Taps: 26 / Bottles: 38
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 117 | Show All Ratings:
4.56/5 rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25 | $$$
Deep Ellum is my second-favorite beer bar in the Boston area, falling behind Lord Hobo. Both have very different vibes reflecting the neighborhood they're in - Deep Ellum being in young hipster and college student heavy Allston.
The atmosphere here is very mellow. It's a long narrow space with the bar on the left side, about 25 stools, and tables on the right side. Not much space at all to stand if you can't get a seat, so it often feels very crowded. There is also a patio out back during the warmer months. Lighting is dim, TVs are always playing some random obscure old movie unless there's a big Boston sports event on.
I've always gotten good service whenever I've been here. There's usually two bartenders working the bar. Every time I've sat down I'm immediately handed beer and food menus and poured a glass of water. I've never had to wait with an empty glass, even when they're busy. I've always had a good experience with the servers whenever I've sat at a table as well.
Selection is one of the best in town. 28 drafts with a nice mix of locals, American craft and imports. I think their list is more import-heavy than anywhere else in town, with imports I've rarely or never seen anywhere else.
Food has been good every time I've eaten here. They have a gastropub-style menu and everything is very well-crafted. They also offer their brunch menu daily, not just on weekends, which I feel is a rarity.
Prices are what you would expect for the Boston area. Drafts range from $6 to $10, with the higher prices for the imports, expectedly. Food is reasonable - sandwiches range from $10 to $12, entrees from $14 to $20.
Getting here is fairly easy - the T won't drop you right outside the door but you can take the Green B Line to Allston St and make the 10 minute walk. It's usually pretty easy to get a parking spot on Cambridge St as well.
10-16-2013 16:08:18 | More by MThiele360
4.25/5 rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75 | $$
Deep Ellum was an old haunt that I re-visited with my partner last night. We were seduced into trying the featured appetizer, which was a ricotta tempura with squash blossoms. Unique flavor, but we both agreed that the blossoms were a tad too bitter.
I was suffering from a familiar cocktail-or-beer dilemma (which is almost as distressing as the "savory or sweet" brunch dilemma), but I ordered the Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA, which was lovely, so I ordered another. The german hops were an interesting match with the squash blossoms; the bitter flavors were kind of combative. But, part of me loved in. Bring on the bitterness!
We both ordered the Vegan Bahn Mi: housemade seitan, pickled vegetables, jalapenos, and a Sriracha aioli. The submarine roll was lightly toasted, but the bread was overall not as satisfying as the contents. I would have enjoyed a heartier, whole grain bun. The fries are delicious--crisp and perfectly salted.
It is a rather disappointing trend for the only vegetarian option on a gastropub entree menu to be "Mac and Cheese", and that is the case at Deep Ellum. But, I was happy with my sandwich. And, I thoroughly enjoyed gulping down my pair of Stones (the IPA, I mean.)
09-15-2013 14:53:03 | More by LeahMarieVT
4.45/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75 | $$
I'm an out-of-towner who made it here with friends on a Friday night. Arrived during dinner hours and left during prime drinking hours. Came highly recommended by a local. Had a table throughout the session.
Quick take: food is fantastic and beer selection is well thought-out with a nice balance of local/New England as well as some tasty imports. With 25 taps, you can't get better than this. Bottle list isn't extensive, but also some nice selections. At the time i was there, there seemed to be a slant towards German beers and food styles, which i loved. Again, everything was fantastic. Service was great even when it started to fill up. Waiter seemed to have a good handle of all their beer offerings. OH yeah, and they will sell half-pours which is a big plus for me.
Allston is an eclectic mix of hipsters/college kids/young professionals, and this bar's cliente showcases that blend. It was interesting to watch the progression from the dinner crowd into the bar crowd, as the bar crowd was more on the younger side. (Bouncer at the door, pretty loud music, etc). It's a shotgun style joint so it's kindof narrow so it felt crowded as well. Nice patio in the back which looked to be pretty sweet, but we ate inside. My only real qualm with the place is how dark they kept it once the sun went down. I'm all for atmosphere, but you couldn't even see the menu.
This place is solid. If you are in that area, it seems there is no better place for a great meal and a super beer menu.
06-24-2013 09:08:08 | More by DRBiser
4.48/5 rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5 | $$
Pros: Outstanding taps, particularly locals. Very good food.
Cons: Loud, hard to find parking, small
With so much to choose from in the Greater Boston area how do the best places survive? Start with a small, but navigable tap selection, add enticing menu choices, and put this in a comfortable setting. Deep Ellum has all this. While the number of choices won't blow you away, the quality should. The Thursday night I was there, about half the selections were superb choices from Clown Shoes, Cambridge Brewing, Pretty Things, and Notch. The other half were split between US and non-US breweries. Nothing was standard (there were at least two smoked beers on the menu). Service was average to good, hard to tell as I arrived at the front end of a very busy night. Regardless, I greatly appreciate the staff's flexibility in providing me with a half pour, something not on the menu. If there's anything negative to be said about Deep Ellum, it's that it is a victim of its success. It is small and fills very fast. Like many places, the seating leads to a very loud experiences. In this case, louder than most. Yes I am old and my hearing is not what it was. But asking my drinking partner to repeat nearly everything said tells me that this place is louder than most. In a similar situation, parking can be a challenge. Fortunately, I arrived close to 6 PM, when on the street parking was still reasonably close. I can imagine what it would be like later in the evening or on a Friday or Saturday night.
How does this stack up against the other Boston establishments I've visited? Despite the parking and noise, I enjoyed my visit enough to return, assuming there is some variation in the beer selection and menu. If I do return, I'll try to make it early in the week, though, as this might ameliorate some of the parking and noise issues.
05-05-2013 22:40:17 | More by LittleDon
4.44/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Was here once before, oddly it was just after the last time I lost my job, 3 ½ years ago. Woke up and drove to Portsmouth, NH for a beer release on a whim and then turned around and drove home afterwards, stopping here along the way to catch Dan at the release party for ‘Saint Botolph’s Town’ (where he most generously ponied up the display bottle, and thank you). And here I am again, having just been laid off again. I guess this is the place I go when that happens...
So, sweet slander spot front row center on the strip navigated. I will venture in while Phil, yes, you guessed it, gets his smoke on. Narrow place, none too deep. Brick outer wall, the other walls done in a pale green or gray or something, in this light, hard to say. Front framed vestibule and narrow vertical windows opening in to both sides, each with a shorty wide horizontal window above. Framed ceiling with a center skylight, lightly colored trim & crown molding, pulley pairs of spinny fans, sunken spots & tracks over the adjacent seating, and drop bullet tortoise shell glass lamps along the bar. Black & white floor tilings of the itty-bitty bathroom variety. Large street scene mural piece on the back wall, and a kitchen peek-a-boo to the left of it (where kitchenings happen). A flatscreen above there and another one angled in the front corner.
‘L’ shaped wood bar with a slight slight lip, panel base, & piping foot rail, seating 18 on stools. The barback unit is a large sprawling wood piece, with a skeleton steer atop, a pillared archway over mirrored center, and narrower arches to each side. 2 rows of 11 on a solid bar end to end fronting pitchers & glassware countered on center, and a glassware rack a-dangling above. Tiered booze fronting the outer arches, countered, and slight shelving in between, with jarred Ican’ttellwhatthefuck. Bottled selections coolered below the bar. In addition to the 22 taps on the barback, there are a pair of 3 tap arms extending from different points along the bar, plus a single handpump on center making for 28 taps in all.
Adjacent seating is shared bench action the far wall from front window to the rear of the room, with nearly a dozen 2-seat tables pushed together for 4 or more as needed, and a single raised roundy hightop in the other front window. And through and out to the back yard; a dozen and a half 2-seat tables with benches running 3 sides around.
28 taps, roughly 1/3 of them from MA (Notch Polotmavy Lezak, High & Mighty Fumata Bianca & Beer of the Gods, Tap Beerstand Berlinerweiss, Brash The Bollocks Double IPA, Pretty things Jack D’or, Mystic Vinland One, Clown Shoes Clementine, Idle Hands Dubbel Dimples), and the remainder a mix of American craft, left (21st Amendment Bitter American, Stone IPA & 16th Anniversary, Green Flash West Coast IPA), right (Ommegang Rare Vos), and something in between (Goose Island Matilda), and imports, Belgian (de la Senne Taras Boulba, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Slaapmutske Dry Hopped Lager, Sainte-Helene Simcoe Lager, Dilewyns Vicaris Tripel Gueuze blend, Van Honsebrouck St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition), German (Arcobrau Zwickl Lager, Brauerei Spezial Rauchbier Lager, Ayinger Brau Weisse), and elsewhere (Omnipollo Mazarin, Ca L’Arenys Guineu Riner, O’Hara’s Irish Stout), plus the Blacksmiths winery Fatty Bumpkins hard cider.
And a bottle list of 3 dozen + entries by stylings. Okay, grouping ‘lambic, sour, & cider’ means Panil Barrique, BFM Abbaye De Saint Bon Chien, JK Scrumpy, & Original Sin all hang together, which I know for a fact they do not. And Trappists representing, yo; Orval, Westmalle, Rochefort, & Achel, but not your everyday Chimay, interesting. My pricing benchmark Orval runs the midway $10.
Beerwise, I’m drinking MA, today. Started with the Tap Beerstand Berlinerweiss (pleasantly quaffable), and then had a High & Mighty Beer of the Gods (a nice Pale Ale that calls itself a Blonde). Sampled both the Idle Hands Dubbel (oxidized, pass), and the Mystic Brewing Vinland One (a farmhouse with local yeast, seemed more like a weizenbock to me, having had lovely Aventinus just last night. You get the deep fruit. Not what I’m looking for in a farmhouse, pass), and opted instead for the Notch Polotmavy Lezak (an amber Czech Pils, very nice), and wound down with a Pretty Things Jack D’or (a solid Saison you can always count on).
They were equipped this night with drunk loud drunk barely legal drunk Steelers chicks who wouldn’t shut the fuck up (Please shut the fuck up!) Oddly enough, the tunes got louder somewhere along the way, perhaps to offset the aforementioned drunk loud drunk, well, you know. An anomaly, I’m sure; they’ve got a crowd otherwise. Would have liked some food this night but it was not to be. Servers know their game and can speak to it. Great beer thing here, solid selection, and the beer in good shape. Glad I lost my job...
12-06-2012 22:49:01 | More by slander
4.95/5 rDev +14.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
What can I say about my favorite beer bar in Boston, except, I live in Natick and it's too far to go to on a regular basis and then drive home. You'll need a DD when you go because you'll want to sample all of the tasty brews. I won't talk about the selection except to say that it changes regularly.
The crowd is eclectic, suits, tattoos, college age kids, but none of the 'MASSHOLES" that frequent the BMC bars.
The size of the place is perfect and they even have a little deck out back. Great pretzel and a really nice Rubin. Burger and Dog is also worthy.
Just go, say hi to Dave the manager, and enjoy.
09-29-2012 22:10:00 | More by pomeroy41144
4.78/5 rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Deep Ellum is the most worthy place in the Boston area to find and enjoy an interesting and perfectly served brew with a light accompanying meal. It also stands far apart from the recent trend of large, noisy pubs with outrageous tap counts.
The 20+ taps are highly curated and meticulously maintained, with a nicely rotated mix of domestic left and right-coast offerings, and beers from elsewhere. The bottle selection is equal to the taps, not overwhelming, just right.
The bartenders are extremely knowledgable and patiently supportative of palate journeys. Don't let their edgy appearance fool you, they are among the nicest hipsters in town. Table waiters will not deliver the same level of knowledge, but are pleasant and professional.
Food menu is limited, savory and highly beer-friendly. The charcuterie and cheese plates are suberb (which is mostly what I care about), and most cooked dishes and sides (the seasoned fries!) are very fine as well.
The only problem with DE is that it has been "discovered" and it get's crowded earlier on weekend nights, so you must time your visit with some care to get the best attention from those excellent bartenders.
Ambience is compact and very comfortable, but the backside outdoor seating is a relief. Public transportation access is a little limited compared to other spots in town, but street parking is not bad.
07-29-2012 11:43:09 | More by Brewhaha
4.41/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25 | $$
Deep Ellum is easily one of my favorite local bars. where it's trumped by Sunset in terms of sheer selection, it makes up for in ambiance: much more of a chill vibe, and you cut down on some of the college demographic. and where Sunset is just prolific, Deep Ellum's offerings are thoughtfully chosen. great range of crafts on tap - a nice mix of locals, popular national breweries, and overseas imports (esp Belgians) - backed up by an extensive bottle assortment which has to number over a hundred. the taps rotate, so the beer menu never gets stale. while the menu covers a range of styles and my usual MO is variety, during my most recent visit they had tapped 2011 Blunderbuss from CBC, aged in port and sherry barrels, causing tunnel vision.
bartenders are knowledgeable and attentive, unless you catch them on a particularly busy night. it can get crowded quickly, but with the patio in back there is more room during summer months. sort of a cross between a neighborhood bar and a beer haven... interesting selection of mixed drinks too, though it's usually my wife who orders those, but we're working on that. haven't eaten here a whole lot but have never been disappointed. typical bar fare with a flare, i guess you could say...glassware was spot-on. highly recommended.
originally reviewed on: 06-13-2010
05-09-2012 15:49:08 | More by BostonHops
4.4/5 rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Been trying to make it out to Deep Ellum ever since it opened. Years of excuses later, we finally made it. Nice atmosphere, dimly lit with beautifully exposed brick. We got there just before six on a Saturday, and made the last table without having to wait. Waitstaff was very attentive, continually filling our glasses up with water. Sad that the cask kicked right before we came, but alternatives and selection were aplenty, beers poured in appropriate glassware, and dinner was delicious. A nice alternative to the Sunset experience.
02-19-2012 22:36:17 | More by jaymirage
4.3/5 rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
I am constantly searching for the perfect bars that achieve 'the trifecta' of good times - atmosphere, beer selection, and crowd. This place was a clear win. It strikes the right balance between dive-y charm and a touch of class. The music was great - indie rock and post punk selections, and the crowd was 20s/30s - all clearly beer connoisseurs. The service was good - proper glassware, not a long wait. The selection was decent - several local beers, imports, American microbrews. I personally appreciated Kostritzer and that they had a cask beer. Had some great conversations here with friends - I felt right at home. Really my kind of place!
11-15-2011 04:04:32 | More by Neorebel
Deep Ellum in Allston, MA
96 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.