Redbones Barbeque

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116 Reviews
Redbones BarbequeRedbones Barbeque

Type: Bar, Eatery

55 Chester St
Somerville, Massachusetts, 02144-3001
United States

(617) 628-2200 | map

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Reviews: 116 | Ratings: 153
Photo of bierschmecktgut
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Place was packed - a good sign. We stood at the bar in the basement, then sat fairly quickly at the table behind us.

Quality was like most other bbq joints, food and drink menu was borderline overwhelming.

Our host/waiter, Mike was fantastic. Let me sample some beer before I chose. Food came out super fast. Wait staff was buzzing around and knew everything off the top of their head.

The beer menu was great, most beer was on tap, a cask was tapped and plenty of bottle conditioned. Styles ranged from US craft to good Euro imports.

Food was plentiful and tasty, bbq never disappoints. Dessert was fresh, maybe homemade.

Based on your size beer you may pay a bit, the food was priced reasonably. Will definitely go back for beer selection.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

im a big fan of redbones. its not just because davis square is fairly short on good places to drink but also because they not only have an amazing tap list thats constantly changing but the food is really good and you get a lot for your money's worth.

the atmosphere is good the place is usually packed which can be overwhelming as its fairly small. the upstairs bar has the best feel i think. old wood dominating the scene with tvs in the corners if thats your thing.

the tap selection is great with 25 or so taps at any given point and they seem to constantly change the taps (i was there twice one day and within the 4 hours since my first visit about 4 beers had changed on the list.

the staff are friendly and very helpful if you need any help deciding what you want (or you can just spin the big wheel which is another way of deciding on what you want)

they nail barbecue at this place. the prices are very reasonable given how much food you get.

pricing on beers can get a bit steep but no more so then other places that have beers on tap that you can only get in a few places around boston.

overall a super place and quickly become a favorite of mine

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Photo of sjverla
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

So I've been hear a few times, and have never been disappointed. The food always kicks ass, and the beer selection is surprising, especially considering the smallness of the place. They have various options, regardless of your preference. The staff is attentive, but unmistakeably disinterested, which I like. They check in and float around, but are laid back and don't hover. Ever. If you go on a busy night, you might end up getting seated cafeteria-style, elbow to elbow with strangers. This happened to my girlfriend and me once, and it was actually a lot of fun.

We were there for lunch today, and boy, lunch there is the best thing ever. Order the combo, and for $8.99 you get pounds of ribs, chicken, and sides.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Met up with some friends at this place for lunch. Sat the bar first which is on the side. Really friendly staff and a large selection on tap. The bar might not look big, but there were at least a dozen stools, some stools facing the wall, and a table at the window. Sat down to eat in a very crowded and loud dining area. Although I could barely hear anyone, I felt it still had a charm I usually see at many barbecue restaurants. I was really impressed by the attentiveness of the dining room staff as well in such a busy and noisy place. The food was incredible and some of the most reasonably priced barbecue food I have seen, especially for that area. Beer selection was great and unique. I had Allagash White, Opa-Opa IPA, and Tuckerman's Pale Ale while I was there. Noticed they had Rogue Old Crustacean. Overall, if I lived in Davis Square, this would be the place for me.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

this is a really good barbeque joint right off the red line.

the beer is always fresh, as they have constantly rotating taps, with about 20 or so beers to choose from at any given time, with most of them being really good crafts.

the service is great, and the atmostphere is pretty good, the place is not fancy, the tables are plain as are the chairs, not table clothes or cloth napkins, just really good bbq.

and the prices are really good for the food, the beer is starting to get a little bit expensive. if you are ever in the area and you are looking for a new place to try this place should definitely be at the top of your list.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.18/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Finally got to check this place out with YouBrewIDrink on our way to the NotF 2010. Thank goodness I had a GPS because I probably would never have found the place. Being on a little street did have one advantage, we scored a parking spot right in front on a Friday at lunchtime.

The place is split in three, with the bar section to the left, a more family-style eatery on the right and another downstairs which I didn't visit. There was a lineup for the restaurant side, but we got a few spots at the bar.

Seems like a nice locals' hangout, obviously with full Red Sox nation regalia everywhere. The vibe was really laid back, not divey enough to scare off someone like my wife, but worked in enough to make me feel at home.

Very interesting tap list that would have kept me occuppied for a nice long session, but it wasn't in the cards this time so I went with a pint of cask-conditionned Larry which tasted fine.

Service was exactly what you'd expect from this type of bar. Our waitress was a little swamped for Beer service, but a little friendly banter fixed that up nicely. Food service was lightning quick though. We got litterally a ton of food at very reasonable prices, and I love BBQ served with good Beer so this place had win all over it. Even though I built this place up in my mind for years, it didn't dissapoint in the least.

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Photo of FrankLloydMike
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Redbones is a place I don't consider often enough. Cask ales, rotating local beers, really cool tap handles (upstairs at least), great service, good food, a nice atmosphere, and the option to get half pints all make it a great place to grab a beer. If I lived in Davis or Porter, I could see this becoming a regular haunt, but as it is the overcrowding and relative distance makes it more of an occasional stop for me.

I prefer the upstairs bar, though the downstairs has been growing on me, and due to how crowded it gets upstairs is where I usually end up. Still, I really love the upstairs--the feeling of walking into a small lodge-style bar, something that reminds me of the dwindling private drinking clubs of Somerville, Cambridge and Manchester. Of course, mine is a romanticized version of these clubs where there is ample good beer, no haze of smoke, and a good degree less alcoholism among the clientele. And with beautiful tap handles. The downstairs is a completely different world--dark, cool, the ultimate rib joint with a decent bar tucked into the corner. It gets crowded down here, too, but there's more room to maneuver.

I love that Redbones has a good local focus in addition to serving many great non-local beers, like the wonderful Ridgeway IPA I had recently. Lots of good Smuttynose Big Beer, Berkshire, Opa Opa, Pretty Things and Cape Ann are often among the many excellent local breweries featured. The food speaks for itself, and the availability of small bites at the bar is a big bonus.

I was torn on calling this place a bit pricey or reasonable. Like I said, I love that there's an option between multiple pour sizes, so you can try more beers or wade into a pricier one. I also love the sampler palette option. Many beers are reasonably priced, but a lot of the specialties are a bit pricier than I'd prefer or expect. Then again, the pours are generous... I recently had a Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog, which was delicious, potent and pricey at $8 (I didn't consult the printed menu for the price), but at least it was served in a full 16 oz pint, which is unusual for such a high ABV beer. So you see I'm torn on the price, but the bottom line is while it can be a bit pricey, there are plenty of reasonably priced beers to choose from as well.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Located very close to the Davis square stop.

There is an upstairs and down. The down has tables and a bar, where you can wait during busy periods. This place seems to get very crowded very quickly.

The beer selection is great, with a good mix of local and foreign beers. There is a cask and plenty of option on tap, along with a bottled list.

The BBQ food is great, and they have vegetarian options as well.

The walls are well decorated, giving the place a lively feel.

Good beer and BBQ - there's something for everyone. I feel I'll be going back there at some point.

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Photo of DrJay
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I've been here quite a few times now, but always for lunch. Other reviewers have scared me away from trying to come here later in the evening due to the apparent crowds. Lunch is a different matter and I've been able to bring the family, including a preschooler, without any trouble. Roughly 20 taps, nice mix of locals, US craft, and European brews. Cask has been available during a couple of my visits too. The BBQ is solid and the portions are ridiculous. My current favourite lunch deal is the combo - a big bowl filled with a seemingly random selection of whatever BBQ they've got in the kitchen for $9. Plus a whole plate of sides. Prices on food and drink are reasonable and I've always had good service here. Recommended.

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Photo of TommyW
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Went here for lunch the other day. Atmosphere of the place is busy yet not overly loud or annoying; has some sit-down seating but I chose to sit at the bar.

They have about 20 beer on tap, plus a cask and a decent bottle selection. Turnover on the taps seems pretty high, so everything seemed pretty fresh to me. I got to try Cisco IPA on cask which was a nice treat.

The service was good. Food came out pretty fast. The guy working the bar seemed kinda new, but he was able to answer all my questions about the beer and food.

The food, by the way, is incredible. Some of the best bbq I've had in a while. Everything is reasonably priced as well: the beer and the food. Although for lunch, the food deal are really inexpensive for the amount and quality of food you get.

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Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I have been to Redbones three times and each time I've been underwhelmed when compared to other rib joints around Boston. Redbones is reputed to be the very best, but every time, I've received overcooked ribs that are dried out and burnt on the outside.

The beer selection is extensive, even featuring a cask-conditioned choice. There are a few macros, but the menu is geared to beer connoisseurs with a good variety of IPA's and Belgians and a smattering of others. Each time, I received a fresh beer with the proper glass.

I have found the service to be uniformly friendly and efficient.

So, in a nutshell, the beer is good to excellent, the food is over-stated and the service is good.

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Photo of DNICE555
3.6/5  rDev -13.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I actually visted this place in October a couple days before Halloween on my way up to Salem,MA. Before I even walked in I noticed a red truck with some dummies set up in for Halloween... I love it. The service was decent. Nobody was overly friendly. The selection was pretty good. A nice chalkboard list of taps including a cask. I really liked that you could get a sampler which contains 5 samples. I love this especially in a bar with so many choices. I believe it was only about 8 dollars too. A good BBQ spot for food.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

A packed 2 level restaurant with 2 bars (upper/lower). Alot of seating, but fills very fast, particularly on the weekend. Loud, busy, and packed in. Downstairs has funky decor and is a bit more manageable.

Good tap and bottle selection, from some higher end brews to PBR to Bud. They are frequently out of some beers, but you can always find something you'd like. Some oddities present as well, which is fun. Food and brew were decent and nothing was really off.

Busy busy. Waitress was cool and understandably distracted, but we still got our food and beverages without too much of a wait. Refills? A little tougher, but you can elbow your way to the bar too. Bartenders aren't much for chit-chat, but neither am I.

Food is good BBQ, but far from great. Some things are better than others, but overall, a decent meal (c'mon, this is New England barbeque, not North Carolina).

Noth the cheapest place either. Drafts and bottles are on the higher end, and the food, while alot of it, isn't cheap.

Overall, a decent place. Much more fun, funny enough, when things are a bit less busy.

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Photo of Jayli
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I hadn't been to RedBones in roughly 10 years, so thanks to Tigg924 for reintroducing me to this place.
Hit this place up on a Wednesday night around 6pm. It's a good thing that we got there when we did because this place got PACKED real quick! This place is two levels. On the first floor is a bar to your left and a dining area to your right. The dining area upstairs is rather cramped. Downstairs is another dining area that is nicely spread out and another bar. The walls are decorated with cool abstract art.
Service was really nice. Our waitress was on top of things and courteous. She joked around with us. The downside - after we finished our dinner and were ordering more beers, she let us know that unless we were eating more, we would have to go to the bar. Not her fault, but hey - still kinda sucked.
Nice selection of beers here - roughly 25 taps and a cask. Assortment of local, belgian and other craft brews. Between the two of us, we got our hands on 21st Golden Doom, BBC Coffehouse Porter, CBC Darkest Night, Sixpoint Brownstone, Shakespeare Stout, and Pretty Things Jack D'or.
The food here is freaking great. It's not true down south BBQ but hell if it isn't a damn good replica! Pulled chicken was tasty, mac n cheese, beans, and garlic mashed potatoes. Turn around form when we ordered to when we got the food was damn fast too!
Overall, a nice place to pop in and get some good grub, and good beer!

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Parking in Union Square sucks. A lot.

The crowd is a primarily young but fairly diverse mix of hipsters, punkers, and college students. Downstairs has some impressive, colorful artwork of gremlins, pirates, and babies with fire coming out of their asses that some one obviously spent a lot of time on. Your party gets it's own table if you sit down there. Upstairs are long lines of tables in which people you don't know sit next to you. Sometimes that's a fun idea. Other times (true story) you may be sitting next to the guy with whom you got in a fight with over a parking spot outside minutes before and that makes for a really awkward dinner.

The food is good for the area (I like it better than Roadhouse even when Roadhouse still had the smoker) but it's not like anyone from Texas or Tennessee will be impressed. For $8.99 you can get a pulled whatever sandwich with 2 sides and a slice of cornbread--that's not too shabby. For what it's worth the jerk pork is extremely inconsistent and sometimes will fine while other times it will set your mouth on fire.

They have a fairly large taplist (15ish?) and one cask. Despite often having obscure and sometimes rare beers, the drafts aren't very focused and can be unbalanced in favor of certain styles. They do have a good bottle list to make up for any discrepancies however.

While servers aren't uniquely personable or friendly they are very attentive and empty plates are immediately carried away and I've never had an issue with getting what I ordered.

I've been here a few times and the biggest compliment I can give it is the fact that I keep coming back.

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Photo of tigg924
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Redbones is one of my favorite places in Boston to grab a beer and food. The food is good barbeque for the Boston area. It does not compare with southern barbeque, but if you like the style, it is fairly easy to find something tasty. There are some values on the menu. The restaurant has three different areas: a standard restaurant area upstairs, a tight bar area--complete with the select a beer wheel, and a relaxed darkened bar with seating downstairs. The downstairs is my favorite as they have pictures of colorful dog bones on the ceiling. Redbones is usually packed around dinner time, so often there is a wait. The draft beer list is on the slightly expensive side, but often has harder to find drafts. They do a good job in mixing domestic and foreign, as well as highlighting local beers. The prices are slightly more expensive than other places, but the atmosphere is worth it. Redbones remains one of my favorite Boston haunts. Go hungry for some good food and to try a few good brews.

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Photo of Viggo
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Went to get some beer and lunch before the NotF. Has a really cool vibe, old school looking like it hasn't been renovated or fixed up for a couple decades. Because they don't care and people come there for the food and beer, the kind of place I like. The beer menu was pretty solid, they tapped a fresh cask of Mayflower IPA when we asked for it. The $9 rib special for lunch we got could feed a small family, pretty wicked value for the price. I sure as shit could't finish it all. Beer was a little pricy relative to other Boston spots. Service was excellent, very quick and attentive. All in all, awesome BBQ and a great beer list. Need I say more?

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Great service right at the opening hour (which is a good 30 min. earlier than most beer bars in Boston area). Twenty something taps to choose from featured a lot of regional craft, in addition to a cask ale that was quite tasty. The spinning wheel on the wall can help for those indecisive folks who cannot choose a beer in a timely manner.

I did not order from the BBQ focused menu but the corn fritters and/or hush puppies looked like good accompaniments for beer. Founders Breakfast was on tap while here, as well as many imperial stouts and IPA's. Prices were not bad.

Good location off the red line in Davis Square and close to a great coffee shop across the street - Diesel cafe.

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Photo of HT75
3.43/5  rDev -17.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Redbones is a haunt. That's the best way you can describe the joint. It's an easy walk fron the T station at Davis. There is an amazing beer selection for such a tiny place. And they have a wheel if you don't know what to have. The staff isn't professional in any sense, they just do what they have to. But they are usually very friendly so they get extra points The beer is expensive, however, as the pours seem to be short., so don't plan on spending the evening just there. The bar also is very small, so you may not even have a chance to sit down some nights. It's one of the few BBQ joints around, so it makes dining better than a lot of beer bars. However, I but a 3 for food because people should know that the BBQ is considered sub par by anyone that knows their BBQ. That's not just my opinion. But its BBQ. It would be considered the quality of national chain pizza up against something from the North End of Boston. it won't hold a candle to the good stuff, but it'll satisfy a craving for BBQ. I just want to make that clear because I've sent people there for the beer and they've been ticked at me because of the BBQ.
Anyway a fun place.
I like to add, been there multiple times, so it isn't a one experience review.

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Photo of Darkhorse09
4.22/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A southern style bbq joint that is often crowded and knows their beer and ribs. Not a fancy spot...don't come if you want to spend 3 hours romantically chatting with a date over a clean, easy to eat meal. If, however, you know what you're getting into, then you'll really enjoy this place.

It was crowded. But isnt that the sign of something good? If people are willing to wait for small tables and a crowded bar, the product must be worth it.

Upwards of 20 beers on tap, which rotates frequently. I have gone to just the bar three times and each time the tap selection was new, except for the non-exciting standard beers (Guinness, PBR, macros etc). IPA heavy list, much of which is local. If you like porters/ interesting stouts this is not the place for you. 4-5 Belgians on tap and always at least 1 cask.

Food was tasty. Order the ribs and get all the sauces if you are new to southern food. delicious sides, esp. the mac n cheese, hushpuppies and slaw.

Bartender knows the beers well. Waitress had prepared a speech for first time diners regarding the menu. Enjoyed the ribs and my friend's catfish sandwich was good too. You will leave FULL.
Good value. Fun, active and loud atmostphere. Would go again!

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Photo of Deuane
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

CRAZY crowded and no we cannot seat your party unless EVERYONE is here. Well, shit...oh, Sixpoint stuff on draft if I could only get the pint to my mouth without being jossled from every angle. They should not allow this many people in one area.

Seated...finally! Service, quick, efficient and friendly....despite the crazed atmosphere.

Food....solid Que but nothing outstanding. Sides on the other hand, outstanding for sure! Heck, next time I will eat nothing but sides! Oh, proportions are HUGE! If you dont get full here your name must be Joey Chestnut!

A good place that I would go back to again, but not on a Friday night!

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I had a good time. My wife and I went on a Sunday afternoon around 2pm for a late lunch. I liked the atmosphere and vibe of the place, but I'll be perfectly honest in that it was not a busy time and we had no wait and weren't crowded. If it were the other way around it would have been miserable. To put it politely it would be considered "cozy" with zero elbow room. The place wasn't very big and all the tables were pretty close together. It looked very homey, like "we are who we are" type place. You could see into the kitchen and see the food being prepared. The place didn't look dirty but at the same time it wasn't a fine dining type place either, had a laid back pub feel at the same time. The service was good, we had a hostess sit us down, a waitress take our order, a server bring us our beer, and a separate server bring us our food, so I'm guessing they split tips. Like alot of BBQ places the portions were generous and we found the prices to be very, very reasonable. The beer list was excellent. There were I think 28 different brews on tap and according the waitress they rotate a lot of them. I found the beer to be pretty fresh overall but my wife got a Ipswich Summer Ale that wasn't very cold. I had a tough time deciding what I wanted so I got a sampler. That was another thing that was pretty cool. You could get a sampler of either 3 or 4 beers whichever you wanted and put any of the beers with the exception of the Belgium beers for $7 and if you wanted to sample the Belgium beers it was $9. I was glad they did that because I was in a kind of picky mood at the time. I plan on going back again sometime soon, hopefully it won't be busy again.

One thing I found kind of funny, there was a group of people at the bar screaming watching a soccer game on one end, while the sox were playing on the other end on TV and nobody was paying attention, just thought it was kind of funny.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Our first stop of the evening (Friday night) and it was freaking packed. Stood in the super crowded bar while waiting for our table with barely enough elbow room to raise my beer to my mouth. Luckily, there was a Sixpoint draft event a day or so prior to our visit and many of their beers were still on. I ordered the super tasty Bengali IPA while we waited and before I was halfway thru my glass, we were seated. I ordered the pulled pork sandwich platter. Maybe I'm used to Q in the south, but this (the pork) was sort of a let down. Although it was tender and plentiful, it was rather bland. Do they even have a smoker here? I detected zero smokiness in the meat. The sides were a different story and sort of a redeemer. Some of the best potato salad I've ever had. The cornbread was fresh and the beans were delicious. I'll give 'em this though, the sandwich was huge. I was attacking it for quite a while and it didn't seem like I was getting anywhere. Service was very fast, friendly and attentive considering how crowded the place was. We also noticed the chalkboard with the tap list being updated each time a keg would kick and were also informed of the changes by our server. Glad I was able to check this place out.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Ahh...Redbones. Years of living in Boston will see you within the confines of this Somerville landmark from time to time. I miss it now that I left the city and get back whenever I can.

Redbones is what it is. Its a crowded, packed, loud bbq join with some awesome beers. The bar area is almost always standing room and plan on at least a short wait if you want to sit down in the dining room. At night Underbones, downstairs, is worth checking out as well.

Great, reasonably priced BBQ. Its sloppy, its authentic and its great.

Beer selection is always pretty good. Today they had CBC Milk Stout, Racer 5, Bear Republic Apex, BBC Coffee House Porter to name a few. They also do a Northwest night that is pretty popular and a few weeks ago they had 18 kegs of Sixpoint on tap at the same time. Holy crap!

I love Redbones. The pint of Racer 5 I had today was one of the freshest West Coast IPA's I've ever had!

HINT: Sit up where the kitchen/smoker/pit is and they'll give you a free appetizer most times while they sling meat around.

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Photo of Trailmix242
2.93/5  rDev -29.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Was at Redbones recently and was a little disappointed. This was the second time I had been there and found the service pretty lacking. They do make a consistent BBQ with some interesting items you will not find elsewhere. Beer selection is always pretty good with the current taps listed on a chalk board and it is frequently changed and updated. Now when it comes to pours is where they really rip you off. I do not think a single beer I got or others in my group got were filled. On some of the Belgian beers which were served in chalices the head of the beer did not even make it to the 25cl line and the beer cost $7.50! The bartenders were not attentive at all either and seemed like they did not want to be bothered. Will I go again probably since some of my friends like it but it will not be my suggestion.

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Redbones Barbeque in Somerville, MA
4.18 out of 5 based on 153 ratings.
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