Best of Boston

1998 Best Irish Pub, Food

Matt Murphy’s Pub

How serious are we? Put it this way: Without Matt Murphy’s, this category ceases to exist. True, the recent explosion of Celtic pubs has dragged Irish food into respectability and, sometimes, all the way to tastyland. But the eponymous Murphy’s is in another league. The mismatched tables, the scuffed floor, the tiny loo squeezed into the kitchen, make it feel like a workingman’s bar. The clear chicken soup with spring vegetables is a meal in itself. Split the sandwiches with a date, they’re so damn big. The fish and chips even come wrapped in the Irish Times, a cute touch. And the egg salad sandwich with bacon and spicy mustard is so good it deserves an award of its own.

14 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-232-0188,