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.
Tired: Allston is chaotic and filthy and a dumping ground for old mattresses and cheaply made end tables. (Allston Christmas is real, but it’s one weekend. It’s also kind of great!) Wired: Allston is vibrant and diverse and brimming with creative energy. It’s a neighborhood of immigrants; it’s a neighborhood of old Boston types; it’s a neighborhood of creative young folks. It’s also a neighborhood of great bars.
David Foster Wallace spent a lot of time walking around Allston trying not to drink (this must have been difficult); I spend a lot of time walking around Allston deciding where to have my next drink (this is not difficult at all.) Head to a classic dive like the Silhouette Lounge or the Model Cafe, or hit the Glenville Stops for a dozen oysters and a saison? Or is it time for a cocktail at Deep Ellum? Fortunately, Rat City boasts an embarrassment of riches in the watering hole department.
Head to Allston (ideally before the college students return and take up all the seats at the bar) and drink these things at these bars.
- Total stops: If it’s a school night, four. If it’s not a school night, five or six.
- Distance traveled: All told, probably a mile or so
- Underwhelming domestic beers slugged: One or two, for sure
- Overwhelming German beers slugged: You’re headed to Deep Ellum, so at least one
A Dozen Oysters and an Ipswich Saison at the Glenville Stops
87 Glenville Ave., Allston, MA 02134
The Glenville Stops isn’t on a main thoroughfare but rather tucked away on Glenville Avenue, a residential street adjacent to Commonwealth Avenue. It’s truly a neighborhood joint. Diners can enjoy $1 Duxbury oysters between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. every night of the week, and drinkers can enjoy expansive beer and wine lists. Get the Ipswich saison — it’s crisp and bright and herbaceous, but not so much so that you’ll feel like you just swallowed a gulp of pureed cilantro.
A Guinness and Some Wings at Hopewell
1277 Commonwealth Ave., Allston, MA 02134
Guinness might sound like an odd pairing for wings, but these wings are served on top of a doughnut waffle. Creamy stout it is! Hopewell has a game room in the back packed with arcades and pinball machines, and a shuffleboard table placed squarely in the center of the main dining room. Challenge the homies to some bar games, drink a couple of the best drinks on the planet, and then head to the next spot.
Something European at Common Ground
85 Harvard Ave., Allston, MA 02134
Hang a left out of Hopewell, make your way down Commonwealth Avenue, hang another left on Harvard Avenue, and walk the several blocks to Common Ground. If Old Speckled Hen is on draft, get that. If Veltins pilsner is on draft, get that. If they’re both on draft, get one of each.
A Night Cap (and a Chicken Sandwich) at Deep Ellum
477 Cambridge St., Allston, MA 02134
If it’s a school night, this is where it ends. Deep Ellum is one of the best beer bars in the city, but it’s a cocktail you’re after on this trip. Celebrate the fact that it’s still summer and get a Oaxacan Rose, which is made with mezcal, grapefruit liquor, lemon and grapefruit juice, and bitters. If it’s pleasant outside, drink it on the patio. And if it’s late enough, order the fried chicken sandwich from the late-night menu, which is served between 11:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m.
Something Cheap at the Silhouette Lounge or the Model Cafe (or Both)
200 Brighton Ave., Allston, MA 02134 / 7 N. Beacon St., Allston, MA 02134
If it’s not a school night, head to the Silhouette Lounge for a tallboy of PBR and some “dinnah” (popcorn) or to the Model Cafe for a Miller High Life and some dancing. Preference for the Silhouette: There’s rarely a queue, and there’s a pool table and dart boards. And you won’t have to battle many college students for a seat at the bar or a booth.