Looking for pre- and postgame entertainment? The neighborhoods surrounding the Boston-area sports venues offer a wide array of options.Fenway Park
Home of: Boston Red Sox
Getting there: Don’t even think about driving. Seriously. Don’t. Just hop on any Green Line train — except the E — to Kenmore Station. From there, it’s a quick left on Brookline Avenue and a three-minute walk to the Park.
Pregame: Food and drink are expensive inside Fenway, so grab a bite beforehand. Boylston Street is loaded with restaurants ranging from high-end steak houses like Abe & Louie’s (793 Boylston St., www.abeandlouies.com) to more casual fare at Dillon’s (955 Boylston St., www.dillonsboston.com). Closer to Fenway, take a stroll behind the Green Monster down Lansdowne Street to La Verdad (1 Lansdowne St., www.laverdadtaqueria.com) for fish tacos. Or simply get an Italian sausage from one of the carts behind the wall.
Postgame: Just a few feet away from Fenway is the Cask ’n Flagon (62 Brookline Ave., www.casknflagon.com), a favored spot for a postgame beer. The more erudite may want a cocktail at Eastern Standard (528 Commonwealth Ave., www.easternstandardboston.com), which used to be home to the Rathskeller — once upon a time Boston’s favorite
punk rock dive. Toast the Pixies while enjoying a whiskey smash.
Home of: Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins
Getting there: Take the Green Line to North Station and follow the commuters right up to the arena steps.
Pregame: Make a day of it with a trip to the Institute of Contemporary Art (100 Northern Ave., www.icaboston.org) followed by a drink at Drink (348 Congress St., www.drinkfortpoint.com). Don’t feel intimidated by the offerings; their knowledgeable bartenders will size you up and set you right. If the weather’s agreeable, take a walk up the new Kennedy Greenway, where you can either check out the waterfront restaurants for seafood or venture into the North End for the many Italian offerings.
Postgame: The Four’s (166 Canal St., www.thefours.com) is the place to be after the game for a pint. One of Boston’s best sports bars, it’s been a postgame institution for years, drawing fans, media members and even the occasional team employee. The more adventurous may want to head to The Liberty Hotel (215 Charles St., www.libertyhotel.com), formerly home of the Charles Street Jail and now a late-night hot spot.
Home of: New England Patriots
Getting there: The MBTA offers a special Football Train to the stadium on game days that leaves from South Station and costs $15 round-trip.
Pregame: If you’re going to the game, chances are you’ll find yourself at Patriots Place, the outdoor mall adjacent to the stadium. Davio’s (236 Patriot Place, www.davios.com) and Skipjacks (226 Patriot Place, www.skipjacks.com) offer upscale options, and there’s also a Five Guys (269 Patriot Place, www.fiveguys.com) for burgers and fries. If you can’t get a ticket, Stadium Bar and Grill (232 Old Colony Ave., www.stadiumbars.com) in South Boston will make you feel like you’re the one catching touchdown passes from Tom Brady. Just don’t root for the Jets. Ever.
Postgame: If you’re heading back to Boston, the South End beckons with its diverse array of restaurants. Giacomo’s (431 Columbus Ave., www.giacomosblog-boston.blogspot.com) offers Italian delights in an intimate setting, while Toro (1704 Washington St., www.toro-restaurant.com) serves up tasty tapas. The always excellent Hamersley’s Bistro (553 Tremont St., www.hamersleysbistro.com) is renowned for its sublime chicken.
PAUL FLANNERY lives in Cambridge, Mass., where he writes about Boston sports for WEEI.com and teaches journalism at Boston University. He still thinks Bill Lee should have pitched down the stretch in 1978.