With the Bruins and Celtics making runs in the playoffs the West End is alive. Canal Street is closed to cars, and restaurants can extend their patio hours for the games. Causeway and The Harp are two classic spots to watch or pregame– but if you are looking for something a little different, check out our recommendations.
For years this was Rodeys– a spot known for their inventive subs, burgers, and pizzas. It’s still the same owner, but he has rebranded back to his roots in Turkish food. As part of the rebrand, he brought over a baker from Turkey to make all the breads fresh, and poached a well-known Turkish chef from N.J. to lead the kitchen.
If you were a fan of their zany subs, they still have those. But we highly recommend trying some of their Turkish classics like the döner and lahmacun (Turkish pizza). Unlike most döner places that get their massive spirals of meat delivered frozen, Boston Döner takes fresh meat, marinates it, and then assembles the spirals by hand. What results is juiciness and flavor that you just can’t get frozen.
The hummus here is as good as it gets. It’s ultra creamy, yet as light as a cloud. This may not be your typical pregame spot, but trust us– get your food here and your beers next door.
Whether you are looking to pregame before the big game, or have a night out after a big win, Bodega Canal can do both.
This elevated Mexican spot probably isn’t the place to go if you want to slug Bud Lights and debate if the Celtics are better with or without Marcus Smart. But if you are trying to impress a date before the game this is your spot. The drinks might be pricey but they are unique and taste great. We have tried quite a few, but the two that we keep going back to are the Miami Vice and Spicy Mango. The Miami Vice is simple a mix of the strawberry and coconut margarita, which results in a creamy, sweet drink that reminds of strawberry milk (in a good way!). The toasted coconut on the rim of the glass brings it all together. And the Spicy Mango uses ghost pepper tequila, which packs a major punch.
If you are with a group, the nachos supreme are a no-brainer. Covered in beef, cheese, and guac, these hit all the major food groups. The quesadillas here are hella cheesy, and if you add meat to them they are the perfect bite before the game that won’t leave you in the coma (but will still allow you to slug beers once you enter the Garden). And if you’re lucky, they might have the Flamin Hot Cheeto Mexican street corn.
If you aren’t going to the game, this is easily the second best place to watch all the action. With the largest TV in the Northeast, it is something that just needs to be experienced in person. For the early round playoffs, Banners is ideal because there are plenty of other very large TVs surrounding the main one, so you won’t miss a minute of action from any of the games.
With an extensive tap list you won’t see the ultra-rare breweries, but there is beer from enough local spots that you will find something tasty to drink. They have wings, nachos, and every other bar food you can imagine– and it’s all done well.
The Banners burger is a must-try for Boston burger connoisseurs. Served with an Everest-sized pile of onion crisps, it gives way to a perfectly medium-rare burger using a blend of premium cuts. The tomato jalapeño jam does not overpower the burger, but adds a slight spicy dimension to the savory bacon and salty onion crisps.
If you can’t afford to go to game 7, this is the next best thing