by Linda Clark - 63 Reviews - 9 List
Whether as an Irish Victorian-styled pub or a chic cocktail lounge, downtown bars in Boston are places that lift the spirits. We all know that a bar without great drinks or convivial atmosphere is simply a watering hole, but these are the cream of the crop. With stellar drinks, good food and soul revival as the goal, we'll steer you toward the ideal downtown bar crawl in Boston.
(Photo: Stoddard's by Christine Liu)
Updated: June 22, 2010
Set inside the Langham, Boston Hotel, Bond's decor honors the original building's life as the Federal Reserve Bank with overblown bank notes lining the walls. Under the glare of Presidents past, Financial District workers hug the bar during the week, while DJs bring in a well-heeled lounge crowd on weekends.
Forget that Stoddard's was lovingly carved out of late 1800s-era store that had never been renovated. Forget the scavenged balcony railings from the gutted Filene's Basement. Forget the nooks and crannies filled with Boston history. At the end of the day, Stoddard's is a cozy bar where cask ales offer a great pint.
Lobby is all about grown-up drinks in a grown-up atmosphere, but with a sense of fun that seamlessly merges from an after-work scene to dinner and beyond. The cucumber cosmopolitan is the signature cocktail, combining gin, fresh cucumber water and fresh lime juice with a cucumber twist. Dress to impress.
Despite its central location, this Irish bar has an off-the-beaten-path feel that's unusual to downtown bars in Boston. The Kinsale's interior is a calming mix of stone and wood, all imported from Ireland. Live music on weekends, trivia nights and a good pour of Guinness round out the offerings.
Situated off Atlantic Avenue in the Boston Harbor Hotel, this is the kind of old-school bar to impress parents and professors. It's stylish, but not showy, with a hushed and sophisticated atmosphere. With top-notch service, the bar feels similar to old-world havens like Harry's Bar in Venice or a private club.