The Lower Depths

Not Rated.
The Lower DepthsThe Lower Depths
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

43 Reviews
Reviews: 43
Visits: 72
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: n/a
Taps: 16
Bottles: 150
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

476 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, Massachusetts, 02215-2712
United States
phone: (617) 266-6662

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @lowerdepthsbos

Notes:
Place added by: swhitt on 12-13-2006

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 43 | Visits: 72
Photo of Mini4x
4.03/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

They have several amazing flavors of TOTs. But said tots are $11, but mostly worth it. Beer selection is great, except they have very few draft beers, I am a big draft fan and most of their draft selections were unimpressive.. Service was great, check the Red Sox schedule, and don't go if the Sox are playing! (310 characters)

Photo of Tainha
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Should have more options of food. The beer selection is good, but could have more belgian ones. Even some local beers are missing too.

The service is very nice, the people now what they are selling and don't have any problems too help you.

Is a nice place, good to be visit. (277 characters)

Photo of KXS
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Cash only. Cash only. Cash only. I never seem to remember that, though, so always have to use their on-site ATM (damn fees).

Beers on tap are quite variable - that is, sometimes you go in and it's hard to choose, and sometimes you go in and you go straight to the bottles, which for me is a bummer, because if I'm going to buy a bottle, I'd rather drink it on my dock looking over the water. A limited draft selection also tends to get me to try ones I typically wouldn't, so I guess that's a good thing. Luckily the waitstaff here are quite knowledgeable, and willing to make suggestions - and offer you a taste to be sure it's what you want.

The food used to be unique and of high quality, then it went bad for a while, and now it is back to being delicious. Guess they had chef problems for a while, but they definitely have it sorted out. Sandwiches are once again worth the $10-$12 bucks, especially when they come with perfectly done tater tots.

I think the people that frequent this place are the best. They are not sport crazy, but will watch and celebrate games on the tv. They are all over the place in terms of age and outlook, but all seem friendly. If I am in there by myself, I always find someone interesting to speak with - and I know I would typically not be speaking with them had I not been sitting next to them at the bar. (1,345 characters)

Photo of JuliusCaesar
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

The atmosphere was pretty good. It's a lively spot with a decent size bar, and both out door and in door seating. The music selection was alright. It has a laid back feel. The service was ok. There was only one employee working, who wasn't the friendliest person but was knowledgeable and knew how to pour a proper Hefe. The beer selection was great. There were some real good beers on tap (Old Raspy, Nugget Nectar, Sculpin). The bottle collection was great as well. Around ten different styles were represented with any where from four to ten beers to chose from for each style. I did find it a little pricey. There were some widely distributed brews with high price tags. Overall, a pretty decent spot to enjoy good beer in Boston. (734 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

I finally got a chance to hit this place up since I was in the area for a business meeting. Easy to find, you step down to a lower level and enter a decent sized room. The bar is to the right with about 20 stools, most of them filled. A few small tables are in the back, and a few more stools along the wall. The place is a bit dark with a bunch of funky murals on the wall. There is also a few tables outside.

There were about 15 beers on draft during my visit. A nice variety of beers such as BBC Coffee Porter, Lost Abbey Red Barn, Smutty and Harpoon IPAs, Full Sail Imperial Stout, Lagunitas Fusion, and Brooklyn Lager were some of the choices. There is a nice sized bottle list in an easy to read menu.

Service was very prompt and friendly, despite the fact I was the only non-local in the place as everyone seemed to know each other. The beers were fresh and tasty. I did not try any food.

Defintely a worthy stop while in Boston. (941 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

I liked the vibe at this place, mostly laid back with a nice little patio to sit out in front of the place. Interesting art work on the walls though it is a little on the small side.

Beers were properly poured with a reasonable amount of head in pint glasses.

Bartenders were both friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable.

Not a huge selection but they had a good selection of different styles, mostly of local beers - including at least one nitro-tap. The bottle/can selection is small and nothing special to right home about.

The food was pretty decent for bar food, heck they have an entire section of their menus dedicated to different preparations of tater tots. Only tried a couple of the different tater tot dishes but they were really good.

Prices were very reasonable, almost on the cheaper side.

One additional important piece of information is that this place is cash only! (888 characters)

Photo of bruindre
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

This became my regular watering hole when I moved to Boston a few years ago. Cool staff, great selection of beers (including a handful of taps in constant rotation), and good grub. Gotta get some tater tots and a Fenway Dog when you're here.

As others have stated, a great place to go to before a Red Sox game during baseball season. In the off season, these guys have hosted a number of beer socials, featuring brewers from the Commonwealth as well as brewers across the country. (482 characters)

Photo of Larrydoherty
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

If you are heading to Fenway to check out a sox game, The Lower Depths is a great alternative to the overcrowded bars in the fenway area.

A slightly longer walk to Fenway is worth it for their great beer selection, and the ability to actually get a seat at the bar.

The atmosphere at Lower Depths is of a relaxed, basement bar in Kenmore Square.

So if you are heading to Fenway for a game, skip the long lines, the cramped bars, and check out the bar that true Bostonians know has one of the best beer menus in the whole city. (530 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.23/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

For Boston, the Lower Depths is a reasonably priced venue. Located in Kenmore Square near Fenway Park and BU (Boston University), this is a below street level row-house style bar. CASH only.

I'm impressed with the speed of the bartender who is handling 20+ patrons. When I asked for a high alcohol beer, he offered for me to try it first. There are 16 on-tap selections, including one nitro-stout. There are also dozens of bottled/canned offerings. With the exception of Miller High Life, all of the beers are from craft breweries. The emphasis is on New Englad beers, followed by American ones. Yet, there are a couple of Belgians here as well.

The food menu is traditional (and therefore, boring) bar fare. One nice feature is the $2 foot long hot dogs with a large variety of typical and unusual toppings.

I recommend this place for beer fans visiting Boston (if you can find it) and for locals heading to a Red Sox game. (930 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

As coincidence would have it, I’ve spent some time at Lower Depths each of the last two nights. I’ve grown to really enjoy the place. Good timing as I am looking for a new Pre-Sox game location. (with the passing of “The Other Side”)
My first visit was at the bar where we received excellent/friendly service. Draft selection we good to very good and the bottle selection was also nice.
Last night we returned and sat at a table for a couple pints and a pre-Sox game meal. Had the Kenmore Tater Tots to share and one of their chicken sandwiches. My son chose a different sandwich so we got to try two different versions. Both were excellent. Quality ingredients, fresh and excellent flavor combinations. The Kenmore Tater tots were definitely addictive.

Service at the table was also very friendly and attentive. I will definitely return.

I enjoyed the atmosphere as it was both warm and modern. New and yet comfortable.
The only issue is that it’s cash only. With planning not a problem, but we all know at times that can be annoying. Overall, nice place. (1,069 characters)

Photo of tmrocker
4.03/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I belonged to the mug club there. I liked the friendliness of the staff and beer selection. Found it a good place to start my night off.

The food specials are really good. The menu changes periodically to match the beers. The mac and cheese and beef stew are favorites. Sandwiches and burgers are generally good sized. The portions are not skimpy.

During Red Sox season and the marathon the place packs up quickly so you need to get there early. They have 2 wide screen televisions for sporting events. (504 characters)

Photo of Fclfcs
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Caveat - your experience could vary depending on whether the Sox are in town.

This place has an uber casual vibe, where you're equally likely to rub elbows with hipsters as you are with dudes in jerseys. The music is good, the wait staff efficient and the food comforting and cheap. I'm partial to the $1 franks with habanero mayo.

The beer selection is fairly small but carefully chosen. The prices are excellent. I've had old raspy for a fraction of what it costs at higher end beer bars. Definitely worth stopping by, and a deal for pre-game eating. (554 characters)

Photo of thomasdlynch
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Lower Depths has a solid draft selection (10-12) and an impressive bottle menu (50+) with seasonal bottles as well. These stats stand out among the other bars in the area. The beers aren't cheap but the prices were what I expect for out-of-state microbrews. The selection diversity and depth are worth the prices.

The wait staff is knowledgeable about the beers and proactively offered tastes to help us decide on one.

We ate the hamburger and the black bean burger. The hamburger was seasoned well and tasty but a little small for the bun. The black bean burger was delicious with lots of flavor.

I would definitely return here and would recommend it to beer enthusiasts. (676 characters)

Photo of paulds
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

One of my favorite beer bars in the city. Gets very busy about an hour before and for a couple hours after Sox games, but otherwise I've never had a problem getting a table. Big plus for my wife and me is the dog-friendly patio out front, which is a rarity in this area.

Excellent tap and bottle selection, though the prices are quite high. And, as noted by many other reviewers, be aware that LD is CASH ONLY, so don't come with a slim wallet. There's an ATM by the door if you need it.

The staff is awesome. Very friendly, eager to help you select the right beer for you, and quick to offer samples. Very laid-back atmosphere, which is a refreshing alternative to the feel of a lot of other Boston bars.

Food menu is quite good, and the kitchen will adjust things to your requests. The fish wrap is excellent, but I often have a hard time resisting the urge to simply pig out on the ridiculously awesome tater tots and fresh soft pretzels. Also worthy of note is the weekend brunch menu, which is served from 11am until about 3pm or so.

Only major complaint is the music volume, which can sometimes make it challenging to converse with the person across the table from you. The staff has always been responsive to turning it down a notch when I've asked, though. (1,268 characters)

Photo of RECiPE
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Stumbled across this place while in town for a conference. Google maps lead us here. Nice tap selection. Nice bottle selection. I can't get Magic Hat anything where I live, so it was fun to try their HIPA (in bottles). Steak tip salad was top notch. Beef was done to my liking. Nice assortment of greens in the salad and some tasty bits of blue cheese.

Bill arrived. I learned that this place does not take plastic. Geez. Drained a bunch of my cash for this trip :-( I would really like to visit this place again, but I CAN'T! (527 characters)

Photo of dustinjkline
3.46/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Stopped in here before the sox game. Place wasn't very busy, so it was pretty relaxed. Had an Avery Czar. Everything seemed pretty pricey, but I kind of expected that given the neighborhood. It was $8 for a 14oz Czar. I almost went for the KBS they had in stock, but $13 was a bit out of my price range. Selection was decent. First time I've ever seen 40's for sale in a bar, they had Mickey's, Colt 45, Private Stock. Didn't try the food, as I had just come from Boston Beer Works. All in all, not too bad. I'll probably stop there again someday. (547 characters)

Photo of charliedvrs
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

My girlfriend and I came into the Lower Depths after a Red Sox game, looking to wash the taste of the Fenway beers out of our mouth before grabbing a cab home. Walking down a flight of stairs from Comm Ave, the bar as a modern, iron type look with low lighting.

I was afraid it would be pretty packed like every other bar in Kenmore after a Sox game, but we were able to grab two stools right in front of the taps. Busy but in no way uncomfortable. Bartender was very attentitive despite handling a full bar herself. I had a Troegs HopBack Amber Ale and a Left Hand Sawtooth Ale on Nitro (haven't seen this anywhere else in Boston). Tap list was nice, about 15 or so. Bottle list looked pretty extensive as well. Everyone was very friendly and laid back. Didn't have any of the food but the person next to me had some outrageous looking tater tots. Next time!

All in all a very pleasurable experience that will definitely become a regular part of our Fenway trips.

edit: one more point. Cash Only? C'Mon guys its 2010. (1,022 characters)

Photo of andylipp
4.03/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I was just posting a recommendation for this place in response to a forum question about Fenway Park beer bars, so I thought I should essentially cut 'n paste it here.

My pregame ritual now always includes the Lower Depths in Kenmore Square, a one-minute walk from the Kenmore T stop. They have 15 or so taps, and usually not a dud in the bunch. Fenway Franks on a toasted roll for $1, too.

Sandwiches and pub fare are a bit expensive, but the quality is usually better than decent. The Mackin' Cheese is a personal favorite, as are the Tater Tots, which are available with myriad yummy toppings.

The knock on LD is that even compared to other Boston beer bars it is a bit pricey when it comes to drafts. But compared to what you'd pay for a BMC at the Park, it's a fine value.

Last week, instead of paying $7.75 for a shitty in-stadium beer, I had a Hercules and a Fluffy White Rabbit at Lower Depths for about the same price. Great bartenders, too.

Sure, it's crowded and loud before a Sox game, but there aren't any bars nearby that aren't. On non-gane days it's more quiet, but be warned that, like their sister bar Bukowski, they crank the tunes to a deafening level even when the place is empty. (1,206 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Probably one of my favorite beer bars while in Boston.

Daytime visit was great on a rainy day with the entire bar to myself. The garrulous bartender was helpful with samples, though it wasn't hard to opt for the Founders Breakfast Stout.

Draft selection had mostly regional craft beers with a few quality imports. Bottle selection was very good but not excellent.

Location is convenient right off the green line and is a cool underground spot near the India Quality restaurant. Great for daytime drinking but I would reconsider for evening and/or game nights, given the proximity to Fenway. (595 characters)

Photo of hwwty4
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

We were told to go take a walk up to this place after doing a tour of Fenway by some people that worked at the Bleacher's bar. The bar kind of has this industrial artsy vibe going on. There is a lot of metal and art decorating the bar. Its not uninviting but also, it doesn't give you that warm and fuzzy feeling. We grabbed some seats at the bar (no back rest, big pet peeve) and we instantly served. While I know it was slow, there were still a couple people at the bar, and the beertender was really quick. He asked what we liked, made some recommendations and we quickly ordered. I had been out in the sun for the last couple hours so I ordered a Lagunitas Pils. We start chatting up the beertender and the conversation quickly progresses. We ask about the food and the first thing he says is "are you counting calories?" Of course we weren't, so he told us to order the loaded Tots. Tater Tots, with queso, bacon, more cheese, and sour cream. On my god were they good. My wife had the nachos, which were also excellent. The selection was good. About 10-15 taps with maybe 100 or so bottles. Nothing out of this world, but everything was solid. After a couple Lagunitas and some BBC, I ordered a Narragansett, just because. I properly butchered the name and the bartender started busted out laughing but not in a demeaning way. He then schooled me in the proper way to pronounce the beer. This was a great place. I'm really happy that someone recommended that we head to it. (1,478 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

On my last trip to Boston, I grabbed a quick beer at The Lower Depths while my incredibly sexy, pale-skinned and red-headed girlfriend shopped on Newbury Street. Unfortunately, I got a call from her before I even finished my first beer :(( I'd have liked to stay much longer.

The Lower Depths is a cool (both literally and figuratively) bar a few steps down from the street on Commonwealth in the Fenway area. 1" tiles of blue cover the walls, and the bar top is stainless steel, leading me to believe that this is kind of a college bar. There's a mural of some older, grundy patrons though; and there's also a small patio out back.

Apparently, this is close to Fenway park (?), and they do $1 hot dogs that are great. ? And even sell 40's. I didn't have anything to eat, but supposedly there's a buttered pretzel or something that's really good as well.

The beer selection is great, and that alone is worth a stop. (918 characters)

Photo of IBUnit63
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

This is a place that's good for postgame beers down Comm Ave from the pahhhk...it's got more of a professional crowd to it...not quite poser but definitely a little on the yuppyish side. Music isn't bad, furniture and fixtures look good. Doesn't really give off a warm, welcoming feeling though - can't put my finger on it...

Taps...around 10-15 or so. Pretty good stuff, too. Nice style and brewery variety - something for everyone!

The service isn't bad - nothing outwardly outstanding; not merely going through the motions but just makin' the donuts.

Speaking of donuts, didn't sample the food just yet.

Major beef: As with another beer bar in Boston owned by the same group, this place is WICKED expensive. 2 javahs and a Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen...24 bucks? I can see javah running pretty expensive but that's a little steep. Still, it's a decent pit stop on the way to the Other Side or something like that...

The individual elements as noted look very good, but one thing this place needs is a little synergy. Good selection? Yup. Quality stuff? Sure. Those two items should make this place much more enjoyable than it is - the "technical merits" are very good but the "artistic impression" needs a bit of work. Even besides the heavy price tag. Don't get me wrong; I don't dislike the place, but I simply don't like it as much as I should. (1,355 characters)

Photo of indiapaleale
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I really think the rating I am giving this place is going to be WAY higher than it should be for various reasons.

1) This place is the most overpriced beer bar I have ever been to in the state of Massachusetts. $7 a pint? Come on. Also, I recently bought a bottle of Pretty Things St. Botolph's Town for $5.75, at The Lower Depths the very same bottle of beer is being sold for $18!!!! Absolutely ludicrous.

2) Cash only + way overpriced = not cool

3) Service in the sitting area was beyond bad.

4) Vibe in this place when I was there last night was nothing like i expected. There was a table of frat boys drinking tall boy PBRs and another table full of girls out for for a bachelorette party drinking cocktails. Maybe they have the right idea since those drinks might be more cost affective.

Three things make this place ok.

1) Fenway Franks for $1. Eat three of them since you're not going to have money for food after you have a couple beers here.

2) Beer selection is decent. They had both Leviathan beers on tap and the Cape Ann Navigator.

3) Close proximity to Fenway I guess. But, I'd personally choose Boston Beer Works. Its closer and cheaper.

Whomever owns this place should be ashamed (But I am sure they are laughing all the way to the bank). If you want a good beer drinking clientele don't rip them off! I am never going here again. (1,357 characters)

Photo of SunDevilBeer
2.85/5  rDev -29.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Stopped here a few times before Sox games.

This place has a sterile, industrial-type feel. In as much it's in the basement, you feel a bit cramped. This is a small place, and with a little bit of a crowd it feels pretty congested.

Tap selection is OK, I think it could be a bit better. They usually have Haverhill Leatherlips IPA on draft (big plus for me) as well as the latest Harpoon 100-BBL offering. All beers are probably $1-$2 higher than they should be, although they are in decent shape usually.

Start and stop your look at the menu with the $1 hot dogs. Although this is a good deal, you're probably paying the discount with the add-ons (extras for sauerkraut, chili, sauteed onions, etc) and inflated beer prices. Rest of the menu is mediocre.

Service has that Bukowski-type indifference (same owners) and urban-hipster attitude that some people find cool, but I find annoying. I don't want to hear about the staff's partying last night or a discussion of the alt-rock scene, I'd rather get served in a reasonable time. A cash-only policy? Are you kidding? What a joke.

For the Fenway area, this is the only true beer bar. (1,138 characters)

Photo of cbw1978
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Went last evening to meet a friend. I was worried 'cos it was dead empty when I got there, usually never a good sign. The music was a little loud and grating, but it soon changed. Other notes on the environment - polished steel bar, well-lit without being too bright.

The barkeep hit me with a full list of taps and bottles when I came in, before the food menu.

The draft selection was pretty good - a variety of styles, I was sad they wasted one on a cider but I guess some people like that. As others have noted, the taps were a little heavy on Harpoon offerings (I think 3 or 4, if memory serves me).

I started with a Weinhenstephan Hefe Weiss - love this beer. When my buddy arrived, he ordered the Southern Tier Gemini - the bartender gave a good explanation of this beer, a mix of two IPAs. Unfortunately the keg kicked as he poured it. Even the bottom of the barrel, though, tasted good - many layers of hops!

The bottle list was more attractive to us than the rest of the lines, so we decided to split a few different selections, including the Lagunitas Maximus, a first-batch Saison-style ale from Pretty Things called Jack D'Or, and the Affligem Tripel. The Jack D'Or was especially good - glad it was recommended to us by the bartender.

I would have appreciated more 750ml bottles and more Belgian offerings on their list. There are a lot of ho-hum lagers taking up a lot of space in the fridge, so to say that they have ~100 bottles is a little misleading because some of them are easy to ignore. The bottles can be a tad pricey, but this is countered directly by the food prices - we had dollar hot dogs & awesome cheesey tater tots, but there are lots of other offerings that would appeal to more sophisticated palates.

All in all, a good spot, with knowledgable staff who aren't pretentious, and seem excited to share their offerings. Cozy enough, despite the shiny metal, because of its small size. (1,920 characters)

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The Lower Depths in Boston, MA
90 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.