Top Local in YAH Global

Best Irish Pubs In Boston


Some Top Local lists on YAHglobal.Com rank items from 1 to whatever with one being best and the last item being the lesser of the best which is still a compliment to the business, but will ultimately draw fire from our readership. For the most part, we've got enough gumption to take a licking and stand by our ratings. However, this is Boston we're dealing with here and Irish Pubs are a big deal with locals being extremely loyal, even downright "patriotic", to one specific watering hole. Placing one pub over another on a list such as this may very well cause a good old fashion bar brawl (assuming that everyone is huddled over their laptops while drowning in Guinness, right?) and we don't want to be responsible for broken bottles, stools and dart boards. We'd also like to return to these Boston haunts one day without being greeted like a Lakers fan.

Thus, in our humble opinion we have compiled a simple enough list of the Best Irish Pubs In Boston with no specific order other than the fact that all five (plus one, you'll see) have all been unanimously chosen by our staff for achieving superiority in a city renowned for the best "green" bars in the world, next to Ireland of course. 


Brendan Behan Pub
378 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA (between Creighton St. & Day St.)


The first sign that lends to the fact that Brendan Behan is a true Irish Pub is the hole riddled dart board visible from the outside window as you pass by, with plenty of chalk on the score pad and players ready and waiting to show their talent for hurling a potentially lethal weapon into the soft surface of a red, green and black circled target. Also making Brendan Behan an obvious choice for this list is the accolades they have received over the years from periodicals all over North America AND even Ireland itself as being as authentic to the experience that a pub like this intends to offer the public. The large selection of draught, bottled beers (dark ales, sparkling lagers and rich stouts) and of course, Guinness complemented by a line up of entertainment that consists of live Irish seissúns, rock 'n' roll and alternative music and the non-existent (never) cover charge makes Brendan Behan a major destination point for Bostonians.


The Druid
1357 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

Found in the center of Cambridge's Inman Square and located within one of the oldest wooden retail buildings in Greater Boston, the setting of The Druid brings patrons about as close to the real thing (being a pub in Ireland) as one can find within the U.S.. Great Guinness and an authentic regional menu puts this pub at top of many local's favorite lists.


Mr. Dooley's
77 Broad Street, Boston, MA


While we tend to stay away from chain type establishments when looking into “hole in the wall” pubs, Somer's Pubs has earned its place as a family owned operation renowned for perfectly placing Irish pubs within Greater Boston and fulfilling a need so well that it demanded expansion. Although you can't go wrong with any of it's seven locations of varying name, Mr. Dooley's on Broad Street in the financial district continues to draw acclaim from weary white collar number crunchers, blue collar workers and the neighboring community as a whole for providing the one of the best Irish Pub experiences in the city and a seafood heavy menu that draws as much attention to the establishment as does the pints it pours.


Shay's Pub & Wine Bar

58 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA (Harvard Square)


Shays Pub & Wine Bar has been in business and servicing patrons in Harvard Square for over 27 years and counting. They don't necessarily identify themselves as being an Irish Pub and the menu is in fact more Tex Mex (in addition to the staple stews and potato wedges) than anything, but given the name, perfect location, and the fact that everyone around mentions Shays Pub & Wine Bar when asked about the best Irish Pubs in Boston, it becomes an obvious choice for inclusion in this list. They also serve Guinness. We did the math and Shays came out on top with the rest.


Thirsty Scholar Pub
70 Beacon Street, Somerville, MA

Although its not a popularity contest (well, it sort of is), we needed to include this Irish Pub on the list. The Thirsty Scholar Pub skyrocketed to fame after serving as a pivotel setting at the beginning of the Social Network movie and had many people leaving the theater with the assertion that their next visit to Boston would include a stop at this instantly recognizable establishment. The public demands it so we deliver. The Thirsty Scholar Pub's proximity to Harvard brings in plenty of students and visitors to the area creating an energetic atmosphere and the drink and dinner menu keeps the crowds coming back for more.


The Haven
2 Perkins Street, Jamaica Plain, MA

Wait a second, The Haven is a Scottish Bar you say? Yep, that's right. The first one in fact for Greater Boston. So why include it on this list? Well, the vibe isn't that far off from your local Irish watering holes but with a unique Scottish twist added to the atmosphere and menu, just in case you were growing weary of the same old same as you browse the top to bottom of this itinerary of sorts. The kilt wearing alternative to Irish pub gumption can hold their own when drinking anyone under, sideways, and over the table but substituting Guinness with their forte Session Beers that hold names like Kelpie and Fraoch, the Grozet and the Alba pine. The food, or chitteren, is similar to Irish fare with a heavy emphasis on varied meat, potatoes, and squash and mashing, lots of mashing. Live music echos through the dim lit interior of the pub and opens the public up to the sounds of expertly played fiddles and bagpipes with a modern touch. The Haven is about as unique yet comfy in both atmosphere and menu as one can get. Be sure to include this place on your tour of Greater Boston Pubs.