The Best Irish Pubs in Philadelphia for St. Patrick's Day
Enjoy live music, pub fare, and more at the best Irish bars in Philly.
Philadelphia ranks as the U.S. city with the third-highest percentage of Irish ancestry, and our bar scene sure shows it. In a city already big on history, it’s no surprise that the vast majority of Irish pubs around town are decades old with their own stories to share. Whether you’re searching for Guinness, some fish n’ chips, the perfect place for St. Patrick’s Day, or to simply find a neighborhood spot with homey vibes, Philly has more than got you covered.
From iconic favorites that go back more than a century to beer-forward bars serving traditional Irish fare, here are the best Irish pubs in Philly.
New Deck Tavern
New Deck is a favorite for the Penn crowd and beyond, nestled on a picturesque strip of Sansom Street just a stone’s throw from the White Dog Cafe. At the bar you’ll find a global array of draft beers, including Irish imports from County Cork, plus an offering of Irish whiskeys and single malt scotch. If you’re feeling hungry, choose from an array of hearty burgers and sandwiches.
How to book: Walk in
The Black Taxi
Friendly and unassuming, The Black Taxi is a classic neighborhood pub and a go-to for catching games with a crowd or even a Derry Girls screening party. The Fresh Fish N Chips live up to the name, plus you can find other traditional fare like Belfast Bap and Shepherd's Pie alongside more nibbly bar food. Guinness and other go-to domestics and imports round out the bar selection, plus there’s an extensive list of shots if you want to experience what the Purple Gatorade or Cinnamon Toast have to offer.
How to book: Walk in
The Plough and the Stars
The Plough & The Stars is centered on delivering a traditional taste of Ireland. Scratch-made dishes like beer-battered Irish Bangers, Dubliner fries with Guinness-braised beef gravy, and the Guinness Casserole are just the start. With high ceilings and an elevated ambiance not often found in a neighborhood pub, The Plough works equally well for lazy brunching, a cozy dinner for two, watching the game, catching some live music, or as a stop on your late-night bar crawl.
How to book: Walk in
The Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant
The Black Sheep has all the staples you need in a cozy Irish tavern. The three-story converted townhouse sports 80 beer domestic and imported beers, plus wine and spirits, and cavernous seating that’s perfect for holing up at the bar or getting a table by the fire with friends. Plus if you’re there for more than just drinks, the menu strikes a perfect balance for elevated gastropub fare while staying true to comfort foods with traditional dishes like Shepherd’s Pie, Guinness Battered Fish and Chips, and Bangers and Mash.
Fergie’s checks off a number of quintessential things you want from your neighborhood Irish dive: pub fare, local beer, live entertainment, and twice-a-week quizzo. The live entertainment can either mean locals stepping up for an open-mic comedy night or traditional Irish music performed on the weekends. Fergie’s also manages to offer a handful of vegan options, including the Seitan Buffalo Wings and Vegan Steak Sandwich, as well all the other classic pub food you would expect.
For Pete's Sake
Pete’s is beloved by regulars for its dedicated service team and surprisingly packed menu for a relatively small kitchen. The food offers all the usual dishes you’d expect, including burgers and small plates for sharing, as well as Guinness Battered Fish and Chips, Empanadas, Fish Tacos, and a brunch menu that’s served from noon to 4 pm. In addition to standard drafts, bottles, cans, wines, and cocktails, Pete’s takes special care of those not imbibing with spirit-free cocktails, too.
Hilltown offers the classic Irish gastropub experience with a sizeable beer list (plus fun cocktails) that could satisfy anyone’s drink proclivities. Draft beers are seasonal and can be mixed and matched for a four-pour beer flight. Along with that, Hilltown has legitimately amazing bar food in the form of the Hilltown “Disco” Fries, fried chicken sandwiches, and five wing varieties like Thai Peanut, Honey Caribbean, and signature Hilltown. Outdoor picnic tables make it an easy group hang spot (especially if you’re bringing your dog), plus weekend brunch elevates its Bloody Mary game with sliders and the works atop your drink.
Kelliann's Bar & Grill
Kelliann’s is a long-running Philly favorite, complete with an iconic shamrock-painted outdoor sign. Family-run and operated for 30 years, Kelliann’s is a quintessential corner bar for comfort food like wings, pierogies, cheesesteak egg rolls, burgers, and weekend specials. At the bar, you’ll find carefully selected craft beers alongside the usual suspects and locally made brews. Whether you want a bucket of cheap, easy drinkers or to sample your way through some lesser-knowns, Kelliann’s lets you choose your own adventure.
How to book: Walk in
McNally’s first opened in the 1920s as a pit stop for travelers and operators on the Route 23 trolley. Since then it’s given the world its signature, now-legendary Schimmter: a steak-and-grilled-salami sandwich coined in the ‘60s. Beyond the Schmitter, though, McNally’s offers a daily update on its beer taps, which range from imported stouts and lagers to locally brewed favorites and standard domestics. If you’re interested in the grub, the Schmitter is only one of several larger-than-life sandwiches on the menu, plus chowder, chili, and griddle specialties.
McGillin's Olde Ale House
McGillin’s is quick to remind you that it's one of the oldest continually running bars in the country (and the oldest in Philadelphia), first opening its doors in 1860. Although it’s known to get crowded on the weekends and high holidays (i.e. March 17 and many others), it remains one of the only bars in the U.S. where you can order an O’Hara’s Irish Stout, which is exclusively brewed in Ireland. The menu also includes three McGillin’s specialties made by Tröegs. When it comes to food, you can have a full dinner of Shepherd's Pie or opt for $1 wings—and there is plenty in between.
Moriarty's Restaurant & Irish Pub
Moriarty’s has been around for more than 70 years, giving it plenty of time to cement its reputation as the grounds for some of the best wings in all of Philadelphia. It offers a home-y pub ambiance any time of year while dishing out dozens of beers on tap as well as lager, IPA, and Belgian bottles. If you’re somehow not in the mood for wings, the kitchen has something for everyone, from a Black Bean Burger to Steak Frites.
Like most Irish pubs in Philly, Murph’s is another classic with a long history behind it. The cash-only spot first opened in the early 1900s as a hunting lodge and bar, and while it has changed a lot over the years, it evolved into its current iteration as Murph’s in 2003 while retaining nods to the original space. Though undoubtedly an Irish bar, Murph’s sets itself apart with Italian food made by chef Francesco Bellastelli, a Puglia native who took over the kitchen in 2013. That means your pitcher of craft beer (or PBR) can be best enjoyed with Tagliatelle Bolognese, Lobster Ravioli, and even a 20-ounce Rack of Lamb.
O'Neals Irish Pub
There are few things the folks at O’Neals love more than regulars and the Phillies. Even for first-time visitors, though, you may soon feel at home drinking a beer (ordered from one of 19 taps) on the back porch. There are also more than 100 bottles, plus plenty of whiskeys, scotches, and cognacs to complete the drink menu. This family-owned and operated pub with a 40+ year history is a big hit for game-day viewing, as well as pub food classics and traditional grub like Irish Beef Stew and Beer Battered Fish and Chips.
It’s not often you find a newer addition to the collection of Irish pubs in Philly, but Ryan’s Pub on Manayunk’s Main Street joined the crowd in 2017 to offer creative pub food like artisan pizzas, deli sandwiches, and Poutine, along with weekly discounted drink specials catering to the neighborhood’s younger post-grad crowd. If you’re in the mood for brunch, Ryan’s offers it ‘til 3 pm on Sundays so you can take your time sleeping off Saturday night. Although it’s on the newer side, Ryan’s Pub is a family-run business whose other concepts date back across generations, including pub locations in West Chester and Phoenixville.