Gulu Gulu Cafe

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A super hip cafe and restaurant that has live music nearly every night of the week and a beer list that will make your jaw drop.

Written by

Cody Grodzki


Not only one of the coolest restaurants and cafes in Salem, but one of the best in the state. Located a short 40 minute drive north of Boston, Gulu-Gulu is a first-class establishment with a great menu and a monster draught, bottle, and canned beer selection that is constantly rotating.  The ambiance is enveloping and if you're not paying attention, you'll find yourself letting the good times roll from the early morning until the fantastic waitstaff makes last call. 

What Makes it Great  Nearly every night of the week, Gulu is host to local musicians who perform in front of a generally full audience. Wednesday nights are designated as open mic night, so why not belt it out or strum some strings for your newly-met Salem friends after a few good beers and a hearty meal?

Gulu also features local artists each month, so be sure to check out the variety of artwork that decorates the walls of this cozy cafe. To top all of this awesomeness off, dogs are welcome on Gulu's outdoor patio, so bring your furry pal along! They’ll be sure to meet some friends throughout the area, as Salem has a high number of families that share your affinity for dogs.

Looking for a little “pick-me-up” to get you moving? Love chocolate and coffee? Try Gulu’s famous “Russell Stover.” You will not be disappointed. 

Who is Going to Love It<  To keep the list short- everyone. People from all over the country come to visit Salem throughout the year, but particularly during the month of October, when the entire town turns into the largest Halloween-oriented extravaganza you could ever imagine. There tend to be a fair number of tourists during the summer months and early fall, peaking at Halloween, and dying off throughout the rest of autumn, winter, and early spring. 

If you like to enjoy your meal or drink in a quieter environment, try visiting during the morning weekday hours or a Sunday night, when live jazz is the music of choice. Evening hours, especially during and after dinner can get very lively, with an eclectic blend of university students, out-of-towners, locals, musicians, artists, and business folk spread out across the mix of small and large tables, couches, and bar space.

Directions, Parking & Fees  From Boston, take I-93 N to I-95 N to MA-128 N. From there MA-128N, take exit 25A. Continue onto MA-114 E/Andover St. Take Gardner St and North St to Essex St in Salem. Gulu Gulu will be on the corner of Essex and Washington Street, located on your right hand side.

In addition to numerous metered public parking lots, including the new auxiliary parking structure at the commuter rail station, there is a ton of metered parking located all around the downtown Salem area. Much of it can be found directly around the cafe, but evenings and weekends might require you to park a little further away. Don't fret- Salem is one of the most historic and beautiful towns in all of Massachusetts.  In fact, park far away, take a deep breath of salt air, and enjoy the fantastic atmosphere. Walking is good for you anyways.

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Gulu Gulu Cafe

247 Essex St
Salem, MA, 01970
42.521427, -70.896299

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