The Model Café—which is a bar, not a café—is a family-owned joint with vintage fittings and unpretentious service. It’s a no-frills kind of place, but attractive, and with reasonably priced hooch that doesn’t try to be anything other than booze. It became the meet-up for Allston and beyond’s rock community, and the college crowd, too. It became hip. A scene. None of which has gone to its head. The sidewalk smokers outside are almost as much a thing as hanging out inside. There’s a jukebox, sometimes there are DJs and other events. It’s simply a place to let go, even the bit about being hip, and drink.
Like most modern cities, Boston has been losing its dive bars at an alarming rate. Those that endure are worth seeking out. Some are simply nice neighborhood bars that haven’t been updated—ever, apparently; some are modern versions with good food and craft beers; some are eclectic, shabby-chic haunts. But all dive bars are places where you can come as you are, relax, and not worry about a big bar tab. In return, customers take these bars as they are: gruff service, messy bathrooms, etc. Really, if there’s one rule to follow in a dive bar, it’s keep your complaints to yourself. Dive bars pair perfectly with a night at one of the best music venues in Boston, best comedy clubs in Boston, or best sports bars in Boston.
RECOMMENDED: See the full list of the best bars in Boston