On game night in Boston, the city’s multitude of bona fide sports fanatics takes over the town. Boston breeds passionate and thick-skinned supporters with a taste for underdog comebacks and sweet victory. If we can endure 86 years of watching the Red Sox evade a World Series win and still stay strong, you know we’re a diehard dedicated bunch. You should have seen Fenway when the Sox won the 2013 series! Hours before the game, every bar around the park was lined with hundreds of fans, pouring out the door and circling the block. Bleacher Bar—the bar with a window into Fenway itself—was simply untouchable. I ended up finding standing room at Inman Square’s Parlor Sports, clutching a draft and staring unblinkingly at the television. The purest joy I know is found in an overly crowded sports bar in Boston the moment our team takes the ultimate gold on home turf.
No ticket? No problem. Beneath the Green Monster at Fenway Park is a rare and incomparable bar with a sweeping ground-level view of center field. The deli-style menu has a yummy selection of game time snacks like garlic-jalapeño hummus served with vegetables and garlic toast, stuffed cherry peppers, and classic fried pickles with ranch dressing.
The North Star
Moments away from TD Garden, this is the place to be for a Celtics or Bruins game. Everywhere you turn, your gaze is met by one of 35 HD television screens, and the bartenders are some of the friendliest I’ve met. It’s a good thing, too, because you’ll have to yell at them to have your drink order heard over the dance music.
A hideaway from the hubbub, this pub is Somerville’s solution for people who aren’t a fan of sports bars. Relaxed and friendly, there’s a crowd-pleasing highlight for every night of the week, especially Monday Night Football. The menu of gritty gourmand grub includes Appalachian beef jerky, muenster/fontina grilled cheese, and the classiest of corn dogs.
Cask ‘n Flagon
Across the street from Fenway Park, this bar is a Red Sox Nation tradition. TVs are everywhere, including the bathrooms, so you never need to worry about missing a play. When it’s not a crowded, crazy game day at Fenway, go for a beer and to catch up on who’s winning in other realms of the sports world, like football, soccer and NASCAR.
One of the first sports bars in the country, this joint is trim and classy for a roof-raising, raucous place. Sports memorabilia like autographed jerseys, framed photographs of local superstars, and racks of wooden baseball bats and hockey sticks complete the look. It’s much loved for the “Bobby Orr” steak-tip sandwich.