Best of Boston

BEST Bar

2009 BEST Bar, Casual

River Gods

Cambridge

Rather than coming off as calculated quirkiness, the gothic furniture and gargoyle motif at this under-the-radar Central Square taproom are mere curiosities, something you notice briefly before they fade into the all-encompassing hospitable vibe. A roster of ace DJs rotates… read more»

2009 BEST Bar, Upscale
2009-upscalebar1

Drink

Boston

The previous generation (Eastern Standard, the sadly defunct B-Side Lounge) may have planted the seeds for a cocktail revival, but Fort Point newcomer Drink—with its house-made liqueurs and garnishes, mid-bar herb garden, and bespoke ice cubes—presents the modern imbiber’s paradise… read more»

2008 BEST Bar, Debut

The Savant Project

Boston

Overflowing with medical students, young families, and the occasional wayward group of museum gawkers, Mission Hill wasn’t the type of place that exuded “hot spot.” Until, that is, the Savant Project came along last fall. Taking up residence near Brigham… read more»

2008 BEST Bar, Debut
2008-bardebut3

The Savant Project

Boston

Overflowing with medical students, young families, and the occasional wayward group of museum gawkers, Mission Hill wasn’t the type of place that exuded “hot spot.” Until, that is, the Savant Project came along last fall. Taking up residence near Brigham… read more»

2006 BEST Bar, Restaurant
2006-bar-restaurant3

Eastern Standard

Boston

A 46-foot-long marble bar gives manager Jackson Cannon room to move as he stirs up snow cone daiquiris, tart Whiskey Smashes, and mojito-esque Old Cubans. The jazz-meets-Brit-pop beats entertain a mix of twentysomethings and power brokers—most of whom Cannon knows… read more»

2005 BEST Bar, South

Eli’s Pub

Scituate

Eli’s is the rare watering hole that is not too cheesy, too pretentious, or too pricey. Tucked off the main room of the Barker Tavern, this candlelit nook has a gleaming mahogany bar that serves a jovial but civilized crowd…. read more»

2003 BEST Bar, North

The Rockmore Dry Dock

Salem

A yacht club aura sets the tone for the lively crowd that comes here to nosh on lobster, steak, and fried seafood in the Yardarm Saloon while admiring the view of Salem Harbor. Live and DJ-spun music keeps things playful,… read more»

2003 BEST Bar, Upscale

Via Matta

Boston

This Back Bay nuovo Italian restaurant is as self-consciously trendy as its downtown sister, Radius, but damned if they don’t mix a thumpingly good basil gimlet here, poured with iced Ketel One and a garnish of fresh basil leaves. It’s… read more»

2002 BEST Bar, Upscale

Oak Bar, Fairmont Copley Plaza

Boston

Raise a glass, if you will, to the ever-stunning Oak Bar. It’s where sex appeal takes its post-prandial drink, where intimacy lounges in a long, cool black dress. It’s where fascination sips a stiff Manhattan. There are mere mortals here,… read more»

2002 BEST Bar, North

Rockmore Dry Dock

Salem

Teak oars and regatta flags share wall space with retired surfboards and stuffed sharks in this gem of a waterfront tavern, composed of equal parts yacht-club cachet and tiki-bar kitsch. Live music, bar games, and 10 on-tap beers make the… read more»