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Aug 24, 2011 10:11 AM

Recommendations for old school/divey/gritty Boston spots - restaurants and bars (w/ or w/o food)

Trying to get off the beaten path with a couple of guests coming into town. I'd like to show them some of old school Boston. Looking for recs for old school/divey/gritty Boston spots. They don't have to be divey or gritty, really looking for a strong sense of place that might make up for shortcomings (if any) in the food. The two places I have on the tentative list are Rinos and Bell Isle Seafood. Thanks in advance.

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  1. A few that come to mind....

    Doyle's, JP
    Santarpio's, East Boston
    The Field, Cambridge
    The Paddock, Somerville
    La Hacienda, Somerville
    Cappy's Tavern, Readville
    Cronin's, Quincy
    Waterfront Cafe, North End
    Costello's, JP
    The Corrib, West Roxbury
    Monte's, Lynn
    The Sevens, Beacon Hill

    7 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston

      I thought f'sure you were gonna send him to The Penalty Box

      1. re: hazelhurst

        Hee hee! Or King Arthur's in Chelsea.

        1. re: hiddenboston

          Ouch! How cruel...I like it. (Actually I wished I coulda been at The Penalty Box they night they won back the Cup. Doyle's woulda been number two, I think.)

      2. re: hiddenboston

        I like these, but don't get your pick for The Field.

        1. re: rknrll

          Probably more sentimental reasons than anything. (A lot of my friends have hung out there over the years.)

        2. re: hiddenboston

          What about Jake Wirth's? Been there lately? When I'm in town I sometimes have a few there before a Sox game. You get decent beer, don;t get clipped like you do at/in Fenway, and the Green Line is practically right there.

          1. re: hazelhurst

            I was going to add that as well, but I think I got distracted. :-) Yes, Jacob Wirth's should definitely be on the list, IMO.

            Jacob Wirth Restaurant
            31 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116

        3. Sligo Pub, Somerville
          TC's Lounge, Boston

          2 Replies
          1. re: rknrll

            Bull McCabes, Somerville (formerly Tir na N'Og)
            surprised you didn't mention Regina's Thatcher St.

            1. re: rknrll

              TCs has been discovered by the college/slightly post college crowd over the last few years. Lines are longer, and grittiness has all but disappeared.

            2. JJ Foleys
              Costello's and Galway House in JP
              Halfway Cafe in Dedham

              Galway House
              720 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

              1 Reply
              1. re: trufflehound

                I just wanted to second the Galway--they have a pretty good beer selection and the food can be surprisingly good...

                ...and it's not lacking in gritty.

              2. Charlie's Kitchen and Grendel's Den, , Harvard Square

                Charlie's Kitchen
                10 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                1 Reply
                1. re: Madrid

                  grendel's can be overrun with students who have gotten far too sloppy. the one time i went i couldn't believe how messed up people were, and er, not "making it to the bathroom," shall we say.

                2. The Erie Pub, Dorchester
                  The Banshee, Dorchester (sort of fits the bill)
                  Biddy Early's, The Financial District
                  Mr. Dooley's, The Financial District
                  Intermission Lounge, Theatre District (far better than Jacob Wirth's)
                  The Blackthorn, South Boston
                  Flann O'Brien's, Jamaica Plain
                  Brendan Behan Pub, Jamaica Plain
                  Murphy's Law, South Boston

                  There are probably a few hundred or more places. You could almost throw a rock and hit one.

                  Jacob Wirth Restaurant
                  31 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116

                  Biddy Early's
                  141 Pearl St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02110

                  Murphy's Law
                  837 Summer St, Boston, MA 02127

                  Brendan Behan Pub
                  378 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Guinness02122

                    Sullivan's Tap should be on that list.

                    1. re: pemma

                      The Twelve Bens, JJ's Irish Bar (not to be confused with JJ Foley's), The Sevens, Harp & Bard, Dot Tavern, Aces High, The Connection, Sullivan's Pub, that no name pool bar across from Laboure Center in South Boston, The Playwright, The Green Dragon, Bell In Hand (oldest bar in America) etc...we could keep going until Christmas. And they're all "old school Boston" that caters to the poster.

                      Harp & Bard Restaurant
                      1099 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125

                      Dot Tavern
                      840 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125

                      Twelve Ben's
                      315 Adams St, Dorchester, MA 02122

                      1. re: pemma

                        Ramrod/Machine at 1254 Boylston St. Boston is a true dive bar with the added attraction of leathermen and drag queens cavorting during Red Sox games.