Boaters can tie up and dine at the upscale restaurants of Liberty Wharf, a $65-million-plus complex in Boston’s Seaport District. The wharf was named after the old Liberty Café, which sold seafood fresh off the boats from its waterfront location in the 1920s.
Boston – Been There

Welcome to the most Boston bar of all

Photo by Aram Boghosian

Boston – Been There Welcome to the most Boston bar of all

The jukebox is cranked up; the bar is sticky with spilled beer. Football's on TV; another machine sells lottery tickets. An Italian flag is draped over the bar. “Boston enough for you?” my friend Octave asks. Welcome to Biddy Early’s: the most Boston bar of all.

Tara Isabella Burton
Tara Isabella Burton Travel Writer

A gargantuan man named Anou muscles his way to the bartender, ordering a beer for himself, another for his friend: “and make sure you spit in it.” (“One Bud, hold the spit,” pleads his companion sheepishly). He insults the bartender's beard in a tone that makes it clear they are old friends – “I don't like bartenders,” he announces.

Then he fixes on me. I tell him what I'm doing here. He tells me I've come to the right place. “We get tired of these hoity-toity places,” he says. He wears a suit in his day job as a hotel concierge. He doesn't want to dress up when he drinks.

Laotian in origin, Anou considers himself the ultimate Bostonian: Boston-born, Boston-bred, with the accent to match. “It's simple,” he says, belching up some of the beer he's been drinking since four that afternoon. “We're a laid-back place. As long as nobody punches you in the gut or kicks you in the nog, we're okay.”

He points out the various characters at the bar: the T-shirt-wearing “bros”, dancing by the jukebox; the Irish tourists, smoking in the foyer; the businessmen – their ties loosened – sitting mournfully at the bar, checking their phones, served Jack and Cokes by the bartenders, who know their orders before they have to ask.

Boston, Anou insists, is a more civilized place than New York. “New York is like the 21-year-old who goes to sleep in an alley with the roaches, doesn't care where she wakes up. Boston, it's like we're the 27-year-old sister. We still know how to party, but we care where we sleep, you know?”

Here's another true Bostonian for you: Michaela, Boston-born and -bred. Connect with her for awesome recommendations!

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