It’s that time of year again! For some, March 17th is a religious holiday that honors St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century. For others, it’s also the only day of the year when you can legitimately dress like a Leprechaun, drink green beer, don a Shamrock and embrace your Irish roots (real or not). St. Patrick’s Day is a festival of feasts, a celebration of Irish culture and excellent excuse for some good ol’ fashion binge drinking. So, if you’re on your own hunt for the perfect pint of Guinness, Travel expert and blogger Julia Dimon of Traveljunkiejulia.com shares her top picks for the best Irish pubs in the U.S to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day.
Best Irish Pubs in the U.S to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
1) Eire Pub, Boston
Statistically speaking, Massachusetts is the most Irish state in America so it makes sense that Boston is one of the best places to be this St. Paddy’s Day! After you’ve checked out their infamous St. Patrick’s Day parade (this year it’s on March 19) check out the Celtic Rock/Punk band Dropkick Murphy concert at House of Blues. If history is more your thing, take an Irish Heritage Tour. These 75-90 minute guided walking tours take guests through 300 years of Boston’s unique Irish history and heritage. If all this knowledge is making you thirsty, follow the pot of gold to celebrate Celtic pride at Eire Pub. An authentic haunt in one of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods, Eire Pub opened its doors some 50 years ago. Since its opening, this establishment has since hosted an impressive crowd of who’s who’s. During their respective presidential campaigns, both Reagan and Clinton visited to rub elbows and share a frothy pint with the common folk.
2) Fadó, Chicago
Located in heart of downtown Chicago’s River North neighborhood, Fadó (an Irish expression meaning “long ago”) is a cozy pub that conjures up the spirit of the old country. With dark wood and dim lighting, this restaurant chain serves up traditional fare of corned beef and cabbage, Shepherd’s pie and lightly battered haddock fish and chips. Wash it all down with a “Black & Black,” a Guinness-infused mixed cocktail with a splash of sweet black currant. Music lovers can check out their St. Paddy’s Day live events line-up on their website.
3) The Dubliner, Washington, D.C.
An Irish pub located near the Capitol, The Dubliner is one of the area’s oldest Irish pubs located in the Phoenix Park Hotel. This cozy joint has been serving up Auld Dubliner Amber Ale and Dubliner Irish lager, beers made exclusively for The Dubliner from Kilkenny-imported hops. With live entertainment every night of the week, The Dubliner draws a energetic crowd. Last year, even President Obama visited the Dubliner to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a pint of Guinness. This year for St. Paddy’s Day, the bar opens up at 9am and bartenders will serve $0.43 pints of Guinness for the first hour to celebrate the establishment’s 43rd Anniversary. The Dubliner will have three bands playing music all day on two different stages, offer a full menu all day, and even has a tented patio to handle the crowds. Rock on.
4) The Irish House, New Orleans
The Irish House is a high-end gastropub serving authentic Irish food in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans. Born in Dublin, Irish owner and celebrity chef Matt Murphy pays homage to his heritage by serving up classic pub fare. Irish house specialties include: Guinness beef stew with root vegetables and potatoes in a thyme broth, bangers & mash with brown onion gravy and shaved corn beef over bubble and squeak. In typical Big Easy fashion, The Irish House offers Celtic-infused live music, with indie groups such as Crescent City Celtic Band performing everything from pub tunes and ballads, to modern Irish rock and pop.
5) McGillin’s Olde Ale House, Philadelphia
Established 157 years ago, McGillin’s Olde Ale House is the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia. In preparation for St. Paddy’s day, McGillin, just a half a block away from the parade route, is serving up Irish food and drink specials from March 1 through March 16, from authentic Irish stout, to Chocolate Leprechaun Cocktails and their Original Irish Potato Martini. Standing at the antique oak bar, be sure to sample McGillin’s three house ales – McGillin’s 1860 IPA, McGillin’s Genuine Lager and McGillin’s Real Ale or opt of the 6 beer sampler. With big screen high-def projector TVs, karaoke machines (with karaoke on Wednesday & Sunday nights) and a large selection of regional microbrews, including their house specialty brewed beer called McGillin’s 1860 IPA, a visit here is sure to be a good time.
6) Molly Malone’s, Los Angeles
For the past 40 years, the family–owned Molly Malone’s has been the local Irish watering hole and south Fairfax drinking establishment with a rich musical history. Featuring indie bands at least six nights a week, Molly Malone’s showcases everything from Irish troubadors performing drinking songs, to up-and-coming singer-songwriters (the likes of Lenny Kravitz, The Counting Crows and Weezer once rocked their stage). Walls covered in Irish memorabilia and nostalgic painted portraits, Molly’s feels so authentically Irish that it’s been used as the filming location for such movies as Leaving Las Vegas and Patriot Games. This St. Paddy’s Day, get your Jameson-fuelled whiskey dance on and see the Black Shamrocks perform live.
7) Kevin Barry’s Pub, Savannah
It may surprise many to learn that the Southern city of Savannah, Georgia has one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country, with some 400,000 visitors in attendance annually. Post parade, migrate from the Historic Park district downtown to Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub, a famous Irish bar set in a historic 162 year old building. Over the last 35+ years, Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub has served as a nighty live music venue overlooking the Savannah River. With Irish troubadours and musicians from around the world gracing the bar’s Listening Room, this dark and cozy bar with refurbished original wood flooring offers a ton of history. Beyond the culture, the traditional Irish and American fare, the 2nd floor has a Hall of Heroes paying tribute to the men and women in the armed forces.
8) The Buena Vista Café, San Francisco
When strolling the tourist friendly neighborhood of Fisherman’s Wharf, head on over to The Buena Vista Café, said to be the first bar in the country to serve Irish Coffee. Introduced to America in 1952, Buena Vista’s popular beverage blends Irish Whiskey, two sugar cubes, black coffee and lightly whipped whipping cream, served up in a 6-ounce glass. It’s a great way to warm up before a long day of San Francisco sightseeing.
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