Sunset Cantina

very good

29 Reviews
Sunset CantinaSunset Cantina

Type: Bar, Eatery

916 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, Massachusetts, 02215-1204
United States

(617) 731-8646 | map

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Added by Todd

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 47
Reviews by John:
Photo of John
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

SC sort of has the look of the typical chain restaurant. But that's OK in this case since much of the décor is made up of breweriana. I’ve visited this place four times, each sitting at the bar. Each time the service was friendly and adequate though product knwoledge is lacking. The beer selection is good with the focus on draughts – about 36(?) taps. Many of these unfortunately are uninspired choices but there has always been at least two or three that were interesting. Last time it was the Magic Hat HiPA (which I was unimpressed with). I have been told (at least twice) that my beer selection was unavailable. The food was good each visit with good sized portions. The menu leans toward Tex - Mex (obviously) with some typical American selections. Worth a try.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Shellynix
2.55/5  rDev -31.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.25 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 1.25

Photo of costanzo_mike
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of fearfactory
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3

Stopped in last night after the Bad Religion show across the street, one of the huge benefits of the Paradise gigs. Typical Boston/BU crowd on a Monday, crowded but not packed. Decent selection of taps for 25 or so, something for everyone. Did not eat, so cant comment other than everyone's else's plates looked tasty. Friendly staff, but slow service at the bar, and a lack of knowledge about what's on tap, again, on a fairly slow night. And unfortunately, the usual Boston prices on any special brews.

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Photo of mynie
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

Ahh... now I see what went wrong. I thought this was the Sunset Grill, which I had heard referred to as Boston's best beer bar, and which supposedly has over 100 taps. So when I got to the Cantina, I was a little disappointed because it only had 30 taps.

That, my friends, is the problem of a man who doesn't have any actual problems.

Anyhow, the tap selection was still geographically and stylistically diverse, and it contained a handful of rare-ish beers (Grapefruit Sculpin, Alpine's Duet), along with regional fare and German offerings. Nothing Belgian or Scandinavian on tap, but that just seems to be the way they run things in New England.

The vibe of the place is fairly bright and upbeat, but that may be because we went on one of the first warm days of Spring. Handful of TVs playing sports, lots of old and well-kempt beer swag including a pretty impressive tray collection, then lots of PoP merch for regional bands. I could see the place getting pretty loud and packed late at night, since BU is right across the street, but at 6 on a weeknight it was easy to find a seat and the clientele consisted mostly of people in their 30s and 40s.

Wait staff was friendly. As for the food--I had tacos, and they tasted very similar to the tacos they served in my grade school cafeteria. I don't mean that as an insult, however. It was actually refreshing to see a straightforward menu, without any dumbass attempts at "fusion" or whatever. I am really fucking tired of people adding soy sauce to Mexican food.

My only knock on the place is the lack of online beer menus. Everything else is pretty dang legit.

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Photo of rjp217
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Photo of Resuin
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of Stagga_Lee
4.75/5  rDev +27.7%

Photo of tikk
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of StrayteEDGE
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of rojapa
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of MMarkMelly
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Another Excellent Date Venue

28 characters

Photo of mklisz
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of mbonugli
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of BColton1
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of portia99
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of lwbyrne
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of jwps214
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of eldraque39
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Photo of Plissken
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Here's the baby brother of the Sunset Grill in Alston (about a mile away on the same street, Beacon). The selection is not as extensive, but it is more than adequate for the typical beer bar.

The food is fine but nothing special. Kinda the typical stuff you find at a bar in Boston.

The beer selection is superior, but not as extensive as its big brother. I can usually find something I've never had before, which is, frankly, not easy.

 440 characters

Photo of mcguirmn
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Not even close to Sunset Grill and Tap.

Never had a good experience with the waitstaff here. They either forget about you, or come to take your order but know nothing about the beer.

The beer selection is 100 times better at their allston location. Most of the time, when I would order interesting beers that I had never heard of, they either didn't have it, or couldn't find it. Not very good qualities for a bar that prides itself on its beer selection.

Most redeeming qualities are their margaritas and their food (which are both amazing)

 544 characters

Photo of david18
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I found out about this place on the Beer Advocate forum when looking for a good place to go on an upcoming visit to Boston. In general this is a very good place. My only problem is that it was very far out of the way from the center of town and I had to take a cab in both directions. I believe it's across the street from Boston University.

The tap selection was very good and there were at least four beers I had never had including selections from Clown Shoes, BBC and Kona. The bartender was very knowledgible and friendly and gave me a number of tastes. The bottle list is also very impressive. The menu looked interesting but i didn't get anything. It's a good place but I'm not sure if it was worth the trip especially after I discovered some good places closer to my hotel.

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Photo of charliedvrs
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

I'm at the Grille all the time. Love it. An old friend was in town and told us to meet her at the Cantina for dinner and some drinks.

The Cantina has the same vibe. Almost sports bar/almost chain restaurant with tons of decorations on the walls. All around a fun place to have dinner. Menu is the same as the Grille. Great burgers and sandwiches, awesome nachos, some quality mexican style cooking. All around fun place.

They list about 30 beers on tap on their menu - maybe a bit less. Still a decent amount but pales in comparison to the sister restaurant's 100+. My biggest problem came when my girlfriend and I walked up to the bar, and literally struck out on the first 4 beers we asked for. This wasn't 12 oclock on a Saturday night either, it was 7 oclock on a not too busy Wednesday. Our waitress didn't seem too knowledgeable about the beer list either, but at the least very friendly.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh on this place. It's just not a good beer bar. Come here if you like Margiratas and other mixed drinks but there are plenty of other options in the area if you're looking for a good brew.

 1,115 characters

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Sunset Cantina in Boston, MA
3.72 out of 5 based on 47 ratings.
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