A Central Square favorite since 2011, Mad Monkfish is one of the hippest spots north of the Charles, offering a wealth of polished Asian dishes to the tune of live jazz. Visitors can swing by from Friday to Sunday to catch a star-studded show, while flavorful fare is available seven days a week, offering a complex blend of dishes that draw influence from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and a wealth of other East and Southeast Asian nations. Sushi is a big hit here—the pineapple-infused Sleeping Beauty Roll and Spicy Red Dragon Roll are two certified crowd pleasers—but with dishes like the Korean Grilled Beef Bulgogi Bun, Tofu Katsu Kare, and Crab Meat Fried Rice, it’s tough to go wrong with anything on the menu.
How to book: Tock
Most visitors know Eastie as the home of Logan Airport and little else, but this underrated neighborhood doubles as one of Boston’s top spots for refined cocktails. Case in point: Next Door Speakeasy & Raw Bar, a polished den that made its debut just last year. The dragon fruit-forward Love Language and floral Purple Rain are just a few of the masterfully-crafted mixed drinks appearing on the menu, with seafood selections like East Coast Oysters and Mini Ahi Tuna Tacos up for grabs as well. Not a fan of cocktails? No worries—Next Door is equipped with a mighty fleet of top-tier aged spirits spanning from 18-year WhistlePig rye whiskey to 21-year Redbreast Scotch.
How to book: Seven Rooms
Boston’s largest neighborhood is home to top-tier Vietnamese cuisine, a whole host of divey Irish pubs, and some stellar craft beer courtesy of Dorchester Brewing Company. Founded in 2016, this multi-story operation doubles as one of the city’s hottest hangout spots, equipped with a game room and year-round rooftop greenhouse. Brews around here range from the hearty Baker’s Dozen wheat lager or Beantown coffee stout to the tried-and-true Forever OFD DIPA—and to sweeten the deal, M&M BBQ is located right inside the brewery, slinging up Pulled Pork Sammies, Dumpster Fries, and a whole mess of classic barbecue sides to pair with your favorite beer.
How to book: Walk in
Sox season will be here before you know it, and if you’re on the hunt for the perfect pre-game drinks destination, it’s tough to find a better spot than Audubon. This venue sports ales from some of the Bay State’s most beloved breweries—Exhibit ‘A’, Night Shift, and Jack’s Abby, to name a few—while cocktails range from the fiery Anchorita to the Kick Flip, a seamless blend of montenegro, cream sherry, egg, and nutmeg. The Potstickers, Grilled Wings, and Veggie Burger are all certified home runs for hungry patrons, but if you’re craving crispy chorizo and San Diego-inspired seafood, be sure to swing by for Audubon’s weekly Taco Tuesday.
How to book: Walk in
Brassica may be particularly pint-sized, but what this Forest Hills venue lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in stiff drinks and vibrant small plates. A certifiable JP chameleon, the spot slings handmade pastries and sandwiches during daylight hours as Brassica Cafe, then emerges during the evening as Brassica Kitchen, a polished bistro that’s mastered the art of fermentation-forward dining. While the Fried Sweet Rice and B.K. Fried Chicken are both particularly pleasing to the palate, be sure to check out the top-tier cocktail list, a sizable selection of beverages that spans from housemade amaro to the mezcal and elderflower-loaded Gray Gardens.
In need of a stiff drink that will transport you across the globe with a single sip? Make that dream a reality with Banyan Bar, a South End staple for colorful cocktails and flavorful fusion cuisine. Although Asian-inspired favorites like Crab Rangoon Dip, Cauliflower Okonomiyaki, and Lobster Roll Bao all grace the menu, the star attraction here is the cocktail list, offering heavy hitters like the fiery Thai chili vodka-forward Supreme Leader and the Wildfire, a classic blend of pineapple tequila, mezcal, ango, and salty simple syrup.