Wilfie & Nell in Manhattan may be a relative newcomer to the pub scene, but it gets it right, and is one of our most authentic Irish pubs for St. Paddy's Day.
As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, we’re sure you’re thinking about which watering holes to visit for the occasion. To help with your decision, we’ve found the 25 best authentic pubs in the country.
"Authenticity" is a tricky concept, but we've in considering it in the context of Irish pubs far from Irish soil, we've selected places that not only have a good selection of Irish (and non-Irish) beers, whisky, and other beverages, and sometimes a good selection of Irish and American pub fare, but also places that have roots.
That doesn't necessarily mean they've been around for decades (though some have — in some cases more than a century), but they somehow capture the spirit of Ireland, whether through the heritage of the owners, the history of the building or the interior (some pubs actually import actual bars and room dividers from the old country), the character of the clientele, and, often, the presence of live music.
The Irish, of course, are well distributed around America, and we've found authentic Irish pubs in many parts of the country. If you're in Washington, D.C., be sure to stop by The Dubliner for a pint of Guinness. For those on the West Coast, we recommend kicking off the night at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub in Los Angeles. If you’re into starting the day off right, read on for bars that open midmorning, like The Grafton in Chicago. Whether you plan a bar crawl or decide to settle at one place, consider trying one (or, if the logistics work) a few of these finds for a true Irish pub experience. Many pubs have celebrations leading up to the big day, so be sure to check those out as well.
We guarantee you will have good craic — Irish for a good time, fun in great company. Cheers!
1. B.D. Riley’s, Austin
Named for Bessie Dee Riley, the daughter of an Irish immigrant to Texas, B.D. Riley’s boasts an impressive stock of beer and Irish whiskey. Sourcing much of the interior directly from Ireland, the bar’s proprietors have succeeded in making the place both authentic and singular. The menu is a favorite of actual Irish expats, and has won awards saying as much. Of course, it being Austin and all, there’s great music as well.
2. Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub- Syracuse, N.Y.
The name says it all. Nestled in the Irish neighborhood of Tipperary Hill in Syracuse, Coleman’s is a nostalgic reminder of Ireland for locals. All are invited to the St. Paddy’s Day parade and the spirited celebration to follow.
3. Doyle’s Café, Boston
Established in 1882, Doyle’s is located in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, just down the road from the Samuel Adams Brewery, Doyle’s was the first bar to feature Sam Adams Boston Lager on draught. A historic favorite of the Kennedys, Doyle’s has also made its way to the silver screen in movies including Mystic River.
4. Fadó, Atlanta
A modern pub that mixes the old with the new, Fadó (the word means "long ago" in Irish) was the first pub in America whose interior was manufactured in Ireland and shipped across the Atlantic. While there, check out the Whiskey Room for light snacks and 2 Gingers served neat, and take in the gorgeous surroundings. Offering finger-licking Guinness BBQ Wings, delectable lamb dip, and a myriad of beers, ciders, and wines, in addition to good whiskey, Fadó is a sure crowd—pleaser.
(Fado Irish Pub)
5. Harp and Celt Irish Pubs and Restaurant, Orlando
Orlando is known for being a playland for children and adults alike. Harp and Celt Irish Pubs and Restaurant is no exception. This energetic, bi-level hangout is filled with cozy wood booths and serves buzzworthy classic Irish eats and terrific brews to boot.
6. Irish Haven Bar, Brooklyn
So, do you remember the scene in Scorcese’s The Departed where Leonardo DiCaprio satisfyingly gets his arm broken on a pool table? Yup, that was filmed right here. With 50 years of history behind it, this place is a no-frills drinking establishment in the heart of Sunset Park. The bar will often serve free food with its $5 pints of beautifully poured Guinness on March 17. You can’t beat that deal anywhere in New York.
7. Kevin Barry’s Pub, Savanna, Ga.
(Kevin Barry's Irish Pub)
Boston, New York, and Chicago traditionally get all the attention for their Irish heritage, but let’s not forget that the Deep South was also founded by Scotch-Irish immigrants. It only makes sense that one of the country’s most historic Irish pubs is in Savannah. In a town where it’s OK to drink on the street, Kevin Barry’s is home not only to a good pint and good music, but also to the Hall of Heroes, an upstairs room devoted to military memorabilia.
8. Kilkenny's Irish Pub & Eatery, Tulsa, Okla.
Kilkenny’s Irish Pub and Eatery is all the rage in Tulsa. The ambiance creates a comfortable, cozy feeling with its abundance of dark wood paneling and its collection of Irish memorabilia. With great service, an expansive beer selection and collection of Irish whiskey you can’t go wrong with this place. While there, explore the long menu of Irish and American pub staples, Reservations are encouraged for a comfortable, wait-free experience.
9. McFarland and Sons Authentic Irish Pub, Lincoln, Neb.
Authenticity is evident in the family-owned restaurant. Known for its vast selection of brews, dynamite Guinness BBQ chicken sandwich and Irish nachos (with corned beef and Irish cheddar), McFarland and Son’s is one of Lincoln's most popular watering holes of any kind.
Thirsty for a good time? Check out more of the best Irish pubs you can find in the US.
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