The Publick House


257 Reviews
The Publick HouseThe Publick House

Type: Bar, Eatery

1648 Beacon St
Brookline, Massachusetts, 02445-2101
United States

(617) 277-2880 | map

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Reviews: 257 | Ratings: 353
Photo of weonfire
4.88/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I lived in Cleveland Circle and made the half mile walk many many times. If you like beer, amazing beer - you have found your haven. Wide selection of Belgians. Servers are very knowledgable. I always appreciate matching beers with exact glasses. They are money. Food is excellent and fair priced- as far as Boston standards I would even say it is underpriced. Beer may be a bit expensive - but if you think you're gonna find standard beers here, no need to stop in...the quality is WELL worth every penny. One of the top places to go in all of Boston. FACT.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

simply put, phenomenal beer bar - easily among the region's royalty when it comes to beer locales - especially if you're into belgians as the selection is heavy into belgian / belgian-styled beers, trappistes through belgian blondes and saisons. and while the belgian angle is up my alley they also have a wide range of american craft - imperial stouts; IPAs/DIPAs; porters; brown, scottish and pale ales, etc., etc.; both on the well-appointed bottle list and from their rotating tap offerings. there are a few from the local scene and a couple obligatory (actually called on their menu) lawnmower beers. a relaxed, chill vibe makes for a nice atmosphere.

last night had a malheur 12, uthel samaranth, and rochefort 10 (bottles), all served in appropriate glassware. a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for; this is, after all, top shelf beer we're talking about. our bartender was friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive. (disclaimer: can't speak much for the food as i've only ever only noshed on fries, which do have a really tastey dipping sauce.) bottom line: publick house is a definite must-try for any craft beer fan; for out-of-towners/tourists, it's worth the short trip from downtown boston (i'd recommend jumping on the green line/C line - washington sq T stop).

original review on: 07-19-2010

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Photo of brureview
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Yes- this is one of the best places to drink craft beer in Boston. It has an extensive beer list with great selection: Belgians, tripels, quads, et al.

The staff is very informative- they know beer, and it's interesting to compare notes about what they think of different beers on the menu.

I only ate an appetizer, which was cut fries with excellent side sauces.

The vibe was good- but the Publick house doesn't have the funk factor of bars in Somerville and Cambridge.

The beer selection rules: this is one of best places in the Boston area for craft beer drinkers.

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Photo of Bonzopookie
4.83/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Ahhhh...the Publick House. Along with Sunset Grill & Tap, this place ranks as my favorite "go-to-beer-drinking" destination in Boston. The only negative thing I could possibly say about this place, is that it is not close enough to my Arlington neighborhood (but then again, what beer establishment is?). That is probably a good thing though, as I would be in some serious debt, if I was able to walk to the Publick House!

Their selection of Belgian beers is quite impressive, and they always have a rotating tap line. As a huge fan of Belgian Quads and strong ales, I never am disappointed with my options at the Publick House. I can always opt for my stand-by's too: St Bernardus, Rochefort, Malheur, or d’Achouffe. The staff pays attention to every aspect of detail, including serving in the proper glassware, etc. Yes, the place can get quite crowded at times. But some things are well worth the wait.

Aside from the beer, I must also mention that the Publick House offers rather good pub fare. Honestly though, I always get the same thing. For first timers, I recommend trying the hand-cut fries. The fries are served in a huge paper cone that sits in the center of the table, and you can choose from a variety of home-made dipping sauces. they are awesome! I am also a huge fan of the mac-n-cheese. Comfort food I know, but the andouille sausage/caramelized onion mac-n-cheese always hits the spot for me. The Publick House also offers other traditional New England pub fare (steak tips, fish n' chips, etc), and serves up cheese plates too. I don't think one could go wrong from ordering anything on the menu.

Finally, next door to the bar is the "Monk's Cell". A beer store selling a variety of Belgian styled beers. Honestly, I have never been inside the Monk's Cell, because I can pick up Belgian beers a lot closer to where I live, rather than attempting to transport a bunch of bottles on the T. Especially after eating and drinking in the Publick House.

Whenever coming to Boston, it is certainly a "must do", for any beer fan. you must experience this awesome Belgian Beer bar!

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Photo of bostonbluenose
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Seriously excellent beer selection, one of the best in the Boston area. They are always rotating their selection. Many of the beers I've had on draft have under 4 or 5 reviews (via tap) on this site. In other words, they have things on tap that a lot of places don't.

Food is a bit pricey and pretty average.

I wish there was a bit more seating in the bar area as it can get pretty crowded starting on Thursday.

Bartender we had we actually quite helpful with other customers when describing the beer. A lot of times you'll hear bartenders say very generic things in response to questions about a beer, but he clearly knew his stuff.

Overall, this is a must drink establishment!

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.65/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The Publick House is the place to go in Boston if you want beer that you're generally unable to find in liquor stores. They have a mouth-watering selection of imported beers as well as domestic micro-brews. Last time I went I had Catherine the Great along with a burger and some pomme frites (the beer mustard is AMAZING). It is pretty expensive especially if you're planning on making a night of it. However, if you have the money it's a great place to go and try new and exciting beers, many of which are on tap.

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Photo of stevecooks
5/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I love the Publick House. I would like a home bar that resembles the Monk's Cell.

I lived and worke in the neighborhood of this place and find that since I moved to the left coast, I compare every beer bar to them. Though my education in beer goes back decades, I have gained so much beer minutia from the Publick House and its top-notch crew.

Not only do they have a comprehensive beer selection and knowledgeable staff, they have a spectacular food menu. My tip: try the frites, the mussels, mac & cheese. These are staples of the menu and they have been for years. I've still never had a better mac & cheese in the Boston area.

They have a menu that changes seasonally as well as specials. My most recent visit, I had the pork confit fried in panko breadcrumbs.
So. Damn. Good.

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Photo of seanwhite
4.65/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I have been to The Publick House and American Craft at least a dozen times since moving to Brookline and I absolutely love it (and not only because I love beer and I can walk to it).

The beer list is top notch and includes the best Belgium has to offer, as well as a number of rare and special American craft brews. The restaurant has great decor - it's like the common room in a small European watering hole. Before I even ate anything, I could see why this place is so popular. It's a really relaxed and cool place to hang out, and we hang out for quite each time we go.

The menu is not huge (certainly not as large as the beer menu), but there is a good amount of variety. Lots of traditional pub foods have a slight spin to them, upping their quality. I can't wait to go back and try some more!

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Photo of Neorebel
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

A very good friend took me here this past weekend...I was shocked to discover that it had such an amazing atmosphere that was almost on par with the bars in Europe themselves! The lights wee pleasantly dim with candles on the tables, decor similar to that of a castle with stone, wrought iron and stained glass, and plenty of Belgian breweraina. The service was ok, and the music and crowd were cool. Now the beer selection was not huge or competitively priced, but I did have a Founders Breakfast stout on tap and a Rochefort 10 in the proper glass. On the subject of price, with many places like this I consider the atmosphere worth the price hike. I wish I could afford this quality experience every weekend!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Popped in here for a couple beers. It is relatively close to my friend's apartment and an easy trip on the T.

Being a Friday night, the place was (not surprisingly) packed. All the seats were taken, and even most of the standing room, but we found a few spots to stand.

The tap list is extensive and features a nice mix of Belgian beers and American beers, though the Belgian ones are pretty damn expensive. The American ones aren't cheap either, but they're better.

The service wasn't bad, but it was a bit difficult to order at times, even though the bartender saw we were looking to order.

Not a terrible place, but plenty of others are better and less of a headache.

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Photo of KDawg
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I came here on a recommendation from a friend while visiting my brother.

First off, the beer selection here is tremendous. It's principle focus is on belgian beer, though they do have a few other styles for those that aren't looking towards belgian styles. The selection was deep and the draft selection was great as well. They even had some hard to find beers on tap as well.

The service was extremely good. Our waitress new her stuff and I was relying on her for some recs as I just didn't know what to drink. So much looked good that I just had her grab something that she'd think was good.

The food was very good as well. The frites were fried in duck fat and they had a variety of mayos to choose from and you can choose from two of them. I also got a pot of mussels and just couldn't finish them no matter how hard I tried (and I tried hard).

If I was in the area, this would be a frequent haunt. The quality of beer on draft is tremendous. It is slightly on the expensive side, but you get what you pay for. The beers aren't cheap, but this isn't for someone that wants bud light or some other beer. You go here because you want some great stuff along with some quality food

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Photo of FatherHennepin
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

THE place to drink beer while in greater Boston, but be certain to take a taxi over. In the Publick House have a draft and some food, and get used to the vibe.

Then go to the Monk's Cell and ask for the bottle list. Enjoy. Repeat. Enjoy. Repeat.

While I've had a lot of terrific and even some obscure Belgians, as well as uncommon US beers, I've had just as many well-handled and properly served fine US craft and imports that may not be quite as rare, but are just as pleasureable to drink.

All in all, as good a place to hang out, eat right up there with Monk's Cafe in Phily.

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Photo of johnemmert
4.13/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Great restaurant. Very good selection of beers. I recently moved from Raleigh, NC where IPAs and Craft Brews are king. So far this is my favorite place to go to find a wider variety of IPAs than just Harpoon IPA (which is awful).

The service was very good. The staff was extremely knowledgeable about the beers (sat at the bar).

The only complaint I could have is that they do not have as much outdoor seating as I would like. The inside gets a bit stuffy but other than that it is a great place..

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Photo of angiesaysgobucks
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have been going to this place for several years now and I still love it. There is always a good tap selection and even though they are occasionally out of what I order, the bartenders have always been good about making an alternative suggestion. Be sure to check out the special bottle list in the menu-great way to try some rare or very unique items. Only problem with this though is that those beers tend to be pretty pricey at an already somewhat pricey place (and the prices are getting crazier).

The food menu changes every few months and always has some good go-to items. The mac and cheese is heavenly. I also really like the Frites and Veggie Mezze Plate. Even though it has been years, I would love it if the Pumpkin Ravioli and the Ribs were brought back.

The bartenders are always great at making suggestions or helping you decide. The wait staff can be hit or miss at times, but generally they are pretty friendly.

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Photo of mltobin
3.95/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

When I was in Boston, this was on my list of spots that I would like to check out. So, when my friend that I was staying with, said to me on the second night in town : "hey, I was thinking we could grab a couple drinks at this place called the Publick House in Brookline, whaddya say?"; I was happy. Not too surprisingly no outdoor seating was immediately available on a warm summer night, so our party of 3 went inside to a table. The tap selection was quite nice, with Two Gypsies and Sculpin among others on tap. A good bottle selection with many Belgians represented. We had a fairly helpful waitstaff, who did a pretty good job of keeping up with the Saturday rush. Food was pretty good, but should have been better for the prices. But, for the great beer and having a fun time with your crew, this spot does the trick.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.91/5  rDev -34.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

I must say, this place disappointed. After making the trip from Denver (not only for this place, but it was on my list), I wish I never bothered. Got off the Green line and this place was closed until 5pm. Weird. No matter, I went across the street to the Abbey and had a nice meal and beer.

Publick house won't let you sit outside unless you're eating. What a pain! Why? Eff that, man. So, if you go for a beer be prepared to sit inside, which is dark and stinks a bit. And their "specialty" is Belgian beers, and a bit pricey at that.

No shots
No flights
No pitchers
The samples I got came in pint glasses. After two beers I had enough of this place. My server was friendly, but didn't know much about the beers. Oh well. I should've hit Sunset Grill instead of this one. Won't be back even if I lived in Boston's just not worth it

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Thought there isn't a huge amount of beers on tap the selection is always high quality. Occasionally you will see a beer they have let age a bit before tapping. The bartenders are very knowledgable of all their beers and everything is served in the appropriate glassware. For bottled beers they always have some hard to get options you don't see at other bars. Also one of my favorite places for food! Great atmosphere, fairly dark(ish) and not overly crowded. Outside seating seating in the summer months is a plus.

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Photo of cbeer88
4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I've been to the Publick House more times than I can count - well into double digits. There's not a lot of bad that can be said about it, aside from the crowd. It can get a little ugly at times... with a few too many drunk college kids, and people who occasionally take up tables that make you question what they're doing there (eating salad and drinking diet coke). Kind of sad that a beer bar of this caliber needs a bouncer checking ID's at 7:00 on a Saturday night.

Once you put that aside though, the place is nearly flawless. There's a decent number of tables so the wait is usually not too bad. The decor is awesome - breweriana (mostly Belgian) all over the place.

The beer list is always well thought out - 35 or so good taps, roughly half Belgian style and half non-Belgian. I will say they lean a bit much on the conservative side for my liking when it comes to their Belgian taps - mostly the more popular guys like Delerium, d'Achouffe, Dupont, etc. But there is the occasional Belgian gem, and their domestic tap list always has a couple of interesting rarities. Fairly deep bottle list, particularly with the Belgians, and always a page of "limited" bottles pulled up from the cellar.

Food is consistently good to great. Hearty Belgian food that is reasonably priced and you shouldn't leave hungry. For example, the $9 mussel app is plenty to split amongst two people to get you going, and is a must order every time I go.

Never had a real problem with service, though they do consistently get busy so they aren't always on top of your empty glass.

Definitely one of the Top 5 beer destinations in the Boston area, and a place I'll surely keep going back to over and over.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Eatery with a rathskeller feel where college students and young professionals meet to drink great beer and eat decent food.

Stopped by early on a Thursday night with a colleague. Parking was a bit of a challenge. There was already at a 30 minute wait for tables so we sat at the bar. Service was prompt and steady. Never had to ask for another. Selection was very good, maybe 50/50 Belgian style beers to non-Belgian style beers. Atmosphere was comfortable: friendly crowd and staff, dark wood, brass, lots of beer paraphernalia, very European. It was a bit on the loud side with people standing one deep at the bar. Food was good. I had the mussel appetizer. Mussels were excellent, but the broth was a bit bitter and heavy on the anise. Prices seemed in line with the rest of Boston. Worth a return trip.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

The Publick House has a terrific atmosphere. It's reminiscent of an old castle or cathedral, just with lots and lots of beer paraphernalia pinned to the walls. It's the kind of place you could hang out in all day long.

The beer list is huge and well organized. It has a big Belgian beer selection, but other popular styles are not forgotten. Beers are also served in the proper glass and prices seemed fair. Although I thought some of the higher abv draft beers could have been poured in a larger glass.

I went for dinner on a busy Sunday night and thought the service was fair. I didn't interact too much with the staff other than placing orders, but they were no better or worse than other eating establishments.

The food was a bit of a disappointment. They have standard pub fare like burgers and fish & chips, plus a few specials and their famous mac & cheese. The quality was descent, but nothing you'd go out of your way to get. I got a grilled chicken sandwich and my wife had the mac & cheese, which was delicious. I wish I got that instead.

Overall, I really enjoyed the Publick House. It has a great atmosphere, awesome beer list and friendly staff. Prices were reasonable, but I thought the food could be better.

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Photo of kbanks13
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Having gone to the Publick House for the second time tonight, I feel that a review is in order. The atmosphere is great, the staff is welcoming and friendly while the restaurant plays great music and the noise is at a level where you can still hear your company talking. Cool beer ads and barware/collectibles from Belgium speckle the walls of the dim, but not dark, interior which looks like an old pub should. The service is attentive and very helpful. When informed that the keg of what I asked for had kicked, they quickly informed me of what they would serve in its place. In short, they are all knowledgeable and willing to make sure you leave happy. There is a pretty large selection, large enough to warrant a trip from downtown for the beer menu alone. The menu includes hearty Belgian fare with a twist but also includes grilled sandwiches and some vegetarian options. The food is incredibly delicious, I recommend the braised short rib and the Trappist meatloaf. Considering the portion size, which is ample, and the selection and quality of food and beers I would say prices are very reasonable. You will not leave disappointed if you come here, I can promise that with all certainty. Just beware, they do not take reservations and it can get quite busy. Just more of an excuse to sit and have a drink at the bar before your meal.

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Photo of henkster
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I went to the Publick House last week for the first time in about a year. Before our move to Brooklyn two years ago, we lived in Brookline for many years, and went to the Publick House at least once a week. Shame on me for not writing a review earlier. The Publick House hasn't missed a beat since my last visit. The selection is still top notch - both bottles and drafts are plentiful and thoughtfully selected. The pours are always fresh, and served in the correct glassware. In addition to the Belgian-leaning selection, there is always a variety of great New England beers (including the ever-present selection of Allagash). For a top-notch beer bar, the food nearly matches the great quality/selection of the beer. The mussels are great (although I never stray from the Schlenkerla choice), and there is always an interesting selection of cheeses. The mac and cheese (with your choice of additions) is so good, I get it nearly every time....although the meatloaf is also delicious.

They draw a crowd every night of the week (although weekends are even busier). Like other extremely popular restaurants, occasionally the service can be a little slow (but that's the exception). However, I have always found the bartenders and servers to be friendly and knowledgeable.

Definitely a must for any visit to Boston...and with its sister restaurant, American Craft, just up the street, you could make a whole afternoon/night of the trip to Brookline.

Regarding the value, for Boston, I think it is relatively reasonable.

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Photo of Jason
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I've been going to this establishment since it was called Anam Cara, seen the break of out the Monk's Cell and have seen them evolve into of the best beer bars / Belgian eateries in the US.

Staff is knowledgeable of nearly every beer that is on and if they don't know they'll find out. They are great on giving recommendations if you don't know what you are looking for. The food is amazing, mussels kick some major ass. Frites, can't go there without ordering them.

Heavy Belgian focus for the beer list, you can order any beer on the list no matter where you are. The rest of the selection keeps up with a smattering of seasonals, new releases and solid stand-bys. Proper glassware really makes this place shine with a proper pour to boot.

If you are in the Boston area it is a must visit, if you live in the area and never have been you have been missing out.

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Photo of micmillon18
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Ah the famed Publick House. I have been here on a number of occasions, usually after a large beer haul and I feel I need to celebrate my conquest. Lets get on with the details...

The place is usually relatively busy, both on week nights and ends. Its designed to look similar to the Belgian beer bars and it presents itself with a fun and homely atmosphere. There are essentially three different areas to the restaurant itself. To the far left is a room with its own bar with plenty of bar tables and stools. The center area houses the main bar along with various different areas to eat. Finally to the right is the main dining area, full of tables of all sizes.

Unfortunately they don't do reservations (even for large parties), as I usually go there for dinner. Therefore, you should expect a longer wait the later you decide to go. However, the hostess staff is quite good and receptive. I've been told I'd wait 45 minutes for a table but then am pleasantly surprised to be seated within 20 minutes. They do a pretty good job on coordinating the seating situation.

Now to the important stuff. The beer selection is incredible; easily the best menu I've ever seen. Belgian styles are abound (both imported and domestic). Organized by style, the menu is very easily read. There are a number of beers for each style possible. My friend became a huge fan of Flanders red ales, a style which he was totally unaware of, because of the Publick house. Another great thing about the Publick House is that each beer is served in its own glass, specific to the brewery. This place has a true respect for beer.

The food is quite good, especially the mac and cheese and the fish and chips. Definitely get the cheese platters; they give you four or five different cheeses and it can be really fun to pair them with your beer.

The beer prices were on par with most bars, though your getting better beer here so you have to expect to pay more than most places. Food was slighty pricey but the portions were large and filling.

The waiting staff is great and responsive. Many of them are very knowledgeable on the beers and happy to discuss them with you. Waiters are quick and always pleasant. I havent had a poor one yet.

Overall, a great place with an awesome beer selection and pretty damn good food. I'd recommend it to any aspiring beer consieur or full fledged beer snob!

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Photo of Keith238
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Found this place right here on BA and decided it's favorable reviews warranted a visit while in Boston mid November. It didn't disappoint. Servers were friendly, the place was packed. Great selection and terrific food. We (the wife and I) didn't get to stay long enough. This place is at the top of our list for our next trip to Boston.

Great selection of local beers and an even better selection of everything else. Service was pretty quick given the size of the crowd. The prices could have been a bit better but it is Boston.

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The Publick House in Brookline, MA
4.43 out of 5 based on 353 ratings.
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