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Cocktail Confidential: Bartenders' Favorite Hidden Gems

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In celebration of Cocktail Week, bartenders around town spilled the beans on their favorite "hidden gem" cocktail spots — at least, as "hidden" as possible.

"This is Boston, so no cocktail bar is a hidden gem," noted Trina's Starlite Lounge bartender Emma Hollander. "All cocktail bars in this city are recognized and have very talented people behind them, which helps in making them known." With that in mind, we pared down the responses to the ten most surprising spots.


· All coverage of Cocktail Week 2013 on Eater [~EBOS~] Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Spoke

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89 Holland St
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 718-9463
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“Spoke Wine Bar in Davis Square is a favorite of mine. The bartenders (a few Drink alums are on the roster) use limited cocktail ingredients to create delicious seasonal cocktails. They also have a fantastic eclectic wine and beer selection.” — Sam Gabrielli, bar manager at Russell House Tavern [Photo: UrbanDaddy/Melissa Ostrow]

2. Bergamot

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118 Beacon St
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 576-7700
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“I try to hang out at the bar at Bergamot as much as I can — not too much time off over here, but Paul & Kai (& their drinks) are just too fun not to miss.” — Jared Sadoian, restaurant & bar manager at Craigie on Main [Photo: Facebook]

3. Casa B

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253 Washington Street
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 764-2180
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“Favorite hidden gem bar is Casa B in Somerville. Beautiful room, great cocktails, and delicious food.” — Kelly Unda, bartender at Harvest [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

4. Ecco

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107 Porter St
East Boston, MA 02128
(617) 561-1112
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“Great cocktail list but feel free to go off menu. I usually stop in before and after grabbing pizza at Santarpio's." — Rob Haberek, head bartender at City Landing [Photo: Yelp]

5. Cuchi Cuchi

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795 Main St.
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 864-2929
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“My favorite hidden gem is Cuchi Cuchi in Kendall Square. Every time I go, the service is great, and the drinks are creative and delicious. I feel like I escape from the real world for a few hours. Not to mention the whole staff is dressed in French burlesque, and there's always a tarot card reader. It would be tough to find anyone who wouldn't have a great time!” — Sarah Baker, bar manager at Towne Stove and Spirits [Photo: Official Site]

6. Lucca

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226 Hanover St.
Boston, MA 02113
(857) 362-8500
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"I think the cocktail program at Lucca in the North End is a hidden gem. My favorite is their Old Fashioned because they have the BEST cherries!" — Katie Mae Dell Isola, manager & head bartender at Haru [Photo: Official Site]

7. Shojo

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9 Tyler St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 423-7888
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“I had one of the most appealing, well-constructed drinks of my life recently at Shojo in Chinatown. Tequila Cabeza, salted plums & rice wine, almond syrup. I was really impressed.” — Ted Gallagher, beverage manager at Steel & Rye [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

8. The Salty Pig

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130 Dartmouth St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 536-6200
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“For not having a liquor license, The Salty Pig can whip up a damn good cocktail! The bartenders are smart; they play around with cordials in unique and new ways.” — Chris Balchum, bar manager at PARK Restaurant & Bar [Photo: Facebook]

9. Anchovies

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433 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 266-5088
“Anchovies in the South End. You will never get a Sazerac, but you will consistently get a strong drink, guaranteed a laugh and a story from the bartender and surrounding characters, and a pretty good spicy meatball.“ — Dave Werthman, bartender at The Sinclair [Photo: Facebook]

10. Local 149

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149 P St
South Boston, MA 02127
(617) 269-0900
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"My favorite cocktail gem is Local 149. They draw a lot of people in with their unique beer program, but they sneak in a totally understated and really well done cocktail menu. I'm especially a fan of their "heavy hitters" section. They are getting a lot of people in South Boston to start talking about great cocktails that they otherwise may not try." — Kevin Morrison, bartender, Eastern Standard [Photo: Facebook]

1. Spoke

89 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144
“Spoke Wine Bar in Davis Square is a favorite of mine. The bartenders (a few Drink alums are on the roster) use limited cocktail ingredients to create delicious seasonal cocktails. They also have a fantastic eclectic wine and beer selection.” — Sam Gabrielli, bar manager at Russell House Tavern [Photo: UrbanDaddy/Melissa Ostrow]
89 Holland St
Somerville, MA 02144

2. Bergamot

118 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143
“I try to hang out at the bar at Bergamot as much as I can — not too much time off over here, but Paul & Kai (& their drinks) are just too fun not to miss.” — Jared Sadoian, restaurant & bar manager at Craigie on Main [Photo: Facebook]
118 Beacon St
Somerville, MA 02143

3. Casa B

253 Washington Street, Somerville, MA 02143
“Favorite hidden gem bar is Casa B in Somerville. Beautiful room, great cocktails, and delicious food.” — Kelly Unda, bartender at Harvest [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]
253 Washington Street
Somerville, MA 02143

4. Ecco

107 Porter St, East Boston, MA 02128
“Great cocktail list but feel free to go off menu. I usually stop in before and after grabbing pizza at Santarpio's." — Rob Haberek, head bartender at City Landing [Photo: Yelp]
107 Porter St
East Boston, MA 02128

5. Cuchi Cuchi

795 Main St., Cambridge, MA 02139
“My favorite hidden gem is Cuchi Cuchi in Kendall Square. Every time I go, the service is great, and the drinks are creative and delicious. I feel like I escape from the real world for a few hours. Not to mention the whole staff is dressed in French burlesque, and there's always a tarot card reader. It would be tough to find anyone who wouldn't have a great time!” — Sarah Baker, bar manager at Towne Stove and Spirits [Photo: Official Site]
795 Main St.
Cambridge, MA 02139

6. Lucca

226 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113
"I think the cocktail program at Lucca in the North End is a hidden gem. My favorite is their Old Fashioned because they have the BEST cherries!" — Katie Mae Dell Isola, manager & head bartender at Haru [Photo: Official Site]
226 Hanover St.
Boston, MA 02113

7. Shojo

9 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111
“I had one of the most appealing, well-constructed drinks of my life recently at Shojo in Chinatown. Tequila Cabeza, salted plums & rice wine, almond syrup. I was really impressed.” — Ted Gallagher, beverage manager at Steel & Rye [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]
9 Tyler St
Boston, MA 02111

8. The Salty Pig

130 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116
“For not having a liquor license, The Salty Pig can whip up a damn good cocktail! The bartenders are smart; they play around with cordials in unique and new ways.” — Chris Balchum, bar manager at PARK Restaurant & Bar [Photo: Facebook]
130 Dartmouth St
Boston, MA 02116

9. Anchovies

433 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116
“Anchovies in the South End. You will never get a Sazerac, but you will consistently get a strong drink, guaranteed a laugh and a story from the bartender and surrounding characters, and a pretty good spicy meatball.“ — Dave Werthman, bartender at The Sinclair [Photo: Facebook]
433 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116

10. Local 149

149 P St, South Boston, MA 02127
"My favorite cocktail gem is Local 149. They draw a lot of people in with their unique beer program, but they sneak in a totally understated and really well done cocktail menu. I'm especially a fan of their "heavy hitters" section. They are getting a lot of people in South Boston to start talking about great cocktails that they otherwise may not try." — Kevin Morrison, bartender, Eastern Standard [Photo: Facebook]
149 P St
South Boston, MA 02127

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