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Gulu-Gulu Café

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19 Reviews
Gulu-Gulu CaféGulu-Gulu Café

Type: Bar, Eatery

247 Essex St
Salem, Massachusetts, 01970-3401
United States

(978) 740-8882 | map

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Added by ohmesohoppy on 04-29-2008

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View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 36
Reviews by AndyAvalanche:
Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.54/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Met an old college roommate here for a couple of beers on a hot summer afternoon. He lives in Salem so was a regular to the joint but I had never been. The place had a nice vibe, there were actually board games in the corner where you could play if you wanted and a small stage they had set up for local bands that play. There was a small shelf where there were super hero action figures set up as decorations which I thought was pretty crafty too. We each got a couple of beers, I really didn't enjoy my first that much and my 2nd I liked a little better. Both of my beers looked a little hazy which made me question how often they clean the draft lines (I got a lager and the 2nd was a porter). I've heard from a few different people that the food is great but I didn't try any. One knock on the place that I had, or not so much a knock as very surprising. For a place with such a diverse beer selection, they didn't carry much from MA. They carried both American and import beers, I got a Atwater Vanilla Java Porter and a Krusovice Imperial Pilsner. They also carried Dogfishhead, Stone, Brooklyn, Smuttynose, Sierra Nevada and Rascallion. They had imports such as Delierium Tremmons, Hoegaarden Duvel, Chimnay, and Stella Artois. The only MA products they had on tap or in bottle the day I went was the Rascallion Honey Pale ale. I'm usually very surprised when Sam Adams products arnen't carried. Especially just the quality control factor. Sam Adams doesn't allow their beer at places that doen't properly clean their draft lines. I still think I will go back if I ever goto Salem again, I'd still like to tr the food and maybe another beer I haven't tried. I guess they have about 7 taps that constantly rotate if I understand it correctly.

 1,748 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Cbmcguire
4/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of sliberty
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

This is the best beer list on the North Shore as of this review (6/2/2016).

There is always a great variety of different beers from all over the country / world with a large but manageable tap list and a deep bottle / can list full of quality choices.

The atmosphere is hipster chic with exposed brick, high ceilings, a variety of seating choices including bar, long tables, and couches, and a great location downtown Salem. It's also very near a lot of other great bars and restaurants.

The food is good, especially if you know what to order. The bagel and lox plate is amazing.

Service is very spotty and uneven... or if you prefer to be generous, call it European-style service. After all, the bar is inspired by another of the same name in Czech Republic. You may be waiting a while for food, but if you've got nowhere to be and want the best beer available, this is your place.

 886 characters

Photo of AdaminNH
4.73/5  rDev +18%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of vonnerbeer
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of blisscent
4.56/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of TylerKitchens
4.71/5  rDev +17.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Always an awesome draft list and the bottle selection is extensive. Most of their food is artisanal cheeses and meats, different crepes and breakfast food, and some of the best coffee around.

 192 characters

Photo of TheBungyo
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of emottram
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of mynie
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%

The best word for this place is "cute," followed closely by "busy." The vibe is youthful, but not pretentious, and although the aesthetic is welcoming they're usually too busy to be outright friendly. Bands and open mics take the stage most nights around 8, and it gets loud. That's sometimes nice, other times not so nice, so be sure to check the website and see what's going on there before you head out.

The tap list is the best in town. Lots and lots of middling MA locals, along with a handful of excellent imports, bigger-name crafts from the (Mid)west, and some genuinely good stuff from Maine. Still haven't seen Trillium out here, but this will be the first place that gets it.

Their website tap list is updated regularly, and it includes prices which is really nice. The food is pub fare and it's okay. I--I got nothing else to say. Cute joint, definitely worth stopping by if you're in town.

 917 characters

Photo of Speedbump
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of SuperHop18
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of jarrodddd
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of RKing44
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of Mantooth
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Stopped by Salem on a recent vacation - love the laid back hippie vibe of this place. Had an amazing sandwich and a four glass sampler of beers, picked from their 20 son taps. I'm from NC so I was happy to try some Firestone Walker brews I'd not had the chance to pick up before. Great food and beer - if you're in the area... check it out.

 340 characters

Photo of SDean82
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of cincysig
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of HookerBrews
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of Resuin
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of jmmy3
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of nootch23
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

Gulu Gulu is one of my favorite places to go in Salem. It can get quite busy at any time of day, especially during the lunch and dinner rushes but during the week they usually have bands playing and an open mic night which will make finding a table hard to find. Overall, the food here is pretty good, their breakfast is amazing. The service can be pretty slack when it gets busy but nothing too horrible.

The beer selection is outstanding. They have about 20 taps and a cooler for bottles. The tap selection always carries a very good variety of styles and tastes. Every now and then they will have a rarity on tap. I believe every Tuesday night is cask night when they will crack open a cask of a local brew. The bartenders know their beer and are great resources to ask about different tastes of the beers and for recommendations. Not all places are like that.

I will always highly recommend Gulu Gulu for beer. It's become our go to place.

 947 characters

Photo of JordanPhraczek
4.69/5  rDev +17%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

The Gulu has more than 20 taps, always caters to every craft brew palate, and you cannot beat their prices for craft beer.

If you went to Boston you could spend $2-3 more dollars on every draft beer they have. The service is wonderful for a seat yourself place, and the age demographic is larger than almost any "cool" bar around. I am continuously impressed by the Gulu.

 373 characters

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

Roaming around Salem, and we stumbled into this joint. Interesting vibe throughout, and we had a fun time while we were there. A very eclectic atmosphere, from the exterior to the decorations, the food menu, and the drinks. Lots of fun, and this place gets pretty busy on weekends. The service was great, from the hostess down to the servers. It seems like there are a lot of events going on there, especially local music. We were there on a night when a comic art project was having an opening, followed immediately by a live band. Fun stuff. The beer selection was very decent, with a ton of brews on draft, and even more available by the bottle. I was impressed with the selection. However, do not be fooled by the beer list on the wall. I walked in and was extremely excited to see Founders Breakfast Stout on the wall. When I ordered, I was informed by the waitress that they ran out of that "a long time ago," and that the wall rarely gets updated. They have a menu that they keep up to date, so if you go in and have to wait for a table for a while, do not reference the wall. It can only lead to disappointment. The food was great, and as I said, there is a good variety available, from tapas and appetizers to full blown entrees. Price was very reasonable, and we would absolutely go back when we are in Salem again.

 1,325 characters

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Gulu-Gulu Café in Salem, MA
4.01 out of 5 based on 36 ratings.
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