Best of Boston

BEST Bar

2001 BEST Bar, Upscale

Bristol Lounge, Four Seasons Hotel

Boston

The Bristol is a refreshing respite from the cigar-chompin’ clubbier bars around town, yet it still manages—with its white-coated waitstaff, marble bar tops, and Vose Galleries art—to maintain a stately feel. Maybe that’s why visiting celebrities (Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jordan,… read more »

2001 BEST Bar, North

Black Cow Tap & Grill

Newburyport

This well-stocked bar overflows with wines from around the world, and liquors ranging from single-malt scotch and specialty bourbons to sipping rums and tequilas. There are also 20 microbrews on tap, including local favorites Stone Cat and Mr. Pickwick’s Ale…. read more »

2001 BEST Bar, South

The Red Lion Inn

Cohasset

The Red Lion’s lure as a hangout is potent, and has been since 1704. The rustic, cozy bar inside has an original old beam ceiling, huge brick fireplace, wide plank floors, and outdoor patio seating. And if you’ve had one… read more »

2000 BEST Bar, High-End

Oak Bar

Boston

In a city full of bars with loud music, weak drinks, and meat-market mentalities, the Oak Bar is an oasis of refinement, elegance, and call brands. No sneakers, please. And do not, by any means, forget your jacket and tie…. read more »

2000 BEST Bar, Neighborhood

The Good Life, Cambridge

Cambridge

The latest addition to Brian O’Neill’s growing empire, this new Good Life is perfectly suited to its Central Square location. The decor is, as in other Good Lifes, remarkably similar to your parents’ den, only wings this good and spicy… read more »

1999 BEST Bar, Students

The Cellar

Cambridge

There are plenty of great bars in Boston, but the Cellar has all the right ingredients: homey, mellow atmosphere; excellent music; an eclectic, friendly crowd; and good, inexpensive beer (Guinness $3). A solid, central meeting spot for students. read more »

1998 BEST Bar, Cigar

Punch Bar

Boston

Points off for being a dark cavern in the corner of one of the city’s ugliest hotels (the Back Bay Sheraton). But the cushy chairs and cozy nooks lend a decadent air to the art of cigaring. The selection is… read more »

1998 BEST Bar

F.J. Doyle’s Bar

Jamaica Plain

Could there be any other? Doyle’s is to Boston what the Elaine’s is to New York. Good eats, great atmosphere, and a who’s who of Bostonians both proper and not. read more »

1998 BEST Bar, Business

The Oak Bar

Boston

Ink the deal over well-mixed drinks served by a superb waitstaff. The bar’s high ceilings and oak-paneled walls provide an elegant setting for serious business chatter, and the spacious table arrangements keep everything discreet. Head into the adjoining Oak Room… read more »

1996 BEST Bar, Political Watering Hole

Amrheins Restaurant

Boston

Where the Dappers, the Dittos, and the Knockos convene to commiserate about the neighborhood’s declining political clout. Up the street at The Cornerstone Restaurant, however, is where they plot, scheme, and dream about recovering it. read more »