Best of Boston

2009 Best Irish Pub

The Squealing Pig

Around these parts, the authentic Irish pub is an expectation, not a novelty. Which means there’s a full-on scrum of contenders in this category—the Sligo, the Behan, Foley’s—with none stooping to T.G. O’Friday’s flair, and all possessing the power to make you linger for one more pint. What hoists the Squealing Pig over the top is its welcoming open layout, with kitchen at one end and fireplace at the other; outsize beer selection; and very Irish puckishness (heavy metal/kung fu film fests; ‘toasties’ made with Mars bars). All of which makes slipping inside this decade-old Mission Hill pub like a conversation with an old friend: effortless.

134 Smith St., Boston, 617-566-6651,