There’s no better place in the U.S. for Irish pubs than Boston.
Whether you’re bar crawling on St. Patrick’s day, or simply craving a pint of Guinness, there’s no better place in the U.S. for Irish pubs than Boston. The Boston area has long been known as an enclave for the Irish and thus it’s only natural that they impart some of their heritage on the city. If you’re stuck on where to go (the city has over 100 of them), check out our top picks that guarantee a perfect pint.
The Black Rose
For the past 40 years, The Black Rose has been serving up pints in the downtown area. You’ll find live Irish bands every single night of the week, two floors of revelry, and an all-around patriotic, Irish vibe. You can sit by a fire, eating some Guinness beef stew, while admiring the flags from each of the Irish county’s. If you’re in the mood for a rowdy sing-along with friendly locals and tourists, take advantage of those live, nightly programs. And after you’ve had your night of fun, make sure to come back in the morning for a full Irish breakfast to cure that hangover.
The Plough and Stars
Located right in Central Square in Cambridge, Plough and Stars has hosted literary influencers such as poet Seamus Heaney and novelist Philip Roth. Like many of the other pubs, they have great live music every night of the week, though it’s definitely not limited to Irish tunes. They definitely have the best pub grub in town, with menu items like a buttermilk fried chicken BLT, and chimichurri pork tenderloin. Fun fact: this is the place where the quarterly literary journal Ploughshares was conceived.
Being right next to Faneuil Hall, you know Ned Devine’s gets hopping at night (and during the day). Between the polish wood paneling imported from Ireland and the brass light fixtures, you definitely feel as if you’re in Ireland. Head upstairs and you’ll find a bustling nightlife scene with thumping music and big tv screens. Their clam chowder has been voted number one during Chowderfest three times so it’s a definite must-try. During the spring and summer it has lovely outdoor seating where you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall.
117 E Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02118 (map, website)
Head over to the South End and you’ll find J.J. Foley’s, an ancient Bostonian bar that’s been around for more than 100 years. It’s the oldest, family-run Irish pub in town, but that doesn’t mean it’s meant for only those who have been around that long. Everyone and anyone has been here at least once, and thus you should too. You’ll find that most of the patrons are drinking Guinness, but if that’s not your go-to brew, they have a few more Irish beers and a selection of local, East Coast ones. If you’re in the mood for some food, definitely try the Foley Fireballs, which are deep fried macaroni balls served with a spicy cheese sauce and ranch. Talk about yum.