Best of Boston

BEST Dive Bar

2013 BEST Dive Bar
Photo by Jesse Burke

Biddy Early’s

Boston

Biddy Early’s is the city’s best dive every day of the year, a fact that was proven on Friday, April 19. That day, while police hunted the remaining marathon bomber, all of Boston shut down. Not this spot. The old… read more»

2011 BEST Dive Bar

TC’s Lounge

Boston

There’s something refreshing about TC’s after a Sox game, if you think of its griminess as a filter that keeps the pink hats out and lets the real fans in. These are the people you want to rock the jukebox,… read more»

2010 BEST Dive Bar
2010-divebar3

Silhouette Cocktail Lounge

Allston

The recipe for a superlative dive bar is simple: cheap drinks, good music, and a feeling of belonging for every sad sap who saunters in. The Silhouette Lounge delivers all of these ingredients, with a few grubby-but-great enhancements: dartboards, free… read more»

2009 BEST Dive Bar

Silhouette Cocktail Lounge

Allston

If you require more than two ingredients in your cocktail (ice and booze), the Silhouette is likely not for you. True to dive décor, the walls are cheaply paneled and the floors cheaply tiled; the windows are largely covered to… read more»

2008 BEST Dive Bar

TC’s Lounge

Boston

Like any great dive bar, the insanely cluttered TC’s Lounge looks as though it might have grown into its space organically, like a mushroom filling a crack in a stone wall. The posters on the ceiling are so old they’re… read more»

2007 BEST Dive Bar

People’s Republik

Cambridge

An establishment must meet certain criteria before it can rightfully call itself a dive. It must be dark. It must be cheap. It must have spartan decor. Most critically, it must not attract tourists. By all these standards, the People’s… read more»

2003 BEST Dive Bar

The Model Café

Allston

Generally speaking, a person’s favorite dive bar is the one closest to home. The Model is that rare specimen—a neighborhood bar that’s gained destination status for drinkers from all over the city. Everything inside this 75-year-old Allston joint screams classic… read more»

2002 BEST Dive Bar

Cambridgeport Saloon

Cambridge

When Jim Morrison wrote “People Are Strange,” he might well have had this downbeat Cambridge dive in mind. Where else within five miles could you find drunks, punks, Massholes, and skinheads, all coexisting in a safe haven for extreme lifestyles?… read more»

2001 BEST Dive Bar

Chopping Block

Mission Hill

Neighborhood characters and bleary-eyed medical students meet beneath a permanent haze of smoke at this rough-at-edges Mission Hill haunt, where everyone seems to know everyone else’s name. On one recent evening, we heard a debate about the roots of genocide… read more»

2000 BEST Dive Bar

The Abbey Lounge

Somerville

“Cheap booze” and “rock ‘n’ roll,” those twin sacraments of a great neighborhood bar, are in high evidence at this grungy yet lovable spot on the Cambridge/Somerville border. Tattoos abound on boozers of all ages in the cafeteria-style main room,… read more»