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.
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.