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Best bars for dinner.

Looking for a new spot to eat at the bar. Looking for reasonably priced food & great atmosphere. Live in the South End and have eaten at many of the bars here whether trendy or divey, though the dives are too rare in my opinion. Love to eat at these bars The Delux, Anchovies , Toro, J..J. Foley's, Red Bones, Union, East Coast Grill, Giacomo's. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks,

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  1. My favorite bar to eat at is Blue Room for the many reasons I have enumerated in as many posts. Reggie and Mary provide excellent service. The grilled meats and fish are consistently delicious. The sides, pastas, cheese plates and antipasto round out what is always menu chock-a-block full of flavor and depth. I have NEVER been disappointed. OH - excellent wines by the glass AND conveniently paired for you with current menu items. Can't go wrong! :-D

    1 Reply
    1. re: Small Plates

      I'll second the Blue Room and add;
      Rendezvous Central Square
      Central Kitchen
      La Voile
      And, for slightly more money ---but remember at the bar you can easily order less food.

    2. B-Sides is fun for bar food that is well prepared. My faves are Baked Gouda in a Skillet & their salads are great too. There choco fondue is fun to eat with a group. When all else fails there are the free hardboiled eggs that they have at the bar.

      1. I like the following dining-at-the-bar spots for the attentive nature of the staff and the nice conversations I've gotten into...
        -Green Street
        -Eastern Standard (though it can get crowded)
        -Bin 26 Enoteca

        Honorable Mentions:
        -Tryst (way better than the dining room)
        -Aquitaine (small, but lovely)

        1. chez henri is a great place. tiny but a nice scene. another is green street. amazing drinks, pretty good food. for a little bit more upscale i really enjoy the bar at harvest. sorry so cambridge centric, but that's where i do most of my bar eating. .

          3 Replies
          1. re: cambridgeMike

            Enthusiastic second for Chez Henri. As far as I'm concerned, they make *the* Cubano (albeit a somewhat schmancy one) in town. Worthy cocktails as well.

            1. re: finlero

              third for chez henri. plus, the cubano is ONLY available at the bar, so another reason to eat there.

            2. re: cambridgeMike

              I ate at the bar at Chez Henri the other night - had the veggie cuban thanks to recommendations from chowhound. SO had the empanadas. I'd recommend the food and the scene.

            3. I really enjoy eating at the bar when its just me and my husband. I find that its actually easier to talk to each other side by side as opposed across from each other. Two of my standbys for bar eating are Eastern Standard (they have a late night menu which is a bonus) and Rivergods near Central Sq.

              It never occured to me to eat at the bar at East Coast Grill but maybe I'll give it a try. I agree with you on Toro. There was a long line when we went and we just lucked out by getting those seats (I swear I wasn't doing the annoying hover either!)

              3 Replies
              1. re: heypielady

                I agree heypielady, the bar is the best place to eat and to watch the activity of the place, plus the bartenders take real good care of you, sometimes better than the regular waitstaff. Tenders often give samples of wine, remnants of bottles, special drinks etc., nice touch. I'll take a seat at the bar over a table at almost any great steakhouse.

                1. re: heypielady

                  I always eat at the bar at East Coast Grill -- the staff is chill enough to let you order as you go at the bar, while at the table I always feel pressured to decide everything all at once.

                  1. re: yumyum

                    Also eat at the bar at ECG 99% of the time. Service is terrific, often the bartender will send over a few oysters or shrimp. It can get crowded but the staff there really manage it well.

                2. Eastern Standard has great food and an amazing drink list although you really are paying for the quality. I wouldn't call Sissy K's in Faneiul a great bar for dinner because most of the food isn't great but everytime I have the steak tips I am impressed with the value and quality escpecially considering I am usually drinking $1 Buds

                  1. I'll add the Publick House, and Neptune Oyster.

                    1. We're big bar fans, too. Other than a few you already mentioned, here's my list:

                      No. 9
                      Pops (the bar itself is tiny, but the few seats directly in front of it are great)
                      Butcher Shop

                      1. I had a very nice dinner (actually a collection of apps) with a friend at the back bar at Les Zyg last week. The highlight was the house-made sausage. It was nice to be at the bar--when they ran out of the wine we were drinking, the bartender offered 3-4 tastes of others to help us choose a replacement.

                        1. Audobon Circle
                          Cambridge Crossing
                          Kingston Station
                          The Good Life
                          Grafton Street
                          Santarpio's bar next to the BBQ pit
                          Kingfish Hall
                          Matt Murphy's

                          The best is still C.F. Donovan's
                          RIP to the Quiet Man

                          1. I'll try not to repeat; some of my favorites:

                            -Washington Sq Tavern
                            -Highland Kitchen
                            -Forest Cafe
                            -Miracle of Science

                            1. Thanks for all of the reply's. Had to celebrate V-Day early becuase of work commitments so my GF and I went out last night. We started at the Butcher Shop with a class of wine and a cheese plate. The wine was a excellent, it was the special of the night and was some sort of blend.The bartender explained but all I heard was "active volcano, blah.blah.blah. Elba, blah, blah blah."
                              We had a cheese plate that was fantastic, Cow, Sheep, Goat. For me the Shropshire Blue stood out. The service was excellent.
                              At Pops we were lucky to get seats near the front of the room and not behind glass. I was kind of underwhelmed by the menu, I believe it has changed and the one on Menu Pages is incorrect. However,. my pan roasted chicken was excellent and my GF really like, but did not love, her clam cakes. After two glasses of wine it was back to the homestead to watch a really bad movie, which is another post for another board.

                                1. Some great recs already; most of faves have been listed. I'll just add Prezza in North End. Worth a visit if you're in the neighborhood: Gargoyle's in Somerville, West Side Lounge in Cambridge.

                                  1. My Favs: No 9 Park, Neptune for Lunch, B&G, Butcher Shop for Brunch, Olives, Toro, Pigalle, Bin 26 mostly for wine, Figs in CTown for Lunch, Eastern Standard mostly for the drinks tho...

                                    1. My most visited would be CF Donovan followed by Amhreins. The Fat Cat in Quincy is a great new option, if you can get there early. It's a mob scene since PG review. Also, like the Palm and the Butcher Shop.