The Plough and Stars, Cambridge, Mass. from America’s 25 Best Irish Pubs
America’s 25 Best Irish Pubs
America’s 25 Best Irish Pubs
Who doesn’t love a good Irish pub? There’s just something about that welcoming Irish-inspired décor, a well-pulled pint of fresh Guinness, and some of that good old-fashioned Irish craic that makes a visit to a lively Irish pub a great way to spend an evening. In honor of the fast-approaching St. Patrick’s Day, we’re rounding up America’s 25 best.
AustinReaPhoto / B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub / Facebook
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 selection 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 unique. The award-winning menu is a favorite of Irish expats, and of course, it being Austin and all, there’s great music as well.
Yelp/ A.R. P.
Kelly's Irish Times, Washington, DC
Located on Capitol Hill a stone's throw from Union Station, the quaint and charming Irish Times has been going strong since 1978. The bar is warm and welcoming, and its lived-in feel gets a boost from its many loyal and devoted regulars. The draft list and food menu are all on point (try the Guinness Irish stew), but the star of the show is a brand new whiskey bar unveiled in 2015 and boasting 90 different whiskeys.
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 in America 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.
Yelp / Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant
A modern pub that seamlessly combines the old and the new, Fadó (meaning "long ago" in Gaelic) was the first pub in America whose interior was manufactured in Ireland and shipped across the Atlantic. While there, check out the Whiskey Room and be sure to take in the gorgeous surroundings. Offering finger-licking Guinness BBQ wings, delectable lamb French dip, and a myriad of beers, ciders, and wines, in addition to good whiskey, Fadó is a sure crowd-pleaser.
Yelp / Matt H
Irish Haven Bar, Brooklyn
Remember the scene in Scorcese’s The Departed where Leonardo DiCaprio gets his arm broken on a pool table? Yup, that was filmed right here. With more than 50 years of history behind it, this place is a no-frills drinking establishment in the heart of Sunset Park. It's stood the test of time, and it also happens to serve a perfect Guinness.
Yelp / Joshua C
Kevin Barry’s Pub, Savannah, Ga.
Boston, New York, and Chicago traditionally get all the attention for their Irish heritage, but let’s not forget that the Deep South has plenty of Scotch-Irish history. It only makes sense that one of the country’s most historic Irish pubs is in Savannah. In a town where it’s okay 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.
Kilkenny’s Irish Pub / Facebook
Kilkenny's Irish Pub & Eatery, Tulsa, Okla.
Kilkenny’s Irish Pub and Eatery is one of Tulsa's most popular hangouts. The vibe is comfortable and cozy thanks to its abundance of dark wood paneling and collection of Irish memorabilia. With great service, an expansive beer selection, and a wide variety ofof Irish whiskey, you can’t go wrong with this place. While there, explore the long menu of Irish and American pub staples.
McGillin’s Olde Ale House / Facebook
McGillin’s Olde Ale House, Philadelphia
Going strong since 1860, McGillin’s is Philly’s oldest tavern, and it’s also one of the city’s very best, frequented by locals, including city politicians, and visitors alike. Be generous to your server: the ship's bell behind the bar tolls for bad tippers. It’s also a perfect place to catch a Phillies game in the summertime.
McGuire’s Irish Pub / Facebook
McGuire’s Irish Pub and Brewery, Pensacola, Fla.
Irish pride flows like ale at this farmhouse pub. The motto for McGuire’s Irish Pub and Brewery is "Feasting, Imbibery, and Debauchery." Based on that, McGuire’s obviously knows how to have a good time. To top it off, beer is conveniently brewed in copper kettles on-site. It doesn’t get any fresher than that.
McNamara’s Irish Pub & Restaurant / Facebook
McNamara’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, Nashville
Nashville is a legendary party and music town, and on both counts McNamara’s Irish Pub and Restaurant fits right in. This popular tavern, with its classic Celtic-inspired décor, is well-stocked with whiskey and beer, has an appetizing menu of Irish fare, and regularly features live Irish music, usually by Nashville's noted Nosey Flynn.
McSorley’s Old Ale House / Facebook
McSorley’s Old Ale House – New York
McSorley’s is among the oldest continuously operating businesses of any kind in New York City, going strong since 1854. Sawdust floors are underfoot, an old potbelly stove still heats the space when it's cold out, and little to no changes have been made since long before you were born. You won't find Guinness on tap at this classic bar (only two drinks are on offer, light and dark ale), but it's all a part of the charm. Nestled in the East Village, McSorley’s is a place where generations of New Yorker have left their mark. Settle into a corner table on a weekday afternoon, order a couple darks and a plate of cheese and onions, and become a part of history.
Yelp / Damian H
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub, Los Angeles
In operation for over 40 years, Molly Malone’s in Los Angeles is a great place for a pint, a plate of fish and chips, and live music in an intimate setting. While you’ll still hear Irish troubadours once in a while, the stage at Molly Malone’s has also seen the likes of Lucinda Williams and Lenny Kravitz.
Molly’s Shebeen / Facebook
Molly’s Shebeen, New York
Cited over and over as one of New York’s most authentic Irish pubs, Molly’s has been around for more than 50 years, serving its famous shepherd’s pie and an ample beer selection. This cozy establishment has operated as one public house or another since 1895, and still sports its original Honduran mahogany bar and wood-burning fireplace.
Photo credit: Ragland Road Orlando / Facebook
Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Raglan Road is the ideal spot to kick off a fun bar crawl. Its high-energy atmosphere will get anyone feeling the of the Irish. The menu was devised by consulting Irish chef Kevin Dundon, whose classic creations have a modern touch. With all the necessary brews on-hand, like Magner's Irish Cider, Smithwick’s Irish Ale, and of course Guinness, you'll be set here for a perfect night out.
Corrib Pub and Restaurant / Facebook
The Corrib Pub, Boston
The original Corrib first opened almost half a century ago as a workingman's pub, particularly for Irish-American labor organizers. Today, The Corrib is home to good food, great people, and an authentic Irish environment enlivened by music both Irish and otherwise. Buy a round for the folks behind the bar, and they’ll love you forever.
The Dubliner / Facebook
The Dubliner, Washington, D.C.
Opened more than 40 years ago by the son of the proprietor of Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub in Syracuse (also on this list), The Dubliner, named for James Joyce’s famous collection of short stories, is our nation’s largest purveyor of Guinness, and the only place in the country you’ll find the bar’s exclusive Amber Ale and Irish Lager, brewed in County Kilkenny, Ireland specially for The Dubliner. No wonder it's considered a must for St. Patrick's Day revelers in the nation's capital.
The Grafton NYC / Facebook
The Grafton Irish Pub and Grill, Chicago
Among the newer pubs on this list, The Grafton in Chicago blends time-honored tradition with a contemporary gastropub feel. The food is terrific, and the Guinness takes a good two minutes to pour — as it should. The Grafton has really embraced the idea of a public house, offering a comfy place to read or get some work done during the afternoon and on weekend days, and a relaxed atmosphere in which to unwind at night.
The Irish Bank / Facebook
The Irish Bank, San Francisco
The Plough and Stars / Facebook
The Plough and Stars, Cambridge, Mass.
If it isn’t already obvious, the Boston area is full of some of the best Irish pubs outside of Ireland, and The Plough and Stars is definitely one of them. Its cozy ambiance, warm service, and innovative, traditional fare constantly draw huge crowds. Naturally, it has become a cornerstone of the Cambridge community.
Yelp / Steve R
Tom Bergin’s Tavern, Los Angeles
Founded in 1936, and thus one of the oldest (almost) continuously operated bars in LA (it closed briefly in 2013, but was reopened by a regular patron who took it over), Tom Bergin's was said to have been one of the inspirations for the ‘80s sitcom Cheers, and also has long disputed with San Francisco’s Buena Vista Café over which one of them introduced Irish coffee to America.
Ri Ra / Facebook
Rí Rá Irish Pub, Las Vegas
Nestled in The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay Place, Rí Rá brings much needed authenticity to a city known for frivolity; it was constructed entirely in Ireland and shipped over to Las Vegas lock, stock, and barrel. This classy, grown-up pub offers guests a true Irish pub experience.
Wilfie & Nell / Facebook
Wilfie & Nell, New York
Wilfie & Nell manages to be both traditional and trendy. It's cozy and dark, just like a good pub ought to be, and the bar’s menu is full of elevated versions of classic Irish fare, like shepherd’s pie, Scotch eggs, and corned beef. It's tucked away on a quiet stretch of West 4th Street, and the old brick walls and ample reclaimed wood will transport you to another time and place.