A request for old-school, divey, or gritty restaurants and bars has produced a wide range of responses from Boston hounds. Looking to take out-of-town visitors off the beaten path, southernwayfarer is really just looking for spots with a “strong sense of place.” After listing off a few options, Guinness02122 says, “there are probably a few hundred or more places. You could almost throw a rock and hit one.”

Hounds mention several longtime Boston favorites, including Doyle’s in Jamaica Plain, J.J. Foley’s in the South End, NewBridge Cafe in Chelsea, and The Sevens in Beacon Hill, but there are suggestions in nearly every neighborhood.

trufflehound thinks Galway House in JP is a good choice, and Canadian Tuxedo agrees. “They have a pretty good beer selection and the food can be surprisingly good,” he says.

A couple of pizza places also fill the bill: Santarpio’s in East Boston and Haymarket Pizza are both mentioned multiple times. When it comes to Chinatown options, nasilemak and kobuta both like Wai Wai, the hole-in-the-wall basement restaurant that some find a little scary.

Doyle’s Cafe [Jamaica Plain]
3484 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain
617-524-2345

J.J. Foley’s Pub & Restaurant [South End]
117 E. Berkeley Street, Boston
617-728-9101

NewBridge Cafe [North of Boston]
650 Washington Avenue, Chelsea
617-884-0134

The Sevens Ale House [Beacon Hill]
77 Charles Street, Boston
617-523-9074

Galway House [Jamaica Plain]
720 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain
617-524-9677

Santarpio’s Pizza [East Boston]
111 Chelsea Street, Boston
617-567-9871

Haymarket Pizza [Downtown]
106 Blackstone Street, Boston
617-723-8585

Wai Wai Restaurant [Chinatown]
26 Oxford Street, Boston
617-338-9833

Discuss: Recommendations for old school/divey/gritty Boston spots – restaurants and bars (w/ or w/o food)

See more articles