Best Sports Bar near Fenway

by Matt

Sports bar near Fenway Park

Sports bar near Fenway Park

Can you recommend the best sports bar near Fenway Park for watching a Red Sox game? Four of us are visiting Boston later this month for a wedding, and we want to see a game. We're going to try to get same-day tickets at Fenway - but if we can't, we want to find a sports bar nearby and watch it from there. Thanks.

Susan's response A Red Sox game sounds like a great combination with a wedding! Hopefully you'll get the same day tickets, but if not, there are a bunch of terrific sports bars practically next to Fenway Park with big screens and enthusiastic fans watching them.

I'm not sure I can pick which one is the BEST sports bar near Fenway - so here's a quick rundown about a few options:

Game On! and Cask 'n Flagon are both right outside of Fenway, and of the choices in the area, they're probably the closest to true sports bars - on game days, everyone packs in for the flat screens and the beer (order a Sam Adams), and after a win, they're crazy (but that's true for all the bars around Fenway...actually, make that all the bars in Boston). As to how crowded they are during the game, that depends on a lot of things, but you should be able to watch the game on the screens, because there are plenty of of them. I wouldn't even try for food at either of these bars on a game day.

Probably the ultimate Fenway sports bar experience, if you can get in, is Bleacher Bar, right under the Green Monster. (By the way, you can find directions for all these Fenway bars here.) It features a huge garage door opening, and you can look right onto the field. There's a 30-minute limit for sitting in front of it, and Bleacher Bar is fairly small anyway, so getting in will be the challenge here.

If you want fresh-brewed beer or more esoteric beer labels, go across the street (Brookline) to Boston Beer Works, which is a microbrewery, as you'll realize the moment you walk in. It also has lots of flat screens and will be totally packed on game days, but the beer is worth going for (although personally I avoid the ones named after fruits). The food here is also good, but service will be pretty frenzied on game days.

There are also several other sports bars 2-3 blocks from Fenway that have lots of flat screens and stand out, in different ways.

Church of Boston on Kilmarnock Street is very cool, with big screens and pool tables. When a game's not on, they have live bands and good food.

Lansdowne Pub, down past House of Blues on, well, Lansdowne Street, also has great music at non-game times. They have a huge HD screen and a sort of Irish pub theme. They're packed during Red Sox games, though...I'm afraid that's sounding like a recurring theme!

Another place to consider is Jillian's. It's filled with flat screens...along with a bowling alley, pool tables, a bunch of bars, and a couple of restaurants, and it's huge. Be warned that it's also not cheap - you can spend some serious money here while you're having a good time.

Since there are going to be 4 of you, you can take turns waiting in line for the tickets, and check these places out ahead of time to see which looks like the most fun.

Also, keep in mind that practically every bar in Boston (and we have a lot of bars) will have the Red Sox game on, so if the crowds in Fenway are too much, head over to Back Bay (here's a map where Boston's neighborhoods are in relation to each other. There are a bunch of bars along Boylston Street, including McGreevy's, which is filled with Red Sox memorabilia, and also along Newbury Street.

You wouldn't believe it on a day when the Red Sox are playing, but on non-game days, most of these bars around Fenway are neighborhood bars - some are still mostly about sports - whatever teams happen to be playing - but others feature live music, including a couple I didn't mention - Bill's Bar, Oliver's (at Cask 'n Flagon), House of Blues, which is a music performance venue rather than a bar, although it has one. Fenway (the neighborhood) is home to lots of students at Boston University, Northeastern University, and all the colleges in the area, researchers and staff at the nearby Longwood Medical Center, and other residents, so most of these places are always reasonably full. If you're in the area on a non-game day, stop by for the music (and a beer).

Best of success with the tickets! Hopefully you'll get them, and will be exploring Boston's bars near Fenway after the game, not during it.

Have a wonderful visit to Boston! And of course if you spend much time sampling the bars' brews, take a cab or the T back to your hotel - don't drive!


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