Here Are All the Best Places to Get Drunk in Boston

This is definitely the funnest part of our MUNCHIES Guide to Boston and crucial to have on hand, because a bar crawl in Boston can easily get disorienting.

Oct 20 2016, 3:00pm

If you need reprieve from Beantown's very excellent fine dining scene, just walk on down to one of these classic watering holes. These are places where wings and celery sticks are treated with the respect they deserve, and the draft beer and Jameson flow like profanities out of Bruins fans' mouths.

The plentitude of dive bars and Irish pubs might be one of the few things about this city that Hollywood has semi-accurately portrayed; there is no shortage of places to get fucked up. In fact, you could probably throw a rock in any direction in Boston and hit a proper bar.

So we've put together a well-researched list of the City on a Hill's premier low-brow drinking establishments, so you don't have to worry about throwing rocks at buildings in a drunken stupor.

This is definitely the funnest part of our MUNCHIES Guide to Boston, and crucial to have on hand, because a bar crawl in Boston can easily get disorienting.

Just don't ask for any fuckin' cranberry juice, kid.


Crossroads Irish Pub: You won't find many pubs that lean toward the casual, dive-y style in the Back Bay any more—or very many other places in Boston proper, for that matter. However, Crossroads has withstood the test of time. It's got everything you'd expect from a beer and burger joint, with enough sports-watching hardware to satisfy fans. They also put out surprisingly interesting food, like pizzas with crazy toppings like carrot-ginger chicken, and savory honey-ham pies.


JJ Foley's: Tell friends you're meeting at Foley's and there might be some heated debate about which one you mean. While the downtown location has plenty of its own beer-hall history, it's the South End locale, family-run since 1909, that most locals swear by. It's an oasis of Boston history in one of the most rapidly developing neighborhoods in the city, and still once of the best options for a proper pint in an Irish bar, as opposed to one of Boston's many "Irish" bars.


Brendan Behan Pub: Named for the renowned Irish scribe and tippler, the Behan is a rarity: an Irish pub that actually feels like an Irish pub. It has an artsy, literary undertone befitting its Jamaica Plain setting, but with all the genial joviality—and good beer selection—you'd want out of your favorite local spot.


Paddy's Lunch: Be forewarned: This is a dive bar with a high degree of difficulty. Places like this almost don't exist anymore anywhere in Greater Boston. It's on a residential side street in Cambridge, it looks like a bar set up in the back of someone's house, and everyone inside knows each other. Be polite and they might welcome you in.


Courtesy Matt Brown via Flickr.

The Drinking Fountain: Don't be intimidated walking into this JP locals dive. You will be, but don't. It's no-nonsense, it's working-class, and reflecting the character of its neighborhood, it's diverse, but it's the ideal spot for a cheap stiff one and a few rounds of pool.

For our full list of recommendations of restaurants worth the big bucks, check out the MUNCHIES Guide to Boston.