Bars in South Boston

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Within the bustling Faneuil Hall, Mija Cantina & Tequila Bar’s old-style décor transports diners to Mexico, while authentically crafted enchiladas and burritos complement more than 100 kinds of tequila. Since its opening, which caught the attention of the Boston Herald, Mija Cantina has delighted tongues with fresh guacamole and queso fresco. Diners hoist sails above their tables and grip knives betwixt their teeth before casting off with red snapper, lobster, and swordfish, or stay on solid ground with grilled steak and seared chicken breast. A selection of sides rounds out meals with additions ranging from the spicy lime mayo of corn on the cob to a simmering portion of pinto beans, bacon, and chorizo, whose protein boosts muscles after an evening workout or before a late-night battle royale.

Mija Cantina's décor, highlighted by NECN’s TV Diner and Thrillist, incorporates sun-bleached wood reclaimed from a Wyoming highway, iron candelabras, and leather booths to recreate the feel of a cantina from the past. Vaqueros celebrate romantic anniversaries of the day they married their six-shooters in the glow of lanterns or in the fresh breeze of outdoor seating as they quaff tequila made with 100% blue agave.:m]]

1 Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Boston,
MA
US

As you sit down on one of the The Red Hat's green vinyl barstools and lift a mug of lager to your lips, you might be replicating the movements of a patron from more than 100 years ago. Except that he or she would have snuck a nervous glance at the back door between every sip. The historic establishment survived the Prohibition era in Scollay Square—an area known for its bawdy vaudeville theater and risqué entertainment—by functioning as a reputable restaurant by day and a speakeasy by night.

Though the taps now flow freely in the daylight, some things at The Red Hat haven't changed. The menu still provides sailors, dockworkers, and local shoppers with hearty, comforting dishes of wings, fried fish, and other pub snacks. As Mike Dunphy of Beacon Hill Patch put it, "The Red Hat is a rare reminder of Boston's yesteryear, bringing an earthy spice to the more refined palate of Beacon Hill—an unpretentious watering hole to gain some courage for the climb." The exposed brick, wood-paneled walls, and old-timey memorabilia also give the space a turn-of-the-century feel. So do the nostalgic street-scene murals depicting the days when Saturns were Studebakers and people walked their Electrolux vacuums instead of pet dogs.

9 Bowdoin St
Boston,
MA
US

Do you ever sit down at a restaurant and wonder why you aren’t eating in a train station? Well, stop. From the group that brought you The Maki Express, a bus stop-themed sushi place, comes Kingston Station—the most true-to-life train station dining experience in the Greater Boston area. Step in and you’re immediately whisked away to an evening commute. You might feel the need to fight through the horde, yelling, “Back away. I’m tired and hungry.” But it won’t be necessary. Allow the nice conductor to seat you. Can’t find a seat? Better grab a handrail—the restaurant’s foundation has been altered with a $4 million machine designed to simulate abrupt stops. So if you’re the type of person who loves eating in train stations but has yet to find the prime skirt steak button on the train station’s vending machine, keep reading. A new era in train station cuisine has arrived.

25 Kingston Street
Somerville,
MA
US

Ecco Restaurant and Martini Bar's staff matches wines and specialty martinis with culinary counterparts drawn from a menu of Italian-inspired steak, seafood, and pasta. Suggested wine pairings help servers increase flavor synergy, enhancing the lobster mac 'n' cheese’s fontina cheese and buttery crumbs with a sauvignon blanc hailing from New Zealand. They also embellish meals or stories about their last fishing expedition with the wildflower martini, a blend of Absolut wild tea vodka, St. Germain, ginger, and lemon juice.

Situated less than a five-minute drive from Logan Airport, Ecco Restaurant and Martini Bar houses a geometrically diverse dining room crowded with rectangular and circular leather booths. A signature wall scribbled with autographs reveals the John Hancocks of the restaurant’s myriad guests, and artistic clusters of light bulbs spread warmth across orange couches and exposed brick. The seasonal outdoor patio provides a nice spot to enjoy a leisurely weekend brunch or a romantic dinner under the stars.

107 Porter St
East Boston,
MA
US

Jazz has had many homes over the years. Born in the South, moving to New Orleans and Chicago, and a world traveler in its old age, the musical form brings to mind myriad influences. Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen is inspired by the storied musical form, from its lively cuisine to its song-filled atmosphere. Live jazz musicians coax classic strains and improvised notes from their instruments Tuesday through Sunday, drawing from every chapter of the genre’s varied history. Chefs riff on the bluesy style with a delectable menu of Southern eats, from crispy cheese grits with shrimp to fried chicken atop buttermilk waffles. The club’s vibrant lights and exposed-brick walls call to mind some of the most renowned jazz bars to be found in New Orleans or Chicago. To enhance this antique-nightclub atmosphere, bartenders whip up a lineup of craft cocktails while referring to their patrons as “hot chick” or “cool Felis catus.”

604 Columbus Ave
Boston,
MA
US

The party-loving minds behind Yacht Party Cruises wanted a creative way for locals and tourists to explore a city's late-night atmosphere. Eventually they launched a fleet of luxury yachts into the waters of eight of North America's most lively urban waterfronts. On each vessel, festivities abound as DJs spin everything from hip-hop to Sinatra, inviting passengers to shake a leg in between trips to the full bar or buffet lined with hot appetizers. All yachts boast extravagant details such as wraparound decks, fireplaces, or a glass atrium that hangs above the dance floor offering dancers a direct view of the man in the moon's game of solitaire. Guests can also step onto the decks for fresh air or panoramic views of city's skyline.

Rowes Wharf
Boston,
MA
US