Karaoke: The mere mention of the word tends to conjure up tons of cliche images in our heads, including that of the drunken bar goers belting out a horribly out-of-key, post-work happy hour jams at the local bar. For many, however, the act of singing along to our favorite songs (either sober or with the help of some liquid courage) results in a pretty great night. Enjoying a night out on the town with the accompaniment of great tunes and even better friends usually brings with it some equally interesting stories. So, whether you’re a karaoke veteran or the type who generally needs a few drinks before mustering up the courage to mosey on up to that microphone, the Boston area is a gold mine for a great night of singing and fun. Here are some great local bars for those seeking to indulge their inner rock stars. 

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

Courtside Restaurant and Pub
291 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA.
(617) 547-4374

Reservations for karaoke? You heard that right: better call ahead for a slot here at this renowned Boston dive bar. Courtside Restaurant and Pub is a place that takes its karaoke very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that the pub holds karaoke nights every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m. in order to satiate the city’s seriously song-hungry minions. One such karaoke maniac is Mark the Shark, a Boston notable (and Chelsea resident) who considers Courtside his home base. With an encyclopedic knowledge of Courtside karaoke’s manual, “The Shark” may be tough to beat, but that doesn’t mean Courtside doesn’t welcome all challengers looking to sing sing their hearts out. Enjoy the tavern’s classic bar food, cheap beer pitchers and, of course, that all important karaoke madness.

Photo Credit: Hong Kong at Faneuil Hall via Facebook

Hong Kong at Faneuil Hall
65 Chatham St.
Boston, MA
(617) 227-2226

This “home of the Scorpion Bowl” proudly hosts karaoke seven days a week, alongside other offered services like the dollar draft specials, happy hour appetizers, private function rooms and a second floor dance club for those who aren’t exactly the singing type. Karaoke fiends make up much of Hong Kong’s clientele, however, and the restaurant’s Faneuil Hall location makes it a hotspot for tourists and Boston newbies to get their social kicks in whilst getting to know the neighborhood. Yummy Asian vittles, cheap drinks and weekly karaoke entertainment. Who could ask for anything more?

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(Picture from Lansdowne Pub Facebook page)

Lansdowne Pub
9 Lansdowne St.
Boston, MA
(617) 247-1222

Lansdowne Pub’s, a tourist area landmark, continuously makes the hot list of Boston bars, and with good reason: it’s been a primo after-game and after-concert destination for many years. Additionally, The Lansdowne offers live band karaoke every Thursday night at 9 p.m. with Jukebox Heros, one of the city’s premier live karaoke jam acts. Rock, pop and country are the specialties for this weekly interactive karaoke experience. A visit to this bar provides an exciting way to fulfill all of those inner performance fantasies for the rock star lurking inside us all!

(credit: Sissy K's)

Sissy K’s
4 Commercial St.
Boston, MA
(617) 248-6511

Looking to take things a little further and actually make a little cash for your karaoke skills? Look no further than Sissy K’s, located in Boston’s Financial District. With a $250 cash prize and a paid bar tab sitting pretty at second place, this is one karaoke joint that can really pay off.  That said, be prepared to sharpen that competitive edge when taking the sing-a-long plunge over at Sissy K’s. A dive bar through and through, this place comes complete with sticky floors, $1.50 drafts and a pizza buffet. The pub’s clientele is your typical mix of curious tourists, dive bar cliches and seen-it-all locals who fill Sissy K’s to the rafters in search of that proper good time. Most singers here take their karaoke in stride, however, which is a nice change of pace from critical karaoke aficionados who often take the pastime a little too seriously. At Sissy K’s, it’s all about the fun.

Photo Credit: classicirish.com

The Asgard
350 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA
(617) 577-9500

Led by a live band on Thursday nights from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., the karaoke at Cambridge’s Asgard Irish Pub and Restaurant has proven popular to both tourists, the city’s newcomers and veteran Bostonians alike. The bar even attracts the attention of local ImprovBoston peeps, who sometimes mosey on down with their own humorous takes on classic karaoke. The Asgard’s warm, welcoming interior and comforting Irish American cuisine has been well regarded by many in the area for its classic style and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. The Asgard offers a reliable entertainment experience for basically anyone who’s seeking a good time singin’ their hearts out, but who also wouldn’t mind a nice meal or a stiff drink in between sets.

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George Pacheco has been writing professionally about arts and entertainment for over a decade. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, George currently resides in a humble New England home with his wife, cat and massive music and film collection. His work can be found at Examiner.com.