Best of Boston

2003 Best Irish Pub

The Plough & Stars

A real pint of Guinness takes time to pour. So while you’re waiting at the bar in this old Cambridge haunt, take a gander at the great menu (with standbys like steak and roasted fish, all under $10) or a soccer game broadcast from Europe. Or just kick back and listen to one of the surprisingly talented musical acts that show up nightly. The crowd—a mix of intellectuals and down-and-outers, young and old, casual drinkers and straight-up drunks—makes for good people watching. Not a Guinness fan? The bar serves 20 different beers and all the usual boozes. And if you’re in the mood for a smoke, go ahead and light up (at least until October 1, when Cambridge bans smoking, too)—you’re not in Boston anymore.

912 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-441-3455,