Nothing quite matches the restorative powers of a well-crafted Bloody Mary, especially one topped with a slider/shrimp/bacon/slider kebab. In the endless search for easy weekend mornings, we rounded up the best Bloody Marys in 16 Boston neighborhoods.
Lone Star Taco Bar (address and info)
Allston’s favorite hangout heads deep into the heart of Texas for the diabolical Bloody Maria. Poblanos and cilantro fuel the house-infused Agavales Reposado tequila, while the chipotle-Tabasco spicy Mary mix throws more gas on the fire. For an extra buck, order it "Dallas-style" (like a Ewing) with a skewer of house-smoked sausage, pickles, and cheese.
Common Ground Arlington (address and info)
Common Ground’s Green Mary could be the "healthiest" Bloody around thanks to heavy doses of dark, vitamin-rich greens. You’ll be strong to the finish as you knock back triple-infused spinach vodka, zesty house-made mix, spinach leaves (lining the glass), and three gigantic feta-stuffed black olives. Perfect pairing: the all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch buffet for the low, low price of $15.
Bistro du Midi (address and info)
Your decadent Southern French brunch (recently launched at Bistro du Midi) wouldn’t be complete without the signature Bouillabaisse Bloody Mary. Already a head turner, Mary’s Provencal makeover amps up the fancy with aromatic saffron-scented seafood broth, tomato, anise, fresh horseradish, Pearl vodka, and one very happy-looking seared prawn.
The Tip Tap Room (address and info)
We know The Tip Tap Room rocks grilled meats, and they’re also well-versed in the business of brunch. What could possibly go better with Chestnut Griddle Cakes than the Tip Tap Bloody Mary? The tangy mix and spicy house-pickled vegetables strike the perfect savory/sweet balance with the candied bacon rim. (C’mon, you knew there would be more meat involved.)
Fairsted Kitchen (address and info)
Fairsted Kitchen becomes Shermer High for its Breakfast Club-themed brunch cocktails, and this is one Sunday detention you'll actually look forward to. Neo Maxi Zoom Dweebies will revel in The Basket Case: Fairsted’s Grade A Bloody Mary elevated by tequila, celery puree, and house-made smoked tomato juice mix. Don’t mess with the bull, young man. You’ll get the horns.
The Tap Trailhouse (address and info)
Your brain might still be foggy, but muster whatever brainpower you can for Tap Trailhouse’s extensive "Build-a-Bloody" menu. Earthy smoked paprika and mustard-spiked tomato juice forms the base, followed by craft spirits (i.e. Grand Ten Fire Puncher), some heat and tang (house habanero), a rim (cayenne bacon), any additions (North End Soppressata), and, finally, some tried-and-true garnishes (celery, lime, lemon, olives). Hard work has its rewards.
Cask ‘n Flagon (address and info)
Wear some plaid and pretend you’re Norm Abram for Cask’s fully equipped "Build Your Own Bloody Mary" workshop. Your project begins with tomato juice and the house "mud mix," then you add embellishments like your favorite spirit (Tito’s, Hendrick’s) and a flavor-booster rim (smoked salt & pepper). Garnishes like pulled pork sliders and chocolate-dipped bacon expand your Bloody into a full-meal deal.
Russell House Tavern (address and info)
The best things come in "threes" (wishes, company, Destiny’s Children), as do Russell House Tavern’s Bloody Marys. Sobieski vodka smooths out the classic version, while serrano-infused Xicaru mezcal scorches the Mezcal Mary. Complete the trifecta with Maria Basilico, a refined and slightly orange-y revelation with basil-charged vodka and Meletti amaro.
East Coast Grill (address and info)
With a bazillion ingredients and infinite combinations, East Coast Grill’s DIY Bloody Mary bar is the brunch equivalent of Choose Your Own Adventure. Go large (for extra space), load up your masterpiece with a garden’s worth of house-pickled vegetables, and crank up the heat courtesy of ghost chili jam and/or the signature Inner Beauty Hot Sauce. It’s geometrically impossible to add everything, but we won’t hold you back.
Catalyst (address and info)
Looking for bacon fat-infused vodka? Of course you are, and Catalyst delivers it with its Bloody Mary cart, arriving tableside and jammed with goodies, both foreign and domestic. Exotic toppers include shishito peppers, house-made jerky, duck prosciutto, serrano ham, and Sriracha cream cheese olives.
Ward 8 (address and info)
You’ll always find substantial cocktails at this North End hotspot, and the eponymous Ward 8 Bloody is no exception. This smoky/meaty wonder gets its mojo from bacon-infused Tito’s vodka, house-made bloody mix, and a thick-yet-crunchy bacon strip. Simple and to-the-point. Match that up with the lobster "hole," a stunning breakfast sammy with fresh-shucked lobster and black truffle mayo on griddled brioche.
Christopher’s (address and info)
What’s 23 whopping ounces and served in a hefty glass chalice? It’s Cambridge’s Biggest Bloody, a Hulk-sized waker-upper, and it’s all for you. Christopher’s maintains Pentagon-level secrecy regarding its spicy tomato juice mix, but some say it’s Dijon mustard that propels the extra zip.
The Barking Crab (address and info)
If Steve Zissou and Bartholomew Quint designed a Bloody Mary, it would be Barking Crab’s Bloody Crab. This hot and briny concoction dives deep with San Marzano tomato juice, freshly grated horseradish, balsamic vinegar, Old Bay, tricolor peppercorns, and cayenne. And, naturally, you’ll find shrimp cocktail and a Dungeness crab claw and leg swimming around the rim. You’re gonna need a bigger belt.
Masa (address and info)
Masa’s brunch is the tale of two tipples: Chef Phil’s Bloody Mary and the Bloody Masa. The primary difference is the booze you choose, Ketel One or Lunazul Blanco tequila. However, it’s the powerful and complex Southwestern-inspired mix that sets these beauties apart. There are 22 ingredients in toto, with garlic and onion delivering the biggest punches (unless you opt for the habanero-steeped tequila.)
Brass Union (address and info)
Brass Union is also rocking one of those so-simple-why-is-it-so-good Bloody Marys. Standing tall in a Collins glass, Union Bloody achieves the ideal ratio of vodka to "you can taste the campfire" tomato juice (from tomatoes roasted in an old oven-turned-smoker). It’s also an ideal companion for the chicken confit Benedict or chorizo omelet.
Nebo Cucina & Enoteca (address and info)
Bloody Marys are distinctly American beverages, but they travel extremely well, like all the way to Italy. Exhibit A: Nebo’s Howling Mad Mary. For a unique twist on the classic, the mixmasters here soak Italian pepperoncini in Tito’s vodka and then go full-Vesuvius with "spicy-mad" Bloody Mary mix. Use Nebo’s must-try cool/creamy burrata to put out any fires.
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1. Lone Star Taco Bar479 Cambridge St, Allston
2. Common Ground Bar & Grill83 Harvard Ave, Allston
3. Bistro du Midi272 Boylston St, Boston
4. The Tip Tap Room138 Cambridge St, Boston
5. Fairsted Kitchen1704 Beacon St, Brookline
6. Tap Trailhouse19 Union St, Boston
7. Cask 'n Flagon62 Brookline Ave, Boston
8. Russell House Tavern14 JFK St, Cambridge
9. East Coast Grill1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge
10. Catalyst300 Technology Sq, Cambridge
11. Ward 890 N Washington St, Boston
12. Christopher's Restaurant & Bar1920 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
13. The Barking Crab88 Sleeper St, Boston
14. Masa439 Tremont St, Boston
15. Brass Union70 Union Square, Somerville
16. Nebo520 Atlantic Ave, Boston
Lone Star is the result of a collaboration between two dudes from Texas and Southern California, so you can feel pretty confident that they know their way around Mexican food. With a menu influenced by taquerias and markets in Austin, Dallas, and Mazatlan, Lone Star serves up a huge range of tacos, from carnitas and barbacoa to refried beans and huevos rancheros. They also do a killer breakfast menu (breakfast tacos! huevos rancheros!) and have an absolute ton of tequilas ready to pour.
A mere 12 bucks scores you not one, not two, not 60, but a full flight of four beer samples (from the likes of Slumbrew Happy Sol, Port Brewing High Tide Fresh Hop IPA, and Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale) plus a pint of your favorite brew, no questions asked (except maybe: which pint is your favorite brew?).
Enjoy Provencal-style cuisine at Bistro du Midi, including delectably melty grilled cheeses, seasonal oysters, duck, and lamb.
Their concept is simple: cook up a variety of meat "tips", ranging from normal (steak and turkey) to exotic (Cilantro Serrano Kangaroo Filet), then pour more than 30 beers from their taps to wash it all down. And don't worry, if for some reason you're not interested in the tips or taps, they concoct a number of cocktails and serve other tasty eats, as well.
The Fairsted Kitchen finds contemporary American food in a comfortable atmosphere set in Washington Square. Try the pig head lettuce wraps or grilled wagyu zabuton, and pair it with one suggestion from Steve Bowman (house sommelier).
The Tap Trailhouse combines old-timey drinking with modern mojo to form a Colonial era-inspired gastropub. Their local drink program features as many New England brews and spirits as possible, and the fully stocked liquor cabinet & beer cocktails on draft are ample enough to fuel a brigade of Minutemen through two revolutions. Other signature drinks are designated by Ports of Call (favored by mariners of old), Ladles, Bowls & Straws (traditional social refreshments), and Pistols & Daggers (booze-heavy cocktails for shooting and sipping). Go for a shooter of The New Englander with Bully Boy Boston rum and chase it with the house exclusive IPA: Freedom Trail Ale.
Cask 'n Flagon is a burger bar near Fenway that is loved by sports fans and burger lovers alike. Here you can enjoy creative cocktails, a solid beer list, and some great menu options even if you don't feel like ordering a burger. Cask 'n Flagon should be at the top of your Boston bar list.
Named for the 19th century Harvard furniture dealer that first occupied the building, RHT is a two-floored pub/resto in bustling Harvard Square, brought to you from the owners of Grafton Street/Temple Bar. RHT's slinging a New England-heavy menu of modern American "artisanal fare" and craft beers. Their craft cocktail is also definitely worth checking out.
East Coast Grill showcases chef Jason Heard's love for Southern food and BBQ, as well as cuisines from around the world. Enjoy a hearty selection of ribs and BBQ alongside bites like Asian-style Island Creek oysters, seared tuna tacos, and Creole-style BBQ shrimp.
Starting your day at a place called Catalyst is pretty easy considering the enjoyable, locally sourced organic food options. But you can just as easily (and ironically) end your day there with a house cocktail, beer, or glass of wine.
Ward 8 brings classic cocktails (via bar manager Mike Wyatt of Eastern Standard) and delicious eats like a Lobster Roll with black truffle mayo to the North End.
Christopher's in Cambridge offers up a delicious menu made up of American fare like wings and calamari, as well as great drinks.
Grub includes favorites like Jonah crab claws, spicy beer-battered shrimp (tossed in soy molasses sauce), and steamed lobsters.
Don't be intimidated by the white linen-draped tables -- Masa in the South End is an approachable and casual restaurant. The Southwestern menu is divided into first courses like roasted scallops and barbecue duck with sweet corn cream and main courses that include smoked chicken enchiladas and tuna steaks with yellow mole. The extensive tequila selection is best sampled through one of the flights, and if you're more of a cocktail person, try the watermelon margarita. Masa's weekend brunch is a must, whether you're going for the two-course prix-fixe deal or the full à la carte shebang.
At Brass Union, the front, tavern-style setting gives way to a funk/soul lounge in back, which boasts vintage table-top video games, board games, life-size Connect Four, and a 14-foot shuffleboard court.
A bustling Italian eatery on the Waterfront, Nebo has everything from pizzas and sandwiches to lasagnas and cocktails like their Gin Ginger, an elixir of gin, Lillet, and ginger beer poured over an oversized grapefruit of an ice cube.