North Shore drinking and nightlife

Top Choice Bar in Salem

Mercy Tavern

A dark and cozy pub with exposed brick walls, this is the perfect place to sip a pint and listen to the blues. This happens every Friday (4pm to 7pm), with other live music acts throughout the week. The 'pub fare' h…
Top Choice Cafe in Salem

Gulu-Gulu Café

Gulu-gulu means 'gulp, gulp' in French, and this place is named after a now-defunct cafe in Prague. That's an indication of how eclectic it is, featuring (in no particular order) delicious coffee, art-adorned walls,…
Cafe in Rockport

Brothers Brew Coffee Shop

Two words: coffee and doughnuts. There are other (perhaps healthier) options for breakfast, but go for the doughnuts. You won't regret it. If the doughnut aren't sinful enough, there's also ‘Dark Sin’ coffee, with a…
Pub in Gloucester

Crow's Nest

The down-and-dirty fisherfolk bar made famous in The Perfect Storm. But this is the real deal, not the set the movie folks threw up for a few weeks during filming. Come early if you want to drink with the fishing cr…
Brewery in Ipswich & Essex

Ipswich Ale Brewery

A longstanding New England favorite, Ipswich Ale started making craft beer before it was cool (in 1991, to be precise). Now it has an on-site tap room and restaurant to show off its stuff. Stop by to sample from the…
Cafe in Salem

Front Street Coffeehouse

A cool place to sip a caffe latte or munch on a giant sandwich – sometimes served with a healthy dose of attitude. This is where multipierced urban youths, well-groomed soccer moms and out-of-town visitors all find …
Microbrewery in Salem

Salem Beer Works

Part of the Boston Beer Works family, this microbrewery serves 10 brews on tap, as well as a full menu of pub grub, sandwiches and more. The Blue 92 (blueberry ale from Maine blueberries) is always a favorite. There…