NFT Boston South Boston (East)

South Boston (East)

Essentials
Known as a working class Irish 'hood in a very Irish city, Southie's ethnic and socioeconomic makeup is slowly changing. Many young professionals, swayed by Southie's charm and priced out of other neighborhoods, are renovating triple-deckers.

Sundries/Entertainment
During the summer, sea-bathers gather at the beaches along Dorchester Bay, or "The Irish Riviera." Good beer spots abound -- take a tour of Harpoon Brewery for the samples of the freshest possible ale. Take your pick from several great restaurants along the waterfront or hit up No Name Restaurant for reliable seafood.

Transportation
The addition of Silver Line stops in the neighborhood has made Southie much more accessible. If you drive, you'll have to find visitor parking, as the majority of the neighborhood is now resident only. Move a cone from a shoveled out parking spot, and be prepared to lose tires/windshield/wipers.See more.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
The Drinking Man's Guide to Boston

By David Sargent
A drinking man must have a drinking plan and for this reason he reads David Sargent's feature.

Read More...

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Charlie O'Brien
Photo:  Charlie O'Brien

Green Star Dry Cleaners
Looking for a "green" dry cleaning establishment in South Boston? You're in luck. Locally owned and operated, Green Star Dry Cleaners has been in the Kouthouridis family for three generations. The owner began working at his father's dry cleaning service before he could drive. It wasn't out of necessity or family obligation, but merely to be around his dad. His family and the business have always been a big part of his life. Now, after taking the reigns from his father, the current owner has left his own imprint. So far, one of the more notable changes to the brand has been transforming Star Cleaners into Green Star. The "green" refers to the environmentally friendly service offered. It's still the same quality as its been for three generations but now they're also doing their part to lessen the damaging effects some dry cleaners may have on the environment. Beyond this initiative, Green Star always maintains professional, quality services covering every aspect of fabric and garment care. These include on-site fitting for tailoring, smoke damage, complete service for wedding gowns, starch per request and leather care.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Cafe Mamtaz
Well readers, it's cold as hell outside. For some of you that might mean staying home and making soup, or drinking gallons of hot cocoa, but for me it usually means devouring something spicy to keep me warm. Thank Ganesh that Cafe Mamtaz just opened up around the corner from me, allowing me to walk to get all the Indian food I need. I suspect that this new spot is by the same owners as Shanti in Dorchester, but that's good news as the quality of the food and the big portions have made the transition as well. Let's discuss what you should order. First, samosas or pakoras are a must, for their fried veggie flavors, followed by what I find to be their best dishes--the Chicken Korma or the Gobi Aloo. Their lamb is also quite delicious, and if you're really brave you could always go for something off their big goat menu. They also deliver, so If you've been looking for that spot to bring bubbling cauldrons of tikka masala to your door, you might be in luck. Honestly, I just want them to keep doing crazy business so I can get my fix, so order up.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Bailey's Coffee
There are so many coffee joints staffed by haughty baristas who scoff when you refuse to order your drink in Italian sizes that occasionally you need a more blue collar spot. Bailey's in South Boston leaves all pretension at the door, yells out your order, calls you hon or darling, and yet still gets you a damn good coffee. This is an old school coffee shop, from back before a certain Seattle chain started getting people to pay triple for a cup of wake up. They'll give you a newspaper, a donut or muffin, and a treat for the dog you tied up outside. They'll also hand draw a smiley face on every lid they send out showing that while they're focused on the food, they can still remember to be cute. They've recently started making breakfast sandwiches as well, and while they might take a few more minutes than the competition, they taste like something actually made and not mass produced. For those of you who live in Southie, and pick up the 7 Bus across the street from Bailey's, pop over some morning and try it out. A smiley face adorned cup of joe is ready for you.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Starbucks
Far in the ancient past, a man that should be worshipped as a God discovered that adding water to ground up coffee beans gave him the energy to outrun an antelope. Since that day, there have been many attempts to make a better cup of addiction, but until I tried the vacuum sealed amazingness of The Clover machine at Starbucks--I've yet to find anything that makes a more delicious cup. It could be that I'm just buying the hype, but this thing blows me away. Coffee, brewed per cup, ground fresh, at the perfect water temperature, and then somehow turned into this cool puck of grounds is just the beginning. The coffee is sweeter, and milder--with none of that burned flavor a great deal of dark roasts seem to hold. It needs less milk, and in my case, almost no sugar to achieve that perfect drinkability. The Clover itself is an expensive machine, well in the thousands of dollars, leaving Starbucks in the monopoly position. I think it's worth at least a trial sip to see how good it can be, before going back to the locals. Your palate will thank you.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Giant Unholy Rat of Disease
Dear disease infested disgusting Giant Rodent, When I had to park my car several blocks from my house when I came home late, I did not notice you hidden in front of my wheel. Since you were dead and rotting, I do apologize for parking so close, but if it's any consolation you scared the LIVING FUCK out of me the following morning. You might not know, but I grew up outside of the city, so when I stumble upon proof of the seedy underbelly of an urban environment, it's always rather shocking. Finding you while two women were walking by was an added bonus, as their shrieks of horror only added to the overall experience. As shown in the photo, you are apparently a size 11 in men's shoes. That's rather large, and I can only wonder what someone might do if they were to open a cabinet and discover you inside. You were only part of my life for about two weeks, huge bag of rotting pestilence, but I still find myself wondering where you’ve gone. If there's a rat heaven, please haunt your friends, and keep them THE HELL away from me. Thanks and godspeed. Patrick.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Cranberry Cafe
I am a big fan of sandwiches I don't have to make, and for those of you familiar with some of my previous Radars, you know of my deep love for coffee. However, I find myself in a bit of a bind when it comes to the Cranberry Cafe. I'll explain. Let's say, hypothetically, there's this cafe, and they serve really good coffee and have pretty decent sandwiches, and it's not too expensive. Sounds great! Well, let's also say that the service at this cafe is also quite possibly the most atrocious in the city, taking upwards of 45 minutes to make a single sandwich, while the 3 girls working the counter all talk to each other about the Backstreet Boys, and if Dylan is hotter than Brandon, or whatever girls talk about while simultaneously ignoring you. Granted, the place SEEMS insanely popular, but that's because you have to make sure to dedicate a good chunk of time to get even the simplest of food items, so if it looks like there's a line, I guarantee we've all already ordered. Call ahead.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Harpoon Brewery
I love beer. "Oh Patrick, everyone loves beer, you don't need to write about that!" I know, but I like hoppy bitter crazy alcoholic beers, and Harpoon just put out a doozy in its Leviathan line, so I must share the wealth. Granted, a beer called Leviathan is already pretty bad ass. I mean, the bottle has an evil sick eye staring at you, daring you to risk a taste. H.P. Lovecraft? This is his beer, if he weren't dead, buried, and potentially a total shut-in during his short and creepy life. So, on to the beer. The first entry in the Leviathan series is the Imperial IPA, and dayum it's hoptastic. You like an IPA? You want to step it up a notch? Grab a four pack of these bad boys and toss 'em back. For the beer geeks, Leviathan packs a decent punch at 10% alcohol by volume, and Harpoon lists it at 122 on the International Bitterness Unit scale. That's going to hit you like a truck. A truck that's Optimus Prime. More than meets the eye and such. Harpoon Beer is local beer, and local beer is fresh, peoples. Go get a growler.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

L Street Tavern
When Ben Affleck and Matt Damon unleashed Good Will Hunting onto an unsuspecting nation, suddenly everyone in the country thought they knew what Boston was like. Tourists came to some of the key spots in the film thinking they'd find an accented grumpy heaven and instead came face to face with the best bar in Southie: The L Street Tavern. First of all, it's your perfect neighborhood bar. Dark, low slung, barely any seats, and regulars playing Keno all nights of the week make it feel pretty daunting when you first walk in, but it's welcoming as hell. Sure there might be a tourist or two strolling in for pictures but when no one asks how they like their apples, they tend to drift off. It's got a decent crown any night of the week, and it's my favorite haunt on St. Patrick's Day for the bits of the parade that are boring. If you're looking for that slice of Hollywood, come to check out the cast pictures on the wall, but stay for the bar where, unlike its more famous rival, everyone DOES know your name.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

L Street Bathhouse
Have you ever heard of the L Street Brownies? Unlike those sissy Polar Bears who take a dip on New Years, these swimmers are in the ocean 365 days a year and they all operate out of a very remarkable home base. The L Street Bathhouse is like the Brownies, in that it's pretty utilitarian, old, and takes no shit from little whippersnappers like you, but it's also a fully functioning community center with a gym and locker room. The Brownies take their daily dip here, and then retreat into the steam room or the sauna to heat back up while The L Street Running Club gathers outside. Add in the aerobics classes, dance classes, and a Youth Boxing class, and you’ve got a great resource in the heart of Southie. Personally, I joined figuring I’d hit the steam room occasionally, and use the bathroom when I was rocking the beach, seeing as the membership fee is only fifty dollars, PER YEAR. I'm still working up my nerve to join the Brownies, but in the meantime I pop down on occasion for a quick workout, steam, and then a good headshake as yet another Brownie steps shivering from the ocean.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Shag
You. Yes, you with the haircut from Supercuts. Oh, you know it's terrible, or you wouldn't spend an hour each morning trying to make it look somewhat normal. Remember how good it looked the day before you got it cut? How about instead of wasting valuable snooze alarm time, go and see Melanie Rokes, Goddess of Hair among Mortals. Now, she is a "stylist" so some guys will feel odd going. Just pretend she's a barber with fashion taste and heels. Problem solved. I'll even steal Levar Burton's line, "you don't have to take my word for it," and mention that she's got impressive recognition. Can you say a Best of Boston winner for Men's Haircuts? Can you say that she's always booked? I know one person who drives from New Hampshire just for Melanie to work her scalp magic, and let me tell you, if she can tame that insanity that I call hair, she's eligible for a Nobel Peace Prize. Tomorrow, instead of looking like someone who lost a bet, call Shag. Ask for Melanie, tell them you need serious help and pomade, and they'll take care of you. Why risk another eight dollar haircut?



Posted By:  Todd Strauss
Photo:  Todd Strauss

World Trade Center Boston
I had my first beer when I was in Sixth grade. It was a Leinenkugel on Oak Street Beach in Chicago. My second beer was a Budweiser later that day at a friend’s house. With beers like that, it is no wonder that Gordon’s vodka with an Orange Slice chaser was my drink of choice through most of my adolescent years. It wasn’t until I was 18 that I had my first Guinness. That was the starting point of my love of beer. (I haven’t touched any Gordon’s since that day.) When ever I come across an unfamiliar liquor store or find myself in a bar, I always want to try a beer that I have never had before. Sometimes, this habit is a waste of cash since not every microbrew is a good beer (and some are just horrible tasting). Since I hate wasting money on a crap pint, I can’t wait to taste about 300 different beers from 75 different breweries at the American Craft Beer Fest. The $40 admission might seem like a lot, but 2oz samples of 300 beers comes out to about 37 pints of beer. So, at just over a $1 a pint, this is a great way to sample beers for dirt cheap. Just make sure that you eat a big meal before drinking and that you leave your car at home.



Wow

Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Sidewalk Café
Just wow. At some point, when you've reached a certain size, a normal breakfast just won't cut it. Well, worry no more giants, for your savior has arrived in the form of the biggest damn coffee and breakfast sandwich ever: The Breakfast Bomb, and huge coffee, from Sidewalk Cafe. I mean, look at that thing. We're talking 32 oz. of sweet java, laced with sugar and milk fat. My bladder hurts just seeing it, and when you put it next to the sandwich (3 eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, and cheese on a French Roll), then it becomes even more idiotic. The sandwich alone clocks in at about 2500 calories for the day, which means that for dinner you can have a sugar packet and a glass of water. Sidewalk seems to be doing good business though, which just goes to show you that in a world where salads and healthy options are buzzwords, a good pound of lard can still reign supreme.



Posted By:  Emily Doutre
Photo:  Emily Doutre

Harpoon Brewery
Many beer breweries produce their own soda, a trend that originated as an alternative revenue source during that nasty little period called Prohibition. Generally these sodas are all right, but sometimes they’re weird tasting or bland. But not Harpoon. These guys could survive producing soda alone. Harpoon sodas possess a rare quality and affection that makes you understand why soda was once considered a special treat, almost a dessert, back in the days of soda fountains. It is meant to be savored, not used as fodder for belching contests. Harpoon produces three flavors of lovely, lovely pop (each containing no more than 7 ingredients): orange & cream, cream soda, and root beer. OMIGOD, the root beer. It is hands-down the best root beer you will ever have. It is addictive, which is unfortunate, because the availability of Harpoon soda is limited. I shed a tear the day Shaw’s stopped carrying it. But you can find it at a few in-the-know spots, like All Star Sandwiches, Cambridge Queen’s Head, and Downtown Wine & Spirits. Usually these are places where you’d most likely plan on ordering a beer, and instead find yourself making googly eyes at another certain tall boy…. the Harpoon soda.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Shag
My hair is difficult. It’s wavy and tends to stick up at all angles without any regard to product or begging or pleading. Until I found Shag, I thought I had resigned myself to unfortunate episodes of paying for a haircut, only to wear a hat for the first two weeks. Shag still makes my hair stick up at all angles, but it’s intentional now. It’s hip and edgy, but not in the trite way. We’re talking tattooed punks sitting next to urban bohemians and you can spy a few soccer moms, all sipping on the provided cappuccinos and mimosas, ready to get very specific and individual haircuts, all at a very decent price. “Rock Star Haircuts,” is their tagline, and god-damn, who doesn’t want to look like a rockstar? Want a lime green Mohawk, and a dyed goatee to match? Take a seat baby. Have curly hair, and barbers only know how to give buzzcuts? Shag makes you look like a celebrity with a sick fade, yo. With a staff that features several Best of Boston stylists, as well as being on MTV, this is the place to spend a few bucks to look like a million.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Going my Way Cafe
Supporting local businesses is a decent thing to do. You get that warm good karma feeling, and your local business owner gets to pay their property taxes. Win-win, right? Look, The Going My Way Café isn’t amazing. It’s pretty standard fare, with your usual mix of salads and sandwiches, coffee and teas. I can’t stop going there though, as it guilt-trips me into popping in. Last year, I would walk by the previous restaurant and never enter it. Soon, it closed down, and when the new signs popped up for The Going My Way, I felt it was my civic duty to make sure that this one stayed open, as it was my lack of support that killed the old one. So why tell you, dear readers? I cook most nights, so I don’t buy dinner there and I always bring lunch to work, so that’s out too. Mostly it’s an occasional coffee, and that’s not enough to keep my neighbors rolling in the croissant dough. So I’m looking to you people, the next time you’re in my neighborhood, to head over to the Café, and help put some salve on my stinging conscience. They’ve got some good karma.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Joseph's Bakery
Joseph’s Bakery makes sweets you’d knock Grandma down to get to. You might want to knock her down anyway, as she takes so damn long to make it through the crosswalk, but that’s not the issue here. Sweet delicious cakeage is what we’re talking about. The best Italian bakery in the middle of an Irish neighborhood I’d ever been to, Joseph’s makes amazing sweet stuff. The deli attached isn’t as amazing, as it seems they make the majority of their meals for the aforementioned crosswalking grandmothers, with no salt or flavoring whatsoever. Still, the bread when bought fresh is a good as you’ll get anywhere in the city, and the Italian cookies are of the can’t-stop-eating status. They have an ATM inside too, so when you’re out of cash and need your sugar, its one stop shopping. Dear god, the cakes though. They glisten and beckon in the case, like frosted prostitutes in Amsterdam, promising you a short amount of pleasure for only a few dollars. So you tell yourself, well it’s just this one time, I’ll only have a slice, and then an hour later, you’re covered in crumbs and sobbing softly to yourself. It’s ok, man. We’ve all been there.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Terrie's Place
Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, as it’s pure comfort food, made for men who wear plaid, and who just might kill things for a living. And I’m not talking a bowl of Special K with skim milk and berries. I’m talking breakfast, and when I’m talking breakfast I’m talking Terrie’s. Do you want a Meatloaf Omelet? Trust me, you do. Personally, I eat a hash and cheese omelet from them at least once a week with homemade cheese sauce on the home fries. Great counter service, plus thick, hearty, spoon-stands-up-in-the mug coffee, and a line like crazy on Sunday morning shows that Terrie really knows how to do breakfast. So do yourself a favor. Stop into Terrie’s Place the next time you’re in South Boston and you’re craving that warm feeling that only comes from a hearty plate of eggs and potatoes washed down with a hot cup of black java. Be sure to sit at the counter, chat with the waitresses, and get a refill on that cup 15 or 30 times.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Boston Public Library - South Boston
I’ve always been a bit reluctant to join the Boston Library due to the perma-stank that wafts through the air at its Copley Square location. But I finally broke down and joined my local branch thanks to the sexiest phrase in the bibliophile vocabulary: Inter-library loan. Granted, new releases are a bit hard to come by via “the loan,” but who needs new releases anyway? Are you still telling people you read Ulysses by Joyce, even though you never got past page 12? Here’s your chance, Fibber McGee. I find myself drawn to the South Boston Branch like the Taliban to a naughty camel. With good Internet access, a decent book selection, and no musty squatters to spread their musk, the South Branch has become my home away from home. And thanks to that sexy phrase I mentioned before, I’m able to get any book in the system with a few clicks of a mouse. The only drawback: no drop box for checked out items, so you end up with hefty fees of twelve cents from time to time. I urge you to check the couch cushions, and go get your read on.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

The concussion like sound of the alarm digging its way into your skull, awakens you not just to another day, but to the raging quest for the black blood of Prometheus the fire-giver, the liquid called coffee. Your morning ritual shower and bloodletting out of the way, you skulk from your dark cave of snooze buttons, in desperate search for the kiss of condensation on a cup of iced awareness. Your search ends at the Java House. Not a hipster coffee house with torn chairs for scumbags to read Bukowski prominently, hoping that the hot barista will come and froth their latte, they cater to the early morning commuter crowd by providing the biggest damn cup of iced coffee in the business. This bladder buster weighs in at around 30 oz. so the lightweights out there will still be vibrating at lunch, while you can drop 4 of them in a row without so much as an eye twitch. So tomorrow morning, double park in front of Java House, and tell traffic to screw. You need your fix.




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