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Boston Restaurant Blog >> 2005 archives >> December, 2005 >> blog entry

Boston Restaurant Blog -- December, 2005

Monday, December 5, 2005

Irish Pubs in Boston

A couple of weeks ago, a group of us went to Doolin, Ireland, which is on the west coast of that beautiful country. Doolin, a small town in County Clare near the Burren, is famous for its rural pubs that feature traditional Irish music. Gus O'Connor's Pub, in particular, is a big draw for Doolin, as it is one of the great pubs in all of Ireland, with several rooms, each of which might have Irish musicians playing jigs, reels, and folk songs on a given night. In fact, one of the main reasons for our trip to Doolin was to hear traditional Irish music at Gus O'Connor's, while sipping pints of Guinness in front of a peat fire. And Gus O'Connor's Pub did not disappoint...

Coming back to Boston, it dawned on me that, while there are some decent Irish pubs in the Boston area, there are only a few pubs that really have the authentic feel of a Gus O'Connor's Pub, or a place like Monk's Pub in Ballyvaughn, a seaside town just north of Doolin. Perhaps my favorite pub in the Boston area is also one that has a truly authentic feel to it: James's Gate in Jamaica Plain. James's Gate, a well-worn, almost primitive pub between the center of Jamaica Plain and the Forest Hills T stop, is a great place for a pint of Guinness and some decent Irish pub food. This is a no-frills pub, which is exactly why I like James's Gate so much.

photo of McGanns Pub, Boston, MA Another pub that has a nice authentic feel to it is Kitty O'Shea's on State Street in the financial district of Boston. Kitty O'Shea's feels like a fine Dublin pub on the inside, with lots of dark wood, decent music, and people reading, drinking pints, and having an overall good time. One other pub that I like very much also has a branch in the beloved town of Doolin: McGann's Pub near North Station and the new Boston Garden. McGann's, much like its sister pub in Doolin, is a laid-back, comfortable pub that is perfect for a burger, a pint, and good conversation.

There are other good Irish pubs in the Boston area, such as The Burren in Somerville, The Field and The Druid, both in Cambridge, The Corrib in Brighton and West Roxbury, and Matt Murphy's in Brookline Village. But none of these, including James's Gate, Kitty O'Shea's, or McGann's Pub, can quite match the warm, cozy feel of Gus O'Connor's Pub in Doolin. And I guess it's best that way, as it gives me something to look forward to, as I'm already dreaming of my next pint of Guinness in this wonderful little pub tucked away in the seaside village of Doolin, Ireland.

By the way, if you or anyone you know is interested in going to Ireland, our sister site has a new Ireland Travel Guide section up and running. At this site, you will find information on towns, photos of Ireland, and scenic drives. I will be adding more pages as time goes on, so hopefully it will be a good source for people looking to go to Ireland.

Related Blog Entries: Irish pubs

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