Best of Boston

BEST Dive Bar

2016 BEST Dive Bar
Photograph by Jared Kuzia

Courtside

Cambridge

This stark brick joint stands out in a neighborhood being rapidly overrun by coffee shops and concept restaurants. Step inside and catch the last half of the game with neighborhood regulars, yuppies, and nine-to-fivers, who might just slay some Hall… read more»

2015 BEST Dive Bar
The Cancan-Best Neighborhood Restaurant

The Cantab Lounge

Cambridge

Proper dive bars may be a dying breed, particularly in developing neighborhoods like Central Square, but amid all the ATMs, one redoubt of a bygone era holds fast. While other dives may offer the same gritty character (and characters), very… read more»

2014 BEST Dive Bar

The Eagle

Boston

Were it possible to manufacture the ideal dive bar, you'd first need to reverse-engineer a comfy, lived-in space complete with quirkly local characters, no-nonsense bartenders, a pool table, and cheap, stiff drinks. The result would end up looking a lot… read more»

2012 BEST Dive Bar

TC’s Lounge

Boston

(IN MEMORIAM) This place was notorious for many reasons: dirty floors; a weird sign hanging from the ceiling advertising an “Oxycontin shot”; the fun-house women’s room (don’t ask); and the sale of infant-wear emblazoned with the words “Future Customer.” In… 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»