Boasting a stunning harbor, several man-made channels, and four meandering rivers, Boston is practically surrounded by water—and what could be more inviting than raising a glass while gazing out at it all? Throw in some bar snacks and live music, and you’re all set!

Of course, getting out on the water with Boston Harbor City Cruises let you see the views from a different perspective. You can take to the water for a tipple or two on a Historic Harbor Cruise, romantic Sunset Sightseeing Cruise, or Premier Brunch or Dinner Cruise. Hop aboard a Sights & Sips Cruise for an unforgettable evening of dancing and good times with an onboard DJ, to get you pumped up while soaking in the best views of the Boston skyline. Kick back if that’s more your style with cozy indoor spaces featuring large windows for your viewing pleasure. This over 21 Booze Cruise offers creative cocktails, wine, beer, and light snacks for purchase to start your party. 

Back on dry land, we’ve got the skinny on Beantown’s top four watering holes with water views, from trendy cocktail bars to sophisticated roof decks to family-friendly restaurants serving a full menu of regional faves.


Boston cocktails

Pier 6 is the best cocktail bar on the Boston waterfront

You’ll have to take a little hike to get to Pier 6, located on the marina at the end of 8th Street in the Charlestown Navy Yard, but the short trip is well worth it. From Boston’s much-coveted North End, it’s a 10-minute walk away, or you could hop on the Boston Water Taxi and zip over in style. Either way, once you’ve arrived you’ll have a fabulous waterfront view of the Boston skyline, and you’ll be right next to the water and just steps away from the oldest commissioned naval ship in the world, The USS Constitution.

Come for the stunning panoramas,  and stay for the delicious fare, including a stellar raw bar and a menu featuring seafood classics alongside other tasty treats, such as blackened swordfish tacos and impressive steak frites. Menu highlights of the most classic New England dishes are served with a focus on fresh seafood and local ingredients.

The drinks menu is a delight for cocktail lovers, featuring potent blends such as the Knotty Nauti, a jalapeño-infused cocktail with Ocho Blanco, passion fruit, lime, and a chamoy rim, and the Townie Sour, a mix of Bulleit rye, pear, lemon, and aquafaba rounded off with Angostura bitters. You’ll also find a solid selection of craft beer on draft and in cans, such as Paulaner, Marzen Winter Hill, and Fiddlehead IPA, as well as a range of fine wines by bottle or glass.

City Cruises Sights & Sips is the best cocktail bar and the view wrapped in one

Grab your crew and become part of the view. This 21+ cruise is an unforgettable way to celebrate life and good times. Cruise along with the best views of the Boston skyline, and dance along to an onboard DJ. Get out onto the outdoor viewing decks to cool off after hitting the dance floor or grab a seat indoors and take it all in through large windows while toasting the night away with creative cocktails from a fully stocked bar. Munch on some light snacks and prepare your camera for Instagram-worthy moments you do not want to miss.

Legal Harborside is the best restaurant with a water view

Located at  270 Northern Avenue and perched directly on Boston Harbor, Legal Harborside is a great spot for delicious cocktails and top-notch seafood. This family fish market has twenty-three locations along the Eastern Seaboard, with the first location opening in 1968.

Head upstairs to the outdoor bar and restaurant for fantastic views and—when the retractable roof is open—fresh air. Here you’ll find an excellent drink menu, including craft beers, frozen cocktails, wines by the glass, and cocktails by the pitcher to share. The food menu focuses on sushi and sashimi and has a  terrific raw bar featuring fresh oysters and a colossal naked shrimp cocktail.

You’ll also enjoy stellar waterfront views dining on the ground-floor pier, which has a cozy atmosphere and a seafood-focused menu of classics, such as New England clam chowder, fresh oysters, chilled seafood platters, fish and chips, and a loaded lobster roll. They boast simply prepared, high-quality freshness with integrity from behind the pier-to-plate process with something for everyone to enjoy.


Boston Cocktails


Rooftop@Revere is the best Boston rooftop bar with a water view

Head to the top of the Revere Hotel at 200 Stuart Street to take in both breathtaking waterfront views and a round or two of unique craft cocktails at Boston’s largest rooftop lounge located above the Theater District and Back Bay. Enjoy a vibrant rooftop lounge complete with sofas and cabanas for relaxing outdoors.

The cocktail menu at Rooftop@Revere is among the best in Beantown, boasting elaborate concoctions such as a heady punch, made with a blend of Santa Teresa 1796 rum, pineapple, lime, cinnamon, and bitters, and a cocktail dubbed the Southern Belle, made of sweet tea–infused Tito’s Handmade Vodka, peach, amaro, and lemon.

You’ll also find tasty sangrias, cocktail pitchers to share, a spritz bar, and a solid selection of wines. As far as the fare is concerned, there are crowd-pleasers like classic lobster rolls, loaded burgers, fried chicken, and a cheese-and-charcuterie platter.


Lookout Rooftop and Bar is the trendiest Boston bar with a water view

Boston DowntownPerched atop the Envoy Hotel at 70 Sleeper Street, Lookout Rooftop, and Bar is a hot ticket for soaking up Boston’s waterfront while sipping classic cocktails. This modern and sleek rooftop bar offers panoramic views. This uniquely shaped bar has intimate seating corners to tuck into and relax by glowing fires to keep you warm on brisk evenings. The food menu has all the usual suspects when it comes to classic bar snacks: tasty treats like chicken wings, chorizo jalapeño poppers, loaded cheeseburger sliders, churro fries, and truffled french fries with roasted garlic sauce.

But the cocktail menu here is the real star, featuring top-shelf classics (think: margaritas, gin fizzes, and sangrias) alongside specialty cocktails, like the Mars Toasted Almond, a concoction made with SelvaRey chocolate rum, Saliza amaretto, Kahlua, and Baileys, and the Jalapeño Business, with Tanteo habanero tequila, pineapple, bitters, and lime.

They offer local craft beers, some classics, and wine by the glass. 

Rowe’s Wharf Sea Grille is the best spot for chic, casual dining, and cocktails with a water view. 

Nestled along Boston’s Harbor Walk, and at the Boston Harbor Hotel, Rowe’s Wharf Sea Grille makes the perfect spot to people-watch, dine, and enjoy cocktails with friends while catching up. If you can, nab a table outside to overlook the harbor. The spectacular views over the Boston skyline, as well as the ambiance, are lovely. Take in the water while sipping a cold glass of something spritzy like a Pomegranate 75 with Hendrick’s Gin, Pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup.  Try a Smoke on the Water with Hornitos Tequila, Passion Fruit Puree, lime juice, Cointreau, Ancho Reyes Liqueur, and agave to get the juices flowing. They offer local beers, mocktails, and bubbles by the glass as well as a nice selection of wine offerings. Try the Hot Seafood Tower to get started with scallop Meuniere, a modern clam casino, baked oyster Rockefeller, warm Jonah crab toast, and avocado.


Are there cocktail bars with a water view in Boston?

With a harbor, four major rivers, and three man-made channels, finding a cocktail bar with a water view should not be difficult to find. There are many great options where you can grab a drink and some decent food while enjoying water views. Trendy rooftop bars, cocktail and dining cruises, as well as family-friendly places along the water can all be found in Boston.

What cocktail is Boston known for?

Boston is where you can find the Ward Eight, which is a sweet and rosy concoction of whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice, and grenadine created over 100 years ago. The Ward Eight must be had with a great story according to Boston folklore.

What do you wear to a cocktail bar in Boston?

Follow the Boston rule-when in doubt wear black. Business casual or casual chic works well with most cocktail bars.

What time do cocktail bars close in Boston?

Boston allows closing at 2 am, but the last drink must be served 30 minutes prior to closing time.

Original post date: October 13, 2022