Check into the Best Hotel Bars in Boston

By Eric Twardzik
02/24/2022

It’s no secret that Bostonians love their city—fierce allegiances to championship-winning teams, devotions to region-specific foods and traditions, and a deep appreciation for local history abound. Residents of Boston know exactly what makes their city a magnet for visitors, but we may be overlooking some of the city's best cocktail bars that are housed in (gasp) tourist-filled hotels. From swank bars in historic properties to innovative cocktail lounges in new boutique hotels, this list showcases the very best hotel bars that Boston has to offer.

The Street Bar

Credit: Nikolas Koenig

A throwback to the hotel bars of old, the dimly lit cocktail lounge within The Newbury Boston, The Street, has a menu devoid of gimmicks but stacked with spirituous classics. In a library-inspired setting complete with wood-paneled walls and a working fireplace, hotel guests can enjoy Singapore Slings and Sidecars, or tuck into a half-dozen Martini variations including a house Signature Martini made with a blend of London Dry gins and blanc vermouths. The edible fare is similarly old-school: think fresh-baked Pigs in a Blanket, Beef Tartare with Tabasco, or a club sandwich with carved turkey and Dijonnaise.

Blue Owl Rooftop Bar

Hotel rooftop bars are filled with promise, but all too often fall short. When what you’re selling is the view, it’s common to find highly priced yet underwhelming drinks. Fortunately, Blue Owl bucks this trend. Located atop Cambridge’s new 907 Main hotel, this rooftop bar does indeed boast stellar views of Central Square, but it’s just as worth visiting in the off-season on account of highly original cocktails. For instance, the sweet-savory Caprese #2 manages to taste remarkably like its namesake appetizer through a combination of mozzarella fat-washed vodka, basil, tomato, and blanc vermouth. Also of note is the snacky food menu, which draws on global street foods to deliver dishes like a plate of Parmesan Rosemary Fries accompanied by ketchup, curry mayo, and sambal aioli.

Coquette

Coquette is perched within the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport—not that you’d know from the glamorous French restaurant’s interior, which borrows liberally from the rococo and Art Nouveau movements. Coquette’s semi-circular bar might be one of the city’s most beautiful, complete with a reproduction of a ceilingscape from the Hercules Salon at the Palace of Versailles. But most importantly for our purposes, the drinks are top-notch—what we’d expect from the same people behind Yvonne’s and Mariel—and make liberal use of French spirits. Experience the lovely Martini service made with gin or vodka and French vermouth, or a cognac-based Espresso Martini.

Ruka

This spot ensconced within Downton Crossing’s Godfrey Hotel also comes to us from the COJE Group, responsible for such nightlife hotspots as Yvonne’s, Mariel, and Coquette. Ruka’s leanings are Peruvian-Japanese cuisine (aka Nikkei), a micro-focus that extends to a cocktail program that features a Pisco Sour, Aki Sour (Japanese whisky, applejack, lemon) and The Nonaka (tequila, yuzu, Suze, lemon, basil). A “Tea Service” section of the menu presents serves-two cocktails, such as Lost City built with pisco, lime, coconut, and matcha, and Judo Chop made with Japanese whisky, tea, and plum bitters. The place itself is beautiful, with a live-edge bar plus vibrant, patterned tiles, murals, and other vivid decor.

OAK Long Bar + Kitchen

The Fairmont Copley Plaza, itself no stranger to Gilded Age decadence, hosts a bar that looks like it could accommodate a thirsty Rockefeller or two. Oak Long Bar + Kitchen is grand with a capital G, serving old-timey elegance and strong drinks across the coppertop long bar and a living room-like lounge section populated by leather sofas and armchairs. While the menu changes often, a Bee’s Knees made with honey-infused Vermont gin and served in a frankly adorable bear-shaped glass remains a staple. We should also note that Oak serves one of the city’s most satisfying (and filling) bar snacks: freshly baked Warm Hearth Baked Bread slathered with honey butter.

The Fed

Credit: Langham Hotels

Though it’s found within The Langham Hotel, The Fed may make you feel as if you’ve been transported to jolly Old England. That’s thanks to a conscious effort to recreate the feel of a contemporary London cocktail lounge, from cozy leather seats and brass fixtures to the seasonal outdoor terrace. The vibe extends to a food menu that features “Glizzy Sticks”  (like a potato-crusted corndog) and “Toasties” (essentially fancy grilled cheese), along with more New England fare such as a shellfish tower, Lobster Fries, and New England Stuffies. On the potable side, you’ll encounter such creative drams as the Maized and Confused (tequila, corn, lemon, mango, Taijin) and In Dis-pear (rye, cognac, sherry, spiced pear, chair, Angostura bitters). 

Peregrine

Despite being one of Boston’s most iconic stretches, Charles Street on Beacon Hill is nearly devoid of cocktail bars—save Peregrine. This indie Mediterranean restaurant is from the team responsible for Juliet and operates within the boutique Whitney Hotel. The small marble bar at Peregrine provides ideal Charles Street people-watching, plus a cocktail menu stacked with spritzes and original creations that make liberal use of amari and other traditional Italian spirits. We’re particularly taken with Asteria’s Beacon, a boozy combination of bourbon, Don Ciccio & Figli Ambrosia, Yellow Chartreuse, lemon, and Herbsaint. The food menu also features a section of drinks-friendly snacks filled up by Jamón Serrano, Parmigiano Reggiano with local honey, focaccia with anchovies, and other small savory bites that pair well with a Negroni.

Mooo….

Mooo…. steakhouse Boston

This ellipsis-loving restaurant tucked inside the XV Beacon is best-known as an upscale steakhouse, but Mooo…. also features one of Beacon Hill’s best bars. Oenophiles will delight in a wine list that includes over 795 labels, while the more spiritous drinker can pore over a 14-page liquor list that offers scores of single-malt Scotch. And that doesn’t even touch the seasonally changing cocktail menu, which offers original creations like a Gettin’ Blitzen made with tequila, ginger, cranberry, lime, pineapple, and rosemary. It’s also where you can order from a bar menu that features Japanese Wagyu Beef Dumplings; Panko and Parmesan Crusted Onion Rings; and Maine Lobster Mac and Cheese.

Trifecta

Find this elegant cocktail lounge at Four Seasons One Dalton, the most recently built of Boston’s two Four Seasons Hotels. The locally inspired cocktail selection at Trifecta justifies the “craft” in “craft cocktails,” with selections like the Elixir made with tequila, kiwi lime, agave, and activated charcoal foam; and Backdoor Progression, a smoked cocktail featuring mezcal, falernum, and a blend of amari. On weekends, this Back Bay lounge hosts that most charming of grand-hotel traditions: Afternoon tea service complete with dessert tiers, Champagne, and if you please, Bloody Marys.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Sign up for our weekly newsletters for curated guides, can't-miss dishes, restaurant recommendations, and more.

Enter Email