A dive bar in Beacon Hill? It’s unlikely, but it’s true. Beacon Hill Pub offers a dive bar atmosphere — and more importantly, dive bar prices — in the midst of the swanky neighborhood. The bar attracts a distinctively college-aged crowd, and gets uncomfortably packed after midnight. However, if you’re looking for a cheap beer and a game of foosball, it’s pretty much your only option in the area.
Known to locals simply as “Noch’s”, Pinnochio’s serves up pizza and subs to Harvard square diners. Pinnochio’s offers a wide variety of Sicilian-style pizzas, as well as a handful of tasty sub options. The pizza has thick, doughy crust, and it’s tasty while sober or drunk. (The locale is a late-night favorite amongst drunk Harvard students.)
Just two blocks from the Harvard Square T-station, Doma is both a convenient and reasonably priced liquor store. It’s on the route from the T-station to the Harvard sports complexes, making for a convenient pregame stop. The subterranean entrance can be easy to miss, so be sure to keep an eye out as you walk down JFK.
A staple of Harvard Square since 1971, Grendel’s Den is a place where you go for the beer, and stay for the … well, beer. The food is average at best, but don’t let that dissuade you from a visit. Grendel’s offers a perennial happy hour (5:00 – 7:30 every night, 9:00 – 11:30 Thursday – Sunday), where all food comes half price with a $3 beverage purchase. Their burgers taste a whole lot better for $3.25 — especially when you can wash them down with a draft beer.
645 Cambridge St., Lechmere
Like many of the small family-owned fast-food places in East Cambridge, Dilara features a dauntingly large menu and a sometimes disorganized service staff. Their pizza, however, is both affordable and better than anything else you’ll find in the neighborhood. Best of all, they’re open for delivery until at least midnight, and an unheard of 1:30 AM Thursday-Saturday. Though we can’t make any promises, rumor has it that some late-night noshers have scored a slice as late as 3 AM here.
An atmosphere that never reaches above “barely dim?” Check. Salty wait staff with townie accents? Check. A few beloved, or probably just tolerated regulars whose lives could serve as an object-lesson to warn kids off the dangers of drink? Most definitely check. Have no illusions: the Courtside is a genuine dive bar, perfect for drowning your sorrows, but not for ordering anything more complicated than a rum and coke. Why bother with it? Because every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, it has the best karaoke in Boston. Come to sing (or just to watch the mix of bubbly birthday parties and reeling regulars) – after a few pitchers of dive-bar-priced beers, you’ll sound better than the original…at least in your own mind.
The food is certainly delicious, but true Green Street devotees are all about the award-winning cocktail menu. A neighborhood fixture since the 1930s, Green Street is home to Boston’s longest standing Liquor License. And they certainly take full advantage. Green Street has over 80 beers, wines, and cocktails to choose from, so we definitely recommend taking public transit to arrive at this local gem. It may lack curbside appeal, but believe us when we say that you should not judge a book by its cover.
Formerly known for its large homeless contingent, Central Square has certainly changed its image in recent years. Central Square has a lot to offer when it comes to Boston nightlife, including a number of bars, restaurants, and 20-somethings. Check out live shows at any of a number of venues, or grab a cocktail with a friend. While the square may still get a bit dodgy at night, it’s well on its way to full hipster gentrification.
A staple of Boston public transportation, it’s hard to avoid Park Street in your Boston travels. One of the four “hub” stations of the MBTA, Park Street is the main point of transfer between the red and green lines. Don’t always stay subterranean when you make it to Park Street, though. Walk upstairs and check out the Boston Common, and catch a glimpse of the gold-domed State House. Walk a few blocks southeast toward the theater district, or check out the plethora of restaurants just a stone’s throw from the Park Street station.
This specialty food, cheese and wine shop is an absolute gem in Davis square. Sample fresh artichoke and lemon pesto, cheeses, and wines as you wait for your order. If you aren’t in the market for fresh pasta, don’t miss out on their fantastic sandwiches. With a plethora of options to choose from (you can make over 50,000 unique sandwich combinations by choosing a meat, cheese, veggie and spread), we recommend starting with their recommendations. No matter how experienced a chef you are, it’ll be tough to beat their artichoke & arugula sandwich.