9 Boston Neighborhoods that are Perfect for Your Next Night Out
In Boston, we’re lucky to have an array of options for nights out on the town—whether we have a date, a birthday or anniversary to celebrate, or we have family or friends in town, we never come up empty when trying to draw up a plan. In fact, often, the hardest part of planning a night out is the sheer number of neighborhoods and restaurants available for choosing. We’ve narrowed down a list of neighborhoods in Boston, with some of our favorite restaurants and things to do in each. Every one of the restaurants in each neighborhood is participating in Dine Out Boston from March 13-26, which gives locals and visitors a chance to try delicious meals at equally delicious prices.
We love the incredible restaurants in our city. In the past few years, dining out has been challenging, which has put many restaurants in a phase of recovery. Not only is Dine Out Boston a great chance to celebrate restaurant and night life experiences, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to support the city’s restaurants and help them, and their neighborhoods, thrive once again.
The North End is a charming and romantic neighborhood, and it’s brimming with great restaurants. It’s walkable and filled with history, such as the Paul Revere House and Old North Church, and, of course, who doesn’t love Italian cuisine for a date night? Bring your special someone to Tresca for the black truffle ricotta gnocchi, Bricco for their mallard duck duetto, or Ristorante Villa Francesca for their classic frutti di mare (just to name a few options, of course).
If you have weekend visitors looking to really experience Boston, take them to see the renowned Victorian brownstones and gourmet restaurants of this diverse, eclectic neighborhood. Try Estragon, a trendy tapas bar serving traditional Spanish fare, or The Elephant Walk, South End for Cambodian and French cuisine, or MIDA for an incredible Italian meal (try the gnocchi cacio e pepe).
If you’re on your way to a night out in Downtown Boston, start the night at Q Restaurant where you’ll be treated to hot tapas, Mongolian hot pot, sushi, and Chinese cuisine. Or choose to dine at Bistro Du Midi, a classy French restaurant serving only delectable dishes. It may also be a good idea for you or your guests to stay in Downtown Boston (staycation, anyone?). We recommend dining at The Gallery, W Boston for its immersion in the gallery scene of Downtown and its stunning decor.
Perfect for an evening out, Back Bay is home to Newbury Street, where you can find your favorite fashion chains, local boutiques and art galleries, and landmarks like Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library. This neighborhood is also home to excellent dining, like La Voile for traditional French cuisine and ambience, Back Bay Social for classic tavern fare and a chill vibe, or Grill 23 and Bar for an elevated, special-occasion (or any-time-you-want) steak dinner. Or, for casual American fare at the historic Lenox Hotel, visit City Table.
Seaport is a great place to find things to do, either during the day or in the evening before or after dinner. Take your family to dine and see Boston from the water on a Boston Harbor City Cruise, or head to dinner at the famous Mastro’s Ocean Club (where you’ll find a menu that’ll make your mouth water immediately).Visit Para Maria, Envoy Hotel for expertly crafted Latin-style food and drinks—make it an overnight at the Envoy Hotel for added convenience and elegance.
Across the Charles River from Boston, Cambridge is one of the most notable Boston-area neighborhoods. It’s known for being home to Harvard, of course, but also has some extremely charming restaurants like Hourly Oyster House, Harvest, a more adventurous menu with a farm-to-table focus, and ArtBar, a gallery and romantic dinner all in one (with selections from the Royal Sonesta Hotel’s world-class art collection).
East Boston is a vibrant neighborhood, where the waterfront makes an excellent backdrop, and the diverse ethnic restaurants make it a great place to have a meal and perhaps try something new. If you’re looking for Italian, we recommend Pazza on Porter. With their separate pasta, burger, and dinner menus, as well as the ‘After Dinner Drinks’ section, we think you’ll be satisfied. Also in East Boston is the Downeast Cider House for unique ciders on-tap and personalized flights from Thursday to Saturday. You can also check out Harbor Arts mural galleries, which are beautiful public works of art on the waterfront and beyond.
Another historic Boston neighborhood, Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s most picturesque areas and home to the Museum of African American History. This neighborhood is the perfect place to take first-time Boston visitors or go on a first date. Stop at Ma Maison for delicious French food like a pan seared foi gras, the incredibly trendy CLINK, located in the Liberty Hotel, for instant good vibes and crowd-pleasing food like fresh rigatoni Bolognese, or Grotto for mouth-watering Italian fare like chicken parmesan, gnocchi, and fra diavolo.
Beyond Boston (suburbs)
Maybe you’re looking for a quieter scene for your dinner plans or want to get out of town to an entirely new neighborhood or restaurant. The Boston suburbs and beyond are still a hotbed for amazing restaurants. Try Punch Bowl in Brookline for modern vibes and tavern fare, Il Massimo at Legacy Place in Dedham for Italian options like mozzarella di bufala, burrata cheeses, and hand-carved prosciutti di parma, or The Inn at Hastings Park for a fun-yet-elegant dinner in a historic landmark town with classic options like risotto, salmon, and half-chicken.
To learn more about Dine Out Boston and view a full list of participating restaurants, visit bostonusa.com/dine-out-bostonThis is a paid partnership between Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and Boston Magazine's City/Studio