Sure, the hustle and bustle of a busy Friday or Saturday night in Boston is always an exciting experience for the adventurous night owl. But what about those more intimate nights when it’s simply about some good conversation over dinner and drinks with some close friends? Luckily, Boston has plenty of cool, chilled-out lounge bars, as well — places designed for just this scenario in mind. Here are some of the best lounge bars in the city for the next time the urge strikes to keep it relaxed and local.
(Photo From Facebook)

(Photo From Facebook)

Eastern Standard Kitchen
528 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 532-9100

The Eastern Standard Kitchen over on Commonwealth Avenue fills up quickly, and understandably so. This restaurant and lounge is all about atmosphere, from relaxed patio dining to cocktail lounging with friends over Eastern Standard’s varied and popular menu of burgers, small bite plates and more exotic fare. Reservations certainly come recommended for weekends and holidays, but it’s well worth it, for Eastern Standard Kitchen is a cut above the average bar, grill or dive.

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(Photo from The Hawthorne/Facebook)

(Photo from The Hawthorne/Facebook)

The Hawthorne
Hotel Commonwealth

500A Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 532-9150

Also located on Commonwealth Avenue — a hop, skip and a jump from Fenway Park — The Hawthorne is a cool little lounge bar located within the Hotel Commonwealth. Don’t let the “hotel lounge” stigma serve up any reservations, however, for The Hawthorne can stand with any of the city’s finest and most favored lounges. Food, atmosphere and decor mark The Hawthorne’s finest qualities, lending this lounge an air of sophistication and a classy aura which has not gone unnoticed by the city’s populous, for The Hawthorne quite often requires either reservations or patience for a bit of a wait. The Hawthorne’s satisfied clientele would argue that it’s worth it, however!

(Photo from Franklin Cafe/Facebook)

(Photo from Franklin Cafe/Facebook)

Franklin Cafe
278 Shawmut Ave.
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 350-0010

The Franklin Cafe is located in the city’s South End and is a night owl’s paradise, serving up a satisfyingly yummy and smart menu of tried-and-true favorites (along with some more adventurous choices) right up until 1:30 in the morning. Franklin Cafe is indeed a small joint, hardly classifying as a lounge, with table numbers barely breaking into double digits, yet it packs the powerful punch of an intimate atmosphere. Be sure to check in early, however, for this bar, lounge and cafe tends to fill up fairly quickly, particularly on the weekends.

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(credit: Drink's Facebook page)

(credit: Drink’s Facebook page)

348 Congress St.
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 695-1806

Drink has been a Seaport District staple for some time now, and with good reason: service, service and more service. Drink is the sort of place where conversation is key. There is rarely any loud live music or DJs performing at a decibel loud enough to drown out friendly conversation, and the sit-down atmosphere is conducive to this, encouraging small talk between both patrons and bartenders alike. Indeed, custom cocktails and specialty drinks flow wild and free here, while outside, Drink is easily accessible to almost anyone, devoid of long, annoying waits or lines curling around the block. Drink comes heartily recommended for an adult-oriented good time.

(Photo Credit: Lucky's Lounge/Twitter)

(Photo Credit: Lucky’s Lounge/Twitter)

Lucky’s Lounge
355 Congress St.
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 357-5825

Lucky’s Lounge is also located in the Seaport District, yet is a bit more boisterous than Drink, seamlessly melding a cool, live music atmosphere with the sort of retro, vintage cool representative of classic 1950’s and 60’s culture. Whether the martinis are shaken, stirred or simply downed with gusto, Lucky’s Lounge has that ‘Rat Pack’ vibe, even indulging in “Sinatra Sundays” every weekend at 8 p.m., where classic crooners sing away the blues while guests can indulge in their best bad boy or girl fantasies just like it’s the era of Pan-Am or James Bond. This Lucky is smooth…real smooth.

George Pacheco has been writing professionally about arts and entertainment for over a decade. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, George currently resides in a humble New England home with his wife, cat and massive music and film collection. His work can be found at