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Taps: 24 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
3484 Washington St
phone: (617) 524-2345
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 37 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
How can you not love Doyle's, the quintessential Irish pub in Boston? I was there on a recent Thursday night, celebrating the end of the New England Runner Pub Series.
The food is classic pub grub. Nothing gourmet but all decent, and at a good price. The beer selection is pretty good, but since this is Sam Adams "home" pub, you probably want one of the Sam Adams varieties on draft. That or a pint of Doyle's Pickwick Ale.
But what you are really here for is the atmosphere. The walls ooze history, with mementos of James Michael Curley and the Kennedys featured highly. It's a friendly place, and a nice place to hoist a pint or two.
12-11-2011 19:56:38 |
More by greenengineer
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
An early arrival in Beantown before the 05HopHeadThrowDown gave me the opportunity to spend a few days wandering around before the all-day festivities that awaited at TPH on the Saturday. Home for the weekend was at fellow BAs Carmen & (Joe) 36PoundLoveChild in Jamaica Plains; so as my hosts were busy working on the afternoon of my 1st day, I arranged to meet Todd A. at the legendary F.J.Doyles Cafe. It was a reasonably brisk 20 min. walk from where I was staying, compounded by the searing Sunshine & the occasional sporadic detour in areas that resembled shite bombed Beirut, but soon F.J.Doyle & Co. featured on the horizon as I perambulated close by.
The exterior has a natural feel about it, an old style lamppost looks at home in front of the exposed red brick walls which mix nicely with dark green painted windows & backboards, which in turn neatly show off the gold lettering that proudly states F.J.Doyle & Co. Has the appearance of a neighborhood Irish bar about it. The entrance is actually around the corner on Williams Street; 3rd time lucky for me as there are also 2 other doors on Washington, both are locked but only the 2nd one redirects you to the side entrance, which is where the Parking Lot is also.
I could smell the heritage of this bar as I stepped into the covered side entranceway long before I even opened the interior door. It was about 4pm when I got there & the Sun was streaming in through the thick glass blocked windows. It created a spiritual feel as I entered; the particulate matter in the air seemingly suspended & frozen in time by the Suns rays incredibly befitting of a Bar that has over 100 years of service. I walked slowly to the Bar, thinking I was the first to arrive; the place was a little quiet & imparted a real lazy afternoon feel to the well-worn interior. As such, Doyles instantly relaxed me & I felt immediately at home as soon as entered into here.
The long wooden saloon-like bar runs down the left as you enter, thankfully the only Cowboy at the bar was the BA Dad quietly enjoying a Pint before I interjected. Tables & chairs are placed in good space at the front of the bar area, whilst further along the Washington Street side, a more neatly arranged restaurant space parades back into the adjoining building. A mixture of comfy seats & dark wooden tables lend an Olde Worlde feel, but it is definitely not forced. Décor is genuine; a plethora of WW2 memorabilia, colorful yet faded advertisements from long-gone Breweries, orange hued newspaper clippings from generations past & some interesting old signage from Ireland. These bric-a-brac arrangements are charming, juxta-posed with a natural antique look, untouched (uncleaned?) for years, but that is not a bad thing here. Many of the interior fittings & varnished surfaces are lovingly well-worn - not a criticism, but a complement to the fact that Doyles doesnt change to accommodate modern fads or refurbish on a frequent basis to current themes Thankfully. Only a small unobtrusive smoke stained TV above the Bar reminds you that it is 2005.
The Beer range has been adequately described before, so to summarize it tops around 24 draft offerings; the full range caters for all, a smattering of well-known macros & imports. Of more note to me were the locally produced Harpoon & Sam Adams offerings, the latter often releases specials brewed at the nearby test plant in here I am told. My eyes lit up as I noted 3 Angram Beer Engines at the end of the bar, but sadly none of them were in operation during my visit- shit! A limited but decent enough bottle range is also available, check the Menu for details.
I started at the Bar with a Pint, the service was warm & very welcoming indeed, the banter easily flowed with the lovely woman behind the bar. After Mr & Mrs. A. arrived we all took a table in front the Bar; the service remained attentive & fun. I decided to grab an Appetizer, I plucked for the Potato Skins with Bacon & Cheese, damn tasty to boot & a good sized portion for a Starter. Todds Clam Chowder looked awesome.
In short this is a great place; it has been around since 1882 oh if this place could talk! I returned here with many other BAs after the excellent BA tour of the nearby Sam Adams JP Brewery & finished the night here, I didnt want to stop drinking or go home.
Well worth the trek out here if you are staying downtown, the Orange line will get you close enough to keep it down to a 10 min. walk. This Tavern-cum-Saloon-Irish Bar-Locals Pub benefits from a legendary status many bars would die for, but it is a well earned reputation, for it is a place that successfully manages to serve a great range of changing brews & balance it with a little bit of history in an exceptional comfy aura. Drinking in here is like pulling on your favorite old clothes after a long hard day at work in a stuffy Shirt & Tie.
Last Visit Thursday 21st July, 2005
08-05-2005 03:58:32 |
More by TheLongBeachBum
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Great place!! Sam Adams of course first sold their beer here. Good service for a Irish Pub in Boston. Good Irish/American/English comfort foods. We went after a tour of the Sam Adams Brewery and it was the perfect ending to a beer tour in Boston. It is your typical Irish Bar and Pub, which really gave it a great atmosphere. If you go you must get the Sam Adam Boston Brick Red, they only sell it in Boston on tap, and what better place to get it than there!
Oh and you get to keep your Sam Adams glass with any Sam Adams beer on tap you buy!
05-02-2012 22:04:11 |
More by Cavanaghty
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5
Open since 1882, this is one of Boston's historical pubs, visited by many, and an Irish favorite. From the antique wood, to WWII propaganda on the walls, to the cozy booth seating, to the long bar ... you immediately get that old pub feeling. The seating also extends way out to the back of the place, so there's plenty of room, and the place feels very open.
Tap selection is typically solid with about two dozen offerings ranging from standard English / Irish pub brews, to local brews, some basic macros, the occasional special one off beer from a local brewery (they used to be known for one of the only places to test and serve Samuel Adams beers) and 1-3 cask offerings from local breweries (I've had casks from Sam Adams, Sheerwood, Harpoon, Paper City, etc). Decent, but small, selection in the bottle, too. Ask for the beer menu as there's a separate one. Overall the selection is quite diverse ... you'll find enough to spend an afternoon quaffing beer here. And, as mentioned before, they have a great whiskey / single malt selection.
Quality is good, across the board. Service is attentive and friendly ... and if you're at the bar, you can easily strike up conversation with whomever is bartending.
Food is your average standard pub grub. You can get a good cup of chowder, basic apps, burger, etc ... and they serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. It's all good.
Doyle's is a solid choice if you are in the JP area, a great neighborhood bar / restaurant, and a must if you're visiting the Boston Beer Co. JP brewery.
12-21-2003 07:50:00 |
More by Todd
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
I live close to Doyle's Cafe so for me its a definately a neighborhood pub for myself.
That said, the place is a good call if you want to just have an working lunch or show some out of towners a Boston-like pub.
The food is not bad but nothing that is earth shattering. Actually the best food on the menu is the pizza. Believe it or not its really some of the better in Boston. Burgers are usually a good call.
The beers are a good mix of local and macro brews. Always ask for what is cask conditioned. I had some hits and misses though with the cask conditioned. So "i told you so" applies here. Overall, you will always get a beer the way it was meant to be served here.
Great decor and very friendly service.
11-21-2007 21:17:34 |
More by jneiswender
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Initial walk through - you can see and feel the rustic nature of the bar - hard wood is everywhere. There are roughly 15 beers on tap, usually including a few Sam Adams, some Irish imports, and some Harpoon. It has a good bar to sit down at and throw back a few. The place has a really good, family-and-beer-drinker-friendly atmosphere and it doesn't matter if you're there for lunch or dinner, it still has that feel. What makes it even better is that locals go there - it's not a sell out bar, and if you're lucky a local will tell you about it. The food is also good - you've got your typical bar food, mixed with options of a nice Irish dinner.
Love this place!
09-30-2008 01:55:44 |
More by Jayli
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3
Interesting, original offerings with cask Sam Adams Bitter and Doyle's Pickwick Ale (brown). Solid local Sams and Harpoons and other regional brews. Not a ton of beer, but all real good. Also, a huge whiskey and single-malt selection. The spread is dark, dusty (in the good way) and sprawling, most of which is restaurant boothes. The service is pleasant and attentive. The food itself was not great. Well worth a trip. Cheers!
03-24-2002 16:47:18 |
More by BillyBrew
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Ah, Doyle's. I was first introduced to Doyle's while interning at the Sam Adams brewery in JP. After moving here, I've come to appreciate it even more. The establishment itself is full of history and is worth visiting for that alone, nevermind the great beer and usually solid pub grub.
The real reason to check out Doyle's aside from the history is the fresh, local beer. Harpoon and Sam are both brewed in town, and the Ipswich is always just as fresh, although with a slightly more rustic flavor. Look out for the one-offs from the Sam Adams brewery down the road - you may never be able to get these anywhere else! Three Weiss Men comes to mind first, but I'll always be on the lookout for Tallships, although I'm fairly certain they're done brewing that. Dogfish Head and Wachusett are always available as well. The usual suspects are here too, of course; Guiness, Bass, Bud, etc.
As far as the food goes, it can be hit or miss. If you're looking for solid pub food though, you won't be disappointed. However, their pizza is fantastic. There's even a letter on the wall from Michael Dukakis praising the quality of their pizza. Seriously, it's that good.
If you're looking for the authentic Irish pub experience, for the love of god, check this place out. Great beers, solid food, a slice of history and the spirit of Boston.
07-04-2008 22:53:19 |
More by deciding39
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
This probably tops my list for JP bars since moving out here.
The place is very well lit which equates to family joint/old man bar, so the clientèle spans all age ranges and all types. Definitely not a "cool bar" in the traditional sense. You won't ever get carded here (my friend actually was told to stop taking out her ID when she offered it). My half-informed opinion as to why this is the case is that the place is very old and so well connected with politicians and cops, staging an underage drinking bust would be like shooting yourself in the foot. I mean, Boston mayors have been known to drink here.
No jukebox, and on more than one Friday night visit there's been what I guess you could call a Rick James/James Brown sort of mix going on. This makes for an interesting aural backdrop to a scene of elbow to elbow townies, cougars, jocks and bohemians. Decorations include some very entertaining political posters from the WWII era, along with plenty else to distract your attention in the vastly large main room. They have a small handful of TVs - one or two flat screen, three or four tube. Somewhat hard to see from certain seats, but the place will still fill up a bit more during big game nights.
Wait staff is always friendly and attentive, although understandably a bit more so to the regulars, of which there are many.
Beer selection isn't bad (mostly large production domestic "craft" and macro imports), although aside from Sam's, there isn't a great deal in the way of rotation - at least not compared to other Boston beer bars. This is somewhat expected, though, since a great number of those that frequent the place aren't generally new beer connoisseurs. Speaking of beer, it's all very reasonably priced, with nothing costing over $4.75 in the way of draft. Sam Adam's original brewery (located a few blocks down the street) will sometimes brew a "rare" beer that is served solely at Doyle's. This is a huge treat since it's often super fresh and at times quite cheap. By the way, if you're looking to disrespect beer, boilermakers are under $5. That's drinkin on a budget.
Food is pub fare and has its ups and downs. Prices are moderate. Veggies that accompany your entree are always of the canned or frozen variety, but they do some things - steak tips and shepard's pie - very well. Burgers are solid, but sometimes overcooked from a requested "medium." The chili is killer good, and the pizzas are decent but nothing to write home about. A bit too doughy for me.
I truly believe this place has something for everyone. Plenty in the way of cheap hard stuff for non-beer drinkers is available, as well as a very sizable tour of Scottish distilleries. They even have one of those Island Oasis machines for icy drinks. For heavy nights, the 12:30 closing time means you still have time to stumble over to Costello's on Centre and finish quenching your thirst for the night.
Great for a burger and a beer. Great for a slightly cheaper night out with friends.
04-29-2008 03:32:59 |
More by sawbones420
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
this place is an icon and a must try at least once. sit on the "original" side where the bar is situated...the expansion with a restaurant add-on is like a whole different place. I lived in the neighborhood for years and this was my bar. remember when the elevated subway line ran past the facade and we got together new years eve when owner Eddy Burke screened movies on a projector. the barside interior is like stepping back into the 30's and 40's, WWII posters on the wall, an old menu with tiny prices plus the barroom has beautiful painted murals that were cleaned a few years ago and are outstanding. tap and bottle selection has something for everyone, the food is mediocre, this is a cash only place and you go there for the ambiance not the food or a 100 tap beer selection. patrons are a mix of all city types. be sure to use the parking lot behind the building not the street.
03-25-2009 19:14:01 |
More by Pondfish
Doyle's Cafe in Jamaica Plain, MA
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