Whether you’re looking for a place to sip a beer with friends or enjoy some delicious pub food, these under-the-radar spots offer welcoming atmospheres and intimate entertainment. From recently-devised spots with clever approaches to longstanding joints with a proven reputation, these Irish, English, and American-style pubs pair great drinks with comforting food.
From the surprisingly tucked-away O’Malley’s Pub in Boston to the eccentric Polka Bar and Piano Bar in Minneapolis, these cozy, well-appointed drinking establishments deliver on both atmosphere and substance. The former offers an eclectic mix of polka, rock music, and Midwestern politeness in a small space that overlooks the bar; the latter pairs top-notch ramen, sashimi, and sushi with a wide selection of tap and bottle beer, whiskey, and sake.
In San Diego, the Lion’s Share Pub is a true gastropub in every sense of the word. The space is carved from limestone that predates the Civil War, and the menu has spot-on British classics like bangers and mash, steak and kidney pie, and vegetable pasties. The storied Horse Brass Pub in Portland touts itself as “the only authentic British pub in America,” while the aptly named Buffalo & Bald Eagle in Brooklyn brings a touch of the Old World to New York City with its game-heavy menu and bourbon and whiskey collection.
Chicago has more brewpubs and taverns than you can shake a stick at, but some stand out for their dazzling array of craft beers and hearty dishes. For a taste of the Pacific, head to Nashville’s Two Ten Jack, which combines Japan’s culinary traditions with American pub culture to serve up top-notch ramen, sashimi, sushi, and more in a casual setting.