Wasn’t it fun playing Big City for a little while, Boston? For the last two years -- ever since the MBTA deigned to offer late-night weekend hours -- we've felt like big kids: able to go where we wanted and not have to worry about spending money on a cab late at night. Unfortunately, we grew too close to the feeling. The MBTA recently voted to do away with late-night service on Fridays and Saturdays beginning March 18th. And so, later this week, we’ll be back to Netflix and chilling. But before we all turn into curfew-hampered pumpkins, let’s spring for a last hurrah. Hit up one of these late-night spots as you rue the day you decided to be in Boston over NYC.
Grab some late-night ramen at UNI
T stop: Hynes Convention Center (Green Line)
For years, those with a hankering have been gathering well before the 11pm late-night ramen start time at UNI to nab a bowl of the revered $14 deal. The special happens every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, and goes till 1:30am. Don’t let the restaurant’s recent reinvention cause any confusion: the ramen is definitely still there. So round up the savvy troops for one last duck bun and Green Line hurrah.
Embrace the pathos in Top of the Hub's jazz lounge
T stop: Copley Square (Green Line)
You’re about to do something you might never do again: board the T past 12:30am. Why not do something else you’d otherwise never do and make like a tourist? The Lounge at Top of the Hub features live jazz every night and stays open until 1am. The food menu is surprisingly extensive (lobster bisque and NY strip steak? Why not!), with the Scotch list being quite robust, as well.
Rediscover your #filmnerd cred at Coolidge After Midnite
T stop: Coolidge Corner (Green Line)
This Coolidge Corner Theatre spot is undoubtedly something to check out before March 18th. The venerated venue has been offering up wackadoodle late-night showings on Friday and Saturday nights for more than a decade now, be it an obscure horror movie or just some crazy '70s arthouse flick that has slowly obtained cult status. And yes, it's definitely worth your time.
Forgo McDonald's for the late-night burger at Boston Chops
T stop: Union Park (Silver Line)
Boston Chops doesn’t offer a late-night menu per se, but its single bar offering alone is worth the delayed Silver Line departure: a $6 cheeseburger with all the classic fixins (bacon, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, pickles, secret sauce), accompanied by those frites. There's even a $3 shot of Fernet... if you're into that.
Hit the road. Tavern Road.
T stop: Courthouse (Silver Line)
We like to think Tavern Road inspired others to up their late-night game when it introduced those post-11pm foie gras empanadas... and maybe the fish tacos, porchetta flatbread, and aioli burger, too. Of course, while all are grand late-night bites, we keep returning to those fried potatoes and fried chickpea bites.
Get jazzy at Wally's Cafe and The Beehive
T stop: Back Bay station (Orange Line)
For years, you were jealous of your South End counterparts hanging at Wally’s Cafe until 2am every damn night. Then you started hopping off the Orange Line and joining them. Then, well, the MBTA decided to take that away. But before you get stabby, get jazzy one last time. And while you’re at it, you might as well saunter over to The Beehive for a little additional live music, also going until 2am.
Remind yourself Chinatown doesn't totally suck
T stop: South Station (Red Line)
There really is nothing not to love about Chinatown (unless you’re a vegan), but the place wins special accolades for having long saved the city from its early-to-bed self. Wander the streets at 2:01am and you’ll shake your head at how much remains open. Chau Chow City and Peach Farm are two faves (ask for “cold tea” and see what happens). And don’t forget South Street Diner, one of the city’s rare, greasy favorites that's open 24 hours.
Make your move on the roof of Tisch Library
T stop: Davis Square (Red Line)
Sure, there’s probably no cheesier Tufts University dating maneuver than taking a potential paramour up to the library roof at night to see the city skyline. BUT: the rooftop is also open to anyone willing to climb the outdoor stairs. And it’s actually kind of cool. Also... free!
Burrow into bivalves at Russell House Tavern and State Street Provisions
T stop: Harvard Square (Red Line) and Aquarium Station (Blue Line)
Anyone up for late-night one-buck shucks? Both Russell Tavern House and State Street Provisions offer up $1 oysters starting at 11pm, a far cry from the boxed mac & cheese you’re used to eating after an early T ride home.
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