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Shays Pub & Wine Bar

58 JFK St

Cambridge, MA 02138

Shay’s is the type of little basement pub where you expect to hear fiddle music. But you could be coming here for more than just beer and a tuna melt. Specifically, you should come here because it’s one of the best places in Harvard Square for affordable wine, with a ton of glasses that are under $9, bottles under $30, and half-bottles if you don’t want to commit. It has a small but nice front patio with umbrella tables when the weather’s nice, too.

Shay’s in Harvard Square calls itself both a pub and a wine bar. If you think those terms are mutually exclusive, you’re right, and the pub definitely wins out over the wine bar at this underground spot. It’s covered with beer ads and has a wooden bar that looks like it might’ve been shipped over from Cork. But despite feeling like a place where fiddle music might break out any moment, it actually does have a wine list that’s very much worth exploring since almost half of it features bottles under $30, and it has plenty of half-bottle options as well. Whatever you’re drinking, you should enjoy it on the shaded patio out front if it’s nice out.

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