Thanks to the craft-cocktail boom, Boston’s now brimming with places to enjoy a painstakingly made libation. But as the drinks have become increasingly complex — shaken, stirred, and muddled to order — bar eats have gone the opposite route. Spots all over town are forgoing the foie gras toast and caviar for simple, salty bites like this truffle-and-Parmesan popcorn from Met Back Bay. The puffs aren’t the only snacks making a comeback: Mixed nuts, pretzels, pork rinds, and chips are hot, too. In the past few months, we’ve spied graze-worthy jalapeño pretzels with bacon-butter dipping sauce at Sam’s at Louis, sesame-peppercorn pecans and chili-mustard cashews at East by Northeast in Inman Square, barbecue potato chips at the Back Bay’s Mistral, and red-curry pork rinds at Cambridge gastropub Meadhall. Chased with a highball or small-batch brew, these munchies are the tastiest way to spoil your appetite. Here, a few more upgraded nibbles to keep an eye out for the next time you head to the bar.
Jerk-spiced potato chips, Free at Grill 23 Bar.
Candied bacon cashews, $6 at Drink.
Cajun potato chips and French onion dip, $4 at Hungry Mother.
Spicy corn nuts, $4 at Franklin Café.
Soft pretzels with bourbon mustard, $10 at the Hawthorne.
Photos by Sam Kaplan