We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Guys trip to Boston in October

Which Boston hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Dallas
Level Contributor
54 posts
37 reviews
Save Topic
Guys trip to Boston in October

We're making a guys trip to Boston from October 14-17. Coming for Patriots/Cowboys game.

We have 2 nights where we can go out...and looking for something that fits our tastes.

We are all in 30's...some early, some late.

Looking for LOCAL food, and great atmosphere. When we travel usually, we eat where locals eat then go to bars where locals go. NO CHAINS WHATSOEVER. NO UPSCALE either...we're jeans types, so casual is the order of the day.

Looking for sports bars, or lounge style...not interested in clubs, not interested in live music where we can't talk. Somewhere where girls actually hang out is a PLUS (only half are married). Not looking for strip clubs at all, not our style.

So looking for the following:

1) Areas where we can find everything we are looking for, perhaps a neighborhood or area where all needs could be met.

2) Food recommendations...someone mentioned The Barking Crab to me, said it was local seafood (kind of a "when in Boston" type of place). The issue is that I have no idea if there is anything around it, hate to travel 20 minutes to hit a bar for the rest of the evening.

ALSO, we are staying in Cambridge area...in case that helps. We have a car but plan to use subway, so any stops you know would be great. We are on top of the Kendall Square MIT Red Line.

Dallas, Texas...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
20,879 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Guys trip to Boston in October

Cambridge is a great place for casual local food and neighborhood bars. You will be walking distance from Mary Chung - Szechuan Chinese. A Cambridge Institution with a hugely loyal following. It's on the Kendall side of Central Square (long-ish walk, or take the T one stop). If you go, google ahead of time about the "to die for" dishes, or just ask them about the most popular dishes with the regulars. Don't just order the typical stuff you'll see on any Chinese menu. Suan la chow show (dumplings smothered in a soup-like sauce) and Dun Dun noodles are to die for. Both are spicy.

On the Harvard side of Central Square, try The Plough and Stars Tavern. Another "institution". A small, cozy Irish tavern with a great vibe and a small menu of surprisingly good food. They have live music some nights, but go for lunch or just stop in for a beer.

In Harvard Square, try Shay's pub and wine bar. Don't worry, it's not a prissy wine bar. Food is passable, but the atmosphere is fantastic, especially on the small patio. It's an old place in an old building slightly below street level.

This is already too long. Cambridge is a perfect spot for everything you seek, so do some research on Central and Harvard Square. Central is not at all touristy. Harvard has a combination of touristy and good local hang outs.

Bartley's burgers in Harvard Square is really an amazing burger, but they have become a bit overridden with tourists due to too frequent Food TV features and write-ups. The locals haven't abandoned it though. Expect a line (this was true even before the tourists hit it).

I apologize for rambling. I'm homesick! I'll let someone else suggest a good sports bar.

Boston
Level Contributor
149 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Guys trip to Boston in October

In Kendall Square 2 fun, casual hangouts are Flat Top Johnny's (pool) and the Cambridge Brewing Company. The Blue Room Restaurant has good food, though a bit more upscale than the others (jeans OK, just with a nice shirt). And even though Legal Seafoods is a chain, it's still worth going for the chowder. Have fun.

Boston
Level Contributor
2,701 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Guys trip to Boston in October

The only people who would go to the Barking Crab are hapless tourists who have bad guidebooks....avoid.

If you want to avoid tourists, Cambridge has a healthy restaurant/nightlife scene, so you could certainly do a Cambridge crawl one night. In Inman Square, you could eat at East Coast Grill (great seafood, but pass on the bbq if you're from Texas) then get your drink on at Lord Hobo, Bukowskis, The Druid, Trina's Starlite Lounge...

Boston, MA
Level Contributor
427 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Guys trip to Boston in October

Since you'll be IN Kendall, you should definitely try to eat at Hungry Mother. Otherwise, I think Veronica's recommendation of Inman Square is GREAT. Check out ALL of those places. You certainly won't find other tourists there.

Boston...
Destination Expert
for Killington
Level Contributor
2,059 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Guys trip to Boston in October

I'm pretty much the "same demographic" as you. (A couple years older, but still out-and-about.) I would echo Veronica's suggestions about Inman Square. Also, I would reiterate that the Barking Crab is crap... I wonder who suggested that for you... they are not your friend.

Right by your hotel is actually a lot of places. You could easily spend both nights in Cambridge: pick one night for Kendall Square, or Inman, Harvard, and/or Central Squares (Central, Kendall, and Harvard all have stops on the Red Line; Inman Square is not on the Red Line, but is a do-able walk or very quick cab ride from your hotel). You could even pick a few places and hop between a couple square in one evening. All of the places I mention are OK with jeans.

Kendall: Meadhall, a beer joint with about 100 craft brews on tap. TVs upstairs if you want more of a sports-bar type place. Lord Hobo, another beer-focused place, with better food than Meadhall, though not as big a beer selection. For actually home-brewed beer, Cambridge Brewing Company is, I think, the best brew-pub in the Boston area. You may see Tommy Doyle's and want to go in; I understand that, but please eat first. Emma's Pizza has good "yuppy pizza" though be warned there can be a wait. Mulan is one of Bostons' best Taiwanese restaurants, if you want something different.

Central: if you're more into cocktails than beer, there are a couple of the best places around here. Green Street, on a side street parallel to Massachusetts Ave (the main drag), is one of the 3 best cocktail bars in the area, and has decent food too. Don't stick to the small cocktail menu if they hand that to you; ask for the A-Z menu--and really, they can make anything. Craigie on Main also has a great cocktail program, though it is perhaps more upscale than you are looking for, and the bar does get full. If you start early enough, you could get one cocktail here, then move on to Green Street, or perhaps Central Kitchen, another good casual restaurant. (You may walk by a place in Central called Tavern on the Square and it may appeal to you... please if you want to drink basic drinks there, fine, but please don't eat there.) For another, more pubby place, further up Mass Ave is the Plough and Stars... good sandwiches; down Western Ave is River Gods, a funky pub with good music. If you want live alternative music, TT the Bear's and the Middle East are in Central.

I've got some Harvard Square recs, also, if you want them, but I've typed enough already for now!

Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
1,634 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Guys trip to Boston in October

In Harvard Square the red line pub (JFK st) and Grafton St are both nice bars with food. ALso, the John Harvard Brewhouse has a microbrewery and is fine for casual pub grub.

If you go downtown try Whiskey Park at Park Plaza

Boston
Level Contributor
2,701 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Guys trip to Boston in October

Whiskey Park is no more. You have to get your overpriced, poorly-made drinks-with-crappy-atmosphere elsewhere.

(Seriously, I thought that place was just vile.)

Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
1,634 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Guys trip to Boston in October

don't sit on the fence now - tell us what you really really think!!!

Boston...
Destination Expert
for Killington
Level Contributor
2,059 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Guys trip to Boston in October

Um... You're Welcome!!

Sheesh, why even bother?

Dallas
Level Contributor
54 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Guys trip to Boston in October

These are all great...of all the restaurants in the Square areas, wondering which one would you guys/gals take a friend to if you only had one meal to have. The literal TASTE of this area/Boston.

I can give em to you in a second in Dallas and Ft. Worth, so you've gotta have em in Boston.

Thanks for all of the suggestions, I've researched every single place and these are great.

Rantipole: Please go ahead with your Harvard suggestions.

Thanks