Boston: Before the Parade Passes You By: Places to Hit Along the Route | Outtraveler

Boston: Before the Parade Passes You By: Places to Hit Along the Route

Boston: Before the Parade Passes You By: Places to Hit Along the Route

Boston Pride has arrived (and lasts until June 9)! Whether dancing, strutting, or just good old fashioned marching along the route, you're bound to get hungry…or thirsty! No need to worry. Zagat and Here TV (owned by Out Traveler's parent company) partnered up list of some of the best restaurants and bars along the parade's trail. Get inspired and try something new! Or hit up an old favorite. Either way, you won't be disappointed. To get more great suggestions, sign up for the Zagat newsletter.

Club Café
https://plus.google.com/109932456018339539290/about
Food: 19
Decor: 19
Service: 19
Cost: $35
“Quite a show” is presented at this “straight-friendly gay establishment” in the South End boasting “solid” New American fare, “strong drinks”, entertainment and “plenty of eye candy”, both in the “fabulous crowd” and the usually “welcoming” staff; “Sunday brunch is fantastic”, and “there’s even an alfresco option on summer evenings.” 209 Columbus Ave.; 617-536-0972

The Eagle
https://plus.google.com/111657870368789114012/about
This dim dive is a holdover from grungier gay bars of yesteryear, yet the schlocky decor and smack-talking bartenders still charm the pants off cruise-y locals; the crowd gets younger and more boisterous at night’s end – last call at the ‘dirty bird’ is tradition for South End boys heading home from more glittery gay clubs. 520 Tremont St.; 617-542-4494

Fritz
https://plus.google.com/104680087373228138508/about
This popular South End hangout is a neighborhood favorite that serves brunch on weekends, with a friendly crowd that bonds over sports on the plasma satellite TVs. 26 Chandler St.; 617-482-4428

Tremont 647
https://plus.google.com/106766938880266157147/about
Food: 20
Decor: 17
Service: 21
Cost: $38
An “offbeat, informal party atmosphere” prevails at this “reliable, not-expensive” South End eatery and its adjoining bar, doling out “well-prepared” New American fare alongside “creative cocktails and a decent wine list”; for an “unbelievable value”, swing by for $2 tacos on Tuesdays, or come for the “fantastic” brunch; P.S. a post-Survey modernization outdates the Decor score. 647 Tremont St.; 617-266-4600


Emerald Lounge
https://plus.google.com/115856386610603197925/about
Atmosphere: 23
Decor: 22
Service: 21
A "welcome addition to the Theater District", this "trendy" Revere Hotel lounge channels The Wizard of Oz with "space-agey green" lighting and servers in "ruby heels"; "stiff" cocktails intensify the effect, though the "expensive" tabs may jolt you back to reality. 200 Stuart St.; 617-457-2626

The Alley
https://plus.google.com/103862930458173958632/about
This Financial District hideaway hosts butch bears who clink beers around pool tables and bump shirtless stomachs during 'Underbear' parties; there’s a growing cub contingent – Fur & Gold, a popular DJ party, fills the place with young, hairy hipsters who geek out (and make out) over vintage and indie dance tunes. 275 Washington St.; 617-263-1449

Jacques Cabaret
https://plus.google.com/102946601645275365563/about
Atmosphere: 23
Decor: 16
Service: 21
Known for its "spectacular", "pageant-style" drag shows, this venerable Theater District bar features lots of "glitter and marabou feathers"; though the aging space "isn't polished", the staff is "friendly", the drinks "small but mighty" and the crowd a mix of LGBT and non-LGBT types. 79 Broadway; 617-426-8902

The Estate
https://plus.google.com/107827642064851904889/about
Atmosphere: 21
Decor: 21
Service: 17
"Fancy" clubgoers groove with go-go dancers at this "Euro"-style Theater District spot with a faux-country-manor look, VIP balconies and a "huge dance floor"; critics see a "haughty", "cookie-cutter" scene and "long lines" at the door, but if you want to "go high-end" to "get down", look no further. 1 Boylston Pl.; 617-351-7000

Underbar
https://plus.google.com/111437812995031954501/about
Atmosphere: 22
Decor: 20
Service: 20
Dim mood lighting lends a "fantastic", "mystical cavern" vibe to this basement-level Theater District club where DJ-spun beats move an "outrageously outfitted" crowd to "dance the night away"; wallet-watchers complain you'll need a "platinum card" between covers and drink tabs, but devotees don't seem to mind paying for "a bit more style." 275 Tremont St.; 617-292-0080

Royale
https://plus.google.com/105694655861141263341/about
Atmosphere: 22
Decor: 22
Service: 18
Boston's best answer to the "palatial discos of Europe", this Theater District mega-club draws a "sexy" crowd ready to "fist pump the night away" to big-name DJs and "top-level" rock acts; "crazy expensive" tabs elicit groans, ditto the "holier-than-thou" staff "attitude." 279 Tremont St.; 617-338-7699

Guilt
https://plus.google.com/110660758962570240344/about
Atmosphere: 21
Decor: 22
Service: 20
Exuding a sultry vibe, this big, "trendy" Theater District club features "bottle service", "go-go dancers", an "intimate" dance floor and a "great sound system"; "overpriced" drinks, "steep covers" and "more skin-tight zebra dresses per capita than any club" around come with the territory. 279 Tremont St.; 857-284-7265

Friends and Family Plan: Where to Bring Straight Supporters

28 Degrees
https://plus.google.com/110669351574634531282/about
Food: 19
Decor: 24
Service: 20
Cost: $37
“Luxe attention to detail” (“techno” design elements, “flowing curtains”, “cool bathrooms”) sets the “trendy” stage at this South End lounge whose “claim to fame” is an “impressive list” of “delicious specialty cocktails” that fuel many a “girls’ night out” and “dates”; though some say the New American small plates are “terrific” and “fun to share”, a few foodies dismiss them as “afterthoughts.” 1 Appleton St.; 617-728-0728

The Beehive
https://plus.google.com/101985906160026431380/about
Food: 20
Decor: 24
Service: 20
Cost: $35
“Super arty” “twenty-” and “thirtysomething” “hipsters” depend on this “funky”, “sexy”, “bohemian” New American restaurant/“high-end night club” as a “place to bring a date or find one in the South End”; the New American fare has “flair”, but most of the “buzz” is reserved for the “cutting-edge” cocktails and “killer” nightly live music performances; P.S. it’s “wonderful for brunch” too. Boston Center for the Arts 541 Tremont St.; 617-423-0069

Anchovies
https://plus.google.com/107355962100484083929/about
Food: 19
Decor: 15
Service: 20
Cost: $23
This “tiny South End mainstay” with a “dive-bar setting” is often “packed” with “young” “locals”, many of whom label the “no-frills”, “flavorful” Italian food some of the “best cheap, late-night eats in town”; “strong drinks” and an “entertaining staff” add to the “quirky, fun” atmosphere, for which it’s “worth the wait” on busy nights. 433 Columbus Ave.; 617-266-5088

Stella
https://plus.google.com/111754435434392441086/about
Food: 24
Decor: 22
Service: 22
Cost: $46
“Good times” happen at this “hopping” South End Italian where “outstanding” cuisine is conveyed alongside “great cocktails” in a “Miami”-“minimalist” setting bedecked with “molded white-plastic” furnishings; prices are “reasonable” for the area, and if you’re one of the folks who suggests “something should be done about dampening the noise level”, you should “eat outside” “when the weather’s right.” 1525 Washington St.; 617-247-7747

Toro
https://plus.google.com/104535932902202562501/about
Food: 27
Decor: 21
Service: 21
Cost: $43
“A treat for your senses” awaits at Ken Oringer’s rustic, “trendy” South End Spaniard specializing in both “authentic and inventive”, “lick-the-plate-delicious tapas” (“don’t miss the house specialty, grilled corn”); though “annoyances” abound – “no reservations”, “insanely long waits”, “absurd” “crowds”, “noise” and, ironically, dishes “so good, you keep ordering and the price creeps up fast” – they’re “well worth it” for such a “sizzling” time; P.S. things move “more quickly” if you can snag a seat at the “cool bar”, which dispenses “avant-garde cocktails.” 1704 Washington St.; 617-536-4300

Dbar
https://plus.google.com/114888970831101212320/about
Food: 23
Decor: 19
Service: 19
Cost: $37
You “wouldn’t know you’re on Dot Ave.” when ensconced in this “sexy”, “dimly lit” “oasis” whose New American fare, fans say, is “dbomb”; however, if you’re just looking to sample the “innovative” eats, “go early” because “later in the evening”, it “morphs into a gay bar” fueled by “fabulous cocktails” and serviced by “lukewarm” staffers; P.S. “nice outdoor dining in the summer.” 1236 Dorchester Ave.; 617-265-4490

Franklin Café South End
https://plus.google.com/100089744790268052586/about
Food: 24
Decor: 19
Service: 22
Cost: $37
“Beyond reasonable prices” for “divine” New American “upscale” “comfort food” make this a “staple of the South End”, and its South Boston offshoot is an equally “reliable” “standby”, especially for a “late-night supper” (the kitchen is open until 1:30 AM at both); the earlier-to-bed Gloucester branch provides “a sophisticated place for grown-ups” on Cape Ann, while all feature “attentive”, “friendly service”, “dark” “bistro-pub” environs and a “boisterous vibe” that often turns “loud, loud, loud.”

Ecco Restaurant
https://plus.google.com/113193390984003922203/about
Food: 27
Decor: 23
Service: 24
Cost: $39
A “trendy place in a not-so-trendy neighborhood”, this “hidden gem” “near the airport” in East Boston is one part “fantastic cocktail bar” offering a “huge martini/mixed drinks selection” and one part “calming” New American restaurant with a “creative” menu of “many delicious treats”; a “friendly”, “attentive staff” and “reasonable prices” are two more reasons it’s “totally worth the ride through the tunnel.” 107 Porter St.; 617-561-1112

High Rollers

Deuxave
https://plus.google.com/108054397126005726518/about
This sophisticated spot in the Back Bay offers a pricey menu of New American cuisine with nouvelle French influences; the fashionable setting features vaulted ceilings, dark wood and metallic accents, plus there’s a gas fireplace, a semi-private dining room and a spacious, buzzing marble bar. 371 Commonwealth Ave.; 617-517-5915

Boston Chops
https://plus.google.com/117295684051135363796/about
Chris Coombs (dbar, Deuxave) and co-owner Brian Piccini are behind this South End ‘urban steak bistro’ featuring a swanky dining room kitted out with chandeliers, burgundy accents and dark wood; you can start the evening with a cocktail at the 30-seat bar and then move to a banquette and order from a somewhat pricey menu that features prime cuts as well as creative nose-to-tail options. 1375 Washington St.; 617-227-5011
 

Hipster Hangs

Zuzu
https://plus.google.com/103565523320818687161/about
Food: 19
Decor: 18
Service: 17
Cost: $26
“A bit of everything” is served at this Eclectic-Mideastern lounge with “funky” decor in Central Square, all of it “reasonably priced”, most of it “delicious”; since it’s part of the adjacent The Middle East (they also share a kitchen), partyers declare that “the real reason to go” is later at night, when it “brims with hipsters” and DJs or the occasional live band play “something for everybody.” The Middle East 474 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; 617-864-3278

Midway Café
https://plus.google.com/116026617336839497168/about
Atmosphere: 21
Decor: 19
Service: 22
"Creative hipsters" like this "no-frills" "micro-venue" for its "all-over-the-map" lineup of bands, while cheap beers and "cheerful" bartenders keep the "friendly" crowd hydrated; be sure to bring cash – they don't accept plastic. 3496 Washington St.; 617-524-9038

Bella Luna Restaurant & Milky Way Lounge
https://plus.google.com/115782154533331484620/about
Food: 19
Decor: 21
service: 19
Cost: $25
“Located in the same brick complex as the Sam Adams brewery”, this “lively”, “eye-catching” “Jamaica Plain staple” pairs “reliable” Italian fare like “tasty pizza” with “specialty beers on tap”; live music, a dance floor, video games and “friendly” servers who “have no issues with kids” make it a “gathering place” “for family and friends” alike, as does the fact that the “bill doesn’t break the bank.” The Brewery 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain; 617-524-6060

Wild Night Out

Underbar
https://plus.google.com/111437812995031954501/about
Atmosphere: 22
Decor: 20
Service: 20
Dim mood lighting lends a "fantastic", "mystical cavern" vibe to this basement-level Theater District club where DJ-spun beats move an "outrageously outfitted" crowd to "dance the night away"; wallet-watchers complain you'll need a "platinum card" between covers and drink tabs, but devotees don't seem to mind paying for "a bit more style."

275 Tremont St.; 617-292-0080

Paradise Nightclub
https://plus.google.com/104321088247106014052/about
Atmosphere: 23
Decor: 17
Service: 19
A "longtime champion of new music", this "grungy" BU-area music room (where U2 debuted Stateside) hosts both "lesser-known" and "legit national acts" in an "intimate" setting; there's also a lounge area with its own bar, so slightly "pricey" drinks are never far away. 969 Commonwealth Ave.; 617-254-2979

Machine/Ramrod
https://plus.google.com/102497658502711047665/about
Atmosphere: 19
Decor: 17
Service: 18
"Sleazy fun" for those "into leather", this longtime Fenway gay dive has become more "mixed and eclectic in recent years", though diehards say it's just "a glimmer of what it once was"; still, the "strong drinks", "interesting crowd" and "hot bartenders" are fine as is.

1254 Boylston St.; 617-266-2986

Rumor
https://plus.google.com/107559224807953011795/about
Atmosphere: 20
Decor: 20
Service: 17
"Everyone dances" at this Theater District club that draws "young", "diverse" folks with a mix of top 40, hip-hop and R&B tunes; critics contend it's just "the usual" scene with "NYC"-caliber prices, yet it's "always packed." 100 Warrenton St.; 617-422-0045

Eye Candy Galore

House of Blues – EPIC Saturdays
https://plus.google.com/113222888244194101832/about
Atmosphere: 24
Decor: 21
Service: 18
An "eclectic" lineup of "fantastic", "mostly mainstream" bands takes the stage at this Fenway music room touted for its "superior" sound, clear sightlines and "cool" decor; though some complain about "overzealous" security, "amusement-park prices" and a "corporate vibe" (it's a link of a national chain after all), fans just relax and "listen to the music." 15 Lansdowne St.; 888-693-2583


Dive Bar

The Eagle
https://plus.google.com/111657870368789114012/about
This dim dive is a holdover from grungier gay bars of yesteryear, yet the schlocky decor and smack-talking bartenders still charm the pants off cruise-y locals; the crowd gets younger and more boisterous at night’s end – last call at the ‘dirty bird’ is tradition for South End boys heading home from more glittery gay clubs. 520 Tremont St.; 617-542-4494
 

Killer Jukebox/DJ

Flash’s
https://plus.google.com/107161144419412948770/about
Food: 19
Decor: 15
service: 17
Cost: $24
“Super-creative cocktails” and a “great location” near Park Square make this “pleasant” American bar “not a bad place to hang out with friends” “after work or before the theater”; “great sandwiches” are the highlights of the “something-for-everyone” menu, and while other items are “hit-or-miss”, at least everything’s “reasonably priced.” 310 Stuart St.; 617-574-8888

Piano Bars

The Napoleon Room at Club Café
https://plus.google.com/109932456018339539290/about
Food: 19
Decor: 19
Service: 19
Cost: $35
“Quite a show” is presented at this “straight-friendly gay establishment” in the South End boasting “solid” New American fare, “strong drinks”, entertainment and “plenty of eye candy”, both in the “fabulous crowd” and the usually “welcoming” staff; “Sunday brunch is fantastic”, and “there’s even an alfresco option on summer evenings.” 209 Columbus Ave.; 617-536-0972

Encore Lounge
https://plus.google.com/110753741635973325815/about
Atmosphere: 23
Decor: 23
Service: 21
“Super-creative cocktails” and a “great location” near Park Square make this “pleasant” American bar “not a bad place to hang out with friends” “after work or before the theater”; “great sandwiches” are the highlights of the “something-for-everyone” menu, and while other items are “hit-or-miss”, at least everything’s “reasonably priced.” 275 Tremont St.; 617-728-2162
 

Tags: pride
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