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TD Garden and the Zakim Bridge

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Take a Tour of the Best Hockey and Basketball Bars Near TD Garden

Where to drink before (or after) a Bruins or Celtics game

The Bs and the Cs are both good. Go watch them, and go drink at these establishments beforehand.
| Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Welcome back to Food Crawls (or in this case, Booze 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.

Folks, the Bruins and the Celtics are both pretty good this year. With fewer than a dozen games remaining in each team’s respective season, each team has the second best record in its conference. That means one very cool thing: Playoff hockey and basketball are just around the corner.

If you’re lucky enough to snag face-value tickets (playoff tickets from third-party sites are exorbitant) — and you’re a drinker — have a pop or two at these bars before or after the game. The neighborhood adjacent to TD Garden gets a bad rap for dining options, but that doesn’t mean one can’t enjoy the Boston sports bar kitsch for a night — or half an hour.

Stats for this booze crawl:

  • Total stops: 4
  • Total Paul Pierce jerseys spotted: There will be hundreds
  • Total Patrice Bergeron jerseys spotted: Also hundreds
  • Slices of half-decent pizza inhaled from Halftime: Two or three, depending on how much grease you can stomach

A Pint of Be Hoppy at the Harp

85 Causeway St., Boston, MA 02114

the harp boston
The bar at the Harp
The Harp/Facebook

The Harp is a truly bizarre and unclassifiable space: part sports bar, part music venue, part night club. Its tap list is pretty good. Tolerable for a quick pint of Worcester-based brewery Wormtown’s excellent Be Hoppy IPA.

A Pint of Smoke & Dagger at the Fours

166 Canal St., Boston, MA 02114

the fours
The bar at the Fours is especially good-looking for a sports bar
The Fours/Official Site

The Fours is a compulsory stop before or after a Bruins game — it’s named for Bruins legend Bobby Orr, who wore number four, after all. The walls are lined with sports memorabilia — pennants, signed photographs, jerseys — and the general vibe is “single uncle’s living room,” and it’s perfect. Get another local brew, this time a pint of Smoke & Dagger from Framingham brewery Jack’s Abby. It’s a black lager that tastes like beef jerky in the best possible way.

A Cheap Beer at Sullivan’s Tap

168 Canal St., Boston, MA 02114

sullivan’s tap
Lotta neon, lotta cheap beer
Sullivan’s Tap/Facebook

It’s probably actually illegal to go to a Celtics game without first stopping at Sully’s. Another Canal Street classic, Sullivan’s Tap is filled with neon and cheap beer. And pool tables. Get in and get out, because the crowd tends to be of the rowdy variety.

A Cocktail at Ward 8

90 N Washington St., Boston, MA 02114

Ward 8
For the classier Bruins/Celtics fan
Meg Jones Wall/Eater

If pints of beer and sticky floors and weathered wood aren’t your speed — you’re more of a marble person, and you like to drink a fancy cocktail — stop by Ward 8 before the game. Try the Pulitzer, which is essentially a rye Negroni: Bulleit rye, Aperol, Cinzano Rosso. Only have the one, though: The strangers in the seats next to you paid a lot for those tickets, too.

The Harp

4935 Newport Avenue, , CA 92107 (619) 222-0168 Visit Website

The Fours

15 Cottage Avenue, , MA 02169 (617) 471-4447 Visit Website

Ward 8

90 North Washington Street, , MA 02114 (617) 823-4478 Visit Website


2080 Day Blvd, Boston, MA 02127 (617) 268-5685 Visit Website