Sure, every bar is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day—if you consider green Bud Light and dodgy corned beef Irish. You can do better on this high holiday, even if you can’t make it all the way to the Emerald Isle. Stop in for a pint o’ Guinness and a rendition of Danny Boy (just kidding—don’t be that guy) at one of these top Irish pubs in the U.S.
Doyle’s Cafe, Jamaica Plain, MA
If the Mayor of Galway City in Ireland dubbed Doyle’s “the best pub outside of County Galway,” it’s good enough for us. Throw in some pictures of JFK on the wall and, Smithwick’s and Murphy’s on tap, and this place is like Boston’s Irish embassy.
Fado Irish Pub, Denver, CO
Fado brings Ireland to you. The entire pub was imported from Ireland. The cobblestoned floors might be the closest you’ll get to the Blarney Stone, but we don’t recommend you kiss them. Come here for traditional Irish music, Irish sports on the big screens, and signature Irish dishes like black pudding, boxty, and all-day Irish breakfast. Plus, you can sign up on their website to enter to win a free trip to Dublin!
McSorley’s Old Ale House, New York, NY
This pub was opened by an Irish immigrant in the 1800s, and it’s still got the Irish spirit today. Don’t worry, ladies—they started letting women in back in 1970 (after being sued) and there’s even gender-segregated bathrooms now. Your beer choices come in “light” or “dark” rather than by brand, but at least there’s a good chance it will be served to you by a friendly Irish expat.
Star and Shamrock, Washington, D.C.
Purim doesn’t fall on St. Patrick’s Day this year, but if it did, imagine the party you could have at the Star and Shamrock! This Irish/Jewish mash-up pub opens at 8:00 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and will have Irish breakfast, live music, and of course. specials on whiskey. Don’t miss the Star and Shamrock special: a sandwich with hot pastrami, corned beef, chopped chicken liver, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and a potato latke on rye bread.
Ri Ra Irish Pub, Las Vegas, NV
Hey, if you can visit Paris and Venice in Las Vegas, why not Ireland? Started by born-in-Dublin (with the names to prove it) entrepreneurs David Kelly and Ciaran Sheehan, the Ri Ra pub was restored in Ireland and then shipped to Sin City. The name Ri Ra means “celebration and good fun,” so stop in for some live music and drinks.
Readers, did we miss any great Irish pubs? Share your favorites in the comments area below.