Redbones Barbeque

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Redbones BarbequeRedbones Barbeque
155 Ratings
Redbones BarbequeRedbones Barbeque

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(617) 628-2200 | map

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Ratings: 155 |  Reviews: 116
Photo of deniserat
5/5  rDev +19.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Can be extremely busy but it is worth the wait. Generous beer menu.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

A $20 cab ride from Boston Commons.

Redbones est omnis divisa in partes tres. The first that you see upon enterance is the 1st floor restauant with a counter at the back overlooking the kitchen. The second is the bar, where you are also able to take your dinner, and finally the basement which also has a bar in addition to tables and has really wacky art on the walls.

The service was friendly and fast, both at the first floor bar and the second floor.

The beer list was amazing, with Storm King, 3 or 4 selections from Stone, Hennepen, Berkshire Coffee Porter, Triticus and other great stuff.

I had the St. Louis ribs, which were amazing.

An amazing experience, cheap at any price.

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Photo of StevieW
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

My favorite place of all the different spots on my recent vacation. Redbones is definitly one of a kind. Not much I can add that hasn't already been described, except my outstanding service experience. I went there with my girlfriend to meet a few of her old friends. I went downstairs under the brother's recommendations. While waiting, I had a McNeil's IPA and Theakton's Motor Oil Stout on tap. Both Unbelievable. Once we were seated, it became obvious that our dinner order was lost, finally our food arrived. I had the BBQ Combo and couldn't finish it. Great BBQ, coming from a BBQ lover that has been all over the South, that is saying something. Then we it was time for the check to arrive, the manager came over and apologized and picked our check. That was totally unexepected. They showed they care about customers. So far 2 stops in Boston and 2 comps.......time to play the lottery.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is my kind of place. I honestly think of different ways to talk my girlfriend and friends into going. The quality and selection of their tap beer is top notch. I love how they always seem to have local, regional and imported beers on tap that rotate constantly. It is actually an easy place to get to if you take the Red Line to Davis.
The food is great as well. I normally have the pulled pork or chicken but I have heard the ribs are great as well. Try the Jerked Chicken if you like it hot!

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Photo of PatandDavid
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

What can I say that hasn't been said before??

We are lucky: we are locals. That means they know us by name when we come in, we know practically every bartender, and they always treat us right.

First: the beer. Redbones has a rapidly rotating beer menu, which means there is something new on almost everynight. It's where I discovered Belgians, it's where beer is an event...I've had so many different and wonderful beers here, I can't even start...One can always find something to drink here, and if the draft list looks boring (rare, but when you go a couple of times a week...), well, they have been expanding their bottle list.

The food: The barbecue is great, but I find the portions are just way huge (appealing to some folks, just plain too much for me). Go for the BBQ if you want. Check out the daily specials. I would also recommend the grilled tuna, or any of the fish, it's very good.

What a local can tell you...ask for a sample of the beer! they will always be happy to pour you a sample, why order something you will not like. As far as the cask beers go: they can be hit or miss, so again, ask for a sample.

Also: If you've always heard that the beer selection is great at Redbones, it is. If you think you are going to get the perfect glass to go with with each indiviual beer, you're not. They do not have the room, so you will get your beer in a pint, or a half, or this little 10.5 glass for the Belgians, or your Rapscallion in one of their glasses, but that's it. You are not going to get every beer in the perfect glass, but I say: who cares.

Redbones is hard to beat: unpretentious, friendly people, and a desire to please the customer. I recommend it, and take any family visiting to it for the RBs experience. I've made many friends there, and love running into fellow BAs there. Pat

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Photo of bewley
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Went there once on a Sunday evening and ate upstairs. The service was great, if hectic. The food was quite good. They make their own homemade sausage and change the flavor daily. I was lucky enough (according to my waitress) to have the Hot Italian sausage as it is not served often. It was good and served with a very nice dirty rice and beans, lots of garlic and flavor.

I had a Magic Hat Heart of Darkness stout on tap which was pleasant and braced me for being surrounded by a multitude of happy kids who ranged in age to six months to 8 years old. Toddlers appear to love the place and so do their parents who can drink beer and eat ribs whilst their offspring drink lemonade out of pickling jars. The gist of all this is that if you happen to be there on the weekend, (especially on a Sunday) you may want to consider partaking downstairs, called "Underbones," which has a very interesting atmosphere--a sort of Mexican, fluorescent Day of the Dead feel about it.

Redbones is a great place.

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Photo of bpfrush
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of StrayteEDGE
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Child_Pugh
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Murph
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is quite possibly my favorite place to go in the greater Boston Area. Only been there twice but both experiences were really great. Always an excellent beer selection, and they rotate a few seasonals in. You can always find a few different things here. The food was amazing and the service was also good. I can't wait until I can finally make it to one of there beer dinners.

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Photo of Tchuck
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Like Pat, I don't know what to say that hasn't been said before, so a few thoughts:

1) Probably one of about three places in Boston that will have something on tap that I've never had before. Some places have more taps, but aren't as daring, or don't have what they advertise in stock.
2) You can't go wrong with the food, but some items bring it to the next level: catfish fingers, sausage o'the day, collard greens, hushpuppies, pulled pork, brisket, and the pecan pie.
3) On Sat. nights in April, they have a guy from The Union Bay Oyster House selling oysters at the bar. Good times.
4) Try sitting at the counter in the back of the main restaurant. The chefs are always friendly, and will often throw samples your way.
5) Go early or during the week to avoid crowds to the extent you can.
6) I'm grateful I live only a few miles away, and that my wife is always willing to drive home afterwards.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Redbones..Aaaaahh Redbones..What can be said?
So many great memories there,and some I don't remember-I'm sure.
The people are great,the food is great, and the beers are awesome.
Not the biggest beer selection,but always choice.
They keep a good mix of regionals,imports and beers from away.
If theres a great new beer available in Mass,they will have it on tap.
You can check the website which stays somewhat current for the draft selection,but, word for the wise,many have been burned by checking the site for that one beer the've waiting for and driven for hours,and bammo,big dissapointment when you get there.
Call first!
Redbones is usually quite busy and very popular.
Be prepared to wait on the weekend for a table,sometimes for quite a while,and don't be standing too close to the large hostess when she lets loose calling out the next partys name!Your ears will bleed.
Spin the dial on the wheel of beer,don't be afraid,if you don't like the taste,they won't make you order a full one.
They keep a couple of dozen on tap and usually a cask as well.
Beer is always served in very good condition in various glass ware and offer samplers and 10oz servings as well.
As for the BBQ,it's a meat eaters dream come true.
For the true carnivore,order the "around the belt"3 different types of ribs and topped off with the best brisket anywhere.
There's enough there for almost 3 meals.
The side are great too-dirty rice,potato salad,hush puppies,cole slaw.The buffalo shrimp and catfish fingers are worth the trip alone.Yum.
They have expanded thier menu in recent years and there are daily specials which are always good.
All this and now they are smoke free!
I was pleasantly surprised on my last trip down,when I braced myself,opened the door to the bar area,waiting for that familiar sting in the eyes, and found no smoke!Yea baby,yea!
Redbones does a lot in the name of good beer,several beer dinners throughout the year,with different themes and featured speakers.Prizes also,and unlimited beer and BBQ.Thats what I'm talkin' about!

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Photo of scxcrunner
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Photo of doerickson
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Tough to add much after all the great reviews this place has already gotten...outstanding beer selection on tap--seasonals, local/regional beers, beers from all over the country, Belgians, often something on cask...and an eclectic bottle selection to boot. I really like the fact that you can check their daily tap selection on the web before you go:

Make sure you eat some bbq while you're there. The downstairs bar, Underbones, can be smoky as hell, and I got spoiled going there all summer when Tufts was on summer vacation and the crowds were down, but you really can't beat this place.

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Photo of LXMRTN
4.63/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of sinistrsam
4.63/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

You know this might be the highest score I've given to a beefly review? I didn't have that intention at first but as I looked at all the fields, I have to admit, the ratings I gave are pretty damn appropriate.
I lived a block from this place all summer, and I didn't go there until the LAST NIGHT I was in Boston. Stupid, I know, but better than having not gone at all.
I went on a Sunday with my roommate, who had got all you can eat ribs for what seemed like a reasonable price; it definitely was: ribs, chicken, sausage and sides, literlaly falling off the edge of a huge plate. If you manage to finish it (my roommte didn't) you just order another, with a sauce of your choice. Food was excellent, and for the price, especially in Boston, it was affordable as hell.
But lets get to the fun part, the beer. We sat at the bar and had several beers during our BBQ experience. It was kinda slow, so we ended up talking to the bartender most of the time, and after a while started talking beer. When I asked what high-roller ordered a bottle of champagne (on ice in a bucket behind the bar) he politely told me it was Deus, a beer Brewed by Bosteel, and aged in Champage, France. I hadn't seen it on the menu? Well, he said, theres a lot of stuff I keep around here that isn't on the beer menu. With that, he poured it out to everyone at the bar, just a taste, and kept filling our glasses until the bottle was done. Hows that for service? (The man also knew his beer in and out, from the many impossibly hard brews to find by Westvletern, to a little-known but evidently very good micro in Vermont that only sells on-site and in local resturants)
Theres an upstairs that has a psychedelic western bar kinda mood, and a downstairs that definitely has a psychedelic wall-painted lounge feel, but both have great beers at their separate bars. Overall, I would make every effort possible to get here from anywhere in the city(its across the street from the Davis stop). One of Boston's finest, for sure.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Many people in Boston do not give RedBones the credit it deserves. They talk about the barbeque being bad or not tasty. But, when you have barbeque in a great atmosphere with friends and good beers, how can you not enjoy yourself? The small bar on the first floor has a cozy feel with Red Sox stats on the wall, games always on, friendly bar tenders, and a good selection of beer on tap. If you find it too crowded, head downstairs to underbones--another bar in the basement with the same selection, though not televisions. Definitely a chill place to hang out. Everything on tap is the same price and the selection changes every day. Use the website as a guide as beers sometimes run out before you get there, etc. etc. Chris always stocks a good amount of quality brews. I have never had a bad experience. Cask nights on Mondays.

Go there for the atmosphere--No other place has the atmosphere this place has. I recommend sitting at the counter to eat. You get to watch the chefs in action while drinking a favorite local brew. They also usually give you a freebie appetizer.

Get the Catfish, its phenomenal! Cash and credit cards accepted.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I've spent a good deal of time working and traveling throughout the south, and the one constant positive aspect of working there is the food. Slow-smoked baby back ribs, Texas ribs, dirty rice, BBQ, fried okra, pulled pork, home-made baked beans, collard greens, coleslaw and catfish are all wonderful comfort foods. The one short coming of good southern cooking down south, is the difficulty in finding quality beer to match the food.
Redbones, on the other hand, has both authentic-style southern cuisine, plus world-class beer. Redbones has a great variety of slow-cooked, smoked, grilled and BBQ meats. Their side orders are a meal in themselves.
The big problem with Redbones is that their food and beer selections are too varied. There's no possible way I can eat and drink my fill without looking at the order being delivered to the customers at the next table and thinking to myself; Oh, I should have ordered that! Oh, time!

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Photo of BillyBrew
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

What else does a beer lover need? Many great beers rotaing and changing frequently. Belgians, sesonals, locals, uniques and different offerings from great breweries. Cask Harpoon, draught Brookyn Penant Ale, Rogues, Dogfish Head, Chimay and, of course, PBR. The food is fantastic. Meaty BBQ fare for carnivores and fish offerings for the herbies. The service is prompt and friendly and food is up in minutes. The scene is more artistically 'ghetto' than actually ghetto.

All thumbs up all around. A must for beer advocates. Cheers!

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Photo of jeff2486
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The beer here is the star 24 tap lines and at least one cask. Today I had Opa Opa IPA, Southern Tier Unearthy, Nugget Nectar, Dales Pale Ale, Lost Sailor IPA.

They update their list pretty often at

They always have quite a few selection I want to try with a variety of local, west coast, regional, and belgian available. The beer changes quite frequently which is nice for a place that I go to a good amount.

The food here is not spectacular, but I think a lot on the menu is very good. I mostly stick to the sandwhiches (pulled pork, pulled beef, brisket) as I have found they are as good as anywhere and they also give you plenty of meat. If I were just rating the sandwiches I would give the place a 4.5 or 5. I also like the beans they give you with the sanwhich platters. I haven't found too many sides that are worth it. I've had the corn fritters, fries, mash potatoes, mac and cheese, and catfish nuggets. They were all fine, but nothing special and I wouldn't recommend any of them to anyone.

I've never gone when it is real crowded but I have always been very pleased with the service. They are just really nice people, from the person seating you, to the people bringing the beers, to the waitresses, to the cooks (handed me some free sausage over the counter one time). Also, anytime there has ever been a slowdown with the food they have always apologized and checked on things immediately.

I really enjoy redbones, the prices are pretty moderate and the beer selection is always great. I've never had a bad service experience and love the sandwiches.

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Photo of John
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Redbones is very similar to a place called Dinosaur BBQ that Rochester and Syracuse BAs know well. In terms of beer section, the edge goes to Redbones. An interesting and rotating selection of 24 draughts keeps the BA’s interest peaked. Very good selection of bottled micros and Belgians as well as cans of some "classics" like Schlitz and Genesee. Last visit I especially enjoyed the Concord IPA, Rapscallion Blessing and the Stoudt’s Abbey Triple. The food is outstanding. The bar staff is very friendly and accommodating providing samples of beers and food! I was curious about how the jerk pork tenderloin was last Thursday and the reply was: “want to try it”. Very cool. One of my favorite places in the Boston area. I’ll be back here again and again. Highly recommended. Cash and personal checks only. No credit cards!

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Photo of vitesse
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

what a great place. i convinced my girlfriend to come here for dinner on the promise that the food would be good (she's not into the beer), anyway, i wasn't let down.

seriously amazing barbecue/soul food. big enough portions to have for lunch the next day. cool atmosphere. good prices.

and did i mention the beer. when i visited they had rogue dry-hopped red ale and one of the heavyweights on tap. as well as a good selection of micros/belgians/etc.

and the service was really great. our waiter brought us free appetizers when he asked if we could change tables to make room for a big party. that was mos def appreciated.

definitely worth going way way out of your way for.

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Photo of yankeeheel
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Redbones. A pretty darn good BBQ/beer place for a yuppie/student hangout in the shadow of Boston.

The atmosphere is quite eclectic, with lots of post-modern, colorful, oversized paintings and murals. Quite artsy. The quality and selection of the beer is just outstanding. 24 lines with a cask offering. Very fresh with generous pours. They are on their game. Service again, was quite good. Attentive wait staff, willing to accomadate. Food wise it's good for pseudo-southern BBQ. It's kind of a cross between western NC and Memphis style. I'm an eastern NC kind of BBQ guy, so it just isn't quite my thing. It's not bad, but it's not Allen and Sons. The place was packed on a thursday night. More bar time!!!!

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Photo of jpagewatts
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

RedBones is an example of what the northeast needs more of, but isn't geographically inclined to have: great barbeque and great beer. Anywhere below the Mason-Dixon line, you are 15 minutes from an incredible barbeque place. sadly the same can't be said for New England, but RedBones offers an oasis. The food here is phenomenal, and the on tap list boast over 20 beers which change regularly and include regional brews and at least one belgian (i believe this week's is St Bernadus 8). Do yourself a favor and go.

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Photo of ChipChaight
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

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Redbones Barbeque in Somerville, MA
Place rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 155 ratings