Heading to a Bruins or Celtics game at TD Garden?
You'll want to check out these Boston sports bars near TD Garden for a pre-game dinner or post-game celebration.
We take sports seriously in Boston, and a visit to one of these sports bars near the Garden will give you a taste of Boston's real sports culture.
By the way, we pronounce that "cul-chah."
You'll know you're in a sports bar the moment you step in and see all the huge hi-def screens, not to speak of the sports memorabilia.
Although a couple of these places are dive bars where you wouldn't want to bring your kids, most are family-friendly, especially during the day and early evening hours. One is a highly regarded micro brewery, and several offer excellent affordable dining (by law, all Boston bars have to serve food) to attract customers, so you can eat very well here.
All the sports bars featured on this page are just a few blocks from TD Garden in Boston's West End. Even though Faneuil Marketplace is just a couple of blocks away, you won't see many tourists at non-game times - so for a glimpse of the "real" Boston while having a great meal and brew, stop by and enjoy what's on tap.
With huge flat screens lining the walls and individual screens in the booths, Sports Grille is where to come when you want non-stop sports.
If you can move your eyes past the TVs, you'll also see lots of sports memorabilia around, adding to the atmosphere.
You'll find plenty of reasonably priced beer and other beverages plus good food - try a cheese steak or baby rib sub or the fried fresh haddock. Prices for drinks and food are reasonable.
Sports Grille's claim to culinary fame, though, are the half-pound hot dogs served on sub rolls with fries on the side. Add cheese, beans, peppers, and sauerkraut to taste.
A "rookie" menu for sports fans 12 and under tells you this is a family-friendly sports bar where everyone will have a lot of fun.
132 Canal Street; 617-367-9302
Quiet and unassuming, McGann's Irish Pub is one of those great sports bars for real sports fans where once you find it, you know you'll be back.
Plenty of wide screen TVs show American and Irish sports, with a strong emphasis on rugby, hurling, and soccer.
The full bar offers reasonably priced drinks, but the real treat is excellent pub food from both sides of the Atlantic - mac and cheese, fish and chips, burgers, a terrific bbq pulled pork sandwich, plus a couple of excellent curries, shepherd pie, and mouth-watering Irish beef stew.
Irish bands occasionally play here in the evenings - close your eyes, and you'll almost feel like you're in a pub in Dublin's Temple Bar.
197 Portland Street, 617-227-4059
The Fours opened in 1976 as one of the country's first sports bars, and continues to be the standard against which all other Boston sports bars are measured.
Sports Illustrated rated The Fours as the #1 Sports Bar in America. You may, too.
This renowned Boston bar is a kid-friendly place. If your children love sports and you don't have a chance to take them to the Sports Museum in the Garden while visiting Boston, bring them here for lunch and a look-around instead. The Fours has the most extensive collection of sports memorabilia in the Boston area.
And as for sports . . . 42 screens, plus satellite and Direct TV sports packages for everything - MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and NCAA. This is a serious sports bar. The Fours takes pride in making sure that wherever you're from, you'll get to see your team play.
The Fours also takes pride in serving good food - a cut above most Boston bars. Start with the phenomenal buffalo chicken nachos and mushroom caps stuffed with lobster, crab, and shrimp.
For dinner, try the reasonably priced lobster scampi, local swordfish, or baked stuffed shrimp with homemade lobster sauce.
In case you're wondering about the name, The Fours is named after the Bruins' legendary Number 4 . . . Bobby Orr, considered by many people to have been the best hockey defense player ever.
166 Canal Street; 617-720-4455
No need to have a designated driver when you stay at one of these hotels near the Garden:More hotels near TD Garden
Directly across the street from TD Garden, The Harp attracts big crowds before and after Celtics and Bruins games.
Come here when you want to celebrate and party. The Harp is loud, fun, full of big screens, and has DJs and dancing downstairs with live music upstairs.
At non-game times, The Harp takes on a more relaxed personality - it's a fine place to kill an afternoon, for example, if you're waiting for a train at North Station across the street.
Expect standard pub food such as burgers, fries, and nachos, and you won't be disappointed. Drinks are reasonably priced, but you'll sometimes have to pay a small cover charge if you arrive during prime evening hours.
85 Causeway Street; 617-742-1010
Boston Beer Works sports its own brewery and is the oldest and largest brewery-bistro in Boston.
You'll smell the malty aroma as soon as you walk in and see the beer-dispensing tanks behind the bar.
Boston Beer Works brews about 50 different beers, ales, and lagers each year, with perhaps 12-15 on tap at any one time. Names like "Beantown Nut Brown Ale," "Boston Common," and "Bulfinch Bitter" keep the local connections front and center.
Look for excellent pub food to go with the brews - order chowder if you're not sure what you want.
You'll find plenty of big screens for watching the Bruins and Celtics and a bunch of billiard tables.
You can feel comfortable bringing your kids here, although game day and game night crowds get pretty intense. At all other times, the vibe's a lot more relaxed.
112 Canal Street, 617-896-2337
Grand Canal is on Canal Street and is large - seemingly the reason for its name.
But actually, it's named after an Irish canal with the same name and is styled to look like a Victorian Irish pub.
Inside, about 50 big plasma screens line the walls. On game nights, big crowds of sports fans gather here, and Grand Canal feels like a sports bar.
On other nights, Grand Canal hosts top cover bands and a DJ - mostly 1980s-1990s music. Sometimes you'll need to pay a small cover charge to get in.
At noon and after work, Grand Canal attracts neighborhood folk who stop by for a beer and the fairly typical pub food - nachos, wraps, salads, pasta, fish and chips, and in a nod to the Irish connections, shepherd's pie and bangers and mash.
57 Canal Street; 617-523-1112
Greatest Bar is huge - 4 large floors. Part sports bar, part nightspot, it features lots of big screens, including a 14 foot high def TV, plus DJs and live music.
Posters, photos, and collages cover the walls and ceilings, showing "greatest" Boston moments - mostly sports, but also including history, politics, etc. That's what inspired the bar's name . . . it's a bar that features "the greatest."
A cover charge applies on some nights, but beers are relatively inexpensive and the fairly typical pub food is reasonably priced.
262 Friend Street, 617-367-0544
Part dance club, part sports bar, and part Irish pub. . . but except for game nights, Hurricane O'Reilly's is more about dance than sports, despite the big screens.
When the Bruins or Celtics play at the Garden, stop by before or after the game for a quick bite and beer.
The main room has several bars and a dance floor. A quieter back room sometimes hosts private functions.
A top 40s orientation draws a younger crowd, who pack the place on the weekends, especially Saturday nights.
150 Canal Street, 617-722-0161
A little off the usual track from the rest of the Boston bars near the Garden, Porter's attracts fewer tourists, college kids, and inebriated sports fans.
In fact, despite the 10 foot projection screen and HDTVs, it's more like a normal laid-back neighborhood bar.
Come here when you want to watch a game, have a few beers, and maybe munch on some nachos or a burger.
173 Portland Street; 617-742-7678
One of the few bars near the Garden to be considered a true dive bar, Sullivan's Tap (known in Boston as "Sully's") is more about semi-cheap drinks than sports.
You'll find some TVs, video games, and pool. The bar - long, narrow, dark - gets packed on game and concert nights.
As you've probably already guessed - don't bring your kids.
168 Canal Street, 617-617-7617
1. You'll enjoy these Boston bars near the Garden the most if you like large, noisy, somewhat boisterous crowds. If you don't, come at a non-game time when they're still a lot of fun but less, um, exuberant. On game nights, you can find quieter places to have a drink in nearby Beacon Hill or some parts of the North End.
2. Dress appropriately. That means Boston sports gear.
3. Stay out of fights. Being dressed appropriately helps you avoid fights. What is "appropriate"? See Tip 2.
4. Understand each bar's age requirements. Some of these bars limit admission to 21+ at some times. If this might impact you or someone you're with, check with the bar ahead of time.
5. Don't drink too much. If you do, stay away from the nearby waterfront.
6. Don't drive. Come on foot, by T, or by train. And if you do drink too much, call a cab.
7. If you run into one of the Bruins at one of these bars near the Garden, try not to stutter too much when you ask him to sign your shirt.
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