by Susan E Johnston - 23 Reviews - 3 List
This centrally located neighborhood steeped in Boston tradition is where everyone--from students to scenesters--comes out to play. As a result, Back Bay bars and clubs come in an encouragingly wide spectrum. Glamorous party spots, beloved sports pubs, cocktail lounges, all have a place in Back Bay's nightlife scene.
(Photo: Susan Johnston)
Updated: June 23, 2010
Dillon's combines the sports-loving spirit of the Fenway with the slightly more sophisticated style of the Back Bay. It's a prime spot for celebrating a birthday party, watching the game or catching up with friends--especially when the patio is open. A typical weekend finds working stiffs letting loose with weekend revelers over pints of Guinness.
During the summer, this Boylston Street staple lures the after-work crowd with a rooftop bar, refreshing drinks (including the tongue-in-cheek "Sex on the Charles River") and addictive appetizers like lime-zested chips. Brunch fare like cranberry-walnut French toast and grilled doughnuts fix hangovers nicely. The kitchen is helmed by world-traveler Brian Poe.
A strikingly modern ambiance and creative drink menu draw a cocktail crowd to this Back Bay bar. Groups of well-dressed women sip drinks like the Pop Culture (served in a Pop Rocks-rimmed glass) or the appletini. Barflies on a budget can snag $1 burgers every night between 5pm and 6pm or 11pm and 1am.
When its French doors are flung open onto Newbury Street, Sonsie has the breezy appeal of a European cafe. A mahogany bar creates a classy atmosphere for tourists and locals in search of a post-shopping mojito or sangria. A seasonally changing menu features items like brick oven pizza topped with spring leeks and pan-roasted halibut.
While the front is more of a traditional hotel bar, the back room features mirrored walls and sleek leather couches with a modern lounge vibe. The crowd at Whiskey Park varies widely, not surprising for a hotel bar. You might find businessmen, celebrities, wealthy out-of-towners, party girls or a combination of all the above.