Download GPX file for this article
42.33596-71.04773Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

South Boston (almost universally referred to as "Southie" by locals) is densely populated – known for three deckers and rowhouses, there are single family homes in the neighborhood too. Its residents, mostly of Irish heritage or from Ireland itself, are famous in town for their love of and loyalty for their neighborhood.

Over the years, South Boston has changed rather dramatically. Back in the 1970s, local opposition to busing made front-page headlines across the nation, and the reputation of Boston in general and Southie in particular suffered as a result. While the Southie lifestyle depicted in recent films like Mystic River and The Departed persists, the neighborhood is quite different from how it used to be. Gentrification has come to several areas, particularly the waterfront, which is now home to the new Boston convention center, several nearby hotels and upscale restaurants, and the Institute for Contemporary Art. Debate continues about whether the redevelopment of the waterfront is succeeding in turning the area into a real neighborhood, and what effect gentrification is having on the long-time residents of Southie. But in spite of these challenges, the old-time community spirit hasn't been crushed, and the traditions of Southie continue to this day.

Note that South Boston is a different neighborhood than the similarly named South End.

Get in

By subway

Red Line: Broadway and Andrew stations serve South Boston. JFK-UMass station is in neighboring Dorchester, but is very closer to the border with South Boston.

By bus

Routes SL1 and SL2 of the Silver Line bus rapid transit service go to the South Boston waterfront. Courthouse, World Trade Center, and Silver Line Way stations are served by both routes. The SL2 route continues through South Boston to the Black Falcon Pier, while the SL1 continues to Logan Airport.

Routes 5, 7, 9, 10, and 11 also serve South Boston.

By car

Exit 25 of Interstate 90 and Exit 16 of Interstate 93 serve South Boston.


  • Year round, a visitor can find residents strolling up and down Broadway doing their shopping and greeting their neighbors.
  • Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), 100 Northern Avenue (T: Courthouse or World Trade Center), +1 617-478-3100. 10-5 Tues/Wed/Sat/Sun, 10-9 Thurs/Fri. Formerly located in a cramped and tiny building next to a firehouse in the Back Bay, the ICA moved to its new home in 2006. The modernist building is the first new art museum to be built in Boston in over 100 years, and allowed the ICA to launch its first permanent collection. The permanent collection is small, but there are always temporary exhibitions taking place with works from up-and-coming artists. The Water Cafe in the building features food by Wolfgang Puck Catering. $15 general, $10 students and seniors.


  • Visit Boston Harbor Islands National Park by ferry from Dock #10, Drydock Av., off Summer Street, at EDIC Pier, Phone: 617-223-8666, [1].
  • Southie boasts miles of beaches and waterfront parks that culminate in Castle Island. There, visitors can enjoy the Revolutionary War era fort, get a bite to eat at Sullivan’s, play in the playground, fish off the pier, or simply take a stroll.
  • St. Patrick's Day Parade (T: Broadway or Andrew). The St. Patrick's Day parade in Southie is a longstanding Bostonian tradition, attended by hundreds of thousands of people every year. Check ahead for the starting time, and plan to arrive hours in advance if you want to stake out a spot. Parking is a nightmare: taking the T is strongly recommended. In recent years, the police have been cracking down on public drunkenness, so save the drinking for later that day.



  • Amrhein's, West Broadway. welcoming, delicious, and the oldest hand-carved bar in America.
  • Barking Crab, 88 Sleeper St, +1 617-426-CRAB (2722). MBTA: Red line to South Station. Excellent seafood and American cuisine. Outdoor dining in a clam shack atmosphere, overlooks Boston Harbor and view of downtown. Kid friendly. Live music daily. $20.
  • Salvatores of Boston, 225 Northern Ave (Silver Line to Silver Line Way.), +1 617-737-5454. Upscale Italian food and great pizza.
  • LTK Bar and Kitchen, 225 Northern Ave (Silver Line to Silver Line Way), +1 617-330-7430. su-we 11AM-1AM thr-sat 11AM-2AM. Great seafood experience from Legal Sea Foods.
  • Cafe Polonia, 611 Dorchester Ave. (T: Andrew), +1 617-269-0110. 10AM-9PM Mon-Fri, 8AM-10PM Sat-Sun. Quite possibly the only Polish restaurant in Boston, but one of the better restaurants by any standard. Authentic Polish food at very reasonable prices, although it may be too authentic for some (e.g. the lard with bacon bits that's provided as a spread for bread). The place is very small, so reservations are recommended.
  • Barlow's Restaurant, 241 A St, +1 617-338-2142. M-W 11AM-11PM, Th-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su 10AM-11PM, kitchen closed 3PM-5PM. Extensive menu of traditional fare with a gourmet twist, offering brunch, lunch, and dinner, as well as homemade desserts and specialty cocktails. The menus feature fresh seafood, meat, pizza and pasta dishes. Housed in a renovated old mill with an outdoor patio.


Southie has a variety of bars and pubs and, more recently has been the location for some new restaurants.

  • 1 Harpoon Brewery, 306 Northern Avenue, toll-free: +1-888-427-7666 ext 522. Tastings Tu-Th at 4PM, F 2PM and 4PM, Sa 12PM,2PM, 4PM (limited capacity means you may be turned away, especially at 2PM and 4PM Saturday).. This is more of a one-hour tasting than a tour. Families welcome. Only those over 21 sample.
  • Morton's: The Steakhouse, World Trade Center East Two Seaport Lane (Silver Line to World Trade Center), +1 617-526-0410. A conservative dinner for two without drinks will run you about $150, not including tax and gratuity.

Southie also hosts one of Boston's only distilleries, known as GrandTen Distilling and where visitors can go on a tour and sample some of their products.





  • 2 Seaport Hotel, 1 Seaport Lane (at Northern Avenue), +1 617 385-4000, toll-free: +1-877-732-7678. One of the new deluxe hotels that's sprung up around the South Boston waterfront area in the past couple years.
  • 3 The Westin Boston Waterfront, 425 Summer Street, +1 617-532-4600. This AAA Four Diamond-rated hotel is located in Boston’s new waterfront district and is connected to the largest convention center in New England, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The Westin Boston Waterfront also features 80,000 square feet of meeting space on-property and 793 guest rooms and 31 suites over looking Boston Harbor.
  • 4 Boston Harbor Hotel, 70, Rowes Wharf (By the waterfront), +1 617 439 7000. Wake up to the sunrise over the harbor. Big swimming pool, fitness centre.


Go next

Routes through South Boston
CambridgeDowntown  N MBTA Red Line.png S  DorchesterBraintree

This district travel guide to South Boston is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.