Sometimes you just have to find a relaxed spot with low lighting, large lists of beers and menus filled with the traditional, crave-worthy pub fare. 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.
Make your way to Matt Murphy's Pub in Brookline where the food is just as good as the booze. Dig into delicious burgers, cheese plates, and entrees alongside a pint or a stiff drink while chatting with the new friends you're sure to make at this friendly bar.
A neighborhood dive that is known as a quiet place with little entertainment other than the social atmosphere is the Brendan Behan Pub where you can enjoy quiet conversations and a round of darts.
Love the nightlife at the Lansdowne Pub where the crowd is on the younger side and the vibe is a bit more upbeat than at more traditional area pubs. Jam packed on game days, it is a popular place for pre and post game action.
Stop into the Elephant and Castle after a meeting in the Financial District for an English Pub experience where trivia abad karaoke take place alongside the plates of fish and chips and pints of beer.
Wherever you end up you'll surely enjoy your time at the 10best traditional Boston pubs.
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, created quite a buzz around L Street's tiny Tavern. A major renovation altered its appearance and now L Street attracts 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 to sample a little taste of the true side of Southie. You'll find your fair share of Boston accents on both sides of the bar and few looking to make new friends. ((617) 268-4335)
Publick House Beer Bar & Kitchen
Brookline's Publick House is home to an outstanding selection of international brews, local microbrews, 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. Dig into a plate of the Publick House's wings or bite into a juicy burger while enjoying their award winning beer selection. The scene consists of savvy locals who want a quality brew in a cool setting. You'll find many return customers lining the bar and chatting away while enjoying a freshly poured pint and some excellent food. Open daily until 2am, there's always a good time to go to the Publick House. (617-277-2880)
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)
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)
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. Here you can find entertainment like trivia to keep your mind active and karaoke to exercise your vocal chords. Best of all the crowd at the Elephant and Castle is welcoming; you're sure to make friends out of the strangers at the bar. (617-350-9977)
Nothing fancy, not a frill to be found, Doyle's is just a perfectly plain Irish Pub and a fantastic find. Located in Jamacia Plain, Doyle's is home to a bit of Boston's political history (many Boston politicians have been seen dining behind these doors). It is the good, cheap eats that draw a returning crowd of Boston locals to indulge in their burgers, sandwiches and fried fish. Doyle's also serves a Sunday brunch that gets jam packed and has a simple children's menu that includes a 12oz soft drink. With entree prices below twenty dollars, Doyle's does not force you to drain your wallet for a meal at this pub. (617-524-2345)
Brendan Behan Pub
The Brendan Behan Pub make sit's home in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain where the melting pot of inhabitants meet up in this old school style Irish Pub meant for catching up with old friends or getting to know new friends. Devoid of TVs and other machines that detract from conversation the Behan's only active outlet is their dart board where you can enjoy a rowdy game of darts. The large selection of draught beer is impressive comprising a solid mix of dark ales, sparkling lagers and stouts. At Brendan Behan Pub you can be sure you'll get a perfectly poured pint of Guinness. Live Irish seissúns, rock 'n' roll and cutting edge alternative music grace the Brendan Behan Pub on a regular basis, and a cover is never charged. (617 522 5386)
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)
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)
When a larger than life nightlife neighborhood incorporates a pub into the mix of happening spots you get a pub for the cool set. Located outside the gates of Fenway Park, Lansdowne Pub gets packed on game days with Red Sox revelers, and after the game with those looking to keep the night going. Serving Irish pun fare, and beer, you'll find the Lansdowne Pub to be a place you'll return to again and again. Entertainment includes live music, karaoke, and open mic nights, and game days finds the local teams highlighted on the big screens. ((617) 247-1222)
About Jessica Polizzotti
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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