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Best Dive Bars in the Boston Area?

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What are some of your favorite dive bars in the Boston area? Any with decent food? [Go here to post a reply.]
(Posted by hiddenboston)

REPLIES (last updated ):

MLM wrote:
I still say downstairs at the Red Hat is an ultimate dive bar; it's a dingy basement whose focus is solely on their drinks and pub fare.

DD wrote:
The Last Drop on Washington St in Brighton. Cheap beer, cheap pool and free darts. Plus BYOF. Love the place

StrongIsland wrote:
Having been away from Boston for several years, I can't speak to any new places, but dive bars should be judged by the size of the windows. The smaller the windows, the bigger the dive. Extra points for bars in the window. And if there are no windows, then you have truly found a gem.
Cantab is a bit of a dive as well or at least it used to be on the nights Lil Joe Cook was not playing.

JM wrote:
Paddy's on Walden St. in Cambridge.

JB wrote:
The Cavan in Hyde Park. I dare ya.

Matty wrote:
The Silhouette in Allston.

kdmb wrote:
Paddy's on Walden in Cambridge IS a total dive... JMs got it right. So much so I live right down the street and have never been, even though I love my dive bars!
I miss Richard's on the Back Bay / South End line- basically where Flashes is now. I miss the Tar Bar, though that was probably too hip to be a true dive bar. Sligos back in the day, yup, total dive. Even Costello's in JP on Centre Street was a dive... is it still?

AJ wrote:
Whitey's in Southie....Most people don't have the guts to go inside...but it's a great place and the ultimate dive!

cmg wrote:
Morrison's in Malden...holy COW with the grated windows and the crowd outside of the bar.

ortenzia wrote:
Original Sully's (aka Sullivan's, not the one on Main) in Charlestown is my favorite - because the guys who run it and the regulars are damn fine people (my friend and I ran out of cash on a cold night so they let us drink Bud Light for free).

dfphil wrote:
I'd second Paddy's on Walden in North Cambridge.

mm wrote:
Hands down- The Tam in the theater district is a sick dive bar.

engel wrote:
THE TAM. Cannot believe only one other person has mentioned The Tam. Don't let its location across the street from the Theater District fool you. This place is a dive bar with a diverse clientele. I'm sorry, but people really don't understand what a dive bar is unless they've gone to the Tam. I mean, where else but a dive bar does one night's excitement include a woman angry at her boyfriend running into the bar and following him into the bathroom where they fight and then almost copulate? How do I know? Because there isn't a door to the men's bathroom and about 20 people saw it all go down. And did I say bathroom? I should say, "water closet", because that's how small the bathroom is. And that is how dive-bar The Tam is.

Marie A wrote:
No one said The Model on Allston? Eddie C's in Eastie too

KE wrote:
Jacques, The Derby in Everett, Players in Lynn, New Brown Jug before it moved

JB wrote:
Mary Ann's in Cleveland circle

bc wrote:
The Dot Tavern -Dorchester pickled eggs included

Winnie wrote:
The Lynwood Pizza in Randolph/Best bar pizza & cheap drinks

Jonathan Bowen wrote:
Does the Sail Loft qualify?

Mike P wrote:
Definitely Biddy's in the Financial District. Great dive bar in a high end neighborhood

kmd77 wrote:
Hands down it is the original Sully's in Charlestown! :)

emd wrote:
The Tam!

Jay wrote:
Burnham's Supper House in Ashland. It's dark, it's old, and your grandfather would have liked it. Other than the bar, there are a few plastic folding tables to sit at. Sam's is the best beer you'll find here--in bottles. But the food on the very small menu is fantastic. Excellent burgers, good steaks, and a strangely curled hot dog served on a hamburger bun. Don't expect fast service--only two or three people will be working, including the owner, who can be seen cooking behind the bar. But that's okay, they're nice and you're in no hurry to leave. It's an old-fashioned joint, the kind from a time when simple food, well-prepared, and cold beer was enough. Put that way, it doesn't seem like anything exceptional, but the fact that so few such establishments, unscathed by renovation and responsiveness, survive makes Burnham's a special place.

kev wrote:
Now closed but The Penalty Box was the best bar in the city. Rabid Bruin fans and the smell of urine.

Franco wrote:
Norfolk Tap, red shag carpet on the walls. nun said

MAC wrote:
Biddy Early's... Hands down best dive out though... That is all... And the kitchen stays open as long as people are ordering food... Honey Siracha wings are Bomb plus can't go wrong with a cool beer and a biddy burger.

JBM wrote:
The Tam WAS a diver bar when it had pennies on the table years ago. Now it is just trying to be a dive. In Boston proper, I don't think there are any true one's left. Wally's is disqualified because it is really a music club and TC's burned down. The Four Winds in divey-ish.

mary wrote:
Whitey's in Southie. The best dive any where. Looks scary as hell and smells awful inside. You have to go!!

TT wrote:
Long gone, but not forgotten is The Sandbar Lounge that used to be toward the Winthrop end of Revere Beach. The tables wobbled so bad, drinks would fall over. It was a big biker hangout, so that sometimes added to the...adventure of drinking in there.
IIRC, it closed sometime in the mid/late 80s after a shotgun incident.
I still have a Sandbar tshirt packed away somewhere...

lms wrote:
JJ Brannellys in Roslindale! Good pub food too!

dude wrote:
The tam!

Amy C. N. wrote:
We refer to Sidebar as 'The SideOffice'.
Beantown Pub or Sidebar, just around the corner. Beantown isn't really a dive bar, as their food is delicious. Sidebar, on the other hand, is awesome because it's all about beer and Golden Tee.

Jack M. wrote:
Sand Trap in Weymouth....

PEL wrote:
2nd for Whitey's in Southie. Free pool every night - pretty sure it's not a promotion they run but rather the coin slot has never been fixed. Super cheap beer and I saw a guy bringing a sack of burgers in from the Burger King next door just last weekend.

smitty wrote:
Lewis' in Norwood.

vince wrote:
Sullivan's Tap by the Garden. An alleyway with a roof over it. The ladies room used to be padlocked.

ko wrote:
Cronin's publick house in quincy

EM wrote:
Joes Nautical in Hull is the ultimate dive. Anyone that has been there agrees and you can commute home by boat.

to wrote:
Maryanne's in chestnut hill

Scott B. wrote:
Tim's on Columbus Ave in the South End. But this goes back to the late Nineties. Cheap Food & Drinks, No Frills. It was the "Old Timers" hangout. Long gone now.


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