Howl at the Moon

Bar / Piano Bar / Restaurant
Howl at the Moon Howl at the Moon in Downtown Boston is a raucous piano bar with live music & crazy large cocktails. Let yourself scream into the Boston night with Party Earth. Boston United States 42.356451 -71.052618
3.9 16
Howl at the Moon - Bar | Piano Bar | Restaurant in Boston.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Cocktails in buckets, bachelorettes, and the Backstreet Boys probably don’t spring to mind when thinking about a piano bar, but they all apply to the eternally busy Howl at the Moon. A favorite for groups celebrating... ... read full review

  • T Stop:

    Red Line: South; Orange Line: State Street; Blue Line: Aquarium

  • Phone:

    617-292-4695

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–F 4pm–2am, Sa 5pm–2am, Su 7pm–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Howl at the Moon Review

The Scene

Howl at the Moon in Downtown Boston is a raucous piano bar with live music & crazy large cocktails. Let yourself scream into the Boston night with Party Earth.

Cocktails in buckets, bachelorettes, and the Backstreet Boys probably don’t spring to mind when thinking about a piano bar, but they all apply to the eternally busy Howl at the Moon.

A favorite for groups celebrating special events in the booziest way possible, the expansive venue – one of more than a dozen nationally – is routinely packed with an avid party crowd, from newly twenty-one-year-old undergrads to feisty old ladies drinking those kids under the table.

Downtown professionals sneak in after work, relaxing at the two-tops facing the floor-to-ceiling windows and snacking on a few greasy appetizers before the line forms outside.

A cover charge kicks in once the pianists start playing (6 or 8pm depending on the night), as already excitable groups of girls line up at the massive center bar to order fruity cocktails in buckets – literally – while midriff-bearing servers dole out Jell-o shots via oversized syringes.

Buckets in hand, the girls join preppy post-grads and jersey-sporting frat guys around the stage, where two pianists take turns playing audience requests and everyone gets increasingly less shy about singing along.

Those less into the live acts can descend to the basement at 9pm Thursdays through Saturdays, when DJs spin Top 40 and a second bar promises an equal opportunity to get alcohol poisoning.

No matter the occasion, Howl at the Moon has an infectious atmosphere that’s sure to make it an unforgettable one – at least until the second round of buckets.

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Tip from Emma:

Want to kick off the weekend right but don’t feel like paying the cover? Submit your name to the staff or online to be entered in the weekly raffle for a chance to win a Cocktail Hour party on Thursday or Friday. For two hours, you and your friends get discounted drinks and free appetizers, plus you skip the cover charge.

  • Crowd

    Zealous groups of friends celebrating birthdays and other special events, young professionals from the Financial District, college kids, uninhibited bachelorettes, older groups acting young again, early 20s to late 30s+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Dueling pianos and vocal accompaniment, often with additional instruments like drums, bass, guitar, and fiddle, playing all audience requests. Music kicks off at 6 or 8pm depending on the night.

    DJs spin Top 40 downstairs from 9pm Thursdays through Saturdays.

    TVs surrounding the bar show major sports and news earlier in the evening.

    Specials for holidays like St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Fried bar snacks including wings, nachos, and burgers. Various party packages available for private events. Patrons can submit to win a free party package here.

  • Prices

    Cover charge $10, free before show starts. Appetizers $5–$9, salads $8–$10, sandwiches/burgers $8–$10. Beer $4–$5, wine $8, cocktails $7–$9, 86-oz buckets $25.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual to nice casual: business attire, slacks, sweaters, jeans, button-downs, low-cut shirts, short skirts, tight t-shirts, heels, sparkly accessories.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Fridays and Saturdays for the liveliest crowd, the fiercest dueling competitions, and the hottest dance floor scene, Thursdays to get in free with a college ID, or Tuesdays for a chance to watch local musicians compete to be the next Howl at the Moon house player.

  • Close By

    An Tain (31 India Street) is an Irish dive that attracts a similar no-holds-barred clientele interested in getting tipsy in a hurry, minus the lines.

Howl at the Moon User Reviews

Average rating:
Boozing on Buckets and Howling to the Hits
K.Cof ☕. Jul 9, 2013
I guess I've just been lucky. But I have won a party at Howl at the Moon, not once, but twice. The first time was on Thanksgiving Eve, probably one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, and this past June for my 22nd birthday. When asked to describe Howl at the Moon, the only thing that comes to mind is that is it a GREAT TIME. I've never had to pay a cover at Howl but I've heard that it is about $10, the average price of cover charges in Boston. If you're going with a group of friend, I'd suggest ordering a Bucket of Booze. I'm not a light weight and I had a pretty good buzz on after splitting one with three friends. The concept of Howl is a dueling piano bar. So while there may not be a DJ, the pianists take request all night long and play literally just about everything. They even played PSY's Gangnam Style! It was my 22nd birthday, so at request from one of my friend's, they played Taylor Swift's "22" and even gave me a shoutout. This isn't a college dive bar. The drinks are pricey and the syringe jello shots are about $5. You will leave Howl with a hole in your wallet. The best way to go about a night out at Howl at the Moon is have you or one of your friends try to win a party. They offer Cocktail and Reverse Cocktail parties. Not only do you skip the line and cover charge, but you get free appetizers for two hours, and $4 vodka drinks and $3 Landsharks. Access to Howl's sister club, Down Ultra Lounge, which is right downstairs, is granted to Howl patrons. This bar offers a DJ who spins the latest Top 4 and House music. You will leave Howl At The Moon drunker than you thought you would be, and poorer than you intended to be, but you will have sang along to all the songs and have an amazing night out.
Fun idea, not enough space.
Amanda D. Jun 10, 2013
This is a fun idea. Live music, dueling pianos, and large yummy drinks. I've been to a few other locations in different parts of the country and I've had a great time, but I find the Boston location to get pretty cramped because it's not that large and the line is outrageous after 8:00 pm. If you didn't pay for a table and if you're not on a guest list you must get there by 7:30 pm in order to get through the door. The cover is $10.00, but it can be cheaper with a student ID. I think it's worth the cover because the music is usually phenomenal and you can't help but dance. The drinks can get a little pricy, but more often than not they have drink specials which are worth checking out. If you haven't been I would recommend checking it out, just make sure you get there early enough so you can make it through the door.
A great time with a variety of options
Alexander S. May 24, 2013
Howl at the Moon isn't your typical bar that only plays the same songs you hear everywhere; at Howl you have two options that should suit everybody in your social circle. The main bar has a live band that plays a variety of songs, ranging from oldies to today's hits. While at the bar you can get your regular drinks and shots, while also ordering a 24 oz "bone", as well as an 86 oz bucket of booze that you can share with up to 4 of your friends. If you feel like you want a change of pace, just head downstairs where you can check out a great club like atmosphere for no additional charge; when I went the place was packed and was blasting some great music. I'd give Howl at the Moon 3.5/4 starts. I went there twice, once downstairs and once in the main bar and had a really good time in each venue. Some may not like the $10, but I'd say it's definitely worth it.
Sweet Caroline
Denise A. May 23, 2013
If you're looking for a fun dance spot on a Friday or Saturday night, Howl at the Mood could be the place - IF you don't mind waiting 15-45 minutes in line. The only way to get in quickly is to get there before 8pm, get VIP birthday access which only costs over $100, or you get lucky. With that in mind, it's almost worth it once you get in. The bar is set right in the middle of the room and it can get a bit crowded. Lezbehonest - if you can handle standing side by side with sweaty strangers, you'll be alright. Drinks are pricey, but oh so worth it. Those buckets? YUM. Howl's a place where you're going to come ready to spend money, so be prepared. The crowd's usually a great mix of young 20 year olds and hot professional men who live downtown. You'll almost always see the traditional birthday girl with her tiara or a bachelorette party roaming the place. The live music is UNREAL. The music's a great mix between throwbacks and top hits, and almost always will the crowd be belting out to every song. If you're a true Bostonian like moi, you know you better sing when "Sweet Caroline" comes on - or if you like baseball. The musicians are actually good singers, and most times they'll have the staff hop up and dance on the bar karaoke style. There's another bar downstairs - what's the name of it? No one really cares. My suggestion? If you go to Howl, bring plenty of cash, drink lots of booze, and be ready for lots of random guys to hit on you - so dress up and look your hottest!
Dueling Pianos. Need I Say More?
Ali A. Apr 24, 2013
Howl at the moon is a very straightforward experience. More often than not you will have to pay a cover of about $10, BUT you are also granted acces to Down Ultra Lounge nightclub downstairs, though you may feel underdressed there if you showed up prepared for a night at Howl. Dueling pianos may sound like a gimmick but it's actually great fun. If you have no idea what this means, it is literally two piano players on a stage taking turns singing pop hits. You can toss a dollar or two into the performers' tip jars and write a song suggestion on the neon boards next to the stage. It is inevitable that some terrible Lady Gaga song will make its way to your ears at some point, but aside from those painful 2 minutes, this bar is light-hearted fun.
Warning: Cocktail Buckets May Induce Bad Singing
Emily F. Apr 9, 2013
I had my first Howl at the Moon experience this past weekend while celebrating a friend's birthday on a typical spring day in New England, meaning the temperature went from 60 to 30 degrees in no time! The line was wrapped around the building when we arrived but the wait was painless, aside from the chilly evening weather. (Don't chance it like I did - bring a jacket and leave it at the coat check!) We were already enjoying the mix of top 40 and hits of the recent decades past that could be heard pumping throughout the bar, and could see the people inside were enjoying them even more from our spot in line. This little preview made the $10 cover charge feel like a steal, as we were about to experience the live version of any song from the past 30 years that we could possibly want to hear. The place was packed, but not so much that you couldn't find enough room for you and your friends on the dance floor. After grooving to a few songs with drinks in hand, we scouted a table to sit and share one of their signature 86-oz cocktail buckets. Our "Sex on the Moon" bucket came floating towards us through the crowd gathered around the bar by our appropriately attentive waitress. Each of us grabbed one of the fluorescent crazy straws and didn't let go until the contents of the bucket were noticeably depleted. Needless to say, a second bucket soon followed. As we reached the middle of the second bucket, our singing became much less inhibited, and probably sounded more like animal calls. (Perhaps the namesake of the bar? It certainly could have been confused for howling...) We were singing along to everything from the Backstreet Boys to Macklemore to The B-52s, and experienced some major childhood nostalgia when the band played "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" from Disney's "The Lion King". This group sing-a-long could have continued well into the wee hours of the morning if it hadn't been for our 12:30 am curfew. This is when the carriage turns back into a pumpkin, or as others might say, the T stops running. I'm thinking the MBTA might extend their hours if they could experience a night at Howl at the Moon. If you are lucky enough to win a cocktail hour, you might consider asking Mayor Menino to join so that he can pull a few strings and keep the trains running just a little bit later!
Happily Broke After A Night of Howling
Tara K. Mar 28, 2013
I went to this place a year ago to with my girlfriends in the end of May, with perfect flirting-with-summer weather. We were celebrating our oncoming college graduation, and the activities arranged for Senior Week were...weak. I like spending money to have a good time, but not giving it away at a casino. So a nice, reliable bar and lounge with live music sounded promising. Um. I had more fun at Howl At The Moon in one night than I ever could in a week doing other things - and that included whitewater rafting. I don't remember there being a cover charge. I suppose that's a good thing? I remember spending money on the awesome, gorgeous drinks, though. The upstairs definitely became crowded later in the night (with more young twentysomething folks celebrating the end of the school year), but it wasn't stifling.with people The folks who played music were taking all kinds of requests for a few bucks to five dollars, and their tunes certainly kept the whole joint howling. The real star of the establishment were the bartenders. They danced and swerved like athletic bees, brewing all kinds of party-central cocktails and planting them in front of you like you just wished for them out of thin air. My friends and I toasted over giant buckets of Long Island Iced Teas, which were stupidly tasty. In a couple of hours we moved on to Blue Kamikazis (because we're girls). The real kicker was when I tentatively asked for two Irish Car Bombs. I had no clue that the bartender I pulled over knew what it was, but all he said was, "Twenty bucks," and grabbed the Bailey's and Jameson's. Needless to say that I was impressed...and then drunk. I was ready to drink and get caught in unattractive photos of myself that night. The drinks made here were so delicious that I think I spent 80 bucks in an hour and a half. The bucket of Long Island Iced Tea was between 20 and 30 dollars, but it's the perfect (SAFE) drink to share among many friends. The price range is agreeable, but you'll find yourself with a growing bill or tab with the amount of fun you have. I'm not from Boston, but since I heard about this place from a more party-hopping friend of mine, I'm glad I discovered this place. It's tucked somewhere in High Street. It puts on no airs, and the service was pleasantly efficient. Go to this place if you intend to celebrate. If you're on a bar crawl, you might end up staying here longer. I was there from 8 to 1 in the morning.
Birthdays, Bachelorette, and Buckets of Booze.
Mike F. Feb 19, 2013
The cold New England weather doesn't keep Boston’s best away from Howl at the Moon. Despite being notorious for a never ending line and a cover charge, Howl at the Moon continues to be one of city’s most entertaining bars. Setting the night off on the right foot, try to arrive at the bar around 8:30 to avoid waiting outside in the cold. There is an unfortunate $10 cover charge, however, consider it a ticket to entertainment: an investment of enjoyment. Once inside, let the party begin. Although the bar is generally crowded, there is never an issue getting a drink. If you have a tendency to be impatient and hate going back to the bar there is a bucket of booze option. There are a variety of options for this ultimate cocktail, best split with friends, unless you're really trying to party hard. While consuming an endless supply of drinks be prepared for an interesting crowd to surround you. Howl at the Moon tends to be a hot spot for bachelorette parties, birthday parties, and other celebrations. The age limit for the tiaras and sashes generally doesn't exceed 30 years old, although anything is possible at this bar. The real entertainment is the band. Despite it's claims to be a dueling piano bar it is more of a glorified cover band. That being said, it is the Beatles of cover bands. Every song is flawlessly played and may as well be its own mini concert. If the music isn't for you upstairs you can head downstairs to a small club venue. It can be fun as well if you want to escape the regular bar scene and add a little more flavor to your night. An underrated and often overlooked part of the bar is its food. It is standard bar food (Pizza, Wings, Burgers) and everything on the menu tastes great, especially after a couple drinks. If you're ready to party and have a great night then definitely check this bar out. You might just be Howling at the Moon by the end of the night. http://www.howlatthemoon.com/locations/location-boston
Good time if you're willing to pay/wait
Lauren V. Feb 12, 2013
I've been to Howl a few times, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself each time. BUT you do have to be prepared to wait in line, and to pay a 10 dollar cover. Get there early if you can, because the line starts getting heavy around 10. But after that, you'll definitely have a great time. It's definitely a unique night out, a nice change from all the boring bars in town. There's the piano bar with dueling players, and singers/musicians that play covers from all different genres and eras. They're all notably talented, as well, and not just good for a bar. The drinks are pretty good, the buckets are not really worth it because they're weak. There is also club style dancing downstairs if you want to get away from the band - which I don't know why you would. You can also enter to win a party on their website and get a free buffet/discounted drinks for a few hours during the evening which you can invite up to 100 people to. Not bad at all.
THE GO-TO SPOT
Sam A. Jan 31, 2013
Howl at the Moon is never short of an incredible time, whether its the first stop on a list of places that night or the main event. The line can definitely be a downer so plan your night accordingly and get there before the boneheads that are so surprised they have to wait to get into Boston Hotspot start complaining. It's fancy by no means but people come far and wide to get insulted and seranaded, all in a good way of course, from the amazing piano players and performers there each night. Howl at the Moon has mastered the art of the Piano Bar and this is one of the only places your allowed as a 21+ year old to drink a huge bucket of juice (and liquor) out of crazy straws. Embrace your inner child and your voice that only your shower is graced with and head here Thursday, Friday or Saturday night for an entertaining night for everyone in your group.
Howl at the moon
Kevin S. Dec 10, 2012
Go before 10 because the line gets huge but this place it worth it. It has live music. There are two piano players and they do covers of fun party songs. There is also a bar downstairs called Down. I am not sure but i think it has the same ownership and might be connected to Howl at the moon.
So much fun!
Alisha K. Sep 6, 2012
Howl at the Moon isn't one of those places that you really dance in, but more so one of those places that you sing all of your favorite 80s, 90s, and current songs really loud with your friends after you've had a few drinks. If you're looking to share, the buckets are a great choice. Usually at these types of bars the musicians aren't the greatest, but the musicians at Howl at the Moon are amazing. They know EVERYTHING. Although the cover is $10, it's definitely worth it once you're in there because you'll want to stay all night. Definitely be sure to get there early because you will be waiting in line for a really long time, which as we all know isn't fun in the winter or the rain.
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