Boston's Best Pubs-the Irish and beyond

Who doesn't like the feel of a pub-relaxed, low lighting, large lists of beers and often even menus filled with the high calorie fare we crave. Luckily, Boston is jam-packed with pubs of all kind. From the dingy little dives to the bar and restaurant that are combined, Boston's pubs certainly are not hard to find. Splattered all over the city's landscape, Boston's best pubs are there when you need them-whatever section of the city you find yourself in. 

10 Buff's Pub
There is no better place for wings and beer than Buff's Pub. For $10.25 you get a half order of Buff's famous wings with fries, onion rings or a salad (more than ample for one). Served with your choice of sauce, these wings are expertly fried until they reach the perfect level of crunch. Buff's pub atmosphere entices diners to stay a while to watch the big games (in Boston there are lots of big games). ((617) 332-9134)

9 Warren Tavern
Warren Tavern is an historic Charlestown bar that still hosts a cool crowd. George (Washington) and Paul (Revere) may be gone, but you are what makes Warren tavern special now. Wednesdays rock at Warren Tavern, when locals flock to this watering hole to enjoy the casual bar scene and above average burgers. Warren Tavern is a perfect place for an American meal or simply a pint to end your night. (617-241-8142)

8 Bukowski's Tavern
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. (617-497-7077)

7 Publick House Beer Bar & Kitchen
Brookline's Publick House is home to an outstanding selection of international brews, local microbrews (from the New England are), pilsners from Germany and authentic Belgian ales. Food is equally impressive here, and is reminiscent of what you'd find in Europe's trendy gastro-pubs. The scene consists of savvy locals who want a quality brew in a cool setting (I know many locals who brew their own beer and often enjoy a pint here). (617-277-2880)

6 L Street Tavern
L Street Tavern was once a notoriously local dive where anyone other than real Southie natives would not feel welcome. However, fame garnered from filming the late 90's favorite, Good Will Hunting, here created quite a buzz around L Street's tiny Tavern. A major renovation altered its appearance and now L Street attract more than only locals. Although it remains a tourist attraction for those seeking a Hollywood site, L Street is also a great place for those looking for a sample a little taste of true side of Southie. ((617) 268-4335)

5 James's Gate
James's Gate, set in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston is part restaurant part pub. In contrast to the brightly lit upscale feel of the restaurant side, the Pub is dimly lit, laid back, and authentically Irish. Decorated with antique church pews, hand cut beams and even a facade that replicate the St James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, the owners searched far and wide to recreate a taste of Ireland. A seat beside the grand stone fireplace that sits in the center of the main wall of the Pub is the ideal spot to enjoy a nice strong drink. A separate menu serves the Pub well. Featuring traditional fare (like fish and chips, soups, and Shepard's Pie) you won't have to leave the comfort of the pub to find food. (617-983-2000)

4 Washington Square Tavern
Who says a pub has to be a dive? Washington Square Tavern is an upscale hangout where Brookline locals flock to enjoy fabulous New American cuisine at communal tables, or a bit of banter at the bar (often with the ever present, and extremely friendly owner). Lights are set low and create a sense of calm that permeates the entire place. A low key evening of conversation with strangers awaits. The word "rush" does not seem to be the dictionary here, because no one makes you feel that you can no longer linger over your last few sips of beer. (617-232-8989)

3 The Squealing Pig
The Squealing Pig provides food, fun and the feel of being with family. Comfy and casual is the best way to describe this awesome Irish Pub.It is no wonder it has made many of Boston's best lists. Over 100 beers make an appearance on their menu, and a perfectly poured pint of Guiness is just one. Beyond beer, the Squealing Pig has one amazing menu, filled with pub grub that goes beyond basic, the Squealing Pig wow's crowds with its signature sandwich the Toastie. Slices of bread surround creative fillings and are sealed to complete this pocket of pleasure. With a strong local following, The Squealing Pig is a sure bet for a real sampling of a Boston Pub. (617-566-6651)

2 Matt Murphy's Pub
Matt Murphy's Pub sits on a block with several eateries and is the only place you can really go just for a drink. However, who would want to do that? This pub's grub is really good! Irish food with flair is what they serve here. Homemade ketchup wow's the crowds and the Shepard's pie is to die for! A place to linger just a little longer, this dimly lit local Pub is one step above the rest. If you happen to have already filled your belly and simply want a beer then do not worry you can always return to try their fabulous food finds. (617-232-0188)

1 Elephant and Castle
A good old English pub in the heart of Boston's Financial District that serves good food, great beer and offer Saturday night karaoke makes the Elephant and Castle a go to spot for Bostonians after work, late into the night and on weekends. Enjoy their fish n' chips alongside a pint or saddle up to the bar to socialize solo. You're sure to make friends at the Elephant and Castle as the crowd is welcoming. (617-350-9977)


Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand.  Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings.  Although Jessica has been a world traveler since her teens, her favorite trip may always be her Italian honeymoon.  Living in a city that allows her to experience a change in seasons equals an opportunity to enjoy a shift in activities. As the old New England cliché says, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.” 

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Maps and Directions

1
Buff's Pub 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Pub, Sports Bar
Neighborhood: West Metro
5
L Street Tavern 10Best List Arrow
Type: Local Picks, Pub
Neighborhood: South Boston
9
Matt Murphy's Pub 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Live Music, Pub