a citizen's guide to Boston nightlife

boston after dark

Ready to uncover the nocturnal charm of Boston? This city’s not just about tea parties and history lessons. Whether you're itching to paint the town red or just kick back in a jazz bar with a cool drink, we've got the lowdown on Boston after dark. Follow us as we hop from sultry jazz clubs to low-lit speakeasies, stylish cocktail bars, and hilarious comedy clubs. With citizenM's Boston hotels right in the center of the action, you can be steps away from the cities vibrant nightlife. Ready for a night out on the town? Let’s dive into Boston’s after-dark playground, where the nights are long, and the city lights shine bright.

Boston jazz clubs

Boston is a city that dances to the rhythm of jazz, so if you're looking for some soul-stirring beats, you’re in luck. The city has an impressive array of jazz bars, each with its own unique vibe and history.

  • Wally’s Café: Step into New England's first African-American–owned nightclub that opened in 1947. It’s where stars-in-the-making from the New England Conservatory and Berklee, like Esperanza Spalding, first made their mark. The iconic red door welcomes you to a place where history is alive and kicking, and the next big jazz sensation might just be tuning up.

  • Ryles Jazz Club: At Ryles, jazz is more than just music; it’s a lifestyle. With a blend of soul, funk, and bebop, the club is a lively spot that spices up the week with salsa dancing and Caribbean tunes. Don’t miss their famous jazz brunch on Sundays for a side of bloody marys and cinnamon rolls.

  • Lizard Lounge: Rolling Stone Magazine called it an “intimate, eclectic hotspot,” and they’re not wrong! Dive into the Lizard Lounge, a cosy basement joint with mood-setting red lighting and a super welcoming vibe. It’s just the ticket for getting up close and personal with some of the best jazz in town.

  • The Beehive: Buzzing might be an understatement when it comes to The Beehive. It’s the go-to jazz club in Boston, rocking live tunes daily. From jazz and blues to the occasional reggae night, there’s always something happening. Make sure to peek at their calendar for your next standout evening!

  • Darryl’s Corner Bar: Down at Darryl’s Corner Bar, it’s all about soul. This snug spot pairs southern comfort eats with silky jazz tunes for a dining experience that hits all the right notes. Live tunes, open mic nights—it’s where food meets rhythm and everyone’s invited.

Whether you’re a jazz purist or just looking for a night out with some live music, Boston’s jazz bars offer something for everyone. Get ready to explore these musical treasures and perhaps, find your new favourite spot in the city.

secret sips: Boston speakeasies

Speakeasies: those cheeky rebels from the 1920s still thrill us with their secret vibes and VIP feel. Born during Prohibition to secretly dish out drinks, these places were the original hide-and-seek champs. Fast forward to now, and they’re shaking up that old charm with some wicked cocktail wizardry. And Boston? It’s the perfect playground for these secret hangouts. With its epic history and a knack for blending the old with the ultra-cool, Boston's speakeasy scene is just awesome. Ready to sneak behind the velvet curtain? Let’s go!

best speakeasies in Boston

  • Next Door Speakeasy and Raw Bar: Escape the bustle into this hidden spot where cocktails and raw bar creations shine. Tell us your vibe, and we’ll craft the perfect drink for you. Dress sharp, no flip-flops or caps allowed!

  • Hecate: Named after the goddess of magic, Hecate lives up to its mystical name. A speakeasy which honors the legendary art of potion-making, guiding you from the everyday into a world of magical elixirs. Ready to cross over? Hecate awaits to charm and bewitch you.

  • Offsuit: Hidden in Boston's Leather District, Offsuite offers a chic twist on the classic speakeasy. Tucked inside a French bistro, this intimate 20-seat bar features burgundy walls, leather seats, and spinning vinyl. Enjoy classic cocktails or let the bartender surprise you with a seasonal creation. Ready for a stylish, secret spot? Offsuite awaits.

  • The Gallery at Yvonne's: Stepping into The Gallery at Yvonne’s is like entering a world of vintage glamour and modern chic. Tucked away behind a secret bookshelf in the Library Lounge, this hidden gem offers an exclusive, intimate dining experience. With its private bar and stylish setting, it's perfect for a quiet dinner or a swanky cocktail event. Ready to discover one of Boston’s best-kept secrets? The Gallery awaits.

  • Carrie Nation Cocktail Club: Here, the Prohibition theme is celebrated with a heavy dose of flair, and the cocktails are as bold as the history they honor. Behind a red velvet curtain, you'll find Boston’s original speakeasy, complete with plush leather seats, dark wood, and a billiards table. Learn about Carrie Nation's wild crusades while sipping era-inspired drinks. Just remember, you’ll need a twenty spot, a secret handshake, or a password to get in.

  • A4cade: Combine a speakeasy with a retro arcade, and you get A4cade, a playful twist on the concept. Step through a freezer door and into a world where nostalgia meets novelty. Sip on inventive cocktails while you play classic arcade games. Ready for a blast to the past?

Boston's speakeasies offer a portal to the past, each with its own story and style. Whether you're a history buff, a cocktail aficionado, or just in search of a unique night out, these spots provide a peek into prohibition era with all the perks of modern luxury. So, why not whisper the password and step into Boston's best-kept secrets?

best cocktail bars in Boston

Don’t want to guess passwords or hunt for secret doors? No worries! Boston has plenty of bars where you can stroll right in and enjoy delicious cocktails. Ready for a sip-and-savour session? Check out these top spots for a classy concoction.

  • Fool’s Errand: This no-reservation, adults-only gem is perfect for a spontaneous night out. It's small, lively, and serves up creative cocktails that you’ll love.

  • Status: Step into Status and feel the pulse of Boston’s trendy scene. With chic décor and an innovative drink menu, this spot knows how to mix a memorable evening.

  • Sabina Mezcaleria: For something different, Sabina Mezcaleria brings the fiery spirit of mezcal to Boston. Enjoy their mezcal-based cocktails and Mexican-inspired bites. Staying at citizenM Boston Back Bay? This bar is only an 8 minute walk from your doorstep.

  • Farmacia: Cocktails with a twist—think herbal and botanical flavours. It’s like a remedy for all your weekly woes, served over ice.

  • Parla: Step back in time at Parla, where speakeasy vibes meet inventive cocktails. This cozy North End spot is perfect for evening escapades.

  • Ward 8: Known for its namesake cocktail, Ward 8 offers a lively atmosphere and a menu of both classic and innovative drinks, making it a must-visit for cocktail lovers. The cherry on top? Ward 8 is a 5 min walk from citizenM Boston North Station. No need to call a cab, we're only steps away from the best cocktails in town.

Each of these spots offers a unique twist on the cocktail experience, making them perfect for a night out in Boston. Whether you’re after something upscale and chic or cosy and quirky, these bars are shaking up some of the best drinks in town. Cheers, citizens!

giggles galore: Boston's comedy hotspots

Ready for some laughs, citizens? Boston’s comedy scene is absolutely bursting with venues that’ll have you roaring with laughter. This city’s wit is as sharp as its chowder is thick, and there's no shortage of brilliant spots to catch top-notch comedy shows. Whether you’re into stand-up, improv, or sketch comedy, Boston’s got it all. From iconic theatres hosting big-name acts to cosy clubs where rising stars test their material, the city is a comedic playground just waiting to be explored. Get ready to laugh your socks off and discover the best comedy Boston has to offer!

best comedy clubs in Boston

  • Improv Asylum: Tucked away in the North End, this comedy hotspot is famous for its improv and sketch shows. Fast, witty, and based on audience suggestions, every night is a hilarious surprise. Perfect for a spontaneous night out!

  • The Wilbur Theatre: This legendary venue is where big laughs meet big names. Hosting comedy giants and rising stars, The Wilbur is the go-to spot for top-tier stand-up and comedic talks.

  • Laugh Boston: Located in the Seaport District, Laugh Boston is a must-visit for comedy lovers. With a lively vibe and a calendar packed with top acts, it’s the place to catch local talents and celebrity comedians. Ideal for a night of hearty laughs!

  • The Wilbur: Mentioned again because it’s just that good! The Wilbur is a cornerstone of Boston's comedy scene, offering a mix of edgy stand-up and family-friendly jokes. There's something for everyone.

No matter which club you pick, Boston’s comedy venues promise a night full of laughs. So, grab some friends, book a ticket, and let Boston’s best comedians tickle your funny bone!

where to stay in Boston

After a night exploring Boston's secret speakeasies and lively nightlife, you'll need a stylish and comfy place to crash. Look no further than citizenM hotels, with two fab locations in Boston for every night owl. Check into the brand-new Boston Back Bay citizenM (open July 2024), right in the heart of the city's bustling action. If you prefer to be closer to the historical and cultural vibes, citizenM Boston North Station is your spot, perfect for both sightseeing and enjoying the nightlife. Both hotels offer citizenM’s signature style: super comfy beds, modern amenities, and a vibrant atmosphere that matches the city's energy. Whether you're winding down from a night of jazz and cocktails or gearing up for a day of exploring, citizenM is your perfect Boston base.

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