BARS

1. Drink

prac_info 348 Congress St • 617 695 1806

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This trendy subterranean bar in the Fort Point district wins praise for its impressive lineup of classic and classically inspired cocktails. Knowledgeable bartenders may quiz you to create a drink to suit your character. The house signature drink here is the Fort Point variation on a Manhattan.

2. Haley.Henry Wine Bar

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A local favorite, Haley.Henry is a small, stylish wine bar (see Haley.Henry Wine Bar) located in the heart of Downtown Crossing. Known for its thoughtfully curated wine list, which is available by the glass as well as by the half-bottle, the bar also serves beer. The menu features cheese and charcuterie boards, crudo, and imported varieties of tinned fish.

3. Oak Long Bar & Kitchen

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The Copley Plaza hotel bar (see Oak Long Bar & Kitchen) serves a full roster of craft cocktails and a farm-to-table seasonal dining menu. In summer, drinks and meals can be enjoyed on the outdoor patio, which appropriately enough overlooks the twice-weekly farmers’ market.

TopTen

Plush interior of Oak Long Bar & Kitchen

4. Delux Café

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The kind of place that is so special, you want to keep it a secret. The South End’s intimate Delux Café attracts a refreshing mix of professionals, bike messengers, and gay boys and girls – all suckers for the bar’s kitschy Elvis motif, extensive on-tap beers, and constant broadcast of the Cartoon Network.

5. Bar at the Taj

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Originally the cigar lounge of Boston's first luxury hotel, the Bar at the Taj is a great place for sipping a dram of Scotch by a fireplace or enjoying craft cocktails that are bound to become new classics. The refreshing Three G, for example, blends the Taj's own gin, St Germain, grapefruit juice, and orange bitters.

6. Les Zygomates

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The dinner crowd at Les Zygomates (the French term for the facial muscles that make you smile) is lured by reasonably priced French bistro fare. After 9pm, the sleek, whimsically designed bar in the restaurant (see Les Zygomates) comes alive with young professionals enjoying the nightly live jazz performances.

7. Regattabar

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The giants of jazz often stop at this nautical-themed lounge (see Regattabar) in Cambridge’s Charles Hotel. Drinks may not be extraordinary but the talent is; past visitors have included McCoy Tyner, Ron Carter, and local favorite the Charlie Kolhase Quintet. Shows sell out quickly so buy tickets in advance.

TopTen

Jazz musicians at Regattabar

8. Hawthorne

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This suave craft cocktail bar anchors the nightlife scene at the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square. Lounge-like in the front, cozy in the back, it’s the place to drink and socialize (see Hawthorne). Creative house cocktails, and the first-rate wine list includes several sparkling wines by the glass.

9. City Winery

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Located close to TD Garden, this relaxed wine bar and restaurant (see City Winery) has a well-designed performance space that hosts live music concerts as well as stand-up comedy shows. There's also a winery on site that conducts tours and tastings, and is a perfect place to sample different wines on tap.

10. Alibi

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Set in the former drunk tank of the Charles Street Jail (now the posh Liberty Hotel), Alibi retains the bluestone floors and vestiges of the cell walls to form little nooks to lounge in while enjoying a drink or two. The outdoor patio is great for cocktails at sunset. There's also an upscale Italian restaurant on site.

TOP 10 LOCALLY BREWED BEERS

1. Night Shift Awake

Porter aged with coffee picks you up and puts you down.

2. Harpoon IPA

Ranked among the top domestic and imported India pale ales by Beer Connoisseur Magazine.

3. John Harvard’s Nut Brown

Try this malty, light ale served at John Harvard’s Brew House (33 Dunster St, Cambridge).

4. Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet

Grapefruit and pine on the nose, with dark chocolate and nuts on the palate.

5. Boston Beer Works Fenway Pale Ale

Don your Red Sox cap and sip a light Fenway Pale at Boston Beer Works.

6. Samuel Adams Boston Lager

The beer that put Sam back on the brewing map after a 200-year hiatus.

7. Lamplighter Metric Systems

Only at Cambridge taproom, this lemon-tangy Gose wheat beer is a brewery signature.

8. Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat Ale

Like a hybrid between champagne and cherry soda; available at most liquor stores.

9. Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen

Unfiltered, Belgian-style brew, with fruity undertones.

10. Samuel Adams Octoberfest

Sam’s finest – available only during the autumn – with deep amber coloring and a warm, spicy smoothness.

TopTen

Samuel Adams Octoberfest mugs

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