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Bars: Walking down the street past Bukowski's Tavern, you'd probably pass up entering, but this come-as-you-are, dive is well worth a walk inside. The interior is anything but upscale, and staff more on the alternative side, but anyone who walks through these doors is welcome. The beer list is staggering with well over 100 on tap options of local and imported brews. And the the beer wheel is a fun thing to spin as long as you're willing to drink any beer on there. The clientele is friendly, you could enter alone and easily find yourself deep in conversation with whomever plops down on the stool beside you.

Pubs: Bukowski's Tavern has two locations in the Boston area; both foster an alternative atmosphere that would have endeared its namesake. The Back Bay location is a long and narrow room with a bar that almost extends from front to back. Behind the bar you'll find the wheel of beer. Don't be shy, ask to take a spin then down whatever wonderful drink arrives. With over 100 in house your sure to be surprised. If you are in Inman Square there is also a Bukowski's there. A little larger and with a restaurant feel, it may inspire you to try one of the many meals on their menu.

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Local Expert Jessica Polizzotti Says:

Bars: "Two locations of Bukowski's exist, Back Bay is a smaller dive that is truly a bar with some snacks thrown in, and Inman Square is a more modern space with a stronger focus on the food."

Pubs: "Spin the wheel to select your beer."

Best for Bars Because: Bukowski's is the type of bar you'll feel comfortable being casual, and find intellectual conversation with strangers.

Best for Pubs Because: Bukowski's Tavern is a funky find in the pub scene, not typical, you'll find an alternative crowd inside.

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