Photo: Nate Strine, On-Target Design
The country’s best St. Patrick’s Day parades are true destination points where thousands of locals and out-of-towners meet to reunite with family, catch up with old friends, celebrate heritage, and knock more than a few back while being swept away in the revel.
We fully understand most people have a favorite local pub they swear by throughout the year. But in the spirit of discovery we tapped the experts at Yelp to scrub their databases and come up with the best Irish pubs in America.
The results are based on Yelp user ratings and number of reviews for establishments in the cities that host some of the best (oldest, biggest, most fun, etc.) St. Patrick’s Day parades in different parts of the country: Boston; Chicago; Dublin, Ohio; Hot Springs, Ark.; New York City; Philadelphia; and Savannah, Ga.
To help you get your Irish on in whatever state you might in, we took things a step further by including Yelp’s rankings of the best Irish pubs in each state.
What you’ll find on the parade list are places that serve extraordinarily good pub food, as well as a few gastropubs that take traditional Irish fare to new heights. All have a broad variety of taps, well-stocked bars, and friendly barkeeps. Each one of these pubs promises to be packed on parade day. But make sure to keep them on your list of must-visits for when you’re traveling through town, visiting locals, or looking for a new spot to celebrate the cultural, gastronomic, brewed and distilled contributions of the Irish.
Boston Police Pipes and Drums march past Mr. Dooley’s in Boston Photo: Boston Police Pipes and Drums/Twitter
Boston: Mr. Dooley’s, 77 Broad Street. 4 stars, 196 reviews
Mr. Dooley’s might be one of seven other pubs owned by the Somers Pub group, but newbies and regulars alike certainly don’t refer to it as a chain. Chatty bartenders who remember what you first ordered (cue the Cheers theme song right about now), friendly servers, perfectly poured pints, standout food, and live Irish music give this downtown favorite an “authentic” feel that fuels consistently high Yelp ratings. “After discovering this place back in 2009, it quickly became a favorite Boston hangout,” says Richard K. of Southborough, Mass. Clam chowder, the corned beef sandwich with horseradish sauce, Irish mixed grill with marinated Guinness steak tips, curry chicken, and the Irish sampler are just a few winners on Mr. Dooley’s menu. “I’ve never been to Ireland, but I like to think that I’ve come as close as possible after visiting Mr. Dooley’s,” writes Sheila G. of Azle, Texas.
Fish and chips at The Gage. Photo: The Gage
It’s a tie in Chicago: The Gage and Paddy Long’s are both favorites among the Yelp crowd.
The Gage, 24 S Michigan Avenue. 4 stars, 1611 reviews
Known among Yelpers for putting the gastro in pub, The Gage takes the combination to a new level. Many Yelpers visiting Chicago make it their first stop, while locals treasure it as a hometown favorite. Sandwiched between Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago, it’s a great spot for refueling while taking in the city’s sights and culture. “The food and drinks are outstanding and the menu selections will satisfy all appetites,” writes local William Q. in his 5-star review. The house poutine, Scotch egg, roasted market beets, venison burger, rainbow trout, duck confit, and fish and chips are all worthy of their own section in the Art Institute. Wash it all down with something from the wide and deep beer and whiskey selection. Make sure to look for the special menu on St. Patrick’s Day and stop by after the parade to hear the Fiddling Finnegans from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Bacon Board at Paddy Long’s Photo: Paddy Long’s
Paddy Long’s, 1028 W Diversey Parkway. 4 stars, 297 reviews
Drinking responsibly in Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day means heading over to Paddy Long’s Beer and Bacon pub to coat your stomach with a healthy dose of pork fat and knock a few back from the fantastic beer selection before making your way to the parade. If beer and bacon’s your then Paddy Long’s is the place to be any time of the year. Yelpers recommend The Bomb: five pounds of ground sausage, pork and beef mixed with spices, wrapped in brown sugar bacon, and slow cooked. For a sampling of house offerings, try the Bacon Flight: three craft beers paired with Irish bacon, Apple wood smoked cracked pepper bacon, and Country Jowl bacon. Another favorite is the Bacon Board appetizer. “I don’t care if I am on the moon, I will recommend this magnificence to anyone and everyone who will listen!” Tobin H. of Elmhurst, Ill., who took his 9-year-old daughter to Long’s on a “bacon date.” Hey Tobin, we’re up for adoption!
The Dublin Village Tavern’s salmon salad. Photo: Nate Strine, On-Target Design
Dublin, Ohio: The Dublin Village Tavern, 27 South High Street. 4 stars, 66 reviews
Legend has it that back in the late 1800s practically every building on High Street in Dublin housed a tavern or bar. The shootings, beatings and drunken brawls along the street were so common they inspired a storyteller to write: “You didn’t want to approach Dublin without a rock in each hand!” It’s a great story and one you can read here on the Village Tavern’s site. The street’s a lot safer today and the pub, which occupies a house that was once the town’s post office, adds a lot of life to the area. The Tavern boasts a nice patio, great service, and really good food. “Very friendly staff; really cool old building with great ambience. Dublin Tavern welcomed us with open arms and took great care of us,” writes Sarah F. or Columbus. Yelpers like the Irish spring rolls, Big Baby cheeseburger, crab and shrimp cakes, Guinness BBQ burger, pan roasted salmon, braised beef shepherd’s pie, and the fish and chips. “Perfect Irish pub food,” says Joe K. of Cleveland. How can’t it be? The pub, after all, is in Dublin.
Copper Penny Pub’s Panzanella Photo: Copper Penny Pub
Hot Springs, Ark.: Copper Penny Pub, 711 Central Ave. 3.5 stars, 25 reviews
Since it opened last June about a block from historic Bathhouse Row, Copper Penny Pub has livened up the downtown area with its “elevated pub fare” and eclectic live entertainment, Yelpers report. “Hot Springs gets another great restaurant!” writes local Scott D. “Definitely worth a visit!” After witnessing the world’s largest leprechaun, the marching Irish Elvis impersonators, Irish belly dancers and so much more promised for this St. Patrick’s Day parade, slip into the Copper Penny to refuel for the rest of the day … and night. The Hell Fire Burger, loaded with all things jalapeno; fries with gourmet dipping sauces; mac and cheese with Irish cheddar and bacon; and a highly regarded panzanella are just a few Yelper faves. And, yes, the Copper Penny has plenty of taps and a fully stocked bar. “Fantastic food made with fresh ingredients,” promises local Julie E.
A fine spread at McGillin’s Photo: McGillin’s
Philadelphia: McGillin’s Old Ale House, 1310 Drury Street. 4 stars, 480 reviews
Philadelphia’s oldest pub is also considered one of its best … and most crowded throughout the year. McGillin’s opened the year Lincoln was elected president, and has been pouring an honest pint and a lot more ever since. It constantly makes the “best of” lists put out by local and national media, all for a good reason: very good food, reasonable prices, and a great selection of regional beers. Spoiler alert: don’t expect to be downing pints of Guinness at McGillin’s. It serves O’Hara’s Celtic Stout from the Carlow Brewing Co. in Carlow, Ireland, and Sly Fox’s O’Reilly’s Stout from Pennsylvania. McGillin’s branded 1860 IPA, Real Ale and Genuine Lager, all made by Stoudts in Adamstown, Pa., are also worth a try. “Their house beers are really good, by the way!” confirms David F. of Houston. The food, while not too fancy, is also good. Yelpers like the meatloaf dinner, all of the sandwiches and, especially, the nachos.
Oyster sliders at The Penrose Photo: The Penrose
New York City: The Penrose, 1590 2nd Avenue. 4 stars, 384 reviews.The Penrose falls squarely in the “gastropub” category. If you’re on the Upper East Side and looking for a unique take on an Irish pub menu that features regionally sourced ingredients, a cool vibe, creative cocktails, and a killer brunch, Yelpers say The Penrose is the spot. Take it from Hanzel P. of The Bronx: “I come to this place at least once a week. … like my second home.” Start with beer-battered pickles and oyster sliders, and then move to the spiced beef brisket sandwich, mussels with toast; and the smoked gouda and fontina mac and cheese. During the weekend brunch, try the bacon egg and oyster sandwich, and the baked eggs with goat cheese in tomato sauce. “Basically everything I’ve had here is delicious,” says Megan C., Astoria, Queens.
Durty Nelly’s BBQ ribs with beans. Photo: Durty Nelly’s
San Francisco: Durty Nelly’s, 2328 Irving Street. 4.5 stars 281 reviews.
Durty Nelly’s is the type of neighborhood pub that regulars call home and out-of-towners wish they could. Friendly bartenders with a lot of character, live music, karaoke Thursday, dancing, fun crowd, perfect pours, and tasty cocktails make Nelly’s an all-around favorite. “It’s a party. It’s a friend,” local Mike V. says of his go-to pub. Nelly’s has also built a strong rep around its food. Yelpers give the traditional pub fare solid reviews, with special mention going to chicken curry chips, Irish breakfast and the burgers, which most reviewers say are exceptional. “The best thing on the menu: medium-thick, well-seasoned, juicy,” writes local Sam S. about the burgers. Keep an eye out for the daily specials. Then again, you might not have to look too hard. Seems like there’s usually something special going on at Durty Nelly’s.
Starting things off right at Kevin Barry’s Pub Photo: Peter B., Yelp
Savannah, Ga.: Kevin Barry’s Pub, 117 W. River Street. 4.5 stars, 84 reviews
For 35 years, Kevin Barry’s has prided itself on maintaining the warm, dark, comfortable atmosphere of a classic, well-respected local. The building itself, built in 1854, oozes character inside and out. Yelpers especially appreciate the upstairs Hall of Heroes tribute to the soldiers who died for their country. On the first floor, where children aren’t allowed (major points there), lively conversation, salty jokes, and far-fetched stories are encouraged. The food, Yelpers report, is also unusually good. Traditional pub fare like beef stew, shepherd’s pie, and bangers and mash gets high ratings. Some Yelpers are hooked on the “best fish and chips in town” the “amazing corned beef Cuban sandwich” and the Guinness braised brisket. Choose from a deep lineup of beers and liquor to wash it all down. And if you’re looking for Guinness, Kevin Barry’s is apparently the place to go. “The Guinness just tastes better there. They serve it at the proper temperature. A perfect pour,” writes John F. of Macon.
Here are the top 51 Irish pubs in the United States based on the highest rankings and number of reviews by Yelp users:
Lucky Lady Pub, 211 Shattuck Way, Juneau. 4 Stars 2 Reviews
Callaghan’s Irish Social Club, 916 Charleston Street, Mobile. 4 Stars 65 Reviews
Copper Penny Pub, 711 Central Avenue, Hot Springs. 4.5 Stars 25 Reviews
Tim Finnegan’s Irish Restaurant and Pub 9201 N 29th Avenue, Phoenix. 4 Stars 153 Reviews
Macduffs Pub, 1041 Fremont Avenue, South Lake Tahoe. 4.5 Stars 836 Reviews
Jack Quinn Irish Ale House & Pub, 21 S. Tejon Street, Colorado Springs. 4 Stars 223 Reviews
The Half Door, 270 Sisson Avenue, Hartford. 4 Stars 173 Reviews
Irish Whiskey Public House, 1207 19th Street N.W. 4.5 Stars 198 Reviews
The Pint, 303 Main Street, Millsboro. 4 Stars 12 Reviews
McGuires Irish Pub, 33 Harbor Boulevard, Destin. 4 Stars 469 Reviews
Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant, 273 Buckhead Avenue, Atlanta. 4 Stars 270 Reviews
Murphy’s Bar& Grill, 2 Merchant Street, Honolulu. 4 Stars 306 Reviews
Mick Duff’s Brewing Company, 312 N. 1st Avenue, Sandpoint. 4 Stars 81 Reviews
The Gage, 24 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago. 4 Stars 1612 Reviews
Fiddler’s Hearth, 127 N. Main Street, South Bend. 4 Stars 184 Reviews
Dublin Bay Irish Pub & Grill, 320 South 16th Street, Ames. 4 Stars 57 Reviews
Llywelyn’s Pub, 6995 W. 151st Street, Overland Park. 4 Stars 76 Reviews
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, 112 E. 4th Strett, Covington. 4 Stars 76 Reviews
Erin Rose 811 Conti Street., New Orleans. 4.5 Stars 213 Reviews
Rí Rá Irish Pub, 72 Commercial Street, Portland. 4 Stars 127 Reviews
Mick O’Shea’s, 328 N. Charles Street, Baltimore. 4 Stars 138 Reviews
Keltic Kitchen, 415 Route 28, West Yarmouth. 4.5 Stars 214 Reviews
McShane’s Irish Pub & Whiskey Bar, 1460 Michigan Avenue, Detroit. 4 Stars 31 Reviews
The Local, 931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. 4 Stars 385 Reviews
Dan McGuinness Pub, 3964 Goodman Road, Southaven. 4 Stars 9 Reviews
John D. McGurks Irish Pub, 1200 Russell Boulevard, Saint Louis. 4 Stars 201 Reviews
The Celtic Cowboy Pub & Restaurant,116 1st Avenue S., Great Falls. 4 Stars 39 Reviews
Mckinney’s Irish Pub,151 N. 8th Street, Lincoln. 4 Stars 20 Reviews
McMullan’s Irish Pub, 4650 W Tropicana Avenue, Las Vegas. 4 Stars 250 Reviews
The Barley House, 132 N. Main Street, Concord. 4 Stars 172 Reviews
Maloney’s Pub & Grill, 119 Main Street, Matawan. 4 Stars 111 Reviews
Two Fools Tavern, 3211 Central Avenue N.E., Albuquerque. 4 Stars 173 Reviews
The Penrose 1590 2nd Avenue, Manhattan. 4 Stars 384 Reviews
Doherty’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, 1979 High House Road, Cary. 4.5 Stars 120 Reviews
Blarney Stone Pub, 1910 9th Street E., West Fargo. 4 Stars 33 Reviews
The Dublin Village Tavern, 27 S. High Street, Dublin. 4 Stars 66 Reviews
Kilkennys Irish Pub, 1413 E. 15th Street, Tulsa. 4 Stars 208 Reviews
Irish Table, 235 S. Hemlock Street, Cannon Beach. 4.5 Stars 210 Reviews
McGillin’s Olde Ale House, 1310 Drury Street, Philadelphia. 4 Stars 482 Reviews
Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, 342 East Avenue, Pawtucket. 4 Stars 482 Reviews
Madra Rua Irish Pub, 2066 N. Main Street, Summerville. 4.5 Stars 46 Reviews
McNally’s Irish Pub, 6211 S. Old Village Place, Sioux Falls. 4 Stars 20 Reviews
McNamara’s, 2740 Old Lebanon Road, Nashville. 4 Stars 218 Reviews
Flanagan’s On Main, 438 Main Street, Park City. 4 Stars 100 Reviews
The Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant, 2500 Columbia Pike, Arlington. 4.5 Stars 48 Reviews
McGrath’s Irish Pub, 709 Route 4, Killington. 4.5 Stars 12 Reviews
Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill & Irish Pub, 508 2nd Avenue, Seattle. 4.5 Stars 77 Reviews
County Clare Irish Inn & Pub, 1234 N. Astor Street, Milwaukee. 4.5 Stars 174 Reviews
Meagher’s Irish Pub, 26 Betten Court, Bridgeport. 4 Stars 19 Reviews
O’Dwyers Public House, 1622 E. Grand Avenue, Laramie. 4.5 Stars 14 Reviews
Did your favorite Irish pub make the list? If not, let us know what it is.