Boston Businesses Open 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week

These six spots are always open.


Photograph by Sarah Santos

Boston is well known for shutting down early. Realizing this stubborn stain on our reputation, Mayor Marty Walsh appointed a Late Night Task Force, which a few weeks ago suggested setting up “pilot areas” to test extended hours for liquor-license holders and expanding the possibility of late-night live entertainment. Turns out, there’s already a small but lively 24/7 underside of Boston satiating the nocturnal needs of night-shifters, fitness freaks, and tenpin junkies. These six spots shine bright even in the darkest hours.

South Boston
Doughboy Donuts & Deli

What to know: “If you know to order it, we have a maple-bacon doughnut,” says night-shift mainstay Alex Fandel. “And our glazed jellies are awesome—it’s black raspberry.”


Photograph by Sarah Santos

Boston Bowl

What to know: This alley keeps the balls rolling and offers up late-night tenpin ($4.95 per game) and candlepin ($4.50 per game).


Photograph by Sarah Santos

Central Square
Clover Food Lab

What to know: Bring quarters. While the midnight menu is stocked with great grub, the real draw is the two pinball machines. There’s nothing like breaking a high score at 2 a.m.


Photograph by Sarah Santos

Star Market

What to know: The beer and wine aisle is locked down like Fort Knox come 11 p.m., so don’t get any stupid ideas. But it’s a great stop if you’re craving a wedge of Brie and frozen tater tots.


Photograph by Sarah Santos

Leather District
South Street Diner

What to know: Dating to 1947, South Street Diner packs in the after-hours crowds: Don’t be shocked if you have to wait for a table at 3 a.m. The raisin-cinnamon French toast and home fries are a must-order.


Photograph by Sarah Santos

Downtown Crossing
Planet Fitness

What to know: Despite letting you get your pump on 24/7, this gym isn’t a mecca of ’roid-raging muscleheads. After midnight, “it’s a calm atmosphere,” says Jeffery Cannon (pictured), who works the late shift.


Graveyard-Shift Guru Alex Fandel

Doughboy Donuts & Deli

What are your hours?

I start at 9 p.m. and leave at 6 a.m., sometimes later.

Are cops frequent visitors late at night?

Oh yeah, totally. It’s actually really nice because sometimes we get creepy clientele.

What’s the most popular item at 3 a.m. on Saturday?

Sausage, egg, and cheese on a glazed doughnut.

Describe your drunkest customer in three words.

Loud, obnoxious, indecisive.

Have you ever fallen asleep on the job?

I may have taken a speed nap once or twice.

So besides cops and the post-bar crowd, who else is coming in?

A lot of truckers. Herald guys, Globe guys, post office, the union workers, MassDOT.

What’s the worst part about working the night shift?

It’s the night shift.