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.
Like pizzerias and Chinese restaurants, it seems like just about every town in America has an Irish-inspired pub of some sort. And if you’ve been to your fair share of them, you’ll know that it’s fairly easy to tell a good one from a bad one. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is about a pub that makes it welcoming versus one to avoid at all costs, but in our opinion the one thing that makes an Irish pub great is its authenticity.
"Authenticity" is a tricky concept, but authentic Irish pubs, by our measure, have a good selection of Irish (and non-Irish) beers, whiskies, and other beverages; a solid selection of Irish and American pub fare; and perhaps most importantly, roots. This doesn't necessarily mean they've been around for decades (though some have — in some cases for more than a century), but they somehow capture the spirit of Ireland, whether through the heritage of the owners and bartenders; the history of the building or the interior (some pubs actually import actual bars and furnishings from the old country); the character of the clientele; and, often, the presence of live music.
So read on to learn which of America’s many Irish pubs are the most authentic, the most welcoming, the most dedicated to serving quality food and drink, and the most, well, Irish. Sláinte!