Need Great Irish Food For Tomorrow Night
Go for the Druid. It's personable, the food is great, easy to get to and the neighborhood is a lot of fun. As far as cheap eats in Boston go, the fried fish sandwich there is tough to beat.
The question is, where are you staying? So far, the replies on this board have technically spanned four cities.
I agree about The Druid. Excellent steak tips!
And Matt Murphy's is also good, although a few people have said they have gone downhill a bit. I haven't been for about a year and a half, so I can't really comment on that.
Also, James's Gate in Jamaica Plain has an authentic feel to it, and the food is very good.
Personally, I'd hit The Druid...
If the goal were to run into Irish ex-pats, I would recommend Dorchester Ave in Dorchester where you will find more Irish than Matt Murphy's, Druid, the Plough, Tir na Nog, or the Burren combined. The Banshee is probably the best known and has decent pub food.
Matt Murphy's, is the closest you will get to "the new irish cuisine" here and the Druid has good pub food, the Burren is more variable. Heck at Matt Murphy's you will even get Irish service. I think those two are excellent options, but I did want to clarify the "most authentic." Go early and prepare to wait for a table at Matt Murphy's. Another I like is the Irish Village in Brighton.
In addition to the "Green Beer factor" we have a number of factory Irish Pubs (which all look alike), that stick the name "dolmen" on mozzarella sticks, but some of them do produce decent pub food too. Problem is telling one from the other to find the ones which are ok.
Yes, agreed, there are plenty of Fake-Irish places in Boston; however, there are a good number of real stand-outs as well.
We swear by the druid on Cambridge Street in Cambridge. You will be happy with everything from the staff, the drinks and especially the food!
I also agree that Matt Murphy's would be another good option.
Boston is Fake-Irish Central: some neighborhoods have four shamrock-bedecked places with awful American pub food (and green lager on St. Paddy's Day) at every intersection.
The closest thing I know to authentic Irish food and atmosphere is probably Matt Murphy's in Brookline Village, but I haven't been there in a while. Definitely a popular Irish ex-pat hangout: standing only at the bar (no stools), proper pints of stout pulled, and Wednesday quiz nights. They do live music most other nights, and live traditional music for Sunday brunch. Their website is http://mattmurphyspub.com/ .