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JP Recommendations

I am taking my father to the Sam Adams Brewery for a tour and tasting. He is definitely a pub guy. I would love to take him to one in JP for some great food and beer. Any recommendations? Thanks!

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  1. Doyle's and James Gate are two that come to mind.

    1. Beware the food at Doyle's, though. James's Gate is a better option, as is the surprisingly decent burger at Costello's.

      1. James's Gate, Costello's, The Dogwood.

        1. If he wants a bit of Boston history (or at least paintings and pictures of Boston politicians on the walls) mixed in with a so-so atmosphere and doesn't mind greasy food, then Doyles. If he wants good (possibly great) pub food (and excellent calamari!) and a great pub atmosphere go to Jame's Gate - and eat in the bar area, not the restaurant area.

          11 Replies
          1. re: dpak

            Agree mostly with the above post (dpak.) Doyle's is a beautiful old bar with GREAT atmosphere and real Boston history. The food is just ok. It's not bad, but certainly not memorable (except for brunch, I think they've got the best pancakes in the city.)
            The food at James Gate is better; but I would go to the pub side. It's a much more casual menu, basically 'pub food' but the pub itself is just a really cool place to grab a beer and some food. Plus they've got a great beer selection --better than Doyle's.
            The food at Costello's is probably the best of the three (and yes, a great burger) but the atmosphere is nothing special and the beer list is the same (nothing special.) However, if you're ok with drinking more Sam Adams after your tour there, you'll be fine with Costello's.

            1. re: dpak

              I moved to JP back in February and I'm not such a big fan of the food at James Gate. I realize that I'm in the minority here, but there it is. Best bets tend to be going for the simple things (boneless buffalo wings) and I did like their mashed potatoes. Most other items I tried were disappointing. I do like the atmosphere in the bar area and this place is probably your best bet, though for pub food I tend to go for Costello's (the one trick pony either orders cheese fries or a burger). The Dogwood is much more of an upscale pub and has decent food, but might not appeal to someone who is seeking out a true pub feel, if that makes sense.

              I checked out Jeanie Johnston's for a pint recently and I loved the neighborhood feel of that pub-at least on a weeknight - but what about the food?

              1. re: MB fka MB

                The Jeanie has decent-but-forgettable pub food - burgers, wings, o-rings, fish 'n chips - the typical stuff. The beer selection is a bit limited. The atmosphere can be fun at times - trivia night on Wednesday and karaoke on Saturday. I don't think I'd ever drop in just for a meal, though - especially with Jame's Gate just down the block.

                  1. re: drewames03

                    lots of stuff on the board about the alchemist...we've only been once, and it was definitely an off night (a DC saw the chef throwing a tantrum...then there was no fish...then no chicken breast...then after a bit of talking w/the chef, yes there was a chicken breast...). definitely a more yuppie-trendy atmosphere than the jeanie johnston, costellos, more ambitious menu tho'.

                    1. re: drewames03

                      the alchemist is great for drinking, but not eating, IMHO. I live 2 blocks away and I'd go to any number of places for food before I'd eat there. Don't get me wrong, I like the place as a boozing establishment - they've got some good bartenders.

                      1. re: MB fka MB

                        Agreed! I love going their for bourbon. I live two blocks away, as well, howdy neighb!

                        1. re: Prav

                          It wasn't me!

                          I like the bourbon selection there, too.

                        2. re: MB fka MB

                          I'm not sure if anything has changed at the Alchemist, but I was there unexpectedly last week and the food was actually pretty good. I didn't order my own entree but instead grazed on everyone else's -- There were mussels with fries --handcut and served piping hot; a pretty respectable burger; and some tasty warm focaccia-like bread for dipping into olive oil. Actually all pretty good. Might be worth giving them a try again.

                          1. re: twentyoystahs

                            good to hear, maybe I'll give it another try before the summer is over.

                    2. re: MB fka MB

                      I'm with you, MB, on the food at James's Gate. It's better than the munchies at Doyle's, but that's not saying much. I wouldn't go out of my way to either for the food alone, though atmosphere and libations might be different story.

                  2. No way James's Gate has a better beer list than Doyle's, twentyoystahs. Not only does Doyle's have a ton of bottles, but some of them are ridiculously under-priced. Until recently, you could get Chimay bottles for $4.75!

                    I like The Alchemist, but God knows it does have its off-nights, and it's not an old-school Boston pub like the others. I don't think I would eat at the Jeannie. Bar-wise, I like the Brendan Behan, but they don't serve food.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: robwat36

                      Sorry, I should have clarified. I was specifically thinking of their draft beer selection; I always remember that James Gate has some great beers on tap. Wasn't thinking about the bottle selection at Doyle's which I do remember now is extensive.

                      I'm with MB and others re the food at James Gate; I think it's moderately better than Doyle's, but again, that's not saying all that much. Everything I've ever had at Costello's has been excellent, it just doesn't have the atmosphere of Doyles or J Gate.