It's almost St. Paddy's Day, so you know what that means — it's time to prepare yourself for some good, old fashioned Irish drinking at a good, old fashioned Irish pub. So what makes a good Irish pub? Guinness' Irish Pub Concept, which is an initiative the company created to foster new, authentic Irish pubs based on requisite criteria, says that a solid pub should have classic Irish pub fare, authentic, homey decor, and of course, a good pint of Guinness. Where'd this concept come from? The classic pubs of the past, naturally!
So where are the best places in the country to chug down some brews and whiskey on St. Patrick's Day? Here's a look at some of the best Irish pubs in the country — maybe there's one in the city where you're partying on March 17.
1. McSorley's / New York, NY
McSorley’s is a pub with a history; it’s been around for over 150 years, even surviving Prohibition Era in NYC. The signature ales (McSorley’s Cream Stock Ale and McSorley’s Lager), big wooden bar, coal burning stove, and decades-old decor make it one of the best pubs in NYC, if not the country. Fun fact (or not-so-fun fact)? Women weren’t allowed to come in until 1970! So seize your contemporary opportunity and grab a pint!
2. McGillin's / Philadelphia, PA
McGillin’s has been open since 1860 (so President Lincoln could have grabbed a pint there, had he been in the neighborhood). But what makes it a great place to celebrate St. Paddy’s? It’s got an old soul, and a great list of brews. It’s been named one of the best, most authentic pubs by a variety of big publications, including Gourmet and Complex magazines. Looking to meet someone on St. Paddy’s Day? McGillin’s was also voted the best hookup spot in Philly.
3. The Green Dragon / Boston, MA
Paul Revere drank here! This is the oldest bar in Boston. It boasts live entertainment, and some strong brews. And nothing says “revolutionary place to drink” like that, right?
4. The Grafton Pub / Chicago, IL
The Grafton Pub has a solid craft beer list and over twenty Irish whiskies (for all of you drinkers who prefer something other than a brew on St. Paddy’s Day). The pub also has live music — every Sunday brings live Irish folk tunes, where locals can bring their instruments and tipsily join in the playing.
5. B.D. Riley's / Austin, TX
This bar boasts an award-winning food menu (gotta eat something when you’re drunk-hungry), and they are “serious about their beer." In fact, this pub earned the “Perfect Pint” award from Guinness, which is, of course, the standard-bearer for all things Irish.
6. Johnnie Maccracken's / Marietta, GA
This bar has a lengthy beer list and plenty of single malts and whiskeys. It occupies an old fire station, which gives it a unique feel.
7. Mr. Dooley's / Boston, MA
This bar in Boston's Financial District boasts a charming and authentic feel. There are no TVs or DJs, which means you'll have to entertain yourself with live music and drunken conversation.
8. Fado Irish Pub / Washington, DC
This pub is known for pouring a great pint of Guinness and offering a solid beer selection, plus pub fare, like fish and chips. If you’re a soccer fiend, this is a great place to throw back a few pints and watch the game when the sport is in season. It attracts a rowdy and boisterous crowd.
9. Kells / Portland, OR
Complex Magazine named Kells the best Irish pub in the country. This Oregon bar hosts a huge St. Patrick's Day celebration, and they also offer amateur boxing, a cigar room, live music, and, of course, a solid beer menu.
This mainstay in LA (it’s been around for 50 years) attracts tourists and locals alike to drink, play darts, and see bands play at the spot's live music venue, The Snug. The bar has also been featured in a bunch of movies and is frequently used for filming, so you might be swigging your pint next to a movie star.