Planning a trip to Boston? We know it can be tempting to check out all the famous Boston bars you’ve seen on the large and small screens when you visit a new town, so we checked out a few to see if they’re worth your time! Read along for our verdicts about whether you should include them on your next Boston pub crawl.
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name—and buy a $32 shirt.
First and foremost, this Cheers is the tourist trap of tourist traps. Cheers has two locations in downtown Boston, the original in Beacon Hill, and the “Replica” in Faneuil Hall. The menu is full of reliable standbys (with headings like “Sam’s Starters”) and definitely looks more like the corporatized Cheers of the 1990s (after it was bought by Lillian Corporation) than of the Sam and Diane early 80s version.
Yeah, we’ve watched every episode, but we still don’t recommend it.
In it’s heyday, the venue was seeing about 3,000 customers a day, but now that there are two locations with extended hours, and millennials are killing late-night syndicated television (or something like that), you should be able to go there and get a totally average pub experience surrounded by slightly less annoying pub patrons than if you were to go to Dick’s Last Resort.
Unless you’re a Cheers superfan, this probably isn’t the place for you. Just snap a shot of yourself with the sign outside.
L STREET TAVERN
Good Will Hunting
How about them apple(tinis). I’m kidding. Don’t order an appletini in Southie.
Our second stop is L Street Tavern it’s your standard, non-kitschy pub that happens to have a pretty great Yelp rating (and no website…). The menu is no frills and it’s pretty easy to find a space earlier in the day, but like any good bar, gets more packed as the nights go on.
Although the outside is identical to back when it was featured in the movie, it’s been remodeled since the Good Will Hunting days, so it’s not riding that nostalgia 20-years later, which I personally find appealing.
Otherwise, this is a quintessential Boston bar. They love Marathon Monday, their public servants, the Celtics, the Bruins, and the Sox.
If you just want beers and a chill night out at a bar—yeah, actually, you should.
Gone, Baby, Gone
Ok, we’re 2 for 3 on Affleck-related media, but what can we say? Those guys love their city, and they’ve made more than a few Boston bars famous.
Another Southie dive makes our list, à la the Afflecks. Murphy’s Law has a great beer and whiskey list, making it the prime location if you’re feeling a ‘beer and a shot’ vibe.
Sure, it’s a little messy and when it’s packed, the patrons tend to get rowdy (re: authentic), but typically you’re just sharing the bar with a few other locals. It’s certainly not an “experience” type of bar, but sometimes that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
If you want to experience Boston like the locals do (and get some affordable drinks) Murphy’s Law is a great place to bring your friends.