Readers Say

Here are the best townie bars in Boston and beyond

Readers recommended more than 60 bars, calling their favorite a "local treasure."

Sligo Pub in Davis Square, Somerville. Photo courtesy of Sligo Pub

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and you’ve probably been working hard to make this holiday a memorable one. Planning a celebration can be stressful, though, and perhaps the only thing you really want to do is find a good place to unwind and take a breather.

If this sounds like you, you might be looking to a local pub for a drink and good conversation with your neighborhood bartender. We asked readers for their favorite townie bar — the reliable, no-frills place where people have been going for years. We received over 80 responses from readers about the best spots, with Sligo Pub in Somerville earning the majority, or 6%, of the vote.


Below, find the townie bars you can visit, when you need a moment to pause and catch your breath this Thanksgiving weekend.

4. Galway House

In Jamaica Plain, you’ll find Galway House, an Irish watering hole that has been around since the 1960s. At this spot, you can grab a cold glass of beer, while enjoying pizza, pasta, or something from the grill. Tim, a reader from JP said, “Upon entering, you feel like you have stepped back in time. The place is no way near updated; it’s decorated with local memorabilia and Christmas decorations suspended from the ceiling year-round, but it’s still comfortable and welcoming. There is the standard collection of old school locals (the cop, the local business people, the old couples) mixed in with the new neighborhood inhabitants, and everyone is welcoming. The old school patrons are not territorial and are always up for striking up a conversation while sitting at the bar.” Galway House took 4% of the vote.

710 Centre St., Jamaica Plain

3. Lewis’ Restaurant & Grille

Locals of Norwood enjoy this casual spot, where you can order draft Guinness or a can of hard cider from what readers called the “friendly bartenders.” Enjoy a drink while browsing their extensive menu, which features poutine, crispy fish and chips, tacos, and a variety of burgers. Other house specialties include the chicken parmigiana, the mac and cheese, and the jambalaya, made with shrimp, mussels, chorizo, and more. Coach, a reader from Norwood, said that it is “great bumping into the same parents who coach all the games Saturday mornings at Lewis’ Saturday night. Nestled in the middle of Norwood Center, it has a great bar side for the old timers, restaurant side for families. In addition, the art work is a phenomenal throwback to an earlier era.” Lewis’ earned 5% of the vote.


92 Central St., Norwood

2. Eagle Brook Saloon

Visit Eagle Brook Saloon in Norfolk, and you won’t be disappointed. One reader called the spot a place “where everybody knows your name,” while another said that beers are “strong and cheap,” best accompanied by a beef stew that is “exactly what you want to keep the chill away.” Eagle Brook’s own hand-crafted ales include the Dog’s Breath Bitter, the Paint Pony Pale Ale, and the Imagine New England IPA. Dan from Franklin said, “It’s just a timeless, simple place with great food and even better bartenders. Marci and Jimmy are amazing and have been bartending there for a long time and know everyone who comes in—and usually their families too! It’s a place where you can easily pass a couple hours with a plate of chicken wings, a cold beer, and some solid conversation.” Eagle Brook also took 5% of the vote.

258 Dedham St., Norfolk

1. Sligo Pub

Anyone who is a native to Somerville knows Sligo Pub, the bar that has been serving the Davis Square neighborhood for over 75 years. The townie pub, which garnered 6% of the vote, attracts locals seeking out draft or bottled beer in a laid-back, family-run environment.

If you’re looking for a Sam Adams, instead of a complicated cocktail, don’t wait to take a seat at the bar. recently reported that a four-story building project will displace the pub among other businesses, likely leading to the permanent closure of the neighborhood haunt.


Reader Stu S. from Somerville said, “At Sligo, there’s a dedicated local following of people on a first-name basis, who all know what a regular’s favorite drink is when they buy them a round. The bartenders and door folk greet you with warm sarcasm when you show up, and they tease you about the last time you were there. The true salt of the earth hangs out there; you won’t see road workers drinking with lawyers. Sligo is the epitomic definition of ‘dive bar,’ and it may be going away with recent development plans for Davis Square. … Sligo is a local treasure for Somerville—and for all of metro Boston—and it will be a sad day when the wrecking ball shows up. I plan on being the last one thrown out.”

237 Elm St., Somerville

Honorable mentions🏅

These six bars tied for fifth place and deserved a notable mention.

Buddy’s Union Villa: (190 Washington St., North Easton) “This is where the blue collar workers and Stonehill college students hang, also Stoughton residents. Great food, too, with outside seating.” -Bob L., Stoughton

Corrib Pub & Restaurant: (2030 Centre St., West Roxbury) “This is a classic townie bar. Everyone in Westie goes here for any occasion. Many a nights, people stumble out of there at 2 a.m. or run in for lunch and even for after funeral gatherings, with the drinks pouring for an Irish funeral. You can never walk into the Corrib and not run into someone you know.” -Steve C., West Roxbury


Darcy’s Village Pub: (97 Willard St. #1203, Quincy) “Because it’s awesome.” -Jimmy, Quincy

O’Hara’s Food & Spirits: (1185 Walnut St., Newton) “Consistently good food, changing specials, good vibe, friendly servers, and I can WALK to it! Always a plus on cold nights. Their pizza rivals the local pizzeria.” -Phil A., Newton Highlands

Sullivan’s Public House: (85 Main St., Boston) “Welcoming atmosphere, great food, great drinks, cozy bar.” -Aiden, Charlestown

The Plough and Stars: (912 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge) “For years, back in the 70s and 80s, I lived across the street from ‘The Plough,’ thus it was our neighborhood bar. We didn’t spend all of our time there; we had jobs, after all, but it was and is such a comfortable place, that just walking across the street put us where we wanted to be. Sometimes there would be music; ‘Spider’ John Koerner was a regular, and a regular performer. Sometimes there would be food, good food! The regulars seemed to be there whenever we went, and it was such an eclectic group! Always good for conversation, stories, and a pint of Guinness. The Plough has changed very little in the intervening decades…fortunately!” -Britt H., Cambridgeport