clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Boston Bartenders' Go-To Cocktail Bars

Area bartenders reveal where they like to drink cocktails when they're not at their own spots.

Brittany Casos"Franklin Cafe." —Brittany Casos, beverage director at Coppa

Brooke Vandecar"Aside from Rosa Mexicano, I would say Drink on Congress Street. Great cocktails." —Brooke Vandecar, beverage director at Rosa Mexicano

Greg Neises"When I’m in the mood for a well-constructed cocktail you’ll find me at Hawthorne." —Greg Neises, bartender at Tico

Moira Toomey"Drink or Eastern Standard." —Moira Toomey, bartender at Gather

Paulo Pereira"Backbar. They have some of the best cocktails and hospitality in the city." —Paulo Pereira, beverage director at Brass Union

Rob Haberek"Stoddard’s. I love that place." —Rob Haberek, bartender at Forum

Katie Mae Dell Isola"I really enjoy the cocktails at Lolita. One of their best is a spicy margarita with frozen chunks of jalapeños in it." —Katie Mae Dell Isola, bar manager at Haru

Dan Greenough"Drink." —Dan Greenough, food & beverage manager of all Burtons Grill locations

Kevin Murphy"The Hawthorne." —Kevin Murphy, operations manager of Deuxave

Ryan Lotz"This city has too many to name just a single one, and I feel like I'm inevitably going to leave out a few that I love, but I will forever and always love sitting with Katie Emmerson at The Hawthorne. Also, Tyler Wang is really crushing it over at Audubon." —Ryan Lotz, bar manager at No. 9 Park

John Drew"Tavern Road. Ryan McGrale & co. have a great program." —John Drew, bar manager at Blue Dragon and Blue Ginger

Vikram Hegde"There are the obvious ones (Drink, The Hawthorne, Eastern Standard, etc...) but lately I’ve been really into what Seth [Freidus] is doing over at Alden & Harlow. Really great use of seasonally relevant ingredients, along with a refined understanding of balance." —Vikram Hegde, bartender at Sarma

Michael Cottens"My favorite cocktail bars are on the outskirts of the city, where you can get away from the busyness of downtown. Sycamore in Newton makes some amazing craft cocktails." —Michael Cottens, bartender at The Merchant

Kaitlena Cash"Coogan’s. Dollar drafts. Takes a goddamn mixologist to tap that keg. Just kidding. They have the best cocktails at Chili’s…" —Kaitlena Cash, bartender at Anthem Kitchen + Bar

Sal Gesamondo"I’m actually more of a "beer guy" BUT one of my personal favorites is in Lynn, MA called the Blue Ox. Chef Matt O’Neil’s execution is on point, the craft beers are constantly rotating, and bar manager Charlie Gaeta’s different cocktail or bourbon infusions are a must-try. Charlie really has a passion for the craft and has no problem talking shop with anyone about his latest creation or the products he is currently carrying. If you aren’t into any of those things, the bar staff (Gina and Jeanie) are worth the trip!" —Sal Gesamondo, operations manager of Tavern in the Square

Giulio Favuzza"Drink and The Hawthorne are a couple Boston bars that have really great cocktails." —Giulio Favuzza, beverage manager of Red Heat Tavern

Gina Richard"I always love going to Eastern Standard, but lately I've been going to Sarma and Alden & Harlow a lot. The guys behind those bars are so creative and just plain fun to hang out with." —Gina Richard, head bartender at Island Creek Oyster Bar

Lauren Hayes

"The bar you'll see me at the most is the Galway, the most affordable Negroni with Carpano Antica in town. But for a proper drink, The Hawthorne always delivers." —Lauren Hayes, head bartender at Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain

Molly Woodhouse"Drink." —Molly Woodhouse, general manager and beverage director of Vida Cantina in Portsmouth (and an alum of The Butcher Shop and Menton)

Ian Nal"The Long Bar at the Oak Room, Fairmont Copley before 5 p.m. or after 11 p.m. Grand space. Cocktails are classic, not overly construed. Refined drinking. Best martini service around." —Ian Nal, general manager and beverage director of Fish Restaurant & Wine Bar in Marlborough

Jenna Pollock"I love Blue Dragon. John Drew always has something amazing up his sleeve for me to be inspired by." —Jenna Pollock, bar director at Nebo

Augusto Lino"Backbar." —Augusto Lino, bartender at Hungry Mother

Brian Mantz"Far too many to mention, but if Somerville counts then I'll have to say Backbar is definitely ‘doin’ it right.’" —Brian Mantz, bar manager at Wink & Nod

Colin Kiley"Brick & Mortar. That evil, evil place…" —Colin Kiley, bartender at Puritan & Company

Libby Spencer"I love Brick & Mortar if I want to party. Eastern Standard is great, too, and I love kinda dive-y spots that kill it on cocktails, like State Park & Highland Kitchen." —Libby Spencer, bar manager at Deep Ellum

Tom Tellier"Franklin Southie!" —Tom Tellier, beverage director for Restaurant dante and both locations of il Casale

Gretchen Thomas"Deep Ellum!" —Gretchen Thomas, wine and spirits director at Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant

Todd Lipman"The Hawthorne — I got married there." —Todd Lipman, head sommelier at Bistro du Midi

Davide Crusoe"I think the team at Citizen House do a great job, but look out for Liquid Art House — very solid program." —Davide Crusoe, general manager at Chopps in Burlington

Sam Treadway"There are so many to choose from...but Drink still reigns supreme!" —Sam Treadway, bar manager at Backbar

Will Isaza"The Hawthorne." —Will Isaza, bartender at Fairsted Kitchen

Sean Woods"The Hawthorne and Brick & Mortar." —Sean Woods, bar manager at Ribelle

Ian Strickland"Depends on what neighborhood I'm in, but Tavern Road, Silvertone, Eastern Standard, and Saloon are all always solid." —Ian Strickland, head bartender at Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar

Katie Emmerson"Audubon — I feel so very at home." —Katie Emmerson, bar manager at The Hawthorne

Ezra Star"My go-to cocktail bar in Boston outside of Drink is Brick & Mortar. I love seeing Matt Schrage and Nicky Bandera act like lovable lunatics behind the bar." —Ezra Star, general manager at Drink

Paul Manzelli"Spoke in Davis Square — it’s the whole package: great cocktails, food, wine, and service." —Paul Manzelli, bartender at Bergamot

Jared Sadoian"If I'm on one side of the river, I'll end up at Bergamot in Somerville. Great drinks, great food, and great people. If I'm on the other side, It's The Hawthorne. A lovely escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. I was lucky enough to hold my wedding reception there, too, so it always brings back great memories. That's a plus." —Jared Sadoian, head bartender and beverage director of Craigie on Main and The Kirkland Tap & Trotter

Evan Kelly"Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston or Brick & Mortar in Cambridge." —Evan Kenney, head bartender at West Side Lounge

Tenzin Samdo"Drink and Tavern Road." —Tenzin Konchok Samdo, head barman at TRADE

Jonathan Mendez"Drink." —Jonathan Mendez, beverage director and bartender at TRADE

"I'll always love Eastern Standard — it was the first place I tried craft cocktails and has been so great over the years. Brick & Mortar is another favorite (I think it's impossible to have a bad time in there), as is the bar at No. 9 Park (such a classy place to have a drink) and jm Curley (a favorite lunch stop for my wife and I). And now that I don't work there, West Bridge will be a constant go-to for me for cocktails and great food." —Alex Howell, bar manager of Bondir

"My go-to bar in Boston is Lone Star in Allston. They have late night food and a large selection of tequila and mezcals and great cocktails to match, and they’re always playing an old school Western on t.v." —Rob Dunn, bar manager at Lineage

"The Hawthorne." —Tyler Wang, bartender at Audubon

"Backbar." —Taso Papatsoris, bartender at Casa B

"jm Curley." —Ashish Mitra, bar manager at Russell House Tavern

"Blue Dragon." —Ryan McGrale, beverage director at Tavern Road

jm Curley

21 Temple Place, , MA 02111 (617) 338-5333 Visit Website


348 Congress Street, , MA 02210 (617) 695-1806 Visit Website

Spoke Wine Bar

89 Holland Street, , MA 02144 (617) 718-9463 Visit Website


249 Pearl Street, , MA 02145 (617) 764-4464 Visit Website

West Bridge

1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139 Visit Website

Alden & Harlow

40 Brattle Street, , MA 02138 (617) 864-2100 Visit Website


69 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108 617-338-7887 Visit Website

Liquid Art House

100 Arlington St, Boston, MA 02116 (617) 457-8130 Visit Website

Galway O'clock

Center St., 710 Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

No. 9 Park

9 Park Street, Boston, MA 02108 617 742 9991 Visit Website

Lone Star Taco Bar (Allston)

477 Cambridge Street, Allston, MA 02135 Visit Website

Franklin Cafe

278 Shawmut Avenue, , MA 02118 (617) 350-0010 Visit Website

Tavern Road

343 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210 617 790 0808

Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale

48 Temple Place, , MA 02111 (617) 426-0048 Visit Website

Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar

1310 Boylston Street, , MA 02215 (617) 450-9000 Visit Website

Brick & Mortar

567 Massachusetts Avenue, , MA 02139 Visit Website


446 South Coast Highway, , CA 92651 (949) 494-5469


7 Sanborn Court, , MA 02143 (617) 249-3522 Visit Website

Eastern Standard

528 Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02215 (617) 532-9100 Visit Website

Highland Kitchen

150 Highland Avenue, , MA 02143 (617) 625-1131 Visit Website

State Park

15 Hampshire Street, , MA 02139 (617) 848-4355 Visit Website


755 Beacon St, Newton, MA 02459 (617) 244-4445 Visit Website

Blue Dragon

324 A Street, , MA 02210 (617) 338-8585 Visit Website

Deep Ellum

477 Cambridge Street, , MA 02134 (617) 787-2337 Visit Website


118 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143 617-576-7700

Franklin Southie

152 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02127 617-269-1003 Visit Website


838 Beacon Street, , MA 02215 (617) 421-1910 Visit Website

Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar (Back Bay)

271 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA 617 369 5609

The Hawthorne

500A Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02215 (617) 532-9150 Visit Website