St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal in Chicago. We mock those who forget to wear green, we pound Shamrock Shakes and we hunt high and low for green-tinted beer. Hell, we even dye the Chicago River bright green for March 17th! The city turns to a singular mission mid-March: Get drunk, be loud and stumble through the city hitting as many Irish pubs as we can.
And Chicago is stuffed with Irish pubs. Not even the most diehard St. Paddy’s Day reveler can hope to hit every shamrock-themed drinking hole in this city. Especially if you’ve got a corned-beef-&-cabbage dinner on the books, and frankly you should, it’s tradition!
Luckily, we’ve got a list of great (dare we say best?) Irish pubs located all around Chicago.
1. The Kerryman
661 N Clark Street
Website: The Kerryman
Phone: (312) 335‐8121
This pub is named after an early Irish monastic saint, St. Brendan, also known as Brendan the Navigator. The Kerryman is already preparing for a packed house the night of the 17th! If you’re looking to enjoy the live music scheduled for this fun night, be sure to reserve a table as soon as possible.
The Kerryman offers a more upscale environment for those looking to grab some corned beef but not get swept up in the hooting and hollering of the drunken masses. And be sure to try their curry fries, they’re to die for!
Fun Fact: Kerryman is a term that applies to those from County Kerry in southwest Ireland.
2. Emmit’s Irish Pub
495 N Milwaukee Avenue
Website: Emmit’s Irish Pub
Phone: (312) 563‐9631
Emmit’s may have only opened in 1996, but the building Emmit’s calls home has quite a storied past! The same space housed a bank in the 1920s. Tunnels are rumored to connect this building to locations as far away as The Field Museum. These tunnels, stretching several miles, were said to have been used by gangsters for smuggling, hiding and escaping during the prohibition era.
Now, Emmit’s is a lively Irish pub and regales in the building’s bloody history by lifting libations for the fallen! For this St. Patrick’s Day, Emmit’s is scheduling live music and releasing t‐shirts and coozies to commemorate 2016’s greenest holiday!
Fun Fact: This bar is steps away from the Blue Line, which should make getting to and from this bar a little easier and a whole lot safer.
3. Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant
100 W Grand Avenue
Website: Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant
Phone: (312) 836‐0066
The Irish theme is on full display at Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant on the corner of Clark and Grand, but that Irish theme doesn’t make this place stuffy. Come as you are and be prepared for great festivities planned for St. Patrick’s Day.
Live music is scheduled, and you better believe you’ll be able to get your corned beef and cabbage fix here, but Fado’s fish and chips might just give that traditional favorite a run for its money.
Fun Fact: The restaurant’s name is Irish Gaelic for “long ago” and is often spoken to begin a story, like how we say “once upon a time.”
4. Cork & Kerry
3258 S Princeton Avenue and 10614 S Western Avenue
Website: Cork & Kerry
Phone: (312) 842‐0769
Established in 1988 and after nearly succumbing to a 1999 fire, Cork & Kerry re‐opened in 2003. Serving south‐ side Irish neighborhoods, the Princeton Avenue location is mere steps away from U.S. Cellular Field. The original Western Avenue location boasts a massive beer garden and a 50‐person private lounge.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, an outdoor beer garden in Chicago in March isn’t exactly where I want to be spending my St. Paddy’s Day! Well, a good portion of that beer garden is enclosed, which will give those at the bar a little extra space to stretch their legs when this location is sure to get packed on the 17th!
Fun Fact: Cork & Kerry was recognized by Thrillist as one of the country’s best Irish pubs in 2014.
5. Johnny O’Hagan’s
3374 N Clark Street
Website: Johnny O’Hagans
Phone: (773) 857‐0944
Jumping from one Irish pub near the home of the White Sox, let’s take a look at a great St. Patrick’s Day spot in Wrigleyville! Johnny O’Hagan’s is classically styled with beautiful Irish charm and a relaxed atmosphere. This genuine Irish pub located near The Friendly Confines recently changed hands in 2013. It’s now being operated by two honest‐to‐God Irish owners!
If you’re new to the area, the thin, wedge‐shaped building is easy to miss if you’re coming from the south. If you’re scratching your head, just look for the intersection of Clark & Roscoe. Thursday nights are normally trivia night at Johnny O’Hagan’s, and there’s no word yet on that being cancelled for St. Patrick’s Day. So, come on down if you’re looking for cold beer, tasty food, and some great trivia. And give the brand-new menu a taste, there are some winners on there!
Fun Fact: The City of Chicago had to add a four‐way stop sign at the intersection outside this pub due to so many stumbling drunks tripping into the streets.
6. Butch McGuire’s
20 W Division Street
Website: Butch McGuire’s
Phone: (312) 787‐4318
As the story goes, Butch borrowed $560 from his mother to open a singles bar in 1961. Still open and operating to this day, and now being run by his son, Butch McGuire’s is the stuff of legend.
Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by a beautifully preserved wood bar and a design-aesthetic most would describe as alarmingly busy.
For St. Patrick’s Day, be sure to spot Butch’s signature animatronic displays that include leprechauns dancing around toadstools and the year‐round model trains that scoot around overhead! The pub’s ceiling will also be decked out with green twinkly Christmas lights. And be sure to grab your awesome Butch McGuire’s official St. Pat’s Day t‐shirt, which is only available if you head to the bar in person.
Fun Fact: Butch McGuire’s is credited with creating the Harvey Wallbanger and this is rumored to be the first pub to serve celery as a garnish on a Bloody Mary!
7. Celtic Crossings Irish Pub
751 N Clark Street
Website: Celtic Crossings Irish Pub
Phone: (312) 337‐1005
We close with a bar that’s just down the street from our first entry on this list. If the buttoned-up atmosphere of The Kerryman isn’t the vibe you want for your St. Patrick’s Day, then Celtic Crossings Irish Pub might be the place for you!
It’s bold red facade beckons those looking for a cold drink and a little revelry to enter from the cold Chicago winter. Celtic Crossings is known for live music and while the band for the 17th hasn’t been announced, expect the pub to be rocking the night of St. Patrick’s Day!
Fun Fact: USA Today rated Celtic Crossings to be the most traditional Irish pub in Chicago!