Best of Boston

BEST Bar

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»

2002 BEST Bar, West

O’Hara’s Food & Spirits

Newton Highlands

Arguably too popular for its own good, O’Hara’s sees some borderline ridiculous competition for tables on busy nights. It’s not hard to see why: The lively atmosphere, tasty fare, delicious drinks, and easygoing scene encourage chats with old friends and… read more»

2001 BEST Bar, Neighborhood

B-Side Lounge

Cambridge

Maybe it’s the bull-shooting bartenders who are as comfortable serving strong martinis as they are Schlitz. Or maybe it’s the mellow, tattooed clientele that stroll in from Cambridge’s Area 3. Then again, it could be the soul-warming snacks such as… read more»

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»