Irish eyes are smiling — when they look at the calendar, anyway. St. Patrick's Day is Thursday, March 17, with the annual South Boston parade following on Sunday, March 20. Inevitable droves are set to descend on the Hub's historically Irish-American 'hood, so, we thought it wise to direct your attention to the area's hottest spots, restaurants and bars. (We'll continue to update this list with St. Patrick's Day and parade-related specials as the joints line up their plans.)
This South Boston newcomer unites the kitchen of chef Anthony Susi, who previously owned the esteemed South End spot Sage, with the beverage program of Kevin Mabry, a past 30 Under 30 mixology guru. The Italian-American cuisine baits dinner crowds, but, with two massive bars, Capo's sipping scene is a lure on its own. Among Mabry's cocktails is the Contessa, pictured, an elixir of gin, Aperol and Noilly Prat, a French vermouth. You can even buy huge glass jugs of house wine (equivalent to eight glasses) for $48.
443 W. Broadway, South Boston; 617-993-8080
It's a hip, New American eatery spinning an inventive assortment of small, medium and large plates, plus a creative cocktail program — all in a stylish space with a neo-Victorian, steampunk aesthetic. Not only does it lend some hipness to the neighborhood's pub-drenched landscape, but it will also be a new brunch destination: Sunday service (11 AM–3 PM) kicks off on March 13, just in time to accommodate crowds during the St. Patrick's Day parade on March 20.
81 L St., South Boston; 617-765-8836
It's all about seafood and charcuterie at this joint, which opened at the end of December. The Maiden is sweetly serving up an extensive selection of raw-bar eats, cheese, locally sourced salumi and terrines, plus cordial-based cocktails and wine amid whitewashed brick walls and communal tables.
28 W. Broadway, South Boston; 617-315-7829
This South Boston newcomer housed inside a former copper foundry is a multifaceted operation offering something for pretty much every hour of the day. There's a 350-seat dining room (with two fixed food trucks serving separate menus), coffee bar and cafe to draw daytime java junkies, and a 100-ft. bar, made of reclaimed wood and ship hull, around which craft-beer-imbibing night owls perch. Oh, there's also a ground-level patio and rooftop deck, soon to spring (get it?) back into action. On St. Patrick's Day, March 17, the restaurant will open at 7 PM and serve some Irish classics from the food trucks, plus themed drink specials. (It will be closed during the day for a private event.) And on Sunday, March 20, Coppersmith will open at 8 AM for a day-long "Parade Kickoff Party" with brunch specials in the cafe (including a "Hangover Special" with corned beef hash) and Guinness cocktails at the bar.
40 W. Third St., South Boston; 617-658-3452
In August this Southie entry from the Five Horses Tavern team came galloping out of the gates as a handsome, vaguely racetrack-themed hangout featuring elevated American pub grub like pizzas, inventive hot dogs and Boston “spuckies,” or submarine sandwiches. The name nods to a historic hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York, owner Dylan Welsh's hometown and the site of a historic thoroughbred horse racing track that has long lured summer tourists. Some original coasters from the hotel are inlaid at the 28-seat bar, also topped with hundreds of shiny pennies, where you'll find 100 whiskeys as well as craft beers from 40 rotating taps.
22 W. Broadway, South Boston; 617-752-4206
Chef Asia Mei brings together American East Coast cookery, Far East flavors and a penchant for street food under one roof. The result? Tantalizing snacks like lamb meatballs with habanero-date jam, jalapeño and crab Rangoon with spicy honey, and Korean BBQ tacos with Asian pear kimchi. True to its name, the moon shines well into night, offering a rare-for-the-area late-night menu until 1:30 AM. But on Sunday, March 20, Moonshine will open early for the parade. You'll find some guest "leprechauns" doling out Jell-O shots and Guinness while the crowd munches on a special St. Patrick's Day–inspired food menu that includes corned beef sandwiches and Irish banger English muffin pizzas.
152 Dorchester Ave., South Boston; 617-752-4191
Baja-inspired Mexican eats are the main draw to this buzzy South Boston joint, the middle child of the Capo and Lincoln Tavern family. The stylish, rustic-chic space draws a singles' scene to the 62-ft. bar, and the flirty conversation is lubricated by the 41-variety tequila and mezcal list, often employed in margaritas and other funky cocktails with housemade juices.
412 W. Broadway, South Boston; 617-917-5626
From Back Bay to the South End to South Boston, all the Stephanie's restaurants draw strong neighborhood crowds. But this Southie sibling may be the most spirited: it's usually a motley mix of thirtysomething professionals dining post-work (the restaurant is situated atop the Broadway T stop) and day drinking on weekends. That'll certainly be the case on Sunday, March 20, when brunch will run for 10 AM–2 PM for hungry parade spectators. Stephi's will also offer a special menu on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, that includes a corned beef and cabbage dinner and thematic cocktails like the "Erin Go Bragh," a combo of Guinness, Dr. McGillicuddy’s and Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey.
130 Dorchester Ave., South Boston; 617-345-5495
It's been over three years since opening, but Lincoln still earns its spot among hot Southie joints. It deserves credit for being a relative forerunner in the neighborhood's resurgent dining scene, and the team behind it made hay on this first hit by going on to open Loco Taqueria and, most recently, Capo. Each has their own identity, and Lincoln's take on elevated American tavern fare — buttressed by some incredibly popular pizzas — combines with a boisterous bar scene to create a new Southie stalwart. (Expect some live music, including bagpipers, on parade day.)
425 W. Broadway, South Boston; 617-765-8636