The Pirate Crawl / Boston Harbor Cruise is about 2 months away and our tickets are going fast. Since we’re on a boat, tickets will be limited. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. So don’t wait too long if you’re interested.
See you soon Matey! Arrggghhh
Union Square is an area we don’t get to as much as we should. It’s a little out of the way (although that will change with the impending Green Line extension), but it’s an area that has a concentration of really great bars. Every time we go, we wonder why we don’t go more often!
We started off with the reason for being in the area. We had a Gilt City voucher for a tasting at Bantam Tap room. This is a small but fun space with interesting ciders. The tap room looks into the production facility, so you get a peek at the tanks and equipment. They have quite a variety, ranging from sweet to dry to hoppy. The staff is knowledgeable and efficient, especially since it was fairly crowded when we were there. After our tasting was complete, we took a short walk down Somerville Ave to The Independent.
The Independent is a causal pub filled with dark wood. It has good cocktails and a nice beer list. It was recently renovated, so it’s a spruced up version than the less polished version we visited years ago, but it’s a great place to hang out.
Next we headed to Back Bar. This is hidden down a small driveway and is easy to miss, but you really shouldn’t! This is a smallish, eclectic space filled with tchotchkes with an emphasis on Star Wars and cats (if you want to make friends with your bartender/server, ask for some cat pictures!). The staff here is so friendly, and they have extremely creative cocktails. They will also go off book and make something tailored to your particular taste. To balance our cocktails, we had some bar snacks here, including an insanely good buttermilk ranch popcorn, cheese puffs, and olives. These were great accompaniments for liquor-forward drinks. One drink that stood out in particular was a drink special for the day, a Fluff milk punch. We ordered this since it was seasonally appropriate (Easter weekend), and it was fantastic. Not too sweet, and clarified so it wasn’t as heavy as a normal milk punch, with a touch of toasted Fluff on the glass. This place can fill up quickly, especially on May 4th, when they have Star Wars themed night, so go early or prepare to wait. Overall this is just a fun, comfortable place with great staff, great drinks, and great ambiance. Put this on your must-visit list if you haven’t been.
Our next stop was next door to Bronwyn. This is a German restaurant with outstanding food, and we never miss it on a trip to Union. The space is cozy and comfortable, and in the summer they have a small outdoor beer garden. The feature a large beer menu focused on Central Europe – Germany, Austria, Poland, and the Czech Republic. They offer flights, a “world tour” (a bucket of beers with a bottle from each region) and a German classic – Das Boot. We can’t skip the food here, so we ordered quite a sampling of the menu, including the Bretzel, the wurst trio, the schnitzel and the potato salad. Everything was delicious, and went well with our beers. We ended the meal with a schnapps tasting, in preparation for our impending trip to Oktoberfest in Munich this fall. This place is another must-visit! German food is pretty hard to come by in Greater Boston, so it’s perfect for a schnitzel fix.
We ended the evening with a nightcap at Brass Union. This is another dark wood pub, with great cocktails and board games. While we didn’t sample any food, they do have an extensive menu.
Overall, Union Square is a great neighborhood filled with amazing gems. If it’s not in your rotation, it should be. Go check it out!
When we’re not organizing bar crawls, we still find ourselves visiting bars and fun spots around the city.
Downtown Crossing (Part 1 as there are a ton more bars that we need to visit in this area)
Recently we had a birthday party to attend at JJ Foley’s on Kingston Street, so we took the opportunity, as we are wont to do, do have a little bar crawl before hand. We visited some of our favorite places in the Downtown Crossing area for some pre-party food and drinks.
We started at one of our favorites, Marliave. Marliave is a great gem in Downtown Crossing. It’s very old school and French influenced, with a great cocktail program, and daily dollar oyster specials from 4-6 and 9-10. This is one of the few dollar oyster places that will give you a choice of oysters, and not just a single kind. They’re well shucked and were great with the Henry Marliave cocktail (vodka, Lillet Blanc, Chambord, prosecco, lemon). We also split and order of Henry’s Soup. This is a French onion soup filled with tender short rib and melted Gruyere. It was delicious and warming, especially on the cold winter night we were there. It tastes long simmered, with the decadent short rib and melty cheese. Bonus points for the beautiful old fashioned footed crock it comes in. They happily offered to split an order into two bowls, which we weren’t expecting, but was a nice touch. This is truly one of the best French onion in Boston!
After our soup, we headed next door to Barracuda Tavern. This place feels sort of divey, without really being a dive. It has a great beer selection as well as wine and liquor. The staff is very friendly, and they have a solid, seafood leaning food menu. They have a nice selection of bar snacks, and we split an order of bacon wrapped scallops which were tasty and went well with our beers. This is a great, casual hangout in DTX.
Next stop was Mast’ (the confounding apostrophe isn’t a typo). This is a Italian spot that prides itself on its Neapolitan pizza. To start, we had an espresso martini (made with real espresso, not flavored liquor), and a Nutella martini, that, while good, should have been ordered for dessert. We split a pizza with prosciutto, artichokes, and black olives. It was fine, but the sauce was kind of watery, and the crust didn’t seem as crisp as it could have been ,coming from a wood fired oven. It was fine, but there are better pizzas in the area.
We left Mast’ and headed down Province Street four next stop at haley.henry wine bar. This is a charming, tiny restaurant that has friendly staff, and a particularly amazing 90s soundtrack. This restaurant specializes in tinned fish, charcuterie, and wine. The staff is always happy to talk about their wine, and apart from the menu of wines by the glass, they’ll open any bottle as long as you have two glasses. We got the tuna pate, which was served with a whole grain mustard and pickled onions. Before we’ve sampled other tins as well as the charcuterie board, and we’ve never been disappointed. We’re looking forward to the sister restaurant this team is slated to open in Fenway later this year.
Our final stop before the party is the iconic Omni Parker House. There are two bars here, Parker’s and The Last Hurrah. Both are very old school, and specialize in classic cocktails, and playful twists, such as a Boston Crème Pie martini. We suggest getting the real thing if you’re here, the classic Boston crème pie is something not to be missed. Both of these bars cater to locals and tourists alike, and it’s worth a stop in.
Thanks all. You’re the best. The Pirate Crawl / Boston Harbor Party Cruise early bird tickets are now sold out. We’re very much looking forward to seeing you.
Regular tickets are now available.
Just a quick update regarding the Pirate Crawl this June. We’re under 10 early bird tickets. We expect to run out later today or early tomorrow so save your money and sign up now. Cheers -C.I.B.
What happens when you mix a Bar Crawl, a Party Cruise and Pirates?
You get the Crawl In Boston Pirate Crawl…YEAR 10!!!!!!!
We never thought we’d make it this far. On Saturday June 16, we’ll be bringing you the 10th edition of the finest themed bar crawls that Boston has to offer. It’s time to kick off the summer with the return of the Pirate Crawl. We are so excited.
One of the stops will take us onto a boat for a scenic trip of the Boston Harbor.
Same as last year, our boat will not be out of the Seaport but instead closer to the Faneuil Hall bars. That said…it’s a smaller boat.
So tickets will be VERY, VERY limited. We will have 50% less than usual.
After the party cruise, we’ll be navigating around Boston to the best bars the city has to offer.
Still not sure? A picture tells a thousand words and we’ve got hundreds of those.
Or if you can’t think of an outfit, we have shirts available on Threadless
Limited Tickets Available between $25.00 – $30.00. The price will increase as the event gets closer and tickets get low.
The registration bar will be e-mailed to ticketed customers the week of the event. The full schedule is released at time of registration. 5 – 7 bars will be included on the event. We don’t release the bar schedule ahead of time as people used to post our schedule online and we got lots of party crashers which made the bars way over capacity.
Admission onto 90 minute Boat Cruise
Temporary Pirate Tattoos
No cover charges at any participating bars
Tickets are Will Call meaning your name will be on our Guest List at the door. You can pick up your tickets at one of the scheduled bars beforehand or at the dock.
Tickets include admission onto the ship but there will be cash bar. Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable unless the cruise is canceled.
Registration bars will be e-mailed to ticketed customers the week of the event. Always visit crawlinboston.com for the most up to date information.
You will receive the entire schedule when you register in person at the event. We will have 5 – 7 total bars participating. Tickets include admission onto the ship but there will be cash bar. Tickets are non-refundable unless the cruise is canceled.All the bars will be in the Faneuil Hall and Financial District areas. We will let you know your registration bar before the event, and you’ll receive the full schedule when you check in. We want to keep this event as exclusive as possible for your own comfort. Please note, the bars have the right to refuse entry to anyone due to bar capacity or personal incapacity.
Please, please, please don’t wait to join this incredible event. Cheers! -C.I.B
When we’re not organizing bar crawls, we still find ourselves visiting bars and fun spots around the city.
The Fenway area is well known for the raucous pregame bars that line Landsdowne Street, but the area is also home to some great dining and amazing cocktail bars. We recently made a day of it to try out one of the newest additions to the area, as well as hitting up our favorite joints.
We started the outing at Sweet Cheeks Q. Ran by former Top Chef, and current and always badass Tiffani Faison, this popular spot has been open for about five years and is well known for its delicious take on southern BBQ. We had dinner plans later on, but we couldn’t help but order the bucket o’biscuits. These are monstrous and delicious, with an amazing honey butter on the side. Flaky and tender, these are a carb lover’s dream. An order comes with four, but that is plenty due to their size.
We meant to head next to Faison’s adjacent venture Tiger Mama, but it wasn’t open yet. But we can report form previous visits that this Asian fusion spot also has great food and well-made Tiki based cocktails. We continued down Boylston St. to Citizen Oyster Bar. This place is as well known for its whiskey selection as the bivalves in the name. This isn’t a stuffy or fancy place as many oyster bars in Boston tend to be, this place is almost more of a dive bar feel (in a good way). They have a whiskey focused cocktail menu, but will just as happily serve you a shot and a beer.
Next up was the main event of the evening, dinner at Eventide Fenway. A causal concept from the more formal Eventide Oyster Co in Portland Maine, this new counter style restaurant opened recently and we couldn’t wait to try it. True to the fast-casual style dining room set up, there are no reservations and mostly counter-style seating, so it may be tough to go with a group. We managed to snag part of a table and began perusing the menu. We sampled much of it, and it was quite a feast. We started with oysters, of course, and they were well shucked and served with the usual accoutrement. The highlight of the meal was the brown-butter lobster roll. Instead of the traditional New-England style split hot dog roll, this is served on something reminiscent of a steamed bao. Fluffy and light, this is a great an unobtrusive vehicle for the tender, buttery lobster meat. We also sampled the tuna crude, which was crisp and refreshing; the clam chowder (a rich yet thin broth, not too thick), the chicken katsu sandwich (crunchy yet juicy) and roasted cauliflower. Everything here was good, but the portions were small and the price tag was large. That is not unexpected for what is clearly fresh, well sourced seafood, but it’s a little jarring to rack up such a hefty bill in such a casual setting.
For dessert, we headed to one of our top spots in the city, Hojoko. We reviewed Hojoko when it opened in 2015, and it remains one of our favorite spots today. A perfect post dinner drink is their frozen pina colada, served with a roasted marshmallow. They usually have one or two other frozen drinks, and also a large selection of cocktails that seem Tiki inspired with interesting Japanese influence. This place always has good music, the bartenders are fun and knowledgeable, and it’s some of the most interesting food and drink in the city. This is our go-to spot for a reason, so if you haven’t been yet, make a point to head there, preferably before the crowd head back to Fenway in April.