So Boston is known for universities. Every year, tens of thousands of college students flock to this Mecca. They dig in for a long demanding school year, balancing school work and boozing. While in college, we always asked ourselves, “Which school in this area has the best nightlife?” We decided to dive into this question and rank Boston/Cambridge’s four Beanpot schools, based on their nightlife bar scene. Here we go…
Boston College – B- In our opinion, BC has the best on-campus parties in the city…. well at least a few years ago they did. Because of its location, students often find themselves staying on campus, throwing bangers in the dorms and mods. When students turn 21, many continue this tradition partying on campus. The bar life isn’t really happening…. But there is one gem, possibly the greatest dive in all of Boston. We give Boston College a generous B- because of Mary Ann’s. For little to no money, BC students are able to get wasted at MA’s buying strong drinks and dirt cheap beers. The MA scene is also a blast, with the bar packed to the brink on weekends. There are a few other bars within walking distance, but none that deserve praise. It’s so sparse that many BC students make the trip down Comm Ave into BU territory.
Boston University – B+ Boston University has many more options than Boston College for bars. With a more spread out student body, bars between Kenmore and Brighton are often packed with Terriers. Some of our favorites include White Horse Tavern, T’s Pub (on Tuesdays), Sunset Grill and The Draft. We’d give BU nightlife an A- if An Tua Nua was still in play – Rest In Peace. But hey, without it BU students still know how to get down. With less on campus options and some recent party restrictions on Pratt/Ashford St., students are pouring into area bars. A lot of students do enjoy the bar TITS, but we aren’t fans. The vibe is weak, and the rules become stricter every year.
Harvard University – B Across the river in Cambridge, Harvard students do have free time to go out. When they’re not hitting the books, bars in Harvard Square get wild. Our top choice has to be Hong Kong…. with an epic top level dance floor, the weekends provide a unique combination of student/local vibes. And what’s better than heading downstairs and crushing some Chinese food? Other spots to have fun include Russell House (more dressy), Whitney’s (cheap and dirty), and Charlie’s. If you haven’t checked the Harvard scene out, it is definitely worth the trip. And if it gets old, Harvard students do branch out to Davis Square…. plenty of options out that way.
Northeastern University – A- Our House East, Conor Larkin’s, The Mission, BOOM! NU has a list that goes on and on of bars that are packed during the school year. Cheap beer, great trivia, and crazy karaoke. Students live in areas that range from Mission Hill to the Back Bay (and everywhere in between). So many low cost options makes it the top school with bar nightlife. The student body embraces it fully, packing bars to the brink, and getting wild every night of the week. It’s by far the best college area in Boston for going out… hands down.
Honorable Mentions: Although we are focusing on Beanpot schools, we need to mention a few other schools. Suffolk, MIT, and Tufts all crush bar nightlife. If you’re in college or a recent grad, check out some of these spots and let us know what you think.