Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Sep 11, 2010 06:39 PM

Great burger at JJ Foley's!

This is not meant to dredge up the age-old debate, "who has the best burger in boston" (though I understand it probably will) but I just had to post about the delicious burger I had at J.J. Foley's tonight. Served perfectly medium rare, a nice thick, juicy burger with cheddar cheese perfectly melted on top. Had that great char-grilled taste, definitely chuck, so a good percentage of fat (essential for a truly good burger)...I upgraded to sweet potato fries and they were excellent as well. Definitely freshly hand-cut. Best part of all --$8 for a cheeseburger. $1 upgrade for the sweet potato fries. Major deal.
I guess the bar business keeps them going --whenever I've been, there have just been a handful of tables eating....Saturday night at 7:30 and pretty much the same tonight. I think I remember the kitchen is run by the same folks that run Costello's in JP, which makes sense as I love their burger too and this was pretty much spot-on.

Their menu is classic, pub, comfort food. Wings, potato skins, chicken sandwiches, reuben, and much more --and yes, the classic burger. Honestly i think this burger is just as good as those at the more lauded, and yes, expensive joints in town --that includes Craigie On Main, even Bristol Lounge. Priced as a burger should be priced, and worth every penny, IMO. This place is such a little south end sleeper...Food and service are better than many other spots in the 'hood that are twice/three times as busy. Hope this review doesn't change that, but just felt I had to share....;)

Bristol Lounge
200 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I imagine you're talking about J.J. Foley's Cafe in the South End, not J.J. Foley's Bar & Grill in Downtown Crossing, or the JP Fireside Tavern. Very different places.

    The South End Foley's is a place I love: great people, the atmosphere of a century-old place that can't be faked, reasonable prices, and above-average food, especially for the idiom. The kitchen is indeed run by the same person behind Costello's food: I believe both lease their kitchens to the operator. The burger is a fine example of the big (6-oz or bigger) pub-style grilled patty with a decent roll and very good fries.

    I think rating it against deluxe, gourmand versions like the Craigie burger is a matter of taste. I like both, but don't tend to think of them the same way. The CoM burger is something special in composition and flavor, a rarified experience. Judged purely on a gastronomic basis, I think it's the best burger in town.

    But the folks at Foley's know me by sight, seem genuinely glad to see me, know what my usual is, always have the game on, and serve an excellent version of a pub hamburger. I value them both, for different reasons.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Yep, JJ Foley's in the South End, which I mentioned at the very end of my post.
      I don't know, I'm not sure what would have made the CoM burger any more special ---besides the price ---When it comes to taste, I'd venture to say they were really quite similar. Of course to be certain, I'd need to do a side-by-side taste test (not a bad idea!) but for now, when I want a burger in my local neighborhood, this is my go-to spot.

    2. when i moved into the south end in 1984 one could be killed at this end of town. one could drink at foleys when you got out of work at 7am and you were rarely alone. that they have saved it and even managed to turn it into a place with even fair food is a small miracle. well done, sirs whoever you are.

      4 Replies
      1. re: hyde

        That would be J.J. Foley's grandson Jeremiah. Not many century-plus taverns left in Boston.

        J.J. Foley's
        117 E Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02118

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Actually Jeremiah is the one who opened Foley's. Jerry is his grandson.

          1. re: mats77

            I don't know what nickname the original J.J. went by, but in the case of the grandson and current owner, Jerry is short for Jeremiah.


            1. re: MC Slim JB

              I just wanted to clear up your previous post as it was a bit confusing. I'm aware that Jerry is short from Jeremiah but I've never heard anyone call him that; I certainly don't. Also, I'm not certain but I would wager a round of Jameson's that Jeremiah's nickname was JJ.

      2. Recently I had a great smoked salmon special there. The staff is super nice there.