Gulu-Gulu Café

Gulu-Gulu CaféGulu-Gulu Café
Gulu-Gulu CaféGulu-Gulu Café
Bar, Eatery

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

(978) 740-8882 | map

View: Place Reviews | Events
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 35
Reviews by Cbmcguire:
Photo of Cbmcguire
4/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of sliberty
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
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 +15.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of vonnerbeer
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of TylerKitchens
4.71/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of emottram
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of mynie
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

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Photo of Speedbump
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of SuperHop18
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of jarrodddd
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of RKing44
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of Mantooth
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
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 -2.2%

Photo of cincysig
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of HookerBrews
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Resuin
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of jmmy3
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of nootch23
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
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 +14.7%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.13/5  rDev +1%
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

Photo of medic25
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went for lunch here with the family; fairly crowded, but they offered to put our two teenagers at one table and my wife and I at another (bonus!). The beer selection was very impressive; much more than I expected walking in. For the fall they had a variety of pumpkin beers; I started with a Southern Tier Punking, which was delicious. They also offer a sampler, so I followed that with 3 small servings.
The food was also enjoyable; my only complaint was with the speed of service. We had an appetizer of cheese and meats (including a delicious Czech spiced brie). Then for the main I had a turkey panini and my wife had a mushroom crepe (the menu was mainly sandwiches and crepes). Unfortunately as we learned from the waitress, the small kitchen only has 1-2 panini presses and a crepemaker, so we waited close to 45 minutes for our food. Not a big deal to me as I was enjoying my beers, but my pregnant wife was less than thrilled. The wait staff overall were very helpful; if not for the slow kitchen I'd give the service score a bigger bump.
Overall I was quite impressed; the prices were very reasonable and the selection was outstanding. Definitely worth returning to.

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Photo of rousee
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I tried out Gulu-Gulu recently and was glad I did. Its located right in the heart of the pedestrian square in the middle of Salem. It has a few outdoor tables and when you walk in the bar is off to the left. The beer selection was very solid and I tried an Imperial lager by Krusovice which I hadnt had before, a Session Pilsener from Notch brewing & I also tried their session pale ale. All the beers were served in appropriate glassware and tasted nice and fresh. It looks like their website is fairly up-to-date,so please refer to it if you are interested in seeing some of the other beers that are offered here.

The decor is a standard cafe/beer bar hang out type set up --fairly spartan wooden chairs and such but certainly comfortable enough.

The staff that work here are a little hipster-ish but they are the nice friendly type that don't have any of that "I'm too cool for school attitude" that is sometimes prevalent. In fact, they all have their bios on the website and I thought they were fairly amusing. Some are true and others are just a bunch of BS but who cares.They seem to be having fun with it and enjoy working there.

We tried this meat and cheese plate and ended up getting 1 meat plate and 1 cheese plate. The Chorizo we got was a nice imported Spain chorizo and the capicola and salami were fairly standard. The cheeses really stood out as the Brie had some nice veining in it and the Cheddar had a nice grassy element to it. Manchego always matches up well with beer, so that was our third cheese and it was quite good too.

In summary, this is a great place to stop off at and I could easily spend a few hours in here. Very friendly vibe, some nice food and beer and the prices were pretty reasonable too.

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Gulu-Gulu Café in Salem, MA
Place rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 35 ratings