You’d be hard pressed to find a Southern city that celebrates the Emerald Isle as much as Atlanta does. First held in 1858, the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade is the longest-running event in town. Like potholes and streets named Peachtree, Irish-themed pubs are all over the place. So how do you know which ones are worth your time? Allow us to help you with that.
The Best Irish Bars in Atlanta
Buckhead (& four other locations)
It might sound crazy to think there’s an Irish pub with both delicious food and killer drinks. It isn’t crazy -- it’s Meehan’s. Try one of its most famous dishes, Devils on Horseback -- so good, it landed on the Atlanta Convention and Visitor's Bureau Signature 100 Dishes list. If that doesn’t appeal, maybe the goat cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon on top of roasted beets with a red wine reduction sauce will. If you’re not into any of those options... just order a beer, and tip your bartender.
Don’t sleep on this East Atlanta favorite. The bar itself is deceptively open and spacious, and you’ll appreciate its ambience even more once you settle in with a hearty $5 burger & fries and a $1.50 PBR tallboy (Wednesdays only!). They also have an extremely addictive Irish Cheddar dip made with crème fraîche and served with toasted baguettes.
Buckhead (& other locations)
Fado is an interesting pub/restaurant. It’s comprised of several floors, boasts a lovely rooftop patio, and is also known for having the best Guinness in town. Pair all that with the pulled lamb French dip, or surprisingly delicious pork belly tacos, and you’ll feel the infamous luck of the Irish in no time. Or just full... which could be the same thing?
Brookhaven (& other locations)
As the winner of last year’s international Irish Pub of the Year, Olde Blind Dog obviously does not lack in authenticity. It’s no wonder, then, that its beer, Scotch, and bourbon selections are all top notch. Opt for either a $7 Jameson or a $22 Bushmills 1608. And because you have to have something (preferably meaty, cheesy, and greasy) to soak it all up, try the stout onion soup and lamb/beef meatloaf. If it’s nice out, you can do all of this eating and drinking on the patio.
A hidden gem in the heart of Virginia-Highland, Limerick Junction can get busy. BUT it serves free popcorn. If that kick-starts your appetite, you’ll want to order the crazy-good Irish egg rolls (crispy egg rolls stuffed with savory corned beef and tender cabbage). There’s also live Irish music most nights, so keep tossing back those drinks until you think dancing along sounds like a good idea.
Rí Rá’s beautiful interior was disassembled and brought over the pond from Ireland. So if you never get to Ireland, you can at least say you’ve been in a pub that has. With hand-carved woodwork, crystal chandeliers, and comfortable stools, it’s posh without being pretentious. It’s also boozy and delicious -- grab an order of the potato cakes and cottage pie.
Dubbed “a bit of Dublin in Decatur,” The Marlay House has strong drinks and good food. While the menu has Irish standouts like shepherd’s pie and Dublin coddle, it also has a lot of non-Irish specials, like fish tacos and ceviche. The draft list is rotating, but you’ll regularly find beers like Bell’s, Stone Brewing Co, Dogfish Head, and Red Brick in the lineup. Hit it up on Mondays for half-priced appetizers, and enjoy it all on the large patio.
Roswell (& other locations)
Three little words make Keegan’s truly stand out amongst other Irish bars: Irish spring rolls. Be forewarned: these crisp rolls, crammed with corned beef, cabbage, and cheese, are something you’ll find yourself craving on the regular, and something you’ll undoubtedly find yourself washing down with one of Keegan's signature cocktails.
If you like whiskey, Scotch, or bourbon -- and we’re betting you do -- take your thirsty lips over to Mac McGee. It has a mammoth selection, from the cheap stuff, all the way to the whoops-there-goes-my-paycheck. And since we all know money comes and goes, be sure to pair your selection with the Guinness bread pudding. It comes topped with Bailey’s ice cream and no feelings of regret.
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Brook Bolen is an Atlanta-based writer with a fondness for whiskey and Irish bars.
1. Meehan's Public House232 19th St NW, Ste 7165, Atlanta
2. The Elder Tree Public House469 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta
3. Fado Irish Pub273 Buckhead Ave, Atlanta
4. Olde Blind Dog705 Town Blvd, Atlanta
5. Limerick Junction822 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta
6. Rí Rá Irish Pub1080 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta
7. The Marlay House426 W Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur
8. Keegan's Irish Pub4401 Shallowford Rd, Roswell
9. Mac McGee111 Sycamore St, Decatur
Meehan's is your one stop shop for true Irish pubbiness, boasting knockout burgers and pints, right in the heart of Midtown. Check out their patio'd outdoor space for a brew and a bite. We think that Meehan's is the best Irish pub in Atlanta, but you'll have to stop by and see for yourself.
This Irish public house offers up traditional pub fare utilizing items like house-cured bacon, fresh salmon, and more. Their crowning achievement is perhaps their Spur burger, which comes with blue cheese, portobella mushrooms, and onion.
Stop by Fado's Irish Pub and Restaurant for a pint and delicious bar eats like their pork schnitzel sandwich. As far as we are concerned, that are the best and most authentic Irish pub in Atlanta and have the best Guinness in town.
With a cobbled street entrance styled after famed Dublin drinkery The Temple Bar, the first ITP location of OBD will stuff you with deep-fried Tabasco pickles, open-faced, ale-braised short rib sammies on jalapeño cornbread, and lamb/ beef meatloaf in Guinness BBQ sauce, plus 50 whiskeys, 40 bottles (Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout), and 20oz specially mixed pints like the Strongbow/ Harp/ black currant "Diesel", which they'll call you if you can take down a Fast Five.
This place may get a bit crowded, but their live Irish music and crazy-good Irish food will make you want to stick around. If that isn't enough, they give you free popcorn! Stop by Limerick Junction if you are looking to get an authentic Irish experience without actually going to Ireland.
Constructed with rescued 19th century artifacts in south-of-Dublin County Wicklow, then shipped in pieces to Midtown for re-assembly, Ri Ra's an Irish pub with parquet flooring from the same Belfast shipyard that built the Titanic, Dungarvan crystal chandeliers, turn-of-the-century double doors leading to a reclaimed 1800's-era bar, and a private room called RÃ Rá Beag.
The Marlay House is a perfect blend of authentic Irish bar and American gastropub. Here you'll find great Irish beers and food like shepherd's pie, but you'll also find some unique menu items like fish tacos and ceviche. They have great happy hour deals and a beautiful outdoor patio to drink on.
Famously divey O’Shaughnessy’s has been gutted and dressed up with infinitely more Irish pub-ness to create Keegan's, which calls its nachos Blarney Chips, its shaved roast beef w/ au jus a Bookmaker Sandwich, and its beef, pork, and veal meatloaf... Meatloaf. They'll have live music, themed days, and Monday trivia.
With a fire engine-red front entrance and gold lettering spelling out its name, Mac's a cozy, condensed Irish pub with a healthy selection of beers and 100+ whiskeys, with a wall shrine to its namesake, natural wood floors, brick walls, stained glass. Don't miss out on eats like their Dublin burger w/ Cashel Blue Irish cheese & house-made "rashers" aka strips of bacon.