The Burren

Alternative / Bar Food / Beer / Brunch / Burgers / Button-downs / Casual / Cover Bands / Cover charge / Dancing / Dinner / Finger Food / Fish and Chips / Flirty / Grad Students / High Energy / Hipster / Irish Food / Irish Pub / Irish Restaurant / Jeans and T-Shirt / Ladies Night / Late 30s / Live Music / Live Music Venue / Lunch / Meat Market / Mid 20s / Musicians / Open Mic / Pizza / Rock / Sandwiches / Singer / Songwriter / Steak / Theme Nights / Vintage / Weekend Warriors / Wi-Fi / Wings / Young Professionals
The Burren Named for a rocky stretch of land in Ireland, The Burren is an authentic old-world pub featuring music from the homeland, hearty eats, and lively dancing. Boston United States 42.395471 -71.121885
4.09 9
The Burren - Irish Pub | Irish Restaurant | Live Music Venue in Boston.
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Party Earth Review Named for a rocky stretch of land in Ireland, The Burren is an authentic old-world pub featuring music from the homeland, hearty eats, and lively dancing. A worn wood bar and display of black-and-white photos create a... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    M–Th, Su 11:30am–1am, F–Sa 10am–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth The Burren Review

The Scene

Named for a rocky stretch of land in Ireland, The Burren is an authentic old-world pub featuring music from the homeland, hearty eats, and lively dancing.

Named for a rocky stretch of land in Ireland, The Burren is an authentic old-world pub featuring music from the homeland, hearty eats, and lively dancing.

A worn wood bar and display of black-and-white photos create a homey atmosphere for the alternative types and hipster musicians who slide onto the benches around the tables to relax over pints of Smithwicks, Boddingtons, and Harpoon IPA as Irish musicians and open mic amateurs take to the stage.

The heat gets turned up later in the week as lively groups of grad students and flirty young professionals learn some Irish step-dancing moves and swing the night away to high-energy cover bands.

Early evening revelers dig into their beer-battered fish and chips before being displaced by the boisterous packs of weekend warriors who show up later to enjoy the bar’s various theme nights, especially the much-loved L80’s Night on Thursdays, when tipsy coeds turn the place into a high-spirited meat market.

Though it may look cozy and ooze authentic charm, The Burren loves a good tune and a good time, and offers its patrons a buzzing hangout equally perfect for socializing or rocking out.

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Tip from Emma:

Twice a month The Burren holds a local artist’s marketplace from noon to 4pm, which showcases the work of photographers, artists, and jewelry makers. Grab a glass of wine and spend some time perusing the handmade wares!

  • Crowd

    Eclectic mix of alternative types, musicians, artists, young professionals, and grad students, mid-20s to late 30s+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Live music most nights. Mondays feature the Bur-Run at 6:45pm, a 5K road race followed by dancing at 8pm. Open mic on Tuesdays, comedy and trivia on Wednesdays, L80’s Night on Thursdays with drink specials for the ladies, and a variety of music from acoustic singer/songwriters to rock and roll cover bands Fridays through Sundays.

    Craft marketplace Sundays. Free Wi-Fi.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Pub fare with an Irish flare, including Guinness beef stew, shepherd’s pie, and bangers and mash.

  • Prices

    Cover charge $5. Brunch $6.95–$10.95, appetizers $3.50–$10.95, entrées $7.95–$15.95. Beer $3.50–$6.50, wine $9–$12, cocktails $9.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: vintage t-shirts, button-downs, and jeans.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights for the best boozy scene.

  • Close By

    Johnny D’s (17 Holland Street) is a restaurant and club offering live jazz, blues, folk, and rock music.

The Burren User Reviews

Average rating:
A Robust Music Venue in Davis Square
Benjamin C. May 14, 2013
The Burren has a lot to offer, whether you're out to party, dance, or just relax. Upon entering, you'll typically be greeted with Irish trad music performed by a crew of musicians camped out near the door. The front room is spacious, with a long bar and plenty of sitting and standing room. The beer selection is adequate. On a weekday night, that's the extent of the Burren experience; on Fridays and Saturdays, the back room opens for shows from mostly local musicians, and occasionally other events such as square dancing lessons. These nights, both the front and back rooms tend to fill up, with people of all ages ranging from undergrads, through twenty-somethings, up to "professionals" and the occasional retiree. On the right night, the back room gets packed with revelers, making the $5 cover definitely worth it if that's your thing. And even if you'd rather just spend your Saturday evening sitting and talking with friends, the front room provides a good atmosphere.
A David Square gem
Conor O. Apr 25, 2013
While not as effortless as it thinks it is, The Burren is nonetheless one of the better establishments for weekend boozing in Cambridge. An iffy $5 cover fee gives Boston suburbanites access to a standard quality pub with serviceable live acts and the bar has a nice selection of local and non-local brews. The Burren can be something of a zoo—especially on Saturdays—with herds of relatively nonthreatening Irish-Catholic post-grads shouting to hear one another. It’s particularly nice is during the summer when the front patio is open for patrons to look out onto a stumbling pack of 20-somethings giggling down Elm St. The drinks are fair priced, but the wait at the bar can be grueling if not in the right place along the counter—some spots have higher traffic and the bartenders are more likely to tend to specific spaces. If the Irish fiddle is not your instrument of choice for listening, it is advised to venture to the back room for the more conventional bands to avoid the almost permanent Celtic collective tucked into one of the booths.
The Burren-never a dull moment
clarice c. Feb 26, 2013
Whether it is a Monday night or a bustling Saturday, the Burren is anything but dull. Even on a quiet night, the beer is still cold, the Irish bartenders are up for telling stories and patrons never fail to make the rounds and befriend strangers at another table. The Burren is a dive bar at heart, with tacky yet loveable decor splattered around the bar. It is also a music venue, boasting some of the best and most entertaining cover bands Davis Square has seen. Friday and Saturday nights see a packed house, where the venue section is a sweaty room of shoulder-to-shoulder 20-somethings struggling to dance while double fisting. The Burren is a guaranteed good time of beer and conversation, so get dressed in your best T shirt and jeans, dancing shoes and Irish accent.
Ireland, Represent!
Shea W. Feb 20, 2013
There is something so authentic about the Burren and it’s not just because of the Irish trad music – which is played nightly. I was there last weekend for my friend’s birthday, and the place was packed with people – college students and 20-somethings. We were able to find a booth in the hall that connects the bar with the dance floor, but it was too crowded for me to attempt to order a beer. It didn’t matter. I was content to watch the flow of traffic as people transitioned from one scene to the other. The layout and spirit of the place totally reminded me of the bars in Galway, Ireland, and I felt transported back there. There are definitely positives and negatives about The Burren, but I recommend going even just to experience a little of Boston’s heritage.
Awesome laid-back spot
Christina W. Dec 12, 2012
I feel a little weird writing this because I went to The Burren alone in the middle of the day on a weekday...but it was great! I really love bars like this, because I travel often for work and it's great to find places where you can go by yourself, enjoy lunch and a few beers, and not feel like a weirdo. The Burren is definitely one of the friendliest, openest, most laid-back bars I've encountered in a long time. It's an Irish bar with a decent menu and a great beer list. I have only spent a few days in Boston in my rare visits there, so at first I was really surprised and impressed that the bartender was actually Irish (with an accent...from Ireland). But then I remember I was in Boston, and it made sense. At any rate, if you are looking for a comfortable lunch or just a few pints, I highly recommend this spot. It is exceedingly comfortable and the bartender loves to chat.
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