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St. Patrick’s Day drinks taste better at these great U.S. venues

The best places to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the U.S.

With St. Patrick’s Day looming, it’s high time we get ourselves ready for the day-long celebration. That could mean anything from throwing on your favorite green shirt and chowing down on some soda bread to planning a trip to fine imbibing establishment. Chances are good that it will involve some tasty St. Patrick’s Day drinks and they tend to taste better in the most festive spots.

If you do decide to head out for the holiday, there are some prime options. What makes a great St. Patrick’s Day venue? Well, some Irish authenticity helps. That, and a great bar that’s comfortable and convivial and serving up all of your favorite holiday drinks, like red ales and Irish whisky. We can’t all get out to Dublin, but we can do the next best thing right here at home.

From an iconic French Quarter bar to a cozy Hudson Valley bed and breakfast, this is where we’re spending St. Paddy’s this year.

The Dubliner

Washington, D.C.

The Dubliner Washington, D.C.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This D.C. Irish pub and restaurant has been around since 1974, and it’s a notorious place to spot a politician or two. When you step into The Dubliner, you’ll be transported to the lively bars of Dublin with the friendly Irish staff and nightly live music. The bar is one of the largest purveyors of Guinness Stout and also pours Smithwick’s Ale, Killkenny Irish Cream Ale, and an impressive Irish whiskey collection, including their own expression that’s aged in American bourbon casks. Stop in on St. Paddy’s for a pint, pour, and some of the best Irish beef stew in town.

Casey’s Irish Pub

Los Angeles, California

Casey’s Irish Pub Los Angeles, California
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’re spending St. Patrick’s Day in downtown LA this year, Casey’s Irish Pub and Imperial Western Beer Co. are the best places to celebrate. Start the morning at Casey’s Irish Pub, which opens at 6 a.m., if you want to kick off the holiday early. Then take the festivities to Imperial Western Beer Co. where they’ll be serving cocktails, craft beer, and delicious eats like corned beef sandwiches. Bring your dancing shoes because live DJs will be spinning tunes from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Celtic Cocktail Trail

Dublin, Ohio

Celtic Cocktail Trail
City of Dublin

Dublin is a charming suburb of Columbus, Ohio that throws one of the best Irish festivals in the nation, and it’s also a perfect place to spend St. Patrick’s Day. Not only does the city host a variety of festivities around the holiday, but its Celtic Cocktail Trail is not to be missed. Simply pick up a guidebook at the Dublin Visitor & Information Center and visit the participating bars to win some swag and taste delicious cocktails (and mocktails) along the way.

The Irish Bank

San Francisco, California

the irish bank
The Irish Bank

We love The Irish Bank for its fun atmosphere, charming cottage-like exterior, and delicious shepherds pie. And this year, the pub is doubling the opportunity revelers will have to celebrate the holiday. The Irish Bank’s annual block party is taking place during two days — March 14 (a Saturday for those who can’t skip work on the real St. Paddy’s Day) and March 17. Doors open at 11 a.m. both days, and you can sip plenty of cold beer while listening to traditional Irish music and Celtic rock.

Erin Rose

New Orleans, Louisiana

Erin Rose Bar
Erin Rose Bar

There is no shortage of great places to drink in New Orleans, but Erin Rose is easily one of our favorites. Famous for being an industry hangout, you’ll find patrons of the bar spilling into the streets at all hours of the day, sipping Erin Rose’s famous Frozen Irish Coffee and munching on sandwiches from Killer Po Boys in the back. The Jim Monaghan St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches through the French Quarter every year and makes a stop at this legendary bar, where you should definitely be on the holiday if you’re spending it in the Big Easy.

The Dead Rabbit

New York, New York

dead rabbit
Dead Rabbit NYC

The Dead Rabbit is already one of our favorite places to celebrate just about any occasion because it’s one of the world’s best bars, after all. It has an extensive Irish whiskey list, the best Irish Coffee in the city, and a cocktail menu that will impress even the most discerning drinker (right now, we’re loving the Center Stage, a funky mix of Haitian white rhum, mezcal, pear, mastiha, wasabi, kiwi, celery, lime, and salt). Stop in on St. Paddy’s for a libation and snack, like their delicious bangers & mash.

J.J. Foley’s

Boston, Massachusetts

J.J. Foley’s Boston, Massachusetts
JJ Foleys Caf/Facebook

J.J. Foley’s opened in Boston’s South End since 1909, and the authentic Irish pub has been family-owned and operated ever since. It has a solid list of classic Irish beers as well as American craft brews, and the extensive food menu has everything from New England clam chowder to a plate of (haddock) fish and chips. You’re bound to have a great St. Patrick’s Day if you spend it in this lively neighborhood establishment.

Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast

Salisbury Mills, New York

Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast
Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast

If you really want to get away and make a long weekend out of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities this year, book a stay at Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast in New York’s Hudson River Valley. This charming B&B is already known for its culinary delights, and guests can enjoy Irish soda bread all March long, as well as Irish Coffee on the evenings of March 17 and 18. On March 17, Caldwell House is serving a grand Irish breakfast that includes sausage, bacon, eggs, beans, black and white pudding, and more.

With options all over the country, there are plenty of convenient ways to celebrate the holiday. St. Patrick’s Day drinks deserve a warm environment with plenty of raised glasses and all of the Irish flair. This year, ditch the green beer at the corner pub and check out one of these great venues instead.

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Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
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