skip nav  

Boston Arms, Tufnell Park

back to pub details

user reviews of the Boston Arms, Tufnell Park

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

great if your one of their mates you might get served
Pubpunk2018 - 17 Jun 2018 19:54
I visited "The Dome" a music venue/club located upstairs above this pub many a time during my youth, but never knowingly went into the pub itself until last night. It's a little spit & sawdust but I quite like the odd rough & ready boozer, if you don't - this probably isn't the place for you. It was about half-full on a Saturday night and my friend and I managed to bag a table under a telly, so we could watch MOTD with the sound off whilst listening to a pretty entertaining Irish folk band do their thing at the far end. Service was quick and cheerful and the beer (the lesser seen Holsten Vier) was cold, crisp and very cheap (two pints for £5.20, beat that in this neck of the woods if you can!). Clientele seems to be a range of regulars that treat the place like a second home, but crucially don't give you any grief if you are a newcomer, so in review this is a solid, if nothing special pub that offers great value beer and has some semblance of atmosphere but which probably won't appeal to those of you with a taste for the more refined gastropubs an bars that seem to have taken hold over the vast majority of North London. I however quite like it. So there!
Mr.Monkfish - 9 Aug 2015 17:36
A handler's lair.
tufnellparka - 18 Sep 2013 15:03
Glad to see this pub now does an ale. Great boozer, I wish all Irish pubs could be as good as this place. The staff are also experienced and helpful when it comes to organising events in their large back room.
Richard_ReadingFC - 3 Jul 2012 16:38

I heard from someone in another pub that the Boston Arms does karaoke on every Friday night.I live in Leyton in East London and it takes over an hour to get there.I checked it on the internet before I left my house.It just said "Karaoke 19th August 2011 from 10.00pm at the Boston Arms Tufnell Park",nothing else.When I got there at 9.40pm,I bought a drink,found a karaoke book,filled out the slip as I've done in 83 other karaoke venues and handed it to the DJ.There was only a blackboard saying "Karaoke" Friday nights in the pub.The DJ rejected my slip,telling me that it was a competition and that I couldn't sing there.He said there should not have been a karaoke book on the table but there was.My complaints are firstly that their website did not say this was a competition night and it should have done.The board in the pub should have said it was karaoke only for competitors who had taken part before,but again,the board said nothing about that.There was no advertisement in the window of the pub.I have emailed them asking them how on earth do they expect people to know if they don't advertise it properly?I am sick to death of travelling all over London to badly organised karaoke evenings.It is bad enough that a lot of pubs are closing down,but the ones that are still open should advertise their events properly.They could easily do that by advertising it on karaoke pub venue websites or on this one ".I was so annoyed that having found out that there was another pub up the road at Archway,called "The Lion" doing a karaoke on a Friday night,I left immediately after having my drink.Suffice to say the DJ at that pub knew me from a karaoke pub venue " in Walthamstow,which is properly advertised.You cannot expect that people are psychic and know what is going on in their pub if they do not put up sufficient information.I cannot understand why some pubs that do have a karaoke evening do not put posters up.I does not take long to print out a few posters to advertise it and then it avoids confusion and disappointment.
Yours Sincerely,
David Berlevy.
DavidHenry - 20 Aug 2011 02:33
This is a great pub. I come from Glasgow and I have been visiting this area from 1996 till now on a regular basis. I use this pub as a local when I am in Tufnell Park because its just round the corner from the place I stay when I visit. It's just a traditional pub with no frills, but it's great to watch the football, especially when the champions leagues on during week nights. They also show the Celtic games live on ESPN which is a bonus for me. Never had any trouble with the locals or bar staff and the prices are excellent. Cheaper for a beer hear than it is in Glasgow. Hope this place never closes and it's my last port of call for a few pints before I get the train home from euston.
JohnM776 - 17 Jul 2010 11:43
I went to this pub for the first on a Saturday afternoon and I won't be going anywhere near the place again. It was was packed as Arsenal were playing, it was smelly and unclean, I didn't want to drink out of their glasses most of the punters were drunk and using offensive language. When I did managed to get to the packed bar it got worse, very aggressive and hostile. I used the toilet which was filthy and left. I felt like I need a shower after entering the place. The worse pub that I have ever been in.
Knowles429 - 29 Mar 2010 16:53
great pub good prices and good vibe will be back again to watch footie
gooneer - 7 Oct 2009 12:16
I agree with the post below, and totally disagree with the one two below
A decent old school pub, with a blinding pint of Guinness.
A mix of locals that are friendly enough and talk to strangers as well as the other locals
Hopefully this pub will never change
tottenhamsean - 31 Aug 2009 13:41
I like this place, I have been many times, but only at lunchtimes, it's frequented by a lot of retired Irish workers.
The beer is £2 a pint and the large delicious rolls are only a £1.
The owner puts on free Christmas lunch for the regulars.
I suspect the poor reviews are from occasional visitors who sit in the corner moaning whilst supping the cheap beer.
Check out bag man, who is there nearly every day.
These types of places are disappearing fast, only to be replaced by pubs that are too expensive and lack character.

Argonarc - 18 Aug 2009 23:14
Moseley - 18 Aug 2009 14:02
There are some pubs that are rotten, but in a good way. This isn't one of them. In fact it's quite a depressing experience coming here. The one good thing about the place is that it's cheap - but believe me you get what you pay for! Gotta agree with Strongers comments below about the unwelcoming feel and the disinterested barstaff. The staff seem quite friendly with their (downbeat) regulars, but are full of 'attitude' when they - eventually - serve me. The smell in there is horrible (smoking was definitely a good thing for this place!) and you feel like you need to wash your clothes if you sit down, the seats are so grubby. Naturally it shows all the sports - it's an Arsenal pub, and when they're on it can get even more nasty than usual. I'm writing this as a way of reminding myself just how grim the joint is and why I don't want to step foot in there ever again. 1/10 (for the cheap beer)
puppyfeat - 22 May 2009 13:13
Ok average boozer.
Tubeboy - 9 May 2009 09:20
Can anyone tell me if this is the boston arms, where Matt Munro used to sing before he became famous.
dinnymurf - 24 Mar 2009 02:41
I LOVE THIS PLACE! I was living in Tufnell Park for 6months from January -May 92'. I didnt know a soul in london, went there for an internship through college. I went there my first nite to grab a beer, and I pretty much never left! lol I went there every day, it was like my second home. Everyone was soooo nice and friendly, the customers, the bartenders, even the manager! I would never have survived without the Arms! I met so many people there and am still in contact with some of them! It was the best times! I went back again the following year and it was like I never left! And the club next door was awesome too! I want to go back to the Arms someday! You can bet if I'm ever back in London again I will! I LOVE U BOSTON ARMS!
SillySally - 6 Mar 2009 20:21
This place was very busy on Friday evening with students and drunken old men. There are plenty of plasma screens, two pool tables (one of which was out of use) and a dart board tucked away in the corner. The pub itself is open plan and it has a grubby unwelcoming feel to it.

John Smiths, Guinness, Bulmers and standard lagers are all available from the disinterested bar staff.

I donít think that Iíll be venturing into here again in the near future.
Strongers - 9 Dec 2008 13:06
Iím not a fan of Irish pubs and bars at the best of times but this was one of the most depressing, miserable and intimidating pubs that I have been in. Unappealing from the outside with signs promoting cheap drinks (£2 a pint before 7 Monday to Friday) which naturally act as a magnet for the local drunks and society drop outs. The plain and dull interior revolves around the multiple (I counted at least 5) plasma TVís that screen wall to wall racing, football and Gaelic sports. Neither the pub nor its inhabitants display any degree of charm or friendliness and some of the groups looked like they could be quite threatening if you glanced in the wrong direction. The only attraction on the beer front is the prices and, like most Irish bars, the place is off limits for Ale drinkers. The wait to be served was doubly agonizing knowing that the plethora of drunks gathered at the bar appeared ready to engage in some form of indistinguishable conversation. Naturally the regulars are served first and the staff seemed to be adverse to anything that resembles table clearing. I am sure the regular punters have a whale of a time here every night but Iím afraid cheap beer and cliquey clentelle does not make a great pub to an outsider and unless you are part of the crowd, as most posters below appear to be, there is little in the Boston Arms to be recommended
RogerB - 1 Dec 2008 16:15
Great pub, I used to use it when I lived in the area in 2001/2002. I now live in Winchmore Hill, so these days I only come down for big Arsenal matches as I know there will be a good atmosphere there.

Its a bit rough and ready, but I like that - a proper Irish boozer - and I have never been made to feel unwelcome there despite not really being a local anymore.

I can see a day when pubs like this are a thing of the past, the area is becoming more middle class every year - and there are no more working class Irish immigrants coming to the area - now its mostly Muslims who don't drink and so don't frequent pubs.

Enjoy it while you still can!
WinchmoreGooner30 - 3 Jun 2008 15:02
Great, noisy, family type place. Amazingly cheap, friendly bar staff, great place to watch the football. Nice vibe.
stuartw - 6 Apr 2008 14:44
Proper Irish boozer, great people, cheap beer and they show every Arsenal game :)
BazzApfle - 24 Feb 2008 13:33
I like the Boston, the Guinness is superb.
Can be a bit rough and ready,but its part of the make up of the place.
I have been using this pub off and on for 22 years
(back then it was for a few pints and then up stairs to see rock legends like the Business and Indecent Exposure)
tottenhamsean - 13 Jan 2008 17:40
The Boston is my local and I wouldnít swap it for the world. Itís nice and cheap and Iím in here for most footy matches (especially Liverpool).
The wife moans about how often I spend in here but at least she knows where I am. Itís not like thereís any totty to cavort with!
Only complaint is it doesnít have one of those little rainbow flags outside.

brian_lallaway - 29 Nov 2007 17:59
We went in there some time ago and met a man called John Hickman who thought he owned the place. We got up and left as all he would do was boast about how much he gets in benifits and spends it in the pub. As for the people moaning about the kids, go elsewhere and pay almost double. You can't knock The Boston when its so cheap. You will get a few undesirables because of the price. If it was a tenner a pint you would only get the breed of bankers that have moved into the area. And with them, it wouldnt be a CD they were offering out of a bag it would be a line of coke. So, at just over one fifty a pint its definatly good value for money. As for the kids, its an Irish pub and they are family orientated.
payback - 22 Jul 2007 19:13
Only worth going to if you're going to the excellent Dirty Water club on a Friday evening next door, or if you're in the area and its the only place open as its got a late licence.

Otherwise stay away unless you like fights and karaoke nights.
whiskeydrum - 22 Apr 2007 19:12
Extremely cheap guinness - #2.40. Extremely smoky. No proper ale. Dirty Water Club next door is recommended for bands on a Friday night.
Wilson_MacDonald - 27 Feb 2007 07:03
This is my local boozer im in there basically every day and all weekend and is the best pub in London. You find yourself getting caught up in some great sessions here and it hassen't given in to the gastro pub take over. It has cheap drinks and the people in there are quality. I agree with some comments if your not a local and you dont know any one in there try another boozer. The fights just add to the atmosphere. The staff are top quality too.
Its everything you want from a boozer sport, darts, pool, kareoke What more can you ask for. In fact im gonna pop in there now and have a nice cheap pint and a beef and tomato roll. Lovely
Bissell - 19 Feb 2007 13:42
decent, solid boozer. much needed in the area
tufnellparka - 5 Jan 2007 21:11
Bog standard boozer - not too good; not too bad. Wouldn't go out of my way to visit it again, but there are worse pubs in the area.
Crow_Valley - 28 Dec 2006 22:59
Agree with the last comment, on the surface it's not got a lot to recommend - no ales and a rough and ready feel. But in a way it has a nice independent old-boozer feel to it. And it was capped by watching a young east asian lady flog rip-off DVDs out of a carrier bag to the punters!
OldRogue - 28 Dec 2006 13:40
I agree with Slipperduke - gowever I think that's kind of what gives the place it's charm...

I used to work up the road from here about 5 years ago and it's good to see that not much has changed!
hammondshamster - 11 Dec 2006 14:22
Best place i know of for a late night cheap pint - The karaoke competition is good for a laugh and the regulars add a certain je ne sais quoi. Great
simplythehesse - 13 Oct 2006 16:10
I went here to watch Arsenal - Sp*rs a couple of years ago and there was a near full on riot when the enemy scored. Watch a bit of 3pm Saturday footy, but look out if it's a north london derby, you're a t*ttenham fan and you've just scored! Great pub, they'd do a great trade in riot gear if they bothered to stock.
anonymous - 7 Oct 2006 23:34
go there to watch champions leagues games because they ahave a different one on each tv. other than that nah. if you aint Irish you get dodgy looks
cantonacantona - 21 Aug 2006 17:41
This pub is sort of like the friendly, but mentally damaged, person who accosts you in the supermarket.

You'd never describe it as being impressive, but it's fairly harmless and clearly barking mad.

It's full of mad old Irishmen, mad old slappers, mad young chavs, mad young chavettes and the occasional bewildered looking stranger. They tend to have all the TVs tuned into Celebrity Ice Dancing and turned up and you can always hear someone screaming in the background for some reason.

One to avoid unless you're in a sympathetic and understanding kind of mood.
Slipperduke - 1 Jun 2006 20:37
HELL HOLE.. nunny girls kids and just one to menny old wanna be men ..... if you can get passed this pub just keep walking ,,,
anonymous - 20 Apr 2006 20:34
mobojo - 4 Oct 2005 16:56
Fairly grotty late-night boozer. Strange mixture of old Irish drunks, students, blokes in baseball caps playing pool and people who just need a drink post-11.20pm. Relaxed atmosphere where your generally left alone.
gjc - 1 Aug 2005 10:50
absolutley brilliant pub. i love the club next door too(the dome).

drumandmonkeyfan - 23 Feb 2005 14:08
A great spit and sawdust boozer and immune form the souless gastro pubs with people sitting in armchairs reading the Guardian.Recommend going in there when the Arsenal are playing has a community feel to it
Hamhead - 10 Dec 2004 13:41
I use this pub most nights as I am lodging down here. A definate case of a pub you need to get used to, it's bark is worse than it's bite.Good for the footy, thats if you can watch more than one match at a time. Bar staff could be a bit quicker and the larger colder.
gerry - 3 Nov 2004 12:44
what happened to the tall dark good looking irish barman i think his name was john can anybody tell me what happened to him
ted - 11 Oct 2004 03:16
This is the best pub in N.19 - forget the rest, come to the best, the atmosphere is terrific especially friday nights with the karaoke.
Laura - 21 Jun 2004 01:24
i remember it opened very late, which is a GOOD THING
anonymous - 2 Jun 2004 16:14
this pub is of the best pubs i have been 2. the friday nights r very good n fun, the drinks are very cheap compare to most pubs.the staff r very nice, the pub is big and nice. i highly rate this pub A+++++++++
Niall - 19 Apr 2004 20:34
A class little pub, not as rough as people make out. All types ine here and a god vibe
Barry - - 26 Mar 2004 00:55
be there manny time, if you have kids out on a friday and a sat night just look here and you will find them,good fun on a friday seeing all the wannabes thinking this is the night for them, i can`t sing but i would not get up just to let every one no it,but its good to see so menny oldy and kids in one room , can be rough so times.
keith f - 22 Mar 2004 13:18
There's something unique about this pub that makes me smile... being on the site of Victorian Baths, the shape of it and looking in from the outside, the electrifying and unpredictable rough-but-very-friendly and welcoming atmosphere, bygone memories of table-football thrashings (bring it back!), but best of all the Karaoke on a friday night, which is a scream and feels exactly like being a contestant on The Generation Game - all jolly good fun!
Bert - 23 Feb 2004 10:54
we love the boston, the bar staff are gorgoeus, especially the little blonde one who cant pour guiness to save her life!
jamie - 27 Jan 2004 20:55
The Boston is a place one must master. Like anything important it is difficult and intimidating at first, but once mastered is as rewarding as it is addictive
Lukey G - 4 Jan 2004 17:38
Great for watching Arsenal games in, cheap beer, friendly people, and hasn't been colonise by any trendies yet. Apart from :)
Barry Apple - 16 Dec 2003 18:58
By no means the best pub in the area. I think the Admiral Mann on the other end of Brecknock Road's a better pub, and the Pineapple in Kentish is better. They have real ale which the Boston does not, and they attract a more peaceable clientele. Try out these other pubs and see for yourselves.
lad_newton - 18 Sep 2003 19:24
Truely awesome. Life in all its glorious and decrepit splendor for everyone to see.

Plus late bar + cheap pints.
Steve - 18 Sep 2003 17:44
go in there, have a cheap pint, laugh at/merge with the elder-irish, eventually get depressed, your laughing

3 or more convenient entrances/exits
Dorris Higgons - - 8 Aug 2003 01:04
been using pub for years,never seen a fight is only £1:60 mon to fri till is cheap, staff can be great or grim.great place for late beer.
goonerob - 6 Aug 2003 00:01
good for footie on the multiple screens but that's about it. It's full of seedy old men and other dodgy folk.
jim - 19 Jul 2003 15:47
5 large screens for sport.
quiz machine/game.
pool table.
dart board.
teams for both pool and darts play in local leagues.
barry cerasoli - 7 Jul 2003 16:58
what about the pool table?.
karoke on Friday night? holiday for 2 to win'''. Disco saturday
night and live Irish/rock music
Sunday evening.
barry - 4 Jul 2003 14:40
Father Jack Hackett would fit right in. A melting pot of Anglo-Irish co-habitation, all home nations games played on a multitude of tellies. Nice crisps and a spanking new sign befitting such a palace.
Mickey - 8 Apr 2003 15:36
My favourite local, and don't I love it - lively bunch in here plus there are loads of tellies so you can't fail to miss the football.

Right next to the bus and tube as well, so convenient.
Chris - 8 Apr 2003 14:03
On the subject of celebrities - Sylvester McCoy sometimes drinks there as well.
Joe - 7 Apr 2003 14:31
I thought it charmingy quaint. Proper English like. Warm beer, hotly dressed mature ladies serving behind the bar. It's great!
Juan Kerr - 4 Apr 2003 17:06
Full of red faced, peanut brittle wino's and the stickiest carpet in town.First timer may sense undertone of apocalyptic menace,but this soon washes away with the guinness!every arsenal game on the plasma screens.Also top celeb hang out.Recently spotted Trigger and George Dawes watching the gunners
Mike - 4 Apr 2003 15:53
Cheap pints, late licence, surly staff, scary old Irish drunks and disgustingly filthy toilets... what more could you possibly ask for? One of the last bastions of integrity and tradition in North London. It should be a National Heritage site.
Joe - 3 Apr 2003 17:03
definately the best 'proper' boozer in north london - don't forget your shell suit though.
john reeves - 3 Mar 2003 19:09
Used to visit that pub when dragged kicking & screaming by "friends" desperate for a drink after 11. The atmosphere is however quite uninviting and intimidating at times, and fights and arguments amongst patrons are never too far away. Do not visit on your own at weekends or late at night.
lad_newton - 24 Feb 2003 17:48
The only pub I know where the bar staff are usually as inebriated as the customers. Unattractive, unusual decor and strange customers only heighten the idea that you have stumbled into one of the best boozers in the world.

Words do not do it justice. If this pub was a dog you'd want to hug it but be a bit frightened as to where it had been
rooey - 5 Dec 2002 10:45
This is one of my favourite pubs in North London. It isn't a pretty place or particularly trendy, just a proper Irish boozer. Friday night is karaoke night and it is one of the most entertaining nights you can have. Very friendly atmosphere and pretty cheap Guinness.
Richard Crawte - 4 Dec 2002 12:19
sorry that should have been attractive matches COMMA occasional tramps. the kind of matches u light cigarettes with.
keith - 24 Oct 2002 15:55
top quality, open late, attractive matches occasional tramps
keith chegwin - 24 Oct 2002 15:36

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.