Don’t leave the hound at home while you’re out hitting the town. Check out our picks for the best local bars for both you and your loyal companion to get your wag on. These laid-back haunts accommodate all the mutts and the mongrels.
Brendan Behan Pub
378 Centre St.
Jamaica Plain, MA
Hours: Noon to 1am Mon – Sat, 1pm to 1am Sun
“The Behan” is Boston’s only true dog-friendly indoor bar, (a noteworthy point for a city that spends more than half the year freezing it’s tail off). This traditional, wood-paneled Irish pub feels a little bit dive-bar, and a little bit hipster; and it is always crammed with locals and their pooches. The walls are plastered with theatre posters, the bar boasts 31 beers on tap, and there is live local Irish music played every Saturday from 4-7 PM. While U.S. health codes usually ban dogs from being inside restaurants where food is being served, the Behan gets around the technicality by declaring itself a BYOF (bring your own food) establishment. So pick up some take-out, grab your dog, and enjoy some authentic local flavor.
2 Center Plaza
Hours: Mon-Wed 11 am – 1 am, Thu-Fri 11 am – 2 am, Sat 10 am – 2 am, Sun 10 am – 1 am
Located downtown near Government Center, the Kinsale falls into the ‘stereotypical Irish pub’ category. It has a large, lively atmosphere decorated with a smattering of Celtic knot designs; and despite the crowded weekends, it’s usually not too hard to get a table. When it comes to Irish pubs, my general rule is to go for the beer, not for the food—and the Kinsale is no exception. Most people are drawn to the Kinsale’s impressive beer selection, but the steak tip salad and the potato chips are actually surprisingly good. Dogs are allowed on the covered outdoor patio that runs along the sidewalk. The patio usually closes at around 10pm, however.
So if you’re there on the weekend, you and your pup might get evicted while the party inside is just heating up.
Cambridge Brewing Co.
1 Kendall Sq.
Hours: Mon 11:30am – 11pm, Tue-Thu 11:30am – 12am, Fri-Sat 11:30am – 1am, Sun 11am – 11pm
Referred to as “CBC” by the locals, this relaxed Kendall Square brewpub has a comprehensive menu of handcrafted original beers, brewed on-site; all of which can be paired with their excellent and ever changing, locally farmed American pub-fare. They are sure to have something classic or adventurous for everyone. The building is in an old, refurbished mill, with high ceilings, painted murals and stained glass windows portraying pints of beer. The crowd is peppered with local college kids and serious beer enthusiasts alike. Dogs are allowed on the covered outdoor patio, pleasantly surrounded by plants and trees. Be sure to check out the beer flights and the daily specials.
Taberna de Haro
999 Beacon St.
Hours: Mon-Thu 5:30pm – 10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm – 11pm
Taberna de Haro is a cozy and authentic Spanish tapas bar, perfect for an intimate evening. Sit on the breezy outdoor patio, skip the sangria, and order a bottle of wine from Deborah Haro’s extensive, all-Spanish wine list. Broken down by region, the 30-page wine list features over 265 Spanish wines. It might feel a little intimidating at first, but if you get lost, just ask your waiter for a recommendation. With one of the best selections of Spanish wines in Boston, they’re almost always spot on. The menu of traditional Spanish tapas is a little bit pricy, and it can be hit or miss. Try the warm goat cheese, and the oxtail. Stare lovingly into your puppy’s eyes, and be sure to end the night with a glass of Sherry.
647 Tremont St.
Hours: Mon-Fri 5:30 pm – 1 am, Sat-Sun 10:30 am – 1 am
Head over to Tremont 647 for Margaritas and $2 Taco Tuesday’s. This cheerful, bustling South End restaurant and bar has a simple, but creative menu boasting new American cuisine, and exotic cocktails. If you can’t make it on Tuesday, come back any other day of the week for the Signature Pork Momos, and have drinks with your dog on the outdoor patio. If you end up having a little too much late-night fun, show up the next morning for their famous Saturday/Sunday “Pajama Brunch,” and try a Bloody Mary (ahem, for a little hair of the dog). Tremont 647 has two outdoor patios, one larger patio that is reserved for diners, and a smaller patio for drinks and mingling where dogs are allowed. As long as you and you both stay well behaved, they’re even happy to provide water bowls.
Julia van der Vink is a senior at Harvard University, and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. More
of her work can be seen on the blog DRYNC.