I've never been to Biddy Early's, which is a popular, nearby, dive bar contender. (It does have a winning wine list, below.)
I did walk by Biddy Early's once, and was impressed by its hole-in-the-wall, just-ignore-me, exterior. I plan to stop in some time when I'm heading that way after work.
So this rating may change.
In the meantime, Durty Nelly's has some strengths, which are worth noting:
- It's located on a "dive block" -- the Blackstone Block, one of the oldest, perhaps the oldest, in Boston.
- And it has big windows which open way up, allowing a patron to appreciate the surroundings -- not just look at TVs.
- Included in those exterior surroundings is the Haymarket area, which late in the week gets busy with vegetable vendors, making the view even more colorful, and fragrant with the smell of ripe (and sometimes over ripe) fruits and vegetables.
This picture, by David Seibold, captures something about Durty Nelly's and the neighborhood. The added texture reflects the "distressed" aka beat-up nature of the place.