This post is about Cheers, the famous Boston bar, its background, where to find it (there are 2 locations), and some tips on what to eat.
As local tour guides, we know that Cheers is what many would refer to as a tourist trap.
However, the food reviews are not too shabby, and as we know from our tour guests, sometimes you just need to satisfy the urge.
We also used some of the experiences from the roughly 16k members of our popular Boston Travel Tips Facebook group.
This group consists of locals, like our tour guides, veteran visitors to Boston, and newbies.
You don't need to be a member to read the posts, comments, and recommendations. So, visit the group when you are done reading this post.
The bar, which opened in 1969 and was originally named the Bull and Finch Pub, had been a quiet, low-profile, local watering hole.
That was until it was discovered by Hollywood in 1981 and premiered in 1982 as the bar Cheers for the TV show of the same name.
The show ran for 11 seasons and made the bar the most famous bar in Boston, maybe in all of the United States.
Today, you can take a stroll down the famous stairs and get yourself a beer or a drink named Mayday Malone and some good food.
Thomas A. Kershaw is the current owner of Cheers Boston, in a way, the real-life Sam Malone. He also owns the Hampshire House located upstairs from the bar.
They also have a gift shop with t-shirts, glasses, and other show paraphernalia.
The Cheers Bar Boston was the viewing site of the cast for the last episode of Cheers on May 20, 1993, when the entire cast was at the bar (a few were a bit tipsy after spending hours there) and that night they appeared on The Tonight Show.
The last episode of Cheers was the second most watched season finale in television history and is second only to the final episode of the TV show MASH.
According to an online survey held in 2013 by GQ magazine, Cheers was voted the best comedy show of all time.
There are usually flocks of tourists snapping photos of the exterior and when the show was still airing at least 3000 people per day would visit the bar.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
The following section will provide information to help you plan your trip to the Cheers bar.
WHERE IS THE ORIGINAL CHEERS BAR
The original Cheers bar sits on Beacon Street across from Boston’s Public Garden and below the Hampshire House.
If you are a fan of the show, then you cannot miss the building.
However you decide to get here, we recommend using this Google Maps link for directions to the bar.
If you are considering buying a hop-on-hop-off bus tour ticket, then keep in mind that all of the major companies have a stop at or within a short walk from both bars.
Hours of Operation
Children are allowed throughout most of the day, but you must be 21 or older and provide an ID for drinks at the bar.
- 11 am - 11 pm
- Open daily (except on Christmas)
- Kids welcome until 10 pm
Best Times to Visit
Thanks to the reasonable hours offered, it should be pretty easy to visit throughout the year.
That being said, there are certain times during the day when this location can get pretty busy.
And Cheers Boston does not accept reservations. Customers are served on a first-come, first-served basis.
As with most attractions in Boston, the Cheers bar gets quite popular during the day.
Visitors who want to avoid a large crowd should consider coming either in the morning or later at night.
Think about making a trip between the hours of 11 am - 1 pm or 9 pm - 11 pm.
Another factor to consider is that it tends to get busier during the weekend.
What to Expect
Depending on what you want to do while you’re here, you’ll want to set aside at least 30-75 minutes.
If you just want to see the bar, take pictures, and perhaps get a drink, you won’t need to spend a lot of time here.
However, if you’re planning on getting some food and enjoying the atmosphere, you should plan on spending at least an hour at the bar.
Speaking of food, they have a lot of different things to eat and drink on the menu.
For more information on this, make sure to check our section about picking the best food to order while you’re here.
In addition to everything you can enjoy at this historic bar, there are also a lot of things to see and do in the surrounding area.
HOW IS THE FOOD?
In addition to various drinks, there is a lot of great food available at Cheers.
Some of their menu items are actually named after characters in the show, while others reference landmarks and cultural aspects of Boston.
According to most guests, prices for their food and drinks are more than reasonable.
And considering that this location is a tourist draw, the food reviews are surprisingly good.
TIP: The Go Boston Card offers a 10% discount on lunch, dinner, and purchases made at the gift shop.
If you’re considering a tourist pass to save money on other activities, this is a nice bonus, especially if you are already planning on coming here.
The following foods are pretty popular among visitors:
The Norm Burger
Every popular restaurant has its own challenge nowadays, and at Cheers, that challenge is the Norm Burger.
If you finish this abnormally large hamburger with cheese, you’ll earn a spot on their Hall of Fame wall and the opportunity to take home your Norm Burger plate.
Fish & Chips
Many visitors indicate that this popular pub grub is perhaps the best dish served at Cheers.
Some have even said it’s the best fish and chips they’ve ever had!
This is another popular treat at Cheers, with many visitors reporting that their chicken wings are pretty good.
It probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that this Boston area bar has great clam chowder.
Many reviewers felt that it was an excellent and filling meal on a cold day.
Several reviews indicate that Sam Adams brews on tap are a very popular choice.
Considering that this drink is made in Boston, it isn’t too surprising that visitors enjoy getting a Sam Adams at Cheers.
QUINCY MARKET CHEERS REPLICA BAR
Boston’s second Cheers was located at Quincy Market (Faneuil Hall Marketplace) (map), and while it was not the actual bar, the interior was set up as an exact replica of the show's soundstage.
This location has unfortunately closed due to financial issues exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.