Massachusetts is filled with so many fantastic restaurants, that it's hard to pick a favorite. From delicious farm-to-table in the Berkshire hills to some of the best Italian food outside of Italy in Boston's North End, and everything in between, Massachusetts is chock-full of culinary greatness.

Besides awesome restaurants, Massachusetts also boasts some of the best BARS in the country. In fact, Bay State has quite a history with alcohol. Historians agree that bars in Massachusetts are about as old as the state itself. Early settlers wasted no time setting up local taverns, even before schoolhouses in some cases.

Massachusetts is home to what are believed to be the oldest bars in the United States like the Green Dragon Tavern which dates back to 1654, or Warren Tavern in Charlestown which was the first building the town erected after the British burned the whole town during the Battle of Bunker Hill in June of 1775.

Since the country's inception, the bar business in Massachusetts has continued to boom. In 2023, the state was home to 828 bars and 1,645 beer, wine, and liquor stores, so needless to say there are plenty of choices.

There is perhaps no bar more iconic in Massachusetts than your classic Irish Pub. While styles and locations might vary, there is something that is almost comforting and familiar about a neighborhood Irish bar. But as alluded to before, not all Irish bars are made equally.

A recent publication from the Travel Channel took a look at the best Irish bars not just in Massachusetts, but across the U.S. From Chicago to San Francisco, Philly to St. Louis, and everything in between, the travel giant selected 11 as the best in the nation and TWO are located right here in Massachusetts.

This Massachusetts Bars Makes List of Best Irish Bars in the Nation


  • The Burren, Somerville, Massachusetts

"You'll want to leave the confines of downtown Boston to find the region's most authentic Irish pub, the Burren. The bar is owned by 2 Irish fiddle players and has become a must-stop spot for Irish music icons including U2 and the Chieftains; it even hosts live Irish music or Irish step-dancing events most nights." - Travel Channel

A second Irish pub, Doyle's Cafe in Jamaica Plain was originally named to the list but has since closed.

LOOK: Best Beers From Every State

To find the best beer in each state and Washington D.C., Stacker analyzed January 2020 data from BeerAdvocate, a website that gathers user scores for beer in real-time. BeerAdvocate makes its determinations by compiling consumer ratings for all 50 states and Washington D.C. and applying a weighted rank to each. The weighted rank pulls the beer toward the list's average based on the number of ratings it has and aims to allow lesser-known beers to increase in rank. Only beers with at least 10 rankings to be considered; we took it a step further to only include beers with at least 100 user rankings in our gallery. Keep reading to find out what the best beer is in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.

Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood

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