It seems like every new drinking spot that opens in Boston these days is an upscale take on this or an inventive take on that, and while that's all well and good, it can cause people to overlook some of the old-fashioned neighborhood drinking establishments that add some real character to the region. Take the Lazy Dog Sports Bar in Lynn, for example; this Wyoma Square watering hole is just over 10 miles from the glitzy hotspots of the Seaport District, but it feels like it could be 200 miles away since it is so different from nearly any restaurant or bar in that immediate area, and while South Boston (which technically includes the Seaport District) still has a few local joints that have a somewhat similar feel to the Lazy Dog, those places are disappearing at an alarming rate, while some of the ones that haven't aren't quite as local-feeling as they once were. That's why if you like old-school taverns that feel like the Boston of yesteryear, you sometimes have to get out of the city itself and head to places like Lynn that is full of hidden gems such as this one.
The Lazy Dog resides in an old-feeling and relatively quiet part of Lynn, and one that is home to a few well-worn spots including the terrific Four Winds Bar and Grill which is a short walk up Broadway and Mino's Roast Beef, which is basically across the street from Four Winds and which is a regional fave among lovers of North Shore-style roast beef sandwiches. Similar in some ways to Four Winds, the Lazy Dog doesn't have the terrific waterside location of the former but it does have the same type of comfortable old charm with a retro beer bar lantern hanging out front, a sign out back with a picture of a cartoon bulldog and the term "full lottery" below it (perhaps in reference to Keno, which is a big draw here), and a familiar setup inside that includes a wraparound bar that dominates the space, a dining area to the left complete with booths and wood paneling, and TVs everywhere that will be tuned into the local sports games and with what appears to be a preference to the Bruins, which seems to be par for the course when it comes to dive bars and neighborhood joints. Many locals tend to eat at the bar at the Lazy Dog, though if you're not in a social mood you may want to grab a table instead, because both the staff and the patrons here are more than willing to talk your ear off unlike some bars where you're basically left alone if that's what you want.
The cities, towns, and neighborhoods to the immediate north of downtown Boston are sometimes known as "steak tip country," with such places as Kelley Square Pub in East Boston, Newbridge Cafe and Floramo's in Chelsea, Stewart's in Everett, and Pearl Street Station in Malden being just a few good options for them. The Lazy Dog is often mentioned in the same breath as that of the Newbridge and Floramo's, and for good reason, as both the meat and the marinade are as good as you'll find and their being cooked on a blazing-hot grill gives that char that make this regional dish such a tasty one. Oddly enough, turkey tips aren't on the regular menu here, but if you're looking to do a combo plate, the steak tips and chicken fingers plate is a solid option as is the steak tips and baked beans (a true Boston-style plate), and for something really unique, you can order steak tips with Italian sausage that has been cut and flattened into what almost looks like a filet of pork--which is what it is, really--and which may be the best combo plate of the lot. The daily specials menu has some of the best options other than the steak tips here, including a slightly sweet chili with lots of ground beef and beans, a huge prime rib that, when offered, may be one of the most popular items here, a retro burger than costs well under $10, a traditional fish and chips plate with tartar sauce, a meatball sub on a six-inch roll, and an old-fashioned lasagna served with garlic bread. The steak tips are hard to beat at the The Lazy Dog, but one item on the everyday menu that comes close is the plate of wings, which are served Buffalo-style or with duck sauce, with the Buffalo wings actually rivaling some of the best in the entire Boston area, which makes it a shame in a way that steak tips and wings aren't offered as a combo plate. Drink offerings include your basic beer, wine, spirits, and mixed drink options, most of which are priced relatively low.
While being a true local hangout where people tend to know each other (and where bartenders know the names of many of the customers), the Lazy Dog is a pretty laid-back and friendly place where outsiders are made to feel welcome, and the dining area is actually pretty family-friendly, which isn't the case with all neighborhood taverns. It may not have modern takes on comfort food, or cocktails that include miso or egg whites, but this is a real find that should be on the short list of anyone who is looking for a simple place to go for food and drink, and one that won't even come close to breaking the bank.
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