We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A Great Spot for Lunch That May Not Occur to You”
Review of The Port Tavern

The Port Tavern
Ranked #26 of 97 Restaurants in Newburyport
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Irish
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Groveland, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
125 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“A Great Spot for Lunch That May Not Occur to You”
Reviewed January 17, 2014

When my friend Dennis suggested we meet for lunch in Newburyport, I said sure and deferred to him, and his local knowledge, to choose the place. When he said The Port Tavern, I was skeptical. The last time I was at that location it was an Irish bar called Molly O'Something, and it was fair at best. Well things have changed on State Street. The tavern had a warm feel, complete with fireplace blazing, on a chilly, snowy Friday at noontime. We started with a couple Lagunitas Czech Pilsners, which they had on tap, along with about 20 other offerings. My friend explained to me that they have a new draft delivery system that ensures that the brews are always delivered through clean tubing and you never get a skunky draft. I had the Voodoo Chicken sandwich. It was blackened chicken, with gouda cheese and a zingy chili sauce, all parked on a great bun. It really hit the spot with me. Dennis went for the classic Reuben. It was loaded with corned beef, kraut, Swiss cheese and a special horseradish sauce that gave it a big push. I saw awesome looking burgers at other tables along with some good looking salads. The place got pretty busy by 12:30 and I could tell why. The food was all very good and it was reasonably priced. I never would have guessed that TPT would be a hopping lunch spot in town in January. I would imagine that dinner is just as good and that the place is packed during prime time. When summer comes back, I bet it is a very popular destination for lunch, dinner and late night. I was pleasantly surprised with my lunch at TPT. I will not wait several years to make a return viisit. I would suggest you stop in and give it a try. You will probably be as pleased as I was.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DT705
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

90 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    25
    36
    18
    6
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Nashua, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“You can do better”
Reviewed November 9, 2013

Today I came in with a dozen friends. I ordered a beer, and told the waitress I would order lunch after I received the beer. Ten minutes later a runner passed the drinks around, and no one took my order. Unbeknowst to me, my companions had ordered their food with their beer - I had asked the waitress if they were ordering food, and she replied "some were." Their food came around about 50 minutes later. In the meantime, no sign of the waitress coming back to take my order or to see if we needed anything else. I had planned to order a salad, but I didn't want to be eating by myself so I asked if I could just have a bowl of chili and a glass of water. She immediately brought me the chili, but I had to flag the runner and ask him for the glass of water - 10 minutes later. This was a problem since the only seasoning in the chili was salt - lots of salt.

The waitress never checked on us, asked how the meal was, asked if she could get us someting else (hot sauce, please?)

The Port Tavern was fairly busy. It has a Irish pub atmosphere and a great location. If it continues to treat customers as impostions, it will have to rely on one-time business from tourists. With so many better restaurants in town, good luck during mud season.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Stephen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mineola, Texas
Level Contributor
37 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great lunch”
Reviewed September 30, 2013 via mobile

Had a great lunch today at Port Tavern. I had the chicken, brie and pear sandwich on focaccia + sweet potato fries... fantastic. Wonderful waitress. We sat outside since we had a pup with us. Had a glass of bubbly and shared my mom's onion rings, too. I'd go back to try the Irish food.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Tricia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westford, MA
Level Contributor
50 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Nice atmosphere but slow service”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Went for lunch - typical pub interior. Everyone was friendly but the service was slow. So slow, that the manager comp'd us dessert. So while slow, at least management tried to make amends. As for food, I had the chicken and pears sandwich which was awful but the others in my party had good food. My recommendation is to stick with pub type food and you won't go wrong.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Winsome_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England
Level Contributor
631 reviews
359 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 446 helpful votes
“The musicians performing Irish classics are amazing!”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

We went on a Wednesday night to enjoy the live Irish music and wow, the talent is amazing!! I am not sure that I really understand how it works, but at least the night we were there, about ten people that looked like they all have day jobs but are super talented musically and love to play, sat around three or four tables that are pushed together - they sing and play instruments - all Irish music - the performers seemed that they were enjoying themselves more than even the guests of the restaurant! They were obviously having a great time, reveling in their skill and camaraderie. They don't even face the people in the restaurant, just to be clear - they are sitting at tables just like everyone else, and half of them actually have their backs to the diners, so it's a very casual thing. If you didn't know that this is a scheduled event at the restaurant, you would think that a bunch of people that play Irish music decided to hang out after work and sing and play their instruments together, very impromptu. I would definitely return for the music - the food here, is not the draw. And maybe because we were a large party, and maybe the restaurant that night was understaffed, but our server was clearly having problems - she was working hard, but it was a strain on her and service definitely lacked - dishes arriving late, some, like the the spinach and artichoke dip, wasn't cooked through - the cheese was not fully melted and it was on the cool side. The chicken nachos were very good - hearty bar food, generous toppings, not just a bunch of chips. I think the whole point here is that it is a local tavern spot - the food is commensurate with that concept - this is not a gastropub. Lots of varieties of beer and great live music on certain nights (check their website regarding the schedule).

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank lexmiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Port Tavern also viewed

 
Newburyport, MA
 

Been to The Port Tavern? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing