The Best Unique Bars in Salem

Are you on the lookout for the most poppin’ Unique Bars in Salem?

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On this page, you’ll find the official shortlist of the best Unique Bars in Salem. (More in-depth further below)

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Many of us on the Nightflow crew are foodies, so we’re always looking for the most popular places to drink and eat whenever we go somewhere new. Prepare to be wowed by favorites such as Ledger Restaurant, Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall, and Howling Wolf Taqueria, among others. We have prepared a list of the Best Unique Bars in Salem. These will help you in finding your favorite unique bars in Salem.

Sea Level Oyster Bar

Sea Level Oyster Bar has oysters, lobster rolls, specialty cocktails & more offered in a casual joint with water views. Sea Level Oyster Bar can help you arrange the ideal event. This award-winning bar is an excellent choice for your next social event or company meal. It has an unrivaled collection of the finest seafood. It serves various beverages, including beers, cocktails, and wines. Baked lobster mac & cheese, shucked oysters, steak fries, ahi blackened seared tuna, steamed lobster, stuffed lobster, fried seafood, tacos, fried coconut shrimp, and more items are available on the bar’s extensive menu. It also accepts bookings. The Sea Level Salem restaurant is now open for indoor and outdoor dining. Only a few bookings are available. 

Their cocktail menu keeps you interested long after you finish your last oyster. Sea Level Oyster Bar has an unrivaled assortment of New England’s best and freshest seafood. If you’re looking to host an event, Sea Level Oyster Bar can help you arrange the ideal one. Let them help you plan your next social gathering or corporate dinner. New Waterfront Seafood restaurant located on Pickering wharf serves fresh local seafood, Featuring an outside bar overlooking the harbor, Fresh Raw Bar, local favorites, and fun bar food, such as Fish Tacos, pizza, and great Burgers served in three ways. Outside, Dining windows that open up on the water open for Lunch and dinner seven days a week. This bar was established in 2015. It is a seafood restaurant featuring a Raw Bar, Outside Dining, Waterfront restaurant, and outside bar. 

We come here every time we visit, and the food does not disappoint! Bloody Mary, to start, is phenomenal (pretty sure there is a little clam juice in it, but so good). I came here with my friend on a Tuesday night around 8 pm. We were seated upstairs. The restaurant was still pretty busy but starting to clear for the night. We ordered the popcorn shrimp and the fish of the Day tacos and shared them. The popcorn shrimp was my favorite between the two. I liked all components of it, from the actual shrimp to the tartar sauce to the bed of popcorn underneath. The day’s fish was Mahi, which was in the tacos. The restaurant overlooks the harbor, so the view is beautiful. Our waiter and the hostesses were all friendly, and the food was excellent. I would recommend stopping by if you’re in Salem! 

Ledger Restaurant

The Ledger is an upscale restaurant & bar serving New England cuisine in a 19th-century bank building. The glamorous interior, a former bank, is relatively spacious, so you’ll have plenty of socially separated room to stretch while discovering chef-owner Matt O’Neil and senior chef Daniel Gursha’s varied, upmarket New American cuisine: Consider grilled apples and honey nut squash puree with cider-glazed pork shank, herb-brined chicken with salsa verde and pepitas, or Maine mussels with pork belly, curry, coconut, and lemongrass. There’s also tented outside seating, ideal for enjoying Ledger’s delectable brunch fare, like delicious chicken and waffles topped with green chile butter and spicy honey. Chef-owner Matt O’Neil recently led the meticulous refurbishment of a circa-1818 old savings bank into a dazzling restaurant space. 

Exposed original masonry, a wall of reclaimed deposit boxes, and a long, wooden community table coexist with more polished features like an expansive open kitchen with a bespoke wood-fire grill and a dramatic, massive chandelier over the bar. The menu has a new New England atmosphere with seasonal, locally produced sides like cornbread and succotash and substantial mains like a Berkshire pork chop with marinated peaches. Another Washington Street treasure, Ledger Restaurant, is a must-visit restaurant with a distinctively exciting take on its fabulous fare. Still, Ledger also takes traditional 19th-century favorites and updates them with much 21st-century love. Wood-fired grills, for example, are used to elegantly infuse meats and veggies with a smokey richness found exclusively in wood-fired grills, so that Ledger Double Burger you ordered? It’ll be in a league of its own! Ledger is a favorite for the cocktail set, with a full menu that includes meat-based, vegetarian, and vegan alternatives. 

It has the air of a luxury loft, with exposed brick walls, wood flooring, hanging pendant lighting, and many metals and wood elements, and it is located in a historic bank building. According to several recent internet evaluations, the service at Ledger isn’t the nicest. Ledger, located near downtown, is ideal for a date! It offers stunning décor evocative of an old bank, a speakeasy ambiance from the 1920s, significant ceilings, and fantastic food. The service at Ledger is also excellent. A superb gourmet dining experience in a lovely historic building providing some of Salem’s freshest and tastiest food. The food and drinks change seasonally. The cuisine has flavor and texture layer upon layer. It is expertly produced by a culinary staff that values inventiveness and quality. We were taken aback. The crew is kind and energetic.

Howling Wolf Taqueria

The Howling Wolf Taqueria specializes in very fresh, authentic, and affordable Mexican taqueria food. Funky Mexican establishment with homemade meals, live music on the weekends, and beers and margaritas. Customer favorites include the San Diego-style fish tacos, Carne Deshebrada (shredded beef) burrito, and Posole (red chile broth with pork, avocado, onions, radishes, and cabbage). Customers of age also love our delicious margaritas, homemade Sangrias, and the price of the PBR ($2/pint). Their great ambiance elevates the taqueria experience to a new level, but for taqueria prices. The restaurant is perfect for all kinds of events, from birthday parties to holiday parties to fundraisers. 

Building community through their business is one of their highest priorities and the reason they open up the room to fundraisers benefiting North Shore communities. They also provide catering throughout the North Shore and deliver to Salem residents and businesses. They are open seven days a week. Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 a.m., with the regular menu available until 10:00 p.m. and the late night menu available until 11:00 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, they are open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., with a standard menu available until 11:00 p.m. and a late-night menu available until midnight. Then go to Howling Wolf Taqueria on Lafayette, where savory and fresh made-from-scratch Mexican cuisine is served in a clean setting highlighted by bright and artistic art pieces that add to the ambiance southwestern-style restaurant. Howling Wolf Taqueria’s hand-made flour and maize tortillas ensure that there is no such thing as a lousy taco or burrito. 

Tortilla chips are also freshly fried throughout the day, so the chips and salsa are out of this world. This Salem, Massachusetts restaurant serves delectable tacos, burritos, and salads made using fresh, local ingredients. The Howling Wolf is a laid-back eatery in Salem, MA. Most tables are high-tops, or you can sit at the bar. However, all tables get full service. This Mexican joint’s enormous burritos include the namesake Howling Wolf, a fork-and-knife-required beast loaded with shredded beef, salsa, and beans and sitting in a sea of chili sauce. The homemade tortillas are among the best in town, especially when deep-fried for superb chimichangas. But don’t overlook the menu’s other “wolf munchies,” such as avocado fries or chicken wings with jalapeno ranch. The Howling Wolf claims to be the coolest cantina on the north coast. So, this is one of the best bars in the city!

Bambolina

Bambolina is a rustic-cool spot serving wood-fired pies, small plates, wine & craft beer to hip crowds. This location opened in 2015. Bambolina serves Neapolitan pizza and Italian shared meals in a contemporary industrial setting. The menu mixes fresh foods with culinary integrity to provide a relaxed eating experience. Their wood-fired pizza oven, imported from Naples, Italy, cooks handmade pizza at 925 degrees in 90 seconds and serves as the restaurant’s focal point. They emphasize craft and local beer, as well as unique wine options. The rustic Italian cuisine at Bambolina is anchored by wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizzas, which are topped with anything from octopus to bresaola to gorgonzola dolce. Pasta dishes and sides, such as mushrooms marinated in lemon, thyme, and crushed red pepper, are also available, as is affogato—vanilla gelato topped with a double espresso—for dessert. 

Meanwhile, Bambolina’s takeaway menu includes a slew of “necessities”: Where else can you arrange for a curbside collection of house-made chile oil alongside CBD tinctures, sanitizer bottles, and firewood bundles? These two restaurants are new, modern, and lively, with polar-opposite themes in the exact location. Kokeshi used to be in its building, a hip retro hangout with lots of Japanese and Chinese decor and classic kung-fu films projected on a giant brick wall. It has now teamed up in Bambolina’s industrial-chic setting, with high ceilings with exposed wood beams, hanging pendant lighting and Edison bulbs, and a long, steel-top bar with communal seating. It is an Italian-style pizza restaurant in the middle of Salem, MA, with great pizzas and an abundance of specialty beverages. 

The wild mushroom pizza comes on a handcrafted crust with pancetta (Italian bacon). It is covered with garlic ricotta cream sauce, fontina and mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, and fresh basil, which is my favorite. Their garlic knots are pretty addicting! Their approach is straightforward: utilize exceptional ingredients, depend on historic culinary expertise, and rely on the craft of integrity, and a Bambolina pizza is ready for you to enjoy in 90 seconds. The Bambolina Restaurant is the ideal spot for made-to-order Neo-Neapolitan pizzas that will transport you to Italy with every mouthful. The Margarita pizza was delicious, and I strongly suggest it. I can’t take away points because the crust was still fantastic. They appear to offer some essential menu items and rotating unique pizzas. Surprisingly, they provide a variety of Asian cuisine, which looks delicious and popular. 

Village Tavern

Village Tavern is an upbeat American tavern with a patio, game room & extensive beer list serving classic American pub grub. The Village Tavern is located in the center of downtown Salem, immediately across from the World Famous Peabody Essex Museum. It is only a two-minute walk from the iconic ‘Salem Witch Museum’ and a five-minute walk from Salem’s Seaport Hotel. They serve “The Best Steak Tips in America, Period,” fantastic Roast Prime ribs, Fresh Salads, Popular Sandwiches, and a wide range of delectable appetizers. There’s something for everyone and every budget. Four (4) years in a row, Salem’s Best Burger voted! Across from the Peabody Essex Museum. Patio overlooking the Village Fountain. It was voted the #1 burger in Salem. Large craft beer selection, lobster rolls, prime rib, and tasty appetizers. Buses welcome. 

Village Tavern provides hefty chunks of meat like their renowned slow-roasted Prime Rib with New England mainstays like creamy New England Clam Chowder and buttery Lobstah’ Mac n Cheese. A weekly game night rotation, live entertainment, and a gaming room with skee ball, air hockey, dartboards, pool tables, and more are also on the menu. Village Tavern on Essex has a full bar as well as indoor and outdoor seating, so whether you want to quietly sip your cocktail while eating your Prime Rib French Dip and people watching from your open-air table, or you want to drink your beer and munch on your 10-Spice Dry Rub Tavern Wings. At the same time, the game plays in the background; you can do it all. Begin the day with a delicious cheeseburger cooked to perfection, and conclude the night with Smoked Wings, Live Entertainment, and Pool. 

Fresh, honest cuisine is available at the bar, booth, table, or outside in our quiet yet comfortable Sidewalk Café’. The Village Tavern is one of the top casual restaurants in Salem, MA. They always have terrific live music and a full bar, so it’s a vibrant spot to dine or drink. Sandwiches, seafood platters, rib-eye steaks, burgers, and salads are among the beautiful selections on the menu. Our service was OUTSTANDING! Jessica might be my new best friend if we lived nearby. I ordered the Rueben, the finest I’d ever had. The baked Haddock was very delicious. It was so crisp and light. We also ordered meat lovers’ pizza and beef stew. Everyone is raving about it! So, this is one of the best bars in Salem.

Flying Saucer Pizza Company

Flying Saucer Pizza Company

Flying Saucer Pizza Company has Pizzas topped with local ingredients paired with craft beers in funky digs sporting space decor. Traditional, vegan & gluten-free craft pizza with New England craft beers and ciders. Sci-fi decor. Fresh dough is made daily! Flying Saucer Pizza Company is the go-to in Salem for delicious ‘za in a fun atmosphere, with décor and food themes that include Star Wars, Doctor Who, and all things sci-fi, such as their Spaceballs: The Musical meatball appetizer, their Soylent Green spinach, and artichoke dip, and their major crowd favorite specialty pizza, the Nick Fury, a super spicy pizza with cream sauce, buffalo chicken, Scallions. Doesn’t it sound amazing? There are also a lot of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free alternatives, so there is something for everyone. They’re on Washington Street, directly behind the Bewitched Samantha monument, and there’s also outside seating. 

The menu is rife with geeky allusions, from the “Spaceballs” (aka. garlic knots) to the several specialty pies: The “Audrey II,” for example, is a homage to the ravenous plant from Little Shop of Horrors, with arugula, roasted red peppers, and balsamic fig. But you can also make your pizza with spectacular extras like sweet habanero sauce, Cajun-style chicken, and a slew of vegan options like jackfruit disguised as “pulled pork” or “meatballs.” Gluten-free crusts are also available and trust us when we say they’re out of this world. The Flying Saucer Pizza Company serves gourmet pizzas and specialty brews in a quirky, chic urban environment. They serve New York-style pizza and vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. They cook everything from scratch and utilize fresh, local ingredients wherever feasible.

This award-winning restaurant is one of the best places to dine in Salem, serving exquisite gourmet pizzas in a pleasant and relaxed setting. The pizza was delicious. They performed an outstanding job. The interior is really out of this world. The waitress was excellent. In addition, someone drew the hex girls on the chalkboard, which was fantastic. It was the most incredible pizza I’d had since moving to Massachusetts. We were in Salem for two days and were searching for an inexpensive, fast lunch spot, so we all bought a piece. The pizza was so incredible that we returned for supper to try some specialty pizzas. I highly suggest it! The service was excellent and so were the meals and beverages. So, this is one of the best bars Salem has to offer you.

O’Neills Pub & Restaurant

O’Neills Pub & Restaurant is a lively, casual Irish bar with eclectic pub grub & imported beers, plus live music & DJ nights. The Irish bar and downtown Salem restaurant have a fantastic beer, cuisine, live music, and Wicked Good Craic! Since 2000, O’Neill’s has been a cornerstone of Salem’s Irish community due to our welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. If you haven’t already, coming through the door of O’Neill’s Pub may put you in the mood to taste everyone’s favorite Irish stout! Standard pub meal is offered in a pleasant setting that will have you feeling the “wicked fantastic craic” that O’Neill passionately believes in (translation: excellent discussion and entertainment!) They also take their craic seriously, with a full calendar of live entertainment, trivia nights, gaming nights, and other events. 

Irish pub favorites like Bangers & Mash and Shepherd’s Pie are served alongside New England classics like Clam Chowder, and if you’re looking for a well-made cocktail, you can order from the complete bar or build your own at the super-equipped Build Your Own Bloody Mary station! A traditional Irish bar serves lunch and dinner. Live Irish bands perform early Friday and Sunday mornings, while DJs and Karaoke are available on weekend nights. Where can I even begin!? What a beautiful location! Parking is a problem since, well, it’s Salem. Best wishes. The food is inventive and delicious, especially the Irish “nachos.” I’m pleased we dropped in; the service was polite, the music was enjoyable, and the meal was delicious! And the cocktails were the cherry on top! Without a doubt, the most excellent shepherd’s pie I’ve ever tasted! 

The Guinness stew is also delicious! The atmosphere is ideal, and the workers are all quite kind. Only an Irish bar in Salem is better than a pub in Salem! Excellent spot for a drink with your pals! My college friends and I recently graduated and traveled to Salem to celebrate. We happened onto O’Neills and were delighted we did. Their variety was fantastic, and the personnel was quite pleasant. What more could you want? A terrific environment and a great drink. O’Neills is your neighborhood bar right in the center of the witch tourist trap in Salem, Mass. It is your excellent Irish pub. Massachusetts is like New York in that you need to order some food to imbibe, and we got the cheapest item: tortilla chips and salsa for $1. I miss bars—the wisdom of the bartender.

Salem’s Retreat

Serving delicious homemade food every day from 6:30 am to 2:30 pm. FRIDAY AND SATURDAY DINNER TILL 10 pm. They offer a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, and Dinner options. The bar is now open and stocked with a wide range of beer, wine, and liquor. Stop by for one of their many mimosas or a bloody mary! We have keno and scratch tickets as well. They founded Salem’s Retreat out of a deep love for real food, for food that is fresh, healthy, and authentic. They only use natural ingredients here at Salem’s Retreat. They work hard to create each meal, a healthy representation of our passion for food, life, and living. Salem’s Retreat debuted in 2021, although its history stretches back to February 26, 1775, when British Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Leslie and his 64th Regiment of the Line staged a raid on American military depots in Salem, only to be repulsed by local militia.

Breakfast is available all day. They serve both sweet and savory foods. Lunch starts at 10 am. They also serve alcohol with a full bar open. I have come twice since they changed ownership from their initial establishment. Both times were on pretty busy days, but luckily there are seats inside and outside available. We’ve had to wait at most 10 minutes for a seat. On one occasion, we came for brunch. On the second, when we came for breakfast, however, lunch was served almost all day. There is a parking lot at the back for those who do not want to walk far or risk getting a ticket. Been there, done that. 

So far, we have tried Salem’s Chicken Sandwich, Hangover Burger, Monte Cristo, omelet, Greek Salad, and Reuben, including their side of fries, Cole slaw, and onion rings. Everything has been a home run in my eyes, but the game changer is the Reuben sandwich. I’m typically not a big roast/corn beef fan, but this changed my mind. Something about their bread, mayo, and meat is just the ultimate combination. Although the French toast for my Montecristo did come out undercooked the first time, they were very understanding and quick to correct their errors. Out of the size, I did enjoy their french fries the most, in my opinion. Overall, my friends and I have had beautiful experiences thus far. I cannot emphasize enough how great of a place this is and for others to experience it for themselves!

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Conclusion

Although Massachusetts’ most enthralling seaport has a high tourist season every October, the North Shore city’s food culture is robust enough to merit the fast trek from Boston at any time of year. So, whether you’re flying up for some autumn fun or simply planning a post-Halloween day trip, above are the Best Unique Bars in Salem you’d be lucky to find. If you are in the city, it is now time to explore them!

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