Best Pubs in Boston

February 22, 2013 by

Best Of Lists, Eating & Restaurants, Local Recommendations, Things To Do, Uniquely Boston


Beer. Photo courtesy of dyet.

Boston offers myriad options in terms of after-work drinks and interesting bars. In fact, it can be difficult to choose where to go for a night out or a mid-afternoon draft. For those looking for a worthwhile pub experience in the city, here are our choices for the best pubs in Boston.

Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s Boston tours & things to do, and Boston travel recommendations. Or take a Historic Boston Tavern Tour!

Beantown Pub

Located across from the historic Freedom Trail, the lively Beantown Pub is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Picture gourmet food mixed with a casual atmosphere and a selection of more than 12 draft beers. Televisions line the walls allowing patrons to watch their favorite sports teams, while a pool room and “internet juke-box” add to the fun. Bartenders here are friendly and fast, and hard-to-find brews like the “Samuel Adams Brick Red” and the “Beantown Ale.” The pub also features an extensive pub menu with favorites like the soft, three-times-baked jumbo pretzels, golden brown New England fried chicken and juicy handmade burgers with crispy hand-cut fries. Odd but fun fact: Beantown Pub is located across from Sam Adam’s grave, allowing you to sip the namesake beer with the man himself.

The Bell in Hand Tavern

Open since 1795, the Bell in Hand Tavern boasts being the oldest tavern in America. Students, sailors, actors and politicians would often gather here for great conversation and a cold beer. It was also a popular spot to hear the latest gossip, as owner Jimmy Wilson had previously been the town crier before opening the establishment. Today, patrons can enjoy typical pub fare like buffalo wings, nachos and burgers, as well as more unusual favorites such as shrimp wrapped in potato strings, eggplant fries and coconut chicken tenders. The atmosphere is energetic with live music most nights and an excellent beer selection. We recommend the “Bell in Hand Ale,” a thick, creamy ale that was the only beer served when the pub first opened over 200 years ago.

Croke Park/Whitey’s

Some things never change, including Whitey’s. Located at 268 West Broadway in South Boston, the pub delivers a true Boston dive bar experience. Imagine locals covered in tattoos, cracked bathroom mirrors and a dimly-lit interior that hasn’t been renovated since the 80s. Although a bit rough around the edges, Whitey’s features a low-key, inviting ambiance and friendly locals — not to mention free rounds of pool, complimentary popcorn and $1.50 drafts — that keeps people coming back for more. Note there is no sign on the door, adding to the allure of the pub.

-Jessica Festa

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