Food & Drink

The Best Bars for Winter Drinking in Boston

Published On 02/15/2016 Published On 02/15/2016

Best spiked hot chocolate

MET Back Bay

Address and Info

Back Bay

Sure, you can microwave your Baileys, but you’re far better off heading to MET for not one but four different melted Taza varietals, each spiked with a different liqueur (amaretto, espresso liqueur, white creme de menthe, and the aforementioned Baileys).

Local 149

Best fireplace

Local 149

Address and Info

South Boston

While Boston has plenty of bars with fireplaces in them, we’re partial to Local 149 because it’s a genuine wood-burning entity. Plus, you can hang out approximately six inches away from its grate.

Russell House Tavern

Best hot cocktails

Russell House Tavern

Address and Info

Harvard Square

Lots of booze havens around town experiment with gourmet hot toddies, but Russell House turns up the heat (yes, HA. HA. HA.) with a hot toddy-Old Fashioned hybrid called the Fashionably Hot (see, they’re funny too!). Russell’s canny barbacks start with rye, add some amaro (and a black tea tincture for a smoky flare), and then top that sucker off with cinnamon and vanilla syrups before heating the whole thing up to gut-warming level.

Coziest vibe

Bristol Bar

Address and Info

Back Bay

It’s nicknamed “Boston’s Living Room” for a reason. The bar within the lounge is equipped with oversized plush sofas, mood lighting, and plate glass window views of the passersby outside. Of course, as great as the couches are, the martinis are even better. And sure, we’re definitely not complaining about the food.

Lord Hobo

Best dark beer list

Lord Hobo

Address and Info

Kendall Square/Inman Square

Is there a Boston bar that doesn’t pour a passable Guinness? Among them all, Lord Hobo does right by the lesser-known stouts and porters, from a lower alcohol Irish stout to one called Tart of Darkness. All we know is that each one goes down like a warm milkshake.

Parlor Sports

Best spot to watch winter sports

Parlor Sports

Address and Info

Somerville

A lot of bars that cater to the football crowds pull way back after the first week of February. Parlor, however, is a four-season, four-sport kind of hangout -- and a no-nonsense one at that. No buzzy restaurant crowd distract you from the game; just five screens tuned to the basketball and hockey games of the moment, best chased with a $9 classic cocktail.

Marliave

Best comfort food bar menu

Marliave

Address and Info

Downtown

Marliave understands the thrill of rich, gooey, old-school pleasures slurped down barside on a glacial winter day. Translation: cheese-rich classics like French onion soup and macaroni and cheese... with black truffles.

Best bar to wear your ugliest sweater

JJ Foley’s

Address and Info

South End

Yeah, none of us are looking our best right now (and if you are, we don’t want to hear about it). JJ Foley’s motto? Drink before dress. OK, not really, but Foley’s is one of those places where you can sport soiled Uggs and a mess of a pullover and not feel an iota of self-consciousness.

Blu Restaurant

Best post-workout bar

Blu Restaurant

Address and Info

Chinatown

Working out is a surefire way to combat seasonal affective disorder. Working out, then hitting the bar without ever leaving the gym? We swear, if everyone knew that the Downtown Equinox contained a full-service bar within its four walls, membership levels would skyrocket. There is a singular pleasure in hauling your ass out of the yoga studio and into the bar space, only to spot your instructor already sucking down a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.