Wherever one goes in Boston, it’s easy to see that this city has plenty of Irish pride. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the home of the Celtics lays claim to some of the best Irish bars in the country. Here are a few of our favorite pubs to grab a Guinness and a good time:
Founded in 1909 in the South End, JJ Foley’s Cafe is one of the few bars in the city where you can find everyone from college kids, to businessmen, to professional athletes having a drink With a standing-room-only bar and a dining room serving delicious pub grub like truffle parmesan tater tots and BBQ pulled pork nachos, JJ Foley’s has you covered in the food and drink departments. With wood and brick walls and a copper ceiling, it has the look and feel of a classic Irish pub. It is still family-run, as Jeremiah Foley’s grandson and great-grandsons keep the place running like as smooth as it has been for the past century.
117 East Berkeley St, Boston (617) 728-9109
This Irish pub, located in historic Faneuil Hall, is one of the most entertaining bars on our list, as musicians perform live Irish music here 7 days a week! With a menu of “authentic, yet inventive Irish cuisine” and two floors of dining and entertainment, Roisin Dubh, as it is called in Gaelic, consistently offers what the Irish call good craic, or a fun time. Due to its proximity to several popular bars, it can get extra busy on the weekends. Come in early to try a bona fide Irish breakfast of Irish bangers, rashers of bacon, black & white pudding, eggs and grilled tomato.
160 State St, Boston (617) 742-2286
This modern Irish pub, located slightly more than 5 miles away, is the best fit for beer aficionados staying at the Boxer, as there are over 22 beers on tap, and more than 40 including bottles and cans. It was named after a famous Irish poet and avid drinker, and Boston Magazine has awarded it “Best Irish Pub in Boston” several times. For those looking for more than just a casual beer, Brendan Behan’s holds Trivia Night on Tuesdays, Poetry Night on Thursdays, live Irish music on Saturdays, and occasional darts tournaments. More events can be found here on the bar’s Facebook page.
378 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (617) 522-5386
This Davis Square pub was founded in 1996 by two Irish musicians and friends. It features a large beer selection and a menu with classic dishes like Guinness beef stew and shepherd’s pie. The Burren puts on a variety of events every week, including Irish step-dancing classes, live concerts, and a weekly comedy night. It is a popular spot for Tufts University students, so it can get pretty crowded, especially on Thursday nights.
247 Elm St, Somerville (617) 776-6896
The final Irish bar on our list is located in Cambridge’s Central Square neighborhood. The Field’s 46-inch flat screen tvs make it a great place to watch games, and its sizable draft beer list includes Guinness(of course), Murphy’s Stout, and Belhaven Scottish Ale. The self-proclaimed “world-famous” curry fries are one of the culinary specialties here. The back room features pool tables and dart boards for those looking for some friendly competition.
20 Prospect St, Cambridge (617) 354-7345