Skip to main content

The Citizen

Breaking the HKS Bubble: Boston’s Best Dive Bars

By Anthony Barrows

I wanted to highlight a few cheap and unpretentious bars in Boston because one of my favorite dives, TC’s Lounge, recently closed for good after the landlord voided their lease. To help you steer clear of generic chains and sanitized pseudo-dives, here are some T-accessible establishments you should check out before it’s too late.

Sligo Pub The closest bar to HKS on this list, the Sligo is two stops down the Red Line in Davis Square.  The Sligo has that beer-and-a-shot vibe that is quickly disappearing from Somerville, especially those parts of the city that are on the T. Sidle up to the bar in your Sox hat for a round, and then consider a string of candlepin down the street at Sacco’s. Sligo Pub – 237 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144

Biddy Early’s Heading in the other direction on the Red Line, Biddy’s is a short walk from South Station. This downtown watering hole will give you a mix of barflies, after-work folks from the financial district and various college-age types. They have a generous pour, so consider a nutritional supplement in nearby Chinatown. Biddy Early’s – 141 Pearl Street, Boston, MA 02110

The Tam If you dine on Essex Street after leaving Biddy’s, you’ll be close to the Tam if you want another round. Situated in the Theatre District which borders Downtown and Chinatown, you’re a short walk from Park Street or Downtown Crossing station on the Red Line. The Tam retains some of the atmosphere of the old Combat Zone, Boston’s long-departed red light district. The Emerson and Suffolk kids pack this place, so be ready for a sweatbox. The Tam – 222 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

The Silhouette Lounge and The Model Café If the college kids aren’t a dealbreaker, hop on the 66 bus for a jaunt to these icons. The Model and Silhouette, only two blocks apart, epitomize Allston’s curious mix of hipsters, punk rockers, college kids and internationals. Neither one will win any prizes for interior design or cleanliness, but they make up for it in character. Bonus points for their proximity to DoReMi, my favorite karaoke spot, featuring private rooms and a multilingual songbook. The Silhouette Lounge – 200 Brighton Avenue, Allston, MA 02134 The Model Café – 7 North Beacon Street, Allston, MA 02134