Welcome back to Food Crawls, a series in which Eater Boston staffers guide you (virtually) on various food (and booze) crawls in the Boston area.
When we go out, we often find ourselves wanting to try more than one restaurant or bar at a time — a drink and a snack here, another drink and perhaps a dessert there — and want to share our favorite multi-stop combinations with you. These crawls are meant to be relatively walkable, and the amount of food and drink is meant to correspond roughly to a couple of average appetites (so bring a friend), although your mileage may vary. Email us if there’s a particular theme, specific dish or drink, or neighborhood you’d like to see covered in a future installment.
Deciding to drink at just four bars on a night out in Central Square is like deciding to just have the salad when the gold-dusted Kobe burger is on the menu; deciding to drink at just four bars on a night out in Central Square is nearly impossible.
Central Square isn’t so much a scene as it is a high-functioning cooperative of many and varied scenes. There’s the upscale dining scene; the rocker scene; the dance scene; the Irish scene; the dive scene; the Irish dive scene; the well-heeled hipster scene; the dumpling scene; the kitsch scene; the vegetarian/vegan scene; the scenes I’m forgetting. Any thirsty body with a pulse can find his bar in Central Square.
I’m a thirsty body, and last time I checked I have a pulse. As such, I like trekking across the river from my comfortable Allston enclave to that booze bazaar on Massachusetts Avenue. A drinker could embark on 100 consecutive booze crawls through Central Square and still not exhaust every combination of sticky floor or slick interior; this is one (very good) possible combination.
Stats for this booze crawl:
- Total stops: 4
- Years lost to the stress of Liverpool FC fandom: Oh, so many
- Total mileage: Not much
- Lannisters staring at you while you drink: Hopefully just three (please don’t let there be more than three!)
Magners Over Ice at Phoenix Landing
512 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
It’s the worst kept secret in town: Phoenix Landing is the best place to watch a Liverpool FC game. Liverpool fandom — a fool’s errand I’ve been running for more than two decades now — has taken years off my life, but I don’t care: It’s the hope that destroys us all. Go to Phoenix Landing some Saturday or Sunday morning, order a Magners with ice (or a Guinness, or both), and watch as the boys in red run ragged every side in England (and one in Wales, too). Bonus points if you’re draped in Robbie Fowler gear.
What About Barb? at A4cade
292 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
There is much to drink at A4cade, but order the Stranger Things-inspired rum drink: We need as many summer vibes as we can handle during this coldest of cold Boston winters. Try not to sit near the Game of Thrones pinball machine, though: It’s very probable that even the 2D versions of those Lannisters — and especially Cersei — might incite mayhem. It might also be time to pad those stomachs with a grilled cheese from Roxy’s. Also, there is Skee-Ball. SKEE-BALL!
Moscow Mule at People’s Republik
878 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
You’re at a commie-themed bar; order the drink named for the ex-commie headquarters. And if the arcade games at A4cade weren’t enough to sate that competitive spirit, challenge a comrade to a game of darts.
Disco Nap at Brick & Mortar
567 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Ordinarily, bars like Brick & Mortar are a bit too precious for my tastes. (Dive bars are the right bars.) But the drinks at Brick & Mortar are excellent — as is the burger — and so it is a great last stop on any booze crawl through Central Square worth its weight in gold. The Disco Nap — which consists of Sombra mezcal, cucumber syrup, yellow Chartreuse, and lime — will lull you into an afternoon dreamland.