One for the Road: Irish Bars

Clarke's, Miami - Great Irish Pubs

On St. Patrick’s Day, everybody is Irish and every bar is a pub. But it takes more than just bottles of Jameson, pints of Guinness and shamrock garlands to truly reflect the old country. With help from our contributor and award winning bartender Simon Ford, we came up with an unofficial list of the best Irish bars in the country. Sláinte!

Clarke’s, 840 First Street, Miami Beach, 305 538 9885:

An Irish pub just blocks from the beach sounds like the setup for a bad joke or a mirage. But in Miami Beach, such a place really exists. Clarke’s (pictured above) looks like an old-fashioned pub you’d find in Ireland, except it’s in Florida. Just remember to pack the sunscreen.

The Grafton Pub & Grill, 4530 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, 773 271 9000:

You’ll feel like you’re in Dublin when you enter the Grafton Pub in Chicago. There’s live music four nights a week, and if you get thirsty, there are more than 70 different beers to choose from plus almost 20 Irish whiskies.

The Irish Bank, 10 Mark Lane, San Francisco, 415 788 7152:

The Irish Bank was one of the first bars in America to offer a large selection of single malts, and to this day it stocks several dozen whiskies. Drink inside the quaint pub or outside on the oversized patio, which is equipped with awnings for sunny days and heaters for chilly nights.

The Local, 931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612 904 1000:

For the last three years in a row, this charming downtown-Minneapolis pub has sold more Jameson than any other bar or restaurant in the world. (Yes, that includes Ireland.) In 2009 alone,  The Local sold more than 9,000 bottles of the brand’s whiskey. If you’re not feeling like spirits, there are also many beers on tap and a full menu of hearty food.

McSorley’s Old Ale House, 15 East 7th Street, New York, 212 473 9148:

New York City has dozens of Irish pubs, but only one can count both Abe Lincoln and John Lennon as customers. McSorley’s has been open since 1854 and claims to be the city’s oldest continuously operated saloon. An amazing feat since it only serves one thing: its own beer.

Looking for more great watering holes? Check out our bar guide for the best bars in the world.

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Comments

  1. Davis Miller says

    Point Break – A Perfect Bar Experience in NYC

    A local friend recommended and took my Cali group to this amazing bar. He said that mostly locals came here so I didn’t really know what to expect ambiance wise… but screw it, the view at this bar was absolutely breathtaking! No joke. I felt like a celebrity w/ superstar treatment as the staff are friendly and amazing to say the very least.

    I don’t know who the house DJ was but he definitely was playing music right up my alley. It would’ve been my dream for people to start dancing, but it’s all good.

    It’s a bit sceney for my taste, but it really didn’t bother me much. the bartenders knew their stuff, although their 1st cocktail was a little weak, when he saw i understood cocktails the next 2 were stronger. I also liked that even though the place was really hopping the bartender remembered what i was drinking when i came to order another. (he also understood how good a gin hendricks is, and not to overpower it with the mixer). It was amazing to see their “das boot” which is shaped like a boot filled with beer. Don’t get me wrong, I am not drunk…it’s an actual boot shaped beer container ready to be emptied..try it ..you will love it!! Oh..how can I forget, they even have a wheel o’ shots where you just have to spin it and have to drink whatever shot it lands on!! Now call that bar creativity at its best!!!

    We ordered the Veal and Fish Tacos. They were delicious. Mm! We ended up asking for spoons to polish off whatever remained in the platter. (Faux pas? Who cares as long as it gets in my tummy.) The fries were crispy, but not overcooked, just the way that I like them.

    So take in this scene: You walk in to what seems like an overly crowded place, but soon fine an empty table. Time seems to stop and the only indicator of the night moving on is the moon and your brain cells slowly going to bed forever. The music is not to loud and the people around look good, the only thing left for you to do is to enjoy that drink you paid ridiculously low for and laugh at the joke your co-worker just told.

    The vibe of the place just never seems to die out and if you happen to spot some NYC socialite, sports player, or star, don’t let it get to you… because for that moment, this night they are no long more important than then you. In fact go up to them and introduce yourself!

    All in all just a great place to meet new people, or just have drinks with people you already know. I’ve been to numerous bars in the city but i would say this place is just great. Very welcoming staff, very laid back ambiance. I’ve been here twice after my first visit with my Cali group . I would say its worth the every penny you spend!!

  2. Ethan C. says

    You know, sometimes you’ve got to get away from the big cities to find true quality. The best Irish pub I’ve ever seen in Paddy Malone’s in Jefferson City, Missouri. Not only does it have properly-mixed Guinness and a wide selection of Irish whiskeys and Scotches, it’s also got some of the best pub food I’ve ever had. There’s also the little things, like the collection of books on Irish history and culture that you can check out like a library, or the arms of all the counties that adorn the tables, and the beautiful knotwork animals painted on the walls.

    But the most important bit, and what makes it into a true pub: the proprietor, Alan Tatman, sits right by the front door. Go in two or three times, and he’ll be greeting you by name. As their menu says, “A bar is a place you can drink, but a pub is a community.” And Paddy Malone’s makes that true.

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