St, Boston, MA 02110
A Caddyshack-themed bar in the Financial District. Judge Smails won't stop you from betting on the many arcade games.
IF YOU CAN GET IN
The Tennis & Racquet Club // 939 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02115
Unlike the Racquet & Tennis in NYC, the Boston club is coed, though the presence of women hasn’t diluted the Old-World feel—the interior up north is just as grand.
Union Boat Club // 144 Chestnut St, Boston, MA 02108
This spot in Beacon Hill was founded in 1851. Find a member to take you if you love rowing or squash.
The Sevens // 77 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114
Great local spot for beers and darts. Order the pretzel bites—much needed after a few too many hours spent here on a chilly afternoon.
Anchovies // 433 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116
This dark and lively bar in the South End has killer pasta and martinis. Order the Italian nachos, tortilla chips with Bolognese, cherry peppers, and ricotta. Trust us.
Monica's Mercato // 130 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113
This North End deli is locally famous. Head here for the best sandwich in the city: the Italian.
SRV // 569 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118
Named the best new restaurant in Boston last year. Homemade pasta in the South End, with a rotating menu of small plates. Order the “Arsenale” tasting menu and skip the decision-making. The cocktail list is also excellent,
Banyan // 553 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
This Asian restaurant is beyond delicious—check out the raw bar, patio, and artsy sculptures on display.
Marliave // 10 Bosworth St, Boston, MA 02108
A classic for French food, with a good martini and an old-school cocktail list. Also known as the oldest chef-owned restaurant in Boston.
Aquitaine // 569 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118
The Parisian-inspired menu and elegant ambiance is perfect for a date night in the South End.
GET YOUR FIX
Tatte // multiple locations
The lively coffee bar is a major brunch scene on weekends. Perfect for people watching wherever you are: there are several locations throughout the city.
Bukowski Tavern // 1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Explore Cambridge and visit Bukowski Tavern. Get the $10 deal for a 40 and a hot dog. There’s also a mug club—drink all the tavern’s beers and get a 25oz stein to use for the same price when you come in. So, next time you’re visiting, you can act like you own the place.
Cantab // 738 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
This cash-only bar offers live music nightly. Mingle with a lively crowd of HBS bros and locals guzzling $5 vodka sodas and $2 bud lights.
Fenway Park // 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215
Obvious choice: head here for a Red Sox Game—if you can handle the Boston fans
Freedom Trail // Multiple sites
Trace the revolution through Boston: Paul Revere House, Faneuil Hall, Bunker Hill, etc.
The Beehive // 541 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
Offers an amazing jazz brunch.
Charles River Esplanade // multiple entrances (we prefer Beacon Hill)
Get out on the water: great spot for rowing on the Charles. Or just lazing around on the grass with a bottle of wine.
Stanza Dei Sigari // 292 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
Old-school Italian cigar bar with a funky, lounge vibe. Go forth and get weird.
OFF THE GRID
Santarpios Pizza // 111 Chelsea St, Boston, MA 02128
Head out to East Boston to check out the famous pizza at Santarpio’s, consistently voted the best slice in Boston.
The North Shore // MBTA
Take the train to the North Shore to check out quintessential New England coastal towns like Newburyport, Ipswich or Rockport.
FILL YOUR BAG
Newbury Street // Back Bay
The go-to shopping destination—head over to peruse the boutiques in Back Bay.
SOWA Market // 460 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118
Local farmers and artists convene to offer their wares here every weekend in the South End from May to October.
Rouvalis // 40 W Cedar St, Boston, MA 02108
This flower shop is iconic—bring something home to your girlfriend.
Niche // 619 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118
In keeping with the green (thumb) theme, this spot in the South End is perfect for gifts for the plant-lover.
Olive’s & Grace // 623 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118
Just down the street from Niche on Tremont, Olive's and Grace is also a great gift-spot. Shop for the person in your life who loves artisanal goods/unique jewelry/design items, etc. Basically, anyone with good taste.
HANG YOUR HAT
Fairmont Copley Plaza // 138 St James Ave, Boston, MA 02116
This Back Bay hotel has been open since 1912, conveniently located only a few blocks away from Newbury St.
Beacon Hill Hotel // 25 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114
Located right in the heart of Beacon Hill, walking distance from the Esplanade. If you don’t end up booking a room, it’s still worth checking out the bistro.
Special thanks to Alden Hawkins & Sarah Pariseau for the insider tips!
Did we miss anything? Hit us up in the comments....