Best Pubs in Boston

Walk into Boston Pubs Where You're Sure to Feel Welcome

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
Photo courtesy of davidgsteadman/flickr

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.

Recommended for Pubs because: L Street Tavern has palace in Boston movie history making it a must see for movie buffs looking for an area pub.

Jessica's expert tip: Parking can be tough, as most spots are residential and Southie residents get ticked when their spot is gone (take note of the chairs lining the streets, and leave them there).

Read more about L Street Tavern →

Publick House Beer Bar & Kitchen
Photo courtesy of [puamelia]/flickr

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.

Recommended for Pubs because: The Publick House is a neighborhood pub where you'll feel like a neighbor even if you are from out of town.

Jessica's expert tip: In Brookline's Washington Square, parking can be tough, take the T to make your life a little easier.

Read more about Publick House Beer Bar & Kitchen →

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.

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

Jessica's expert tip: Spin the wheel to select your beer.

Read more about Bukowski's Tavern →


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.

Recommended for Pubs because: The Squealing Pig' is home to a dimly lit interior that let's you indulge in their pub favorites while forgetting the passing of time.

Jessica's expert tip: Even if you are not hungry, you must indulge in a Toastie when at the Squealing Pig

Read more about The Squealing Pig →


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.

Recommended for Pubs because: The Elephant and Castle is a a small pub with a traditional atmosphere in the middle of the city where you can let loose.

Jessica's expert tip: This traditional English spot not only pours a great pint but also serves a great fish & chips.

Read more about Elephant and Castle →

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 seissĂșns, rock 'n' roll and cutting edge alternative music grace the Brendan Behan Pub on a regular basis, and a cover is never charged.

Recommended for Pubs because: The Brendan Behan Pub offers a low-key social atmosphere where you can walk in alone and leave with new friends.

Jessica's expert tip: When looking for a good Irish beer, the Brendan Behan Pub is the place to go.

Read more about Brendan Behan 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.

Recommended for Pubs because: Matt Murphy's is a small Irish Pub that serves excellent Irish fare in a friendly atmosphere.

Jessica's expert tip: A pub serving Irish food you really should try.

Read more about Matt Murphy's Pub →

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.

Recommended for Pubs because: James's Gate draws hoarded of locals to enjoy the relaxed setting and excellent beer selection in a pub atmosphere.

Jessica's expert tip: Although excellent year-round, James's Gate is perfect for a cool winter night when the crackling fire is lit to warm the soul.

Read more about James's Gate →

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.

Recommended for Pubs because: The Lansdowne Pub is a pub for the cool crowd who want to enjoy the pub atmosphere without missing the big night out feel.

Jessica's expert tip: Lansdowne Pub is a busy spot that often has long lines, especially on a Red Sox game day.

Read more about Lansdowne Pub →


Meet 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...  More About Jessica