clock menu more-arrow no yes

The Eater Boston Cocktail Heatmap: Where to Drink Now

View as Map

With the help of the Eater 38 and the Eater Heatmap, it's a breeze to find out where to eat right now, whether it's a hot newcomer or an old neighborhood standby. Now it's just as easy to find out where to get a good, stiff drink in this town.

What better time than Cocktail Week to present the first ever Eater Boston Cocktail Heatmap, a guide to the hot bars and restaurant bars of the moment. Rather than feature the perennial favorites—we will assume the readership is already versed in Drink and Eastern Standard—this guide focuses on operations that have opened in the last year or so plus any that recently underwent a revamp. Happy drinking, and as always, feel free to write in with new suggestions.


Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Daddy Jones

Copy Link
525 Medford St
Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 690-9095
Visit Website
The drinks might have the same names and appearances as their kitschy 80s equivalents, but no one is pouring any mixer out of a cardboard box. Even the mudslides at this Greek(ish) restaurant are made with house-made Irish cream.

2. The Sinclair

Copy Link
52 Church St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 547-5200
Visit Website
A Michael Schlow-connected cocktail bar that offers competent classics as well as house creations in the classic style would make this list anyway. The fact that the Sinclair happens to also be the best new rock club to open in years makes it all the more impressive. Also, check out their newly opened patio.

3. Park

Copy Link
59 JFK St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 491-9851
Visit Website
The latest Harvard Square success story from the Grafton Group, Park has a deep liquor list patrons and bartenders can choose from to match with chef Mark Goldberg's comforting tavern food while making jokes about apples and whether or not they like them.

4. Moksa

Copy Link
450 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 661-4900
Visit Website
If Moksa's going to survive kitchen turnover and ownership's struggles at other restaurants, it will have the loyal customers who flock to bartender Noon Inthasuwan-Summers's inventive cocktails to thank.

5. West Bridge

Copy Link
1 Kendall Square
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 899-6088
Visit Website
Eastern Standard alum Josh Taylor provides the perfect complements to chef Matthew Gaudet's all-the-parts of all-the-animals menu. Strong, assertive flavors (mezcal and fino sherry are nearly always found as bases on his menus) still manage to find balance in Josh's hands.

6. The Blue Room

Copy Link
1 Kendall Sq
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 494-9034
Visit Website
Not a new restaurant by any stretch, Blue Room makes our list thanks to a reinvention of the bar this winter by Matthew Schrage. Now continued by Chris Danforth, the core of the program is centered around Italian amari -- giving after-work techies an outlet for the day's bitterness.

7. The Bar at Clio

Copy Link
370 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 536-7200
Visit Website
When Ken Oringer closed down his flagship early in 2012 to greatly expand the bar, it was largely due to customer demand for self-described "mad scientist" Todd Maul. We're fairly sure Todd is the only Boston bartender whose toolkit includes a rotary evaporator and a centrifuge.

8. Bogie's Place

Copy Link
21 Temple Pl
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 338-5333
Visit Website
After finishing the chilled vodka that comes with the caviar at this intimate steakhouse-within-a-bar at jm Curley, we suggest talking with the server about Kevin Mabry's extensive martini options. When's the last time you had a sachet of herbs with your cocktail? And if there's no room in the reservation-only space, jm Curley is still a top drinks destination.

9. Shojo

Copy Link
9 Tyler St.
Boston, Ma 02111
(617) 423-7888
Visit Website
Shojo aims to be a new breed of hip, savvy Chinatown restaurant with a convincingly hip, savvy bar program to boot. Sake appears in several drinks and in its own section, but it's the Cold Tea for Two that really stands out: surely this is the first Chinatown restaurant to admit to serving anything by that name.

10. Blue Dragon

Copy Link
324 A St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 338-8585
Visit Website
Ming Tsai's new Fort Point restaurant does not take reservations. Fortunately the bar is slinging some excellent drinks while guests wait. Try the Thai Basil Smash, made with rye infused with... wait for it... thai basil.

11. Tavern Road

Copy Link
343 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 790-0808
Visit Website
Louis and Michael DiBiccari's long awaited venture of their own, Tavern Road is already receiving accolades for its top notch bar. Most drinks are made with bartender-friendly ingredients (fernet, anyone?), but the skilled bar staff can find something for any palate. Starting soon: a guest drink program featuring cocktails from bartenders around the US.

12. KO Pies at the Shipyard

Copy Link
256 Marginal St
East Boston, MA 02128
(617) 418-5234
Visit Website
Lack of liquor license isn't stopping KO from having cocktails. Recently premiered at an ANZAC Day party, an impressive beertails menu has been created by jm Curley's Daren Palacios. He'll be serving it up on weekends this summer on KO's new Eastie deckbar. Daren - ever the improviser - also built the bar.

13. Steel & Rye

Copy Link
95 Eliot St.
Milton, MA 02126
(617) 690-2787
Visit Website
The rye selection (the name of the restaurant is not a coincidence - rye used to be distilled in this neighborhood and a dozen ryes are featured on the menu) at this Milton bar makes it worth the trip to the suburbs. There might be the occasional well-heeled child in the dining room, but their Shirley Temple will be made with house grenadine.

14. Sycamore Restaurant

Copy Link
755 Beacon St
Newton, MA 02459
Take the D line to experience Scott Shoer's excellent menu at this highly celebrated addition to Newton Centre. Try a Ghost of Mary -- a pinkish take on a Bloody Mary that achieves its color by using filtered tomato water. A willingness to T to the burbs is rewarded by no drink costing more than $11.

Loading comments...

1. Daddy Jones

525 Medford St, Somerville, MA 02145
The drinks might have the same names and appearances as their kitschy 80s equivalents, but no one is pouring any mixer out of a cardboard box. Even the mudslides at this Greek(ish) restaurant are made with house-made Irish cream.
525 Medford St
Somerville, MA 02145

2. The Sinclair

52 Church St., Cambridge, MA 02138
A Michael Schlow-connected cocktail bar that offers competent classics as well as house creations in the classic style would make this list anyway. The fact that the Sinclair happens to also be the best new rock club to open in years makes it all the more impressive. Also, check out their newly opened patio.
52 Church St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

3. Park

59 JFK St, Cambridge, MA 02138
The latest Harvard Square success story from the Grafton Group, Park has a deep liquor list patrons and bartenders can choose from to match with chef Mark Goldberg's comforting tavern food while making jokes about apples and whether or not they like them.
59 JFK St
Cambridge, MA 02138

4. Moksa

450 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
If Moksa's going to survive kitchen turnover and ownership's struggles at other restaurants, it will have the loyal customers who flock to bartender Noon Inthasuwan-Summers's inventive cocktails to thank.
450 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

5. West Bridge

1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139
Eastern Standard alum Josh Taylor provides the perfect complements to chef Matthew Gaudet's all-the-parts of all-the-animals menu. Strong, assertive flavors (mezcal and fino sherry are nearly always found as bases on his menus) still manage to find balance in Josh's hands.
1 Kendall Square
Cambridge, MA 02139

6. The Blue Room

1 Kendall Sq, Cambridge, MA 02139
Not a new restaurant by any stretch, Blue Room makes our list thanks to a reinvention of the bar this winter by Matthew Schrage. Now continued by Chris Danforth, the core of the program is centered around Italian amari -- giving after-work techies an outlet for the day's bitterness.
1 Kendall Sq
Cambridge, MA 02139

7. The Bar at Clio

370 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215
When Ken Oringer closed down his flagship early in 2012 to greatly expand the bar, it was largely due to customer demand for self-described "mad scientist" Todd Maul. We're fairly sure Todd is the only Boston bartender whose toolkit includes a rotary evaporator and a centrifuge.
370 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215

8. Bogie's Place

21 Temple Pl, Boston, MA 02111
After finishing the chilled vodka that comes with the caviar at this intimate steakhouse-within-a-bar at jm Curley, we suggest talking with the server about Kevin Mabry's extensive martini options. When's the last time you had a sachet of herbs with your cocktail? And if there's no room in the reservation-only space, jm Curley is still a top drinks destination.
21 Temple Pl
Boston, MA 02111

9. Shojo

9 Tyler St., Boston, Ma 02111
Shojo aims to be a new breed of hip, savvy Chinatown restaurant with a convincingly hip, savvy bar program to boot. Sake appears in several drinks and in its own section, but it's the Cold Tea for Two that really stands out: surely this is the first Chinatown restaurant to admit to serving anything by that name.
9 Tyler St.
Boston, Ma 02111

10. Blue Dragon

324 A St, Boston, MA 02210
Ming Tsai's new Fort Point restaurant does not take reservations. Fortunately the bar is slinging some excellent drinks while guests wait. Try the Thai Basil Smash, made with rye infused with... wait for it... thai basil.
324 A St
Boston, MA 02210

11. Tavern Road

343 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210
Louis and Michael DiBiccari's long awaited venture of their own, Tavern Road is already receiving accolades for its top notch bar. Most drinks are made with bartender-friendly ingredients (fernet, anyone?), but the skilled bar staff can find something for any palate. Starting soon: a guest drink program featuring cocktails from bartenders around the US.
343 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210

12. KO Pies at the Shipyard

256 Marginal St, East Boston, MA 02128
Lack of liquor license isn't stopping KO from having cocktails. Recently premiered at an ANZAC Day party, an impressive beertails menu has been created by jm Curley's Daren Palacios. He'll be serving it up on weekends this summer on KO's new Eastie deckbar. Daren - ever the improviser - also built the bar.
256 Marginal St
East Boston, MA 02128

13. Steel & Rye

95 Eliot St., Milton, MA 02126
The rye selection (the name of the restaurant is not a coincidence - rye used to be distilled in this neighborhood and a dozen ryes are featured on the menu) at this Milton bar makes it worth the trip to the suburbs. There might be the occasional well-heeled child in the dining room, but their Shirley Temple will be made with house grenadine.
95 Eliot St.
Milton, MA 02126

14. Sycamore Restaurant

755 Beacon St, Newton, MA 02459
Take the D line to experience Scott Shoer's excellent menu at this highly celebrated addition to Newton Centre. Try a Ghost of Mary -- a pinkish take on a Bloody Mary that achieves its color by using filtered tomato water. A willingness to T to the burbs is rewarded by no drink costing more than $11.
755 Beacon St
Newton, MA 02459

Related Maps