America’s Best Irish Pubs Guarantee a Good Time
There’s nothing quite like the familiarity and comfort of a classic Irish pub. The concept dates back centuries in Ireland — a public house that served food, drink, entertainment was the perfect meeting place for business, family and friends. Shielded from bad weather and kept cozy with roaring fires, hot food, strong ale and live music, these establishments are embedded into the fabric of Ireland and, by way of emigration, the U.S.
America has some stellar Irish pubs, ranging from humble, divey holes-in-the-wall to the expansive palatial-style pubs with multiple performing stages and rooms upon rooms. What they have in common, however, is the commitment to the “craic,” the Irish word for fun, enjoyment and news. Where there’s a good pub, there had better be good craic.
So what are the best Irish pubs in the U.S.? We scoured sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor to see where America likes to get its perfect pint of Guinness alongside some fish and chips. From rugged Montana backcountry to the music-filled courtyards of New Orleans and the bustling streets of New York, we rounded up the best Irish pubs across the country.
30. The Celtic Cowboy
Location: Great Falls, Montana
The bar may have opened in 2013, but the roots for its inspiration can trace all the way back to 1890 when Robert Vaughn, a Welsh immigrant, became the first settler in the county just outside Great Falls.
Today, the Celtic Cowboy pays homage to the history of this hard-working, historic community. With a menu of Montana microbrews and a mix of Irish and American food, this is one of the best, coziest watering holes to hunker down in in Montana.
Visit: The Celtic Cowboy
29. The Dubliner Irish Pub
Location: Dallas, Texas
What makes The Dubliner so special is that it is owned and operated by a Dubliner himself. Peter Kenny is the master and commander of this beloved Dallas watering hole, which offers a lengthy menu of Irish whiskey as well as some of the best Guinness in town.
The vibe is cozy with a long wooden bar and a menu of hearty fare. Past guests rave about friendly staff and high quality of service, too.
Visit: The Dubliner
28. Raglan Road Irish Pub
Location: Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Come for the vibe and the food, but stay for the entertainment. This sprawling establishment is renowned for its live music and live Irish dance performances. You'll also find a gloriously lengthy menu of Irish staples, from fish and chips to the Dubliner burger.
You can definitely notice the Disney touch here thanks to the amped up performances and decor, but you'll certainly be feeling the Irish magic the second you step through the door.
Visit: Raglan Road Irish Pub
27. The Buena Vista
Location: San Francisco, California
This corner Irish pub in North Beach (not far from Fisherman's Wharf) has become a San Francisco institution. Not only does it serve rib-sticking hearty Irish fare and a strong whiskey, but it is particularly famous for its Irish coffees.
The pub's version of the Irish coffee was invented in 1952 (the secret is aging the cream for 48 hours before frothing).
Visit: The Buena Vista
26. Coleman’s Irish Pub
Location: Syracuse, New York
Established in 1933, Coleman's Irish Pub is a Syracuse staple. Back then, it was a humble establishment meant for the hardworking men of the city.
Today, it's three times the size of the original and is a welcome spot for all walks of life. The pub is lively and energetic year-round, but when it really shines is on St. Patrick's Day. Be warned — the high holiday celebration is not for the faint of heart.
Visit: Coleman’s Irish Pub
25. McGillin’s Olde Ale House
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Ever since 1860, McGillin's Olde Ale House has been pulling pints for its patrons. You can see every liquor license since 1871 hanging on its walls. It was opened by Catherine & William McGillin, Irish immigrants who raised 13 children under the same roof of the pub.
Today, it is considered to be one of the best Irish pubs in America thanks to its rich history, even richer food and many, many beers on tap.
Visit: McGillin’s Olde Ale House
24. Kells Irish Pub
Location: Portland, Oregon
This family-run establishment is one of the best Irish pubs in the U.S. because of its home-brewed beer, hearty food offerings, whiskey menu as well as its cigars.
The Portland establishment even has live music, and if you're in the market for a great St. Patrick's Day party, they throw one that is legendary.
Visit: Kells Irish Pub
23. The Marlay House
Location: Decatur, Georgia
Step into The Marlay House for a taste of Dublin in the Deep South. Decatur's beloved Irish pub features rotating beers, as well as seasonal ones, alongside popular pub grub.
The pub owners are straight from Ireland themselves, so you know you're walking into the real deal.
Visit: The Marlay House
22. Finn McCool’s
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
In a city that’s known around the world for its bar scene, you’ll want to know the best Irish spot in town. Finn McCool's, located in New Orleans' Mid-City neighborhood, has been bringing repeat customers for years.
Not only is it the best spot in town to watch a soccer match, but it also hosts popular trivia, pours a perfect pint of Guinness and serves up Irish classics like fish and chips and meat pies.
Visit: Finn McCool’s
21. Fadó Irish Pub
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Chicago has its fair share of Irish pubs, but it's widely agreed that Fadó is one of the best in the city. Known for its lengthy whiskey selection, as well as its fantastic food, customers return to this River North staple over and over.
The pub has been open since 1997 and always has a rotating calendar of events, from soccer matches to rugby competitions and every sport in between.
Visit: Fado Irish Pub
20. Wilfie & Nell
Location: New York, New York
A trendy, discreet and romantic Irish pub, Wilfie & Nell is a beloved watering hole in Manhattan's West Village. Strong drinks, flirty cocktails and locally sourced food are part of its ethos.
It also does a banging brunch on weekends. Try the Spicy Bloody Mary alongside the fried chicken sandwich. You won't be sorry.
Visit: Wilfie & Nell
19. Kieran’s Irish Pub
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
When you're looking for a cozy pub to escape the harsh Minneapolis winters, Kieran's just may be the place you're looking for.
Offering live music, a great whiskey list and a delicious menu (try the corned beef Reuben), this is where Irish pub lovers come to transport themselves out of the harsh winters and into the Irish countryside.
Visit: Kieran’s Irish Pub
18. The Harp
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland's favorite Irish pub is none other than The Harp. Quality comfort food, great drinks and friendly service are what keep Clevelanders coming back for more.
One of the most popular features of this Irish pub is its outdoor patio as well as its menu of Boxty cakes.
Visit: The Harp
17. Brendan Behan Pub
Location: Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Brendan Behan Pub is an old-school Irish pub with cheap drinks, a cozy atmosphere and walls that are plastered with memorabilia.
While the bar does not have its own kitchen, it does feature a variety of pop-up restaurants from time to time, including everything from burritos to sushi.
Visit: Brendan Behan Pub
16. B.D. Riley's Irish Pub at Mueller
Location: Austin, Texas
B.D. Riley's opened in Austin in the year 2000 and has quickly risen to become one of the best Irish pubs in the U.S. Known for its fish and chips, Irish stew and shepherd's pie, this Texas establishment brings a taste of Ireland to the Lone Star State.
The pub is actually named for the owner's grandmother, Bessie Dee Riley, and you can see her photo plastered all across the pub.
Visit: B.D. Riley's Irish Pub at Mueller
Location: Weston, Missouri
Weston is dedicated to the famous O'Malley's Irish Pub, which serves a long list of beers and whiskeys, including the local favorite — Weston Brewing Company beer.
In fact, the pub has turned its brewery cellars into actual pub space that’s underground and dates back to the 19th century. We give it an A+ for atmosphere.
14. Emmit’s Irish Pub
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Staking its claim on an iconic Chicago corner, Emmit's Irish Pub is beloved by its regulars. The beers are cold here, and the whiskey is strong, but it's the kitchen that sets this spot apart.
Devotees return for the shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and the wings.
Visit: Emmit’s Irish Pub
13. Grace O’Malley’s Irish Pub
Location: Norfolk, Virginia
Locally owned and family-run, Grace O'Malley's is one of the best beach-town pubs on the planet. Its home in Norfolk means that you can get a taste of old Ireland right on the Atlantic Coast.
Sundays are known for traditional Irish music sessions, during which you’ll want to be sure to order the wings and drunken salmon.
Visit: Grace O’Malley’s Irish Pub
12. Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Believe it or not, Jack Quinn's is older than Colorado is a state. Established in 1875 (one year before Colorado was granted state status), the historic pub was built at the hands of immigrants from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Today, it is one of the best pubs in the country, committed to great food and drink as well as live, traditional entertainment every day of the week — from Irish music to pub quizzes and a runners club.
Visit: Jack Quinn’s
11. The Irish Rover
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Built out of the bones of a 170-year-old saloon, the Irish Rover is a Louisville institution. It was built with the energy of the traditional pub in mind — as a place to meet friends, where family can gather, where news and good times can be shared.
The pub has been in operation for nearly three decades and is beloved for its menu of traditional items, like fish and chips, lamb-stuffed cabbage and Scotch egg. The whiskey section is also next-level, and according to customers, the staff knows how to pull the perfect pint of Guinness.
Visit: The Irish Rover
10. John D. McGurk’s
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
It's not a visit to St. Louis without a stop at John D. McGurk's. What started as a one-room pub in 1978 has grown to become one of the best Irish pubs in the U.S. with more than 15,000 square feet of space — and that's just the outdoor garden.
McGurk's has three outdoor bars, a fountain and even a waterfall. Inside is an ambient, old school-style pub serving up delicious food, strong drinks and live entertainment.
Visit: John D. McGurk’s
9. McGuire’s Irish Pub
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Back in 1977, McGuire's Irish Pub opened as a small, neighborhood watering hole. But in 1982, it took up residence in its modern space — the 1927 Old Firehouse of Pensacola.
Today, the expansive restaurant is a mainstay in the Pensacola nightlife scene, offering high-end cuisine, beers and wine, alongside live music every week.
Visit: McGuire’s Irish Pub
8. McSorley’s Old Ale House
Location: New York, New York
McSorely's Ale House is an East Village institution, often cited as the oldest Irish pub in New York. It opened in the 19th century and only saw three families as the proprietors ever since. Its last proprietor, Matty Maher, was credited with allowing women entry into the bar and banning smoking.
To this day, the bar still only services two kinds of ale: light or dark. The sawdust on the floor harkens back to its earliest days, though it feels nowadays like it's more for dramatic effect than anything else. Still, McSorely’s is a New York City experience that visitors won’t want to miss.
Visit: McSorley’s Old Ale House
7. The Brass Door
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
The pub may have just opened in 2006, but the energy in here dates back much further than that. When the owners, both from Memphis and from Ireland, restored the 1913 Marx and Bensdorf building, they were putting a serious dose of history into their modern-day Irish pub.
You'll find the original lamps and tile floors have withstood the test of time. It also happens to be the best spot in the city for a perfectly pulled pint of Guinness.
Visit: The Brass Door
6. Kilkenny’s Irish Pub
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Kilkenny's is often seen on "best of" lists when it comes to Irish pubs, and that’s because it’s one of the most popular places to grab a pint in Tulsa.
The walls are stacked with a vast collection of Irish knick-knacks, creating a cozy vibe that goes perfectly with a wide selection of whiskeys and beer.
Visit: Kilkenny’s Irish Pub
5. The Dublin Village Tavern
Location: Dublin, Ohio
Appropriately located in a city called Dublin, the Dublin Village Tavern certainly lives up to its Irish roots and expectations. Once a prime location for bar fights and brawls, today the historic center of Dublin has undergone a renaissance, bringing a more charming and quaint element along with it.
The Dublin Village Tavern is part of that renaissance, residing in a building from 1889. The pub opened in 2000 and is known for its classic Irish fare, including fish and chips and shepherd's pie.
Visit: The Dublin Village Tavern
4. County Clare
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
This Milwaukee favorite is dedicated to everything County Clare, a West Coast county of Ireland that’s home to the towering Cliffs of Moher. The traditional pub combines Irish comfort food with modern-day dishes and is decorated to pay homage to the favorite towns and villages of its namesake.
Legend has it that this pub pours the most Guinness in the entire state of Wisconsin. Plus, it features entertainment weekly in the form of traditional Irish music.
Visit: County Clare
3. Erin Rose
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
The building that houses the Erin Rose pub was originally a single family home, built in the French Quarter more than a century ago. It became a bar in the middle of the 20th century.
Today, it is one of the neighborhood's most beloved Irish watering holes, particularly loved for its Bloody Marys and frozen Irish coffees.
Visit: Erin Rose
2. Irish Haven
Location: Brooklyn, New York
In a city saturated with Irish pubs, it's difficult to choose the best. But the neighborhood favorite, Irish Haven, is one of the very best in Brooklyn and in the U.S.
Opened since the 1960s, this unpretentious watering hole is always full of regulars who come for the cheap beer, lively atmosphere, live music and walls practically papered with memorabilia.
Visit: Irish Haven
1. Nancy Whiskey
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Open since 1902, Nancy Whiskey has been the meeting ground of the Irish community in Detroit. Standing out like a beacon in an otherwise residential neighborhood, this old-school pub has definitely earned its "dive bar" status.
Over the decades it has doled out drinks to the likes of everyone from famous baseball players to Jimmy Hoffa. It's known for its live music, cheap drinks and caters to die-hard locals.
Visit: Nancy Whiskey