The Best Irish Pubs in Chicago for Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

These Irish pubs in Chicago make it feel St. Patrick’s Day every day.

Ready for round two? The parade might be over. The river might already be dyed. You might still be nursing a hangover from having one too many Guinnesses and one too few corned beef sandwiches on that pub crawl. But don’t forget: It’s not even St. Patrick’s Day yet. Luckily for you, we’ve done the hard work for you. No matter whether you’re looking for a raucous party vibe, traditional Irish music and dance, or a chill outing where you can sip your whiskey in (relative) peace and quiet, we’ve got you covered. Here are Chicago’s top Irish pubs for St. Patrick's Day.

The Kerryman

River North

The Kerryman isn’t just one of Chicago’s liveliest Irish pubs, it’s also home to one of the wildest stories any Chicago bar can boast, and that’s saying something. It began its life as a hangout for Chicago’s most notorious gangsters post-Chicago fire, then became the city’s largest strip club, before becoming the nexus of the Chicago punk movement, hosting bands like Husker Du and the Dead Kennedys. You wouldn’t know it, however, looking at its beautiful, cozy, multi-leveled interior, however. A lush patio, a menu packed with upscale Irish classics, and a wide drink selection make The Kerryman a must-visit not just on St. Patrick’s Day, but the rest of the year too.
How to book: Make reservations on Tock, or order online via Toast

D4 Irish Pub and Cafe


For folks who spend a lot of time in Streeterville and the Gold Coast, D4 is a welcome escape from the glitzy apartments, designer shops, and overpriced steakhouses. The pub is sunlit and cozy, an oasis among the noise. Better yet, the food and drink is wonderful, and reasonably priced. Saddle up for their $25 “Tour of Ireland” whisky flight set, order yourself some Irish Stew or a plate of Corned Beef Fried Rice, grab a book off the shelf, and warm up by the fireplace.
How to book: No reservations are available for St. Patrick’s Day, stop by for first-come first-served seating.

Fado Irish Pub

River North

Sure, it might be an international chain. Sure, it might be a tad on the corny side. But damn if this multi-story River North tavern isn’t a tried-and-true good time. Sidle up to the ground floor’s polished horseshoe bar and drink your way through their standout whiskey collection, or grab yourself a pint of perfectly poured Guinness and cozy up in the traditional Irish snug upstairs. You might be surprised to learn that much of the space’s decor and furniture actually come straight from the Emerald Isle, elevating this Chicago institution from an EPCOT-level imitation to a bonafide drinking den with old-world roots.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, with a $10 cover charge after 1 pm on St. Patrick’s Day.

Galway Arms

Lincoln Park

This lively Lincoln Park mainstay is immediately recognizable by its massive outdoor patio on Clark, typically bustling with thirsty patrons enjoying a cold one in the sun (or whatever the weather may be) along with typical pub fare such as Sausage Rolls and Chicken Pot Pie. Live traditional Irish musicians provide added ambiance as you tangle with cocktails like the Irish whiskey-spiked Dublin Donkey. As an added bonus, Galway Arms is one of the prime destinations for the city’s true soccer freaks, boasting viewing parties for MLS, Premier League, and LaLiga matches.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Cork & Kerry

Multiple locations

If you don’t like crowds, you may want to stay away from this iconic Irish hang on St. Paddy’s Day. But any other day of the year makes for a fine time to step inside this Western Avenue hideaway to knock back a few cold ones with locals and Beverly newcomers. With a second location in Bridgeport a couple of blocks from Guaranteed Rate Field that boasts a more-than-solid beer garden, Cork & Kerry invites you to drink away your workday troubles with 20 beers on tap. If you’re not feeling the draft list, don’t fret, they have another 40 in bottles and cans for you to sip while you enjoy some—in their words—“tasteless conversation”. Clinging to its working class roots despite gentrification and tourist inflows, this one joint to proudly cross off your Chicago bucket list.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

There will be a long wait on St. Patrick’s Day, this is true. But stay strong and you’ll be rewarded with a welcoming-yet-authentic Irish oasis best known for its massive brunch spreads, including a variety of food bombs including bacon, bangers, eggs, black and white pudding, baked beans, and white toast. What comes after said Irish breakfast? Irish Slammers, naturally. On non-holidays, sip a Maple Old Fashioned and wonder why you don’t come here more often.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout via Toast.

Lady Gregory's


Lady Gregory’s is almost too classy for St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. Don’t believe us? Check out the “library room” for proof. In addition to offering sophisticated opportunities to fake-read Irish classics, this spot is also highly regarded for its brunch and firelit vibe that makes a perfect spot for awkward Tinder dates. They’re also going all out for St. Patrick’s Day this year, with menu specials and live music every day until March 19.
How to order: Stop by for first come, first served seating, or order takeout via Toast.

Available for Reservations

If you want a classic, you go to Chief O’Neill’s. The back patio tent is one of the city’s top locations for the St. Patrick’s Day experience, where Irish dancers and buffet eats mingle with a more diverse crowd including families, the middle-aged, and beer-chugging young hooligans. It’s been honored by TimeOut Chicago as the city’s best Irish pub, and by Ireland of the Welcomes as one of the best 10 Irish pubs in the world, so it’s no surprise their St. Patrick’s Day Festival promises to be epic, complete with all-day entertainment starting at 10:30 am, a-la-carte Irish fare, and the best Guinness pours in America.
How to book: Stop by for first-come first-served seating. $10 cover charge after 4 pm.

Shinnick's Pub


While everyone in Beverly might flock to Cork & Kerry on St. Paddy’s, this friendly neighborhood dive’s laid-back digs present a tamer option—and also happens to be one of the oldest bars in the city. It went down in history as “Little City Hall” thanks to all the shady political deals that went down in the smoke-filled back room, and today, you can ask one of the remaining members of the Shinnick family manning the vintage Brunswick bar all about it. The pub sits a mere couple blocks from Guaranteed Rate Field, information which should come in handy later this spring (God willing).
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Opened by the children of late, great Murphy’s Bleachers owner Jim Murphy in 2005, this affable North Center neighborhood hang offers traditional Irish music, Six Nations Rugby, and hearty Irish breakfasts every day. Far enough removed from the post-collegiate epicenter of North Side debauchery yet close enough to throw out a lively, slightly more grown-up vibe, this joint also houses a market stocked with some hard-to-find Irish goods like imported cheeses and biscuits. Just try not to spill your Tullamore D.E.W. all over your trousers.
How to book: Order pick-up or delivery via Toast.

The Fifth Province

Irving Park

While there’s some debate about whether or not this is a quote-unquote secret bar, it sure as hell ain’t easy to find. Located in the south wing of the Irish American Heritage Center, the covert tavern is completely hidden away from plain view. The building looks very much like a local high school, so finding a fully-fledged bar inside really makes it seem like you’ve stumbled upon a Freemason lair. Even when it’s not St. Patrick’s day, the pub offers hearty fare, perfectly poured pints of Guinness, and live music after 9 pm. On St. Patrick’s Day, they’re hosting a family-friendly bash complete with Irish music, food, drinks, and activities for the kiddos organized by Irish Community Services.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating. Admission is $10 for St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

Jay Gentile is a Thrillist contributor and he is never too classy for St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. Follow @innerviewmag.
Sam Greszes is a Chicago-based writer who contributes to Kill Screen Magazine, GameSkinny, and ION Magazine.