The Dirty Onion, Town Centre, Belfast
Originally built in 1680, The Dirty Onion resides in one of Belfast’s oldest timber framed buildings. It has bags of character but with a great modern twist. This is the ultimate place to be on St. Patrick’s Day in Belfast. The bar has a whole host of treats lined up for Friday 17th, kicking things off with a BBQ at 12pm (if their famous chicken is anything to go by it’ll be finger lickin’ good). There will be live music throughout the day until late, with a four piece traditional band playing at 1pm to get things started. The Dirty Onion promise a whole day of fun and games, so get your four leaf clovers at the ready as prizes include pints of Clonmel Irish lager, t-shirts, hats, and even more. Entry is free but it’s recommended to head down early to bag a table before the day really heats up.
The Water Poet, Spitalfields, London (The Good Pub Guide 2017, p. 977)
At The Water Poet in Spitalfields, St. Paddy’s doesn’t just mean a day but a whole week of celebrations! Kicking off at 12:00pm on the 13th, The Water Poet will be serving up the best dishes the Emerald Isle has to offer (think Gur cake, and lots of it). On Wednesday, they’ve got a real ‘hump-day’ treat with an evening of Irish comedy and a free ‘Meet the Brewer’ event with true Irish craft beer connoisseurs, Bru. They’ve also organised a blind tasting challenge with prizes for punters to test their well-seasoned taste buds. Entry is free but ticketed so booking in advance is highly recommended. At 7:30pm on Thursday there is a beer, whiskey, and food matching evening boasting five courses of Irish scran matched with a variety of expertly chosen drinks. This event is £25 per head and booking is essential. If midweek partying isn’t your thing then save yourself for the grand finale on Friday where the Black Velvet Band will be playing great Irish tunes for you to croon along to (entry is free). The Water Poet has gone all out this St. Patrick’s Week and it looks set to be craic-ing.
The Tipperary, Fleet Street, London
Claiming to be the first Irish pub outside of Ireland, The Tipperary definitely makes it onto the list of watering holes for St. Patrick’s Day. For those working in the city, The Tipperary’s location on Fleet Street makes it the ideal pub for a post-work bevvy to get the celebrations started. The bar is somewhat on the cosy side and geared more towards vertical drinking than lounging in luxury, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in atmosphere. As a Greene King pub, The Tipperary has a great selection of well-known beers, ciders, and Guinness (obviously) on tap making it a great little spot to hunker down in for the evening. If the boozing gets too much and you need some grub to soak up a pint (or two, or three) then there’s a great little dining area upstairs where you can grab some tasty traditional pub meals, including Irish stew.
McCooley’s, Concert Street, Liverpool
The early bird definitely catches the worm at Liverpool’s McCooley’s with their generous offering of an Irish fry up and pint of Guinness for the humble sum of £8 before 12pm. Whilst you enjoy your boozy breakfast, there will be live bands playing between 10am and 12pm to really get you into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit (if the Guinness hasn’t done so already). But, if the ebony nectar isn’t your tipple, McCooley’s can still quench your thirst with Irish twists on classic cocktails, such as the Emerald Island Iced Tea and the Lucky Charm. As for food, McCooley’s offers more meals than you can shake a leprechaun at. They bar serves food all day from 8am-10pm so you can fill up on grub at any point whilst you enjoy the festivities.
Shenanigans, Tithebarn Street, Liverpool
Though she be but little, she is fierce! Don’t be mistaken by Shenanigans’ exterior, this pub is renowned as one of the finest independent Irish bars in Liverpool and boats the best Guinness in the city. If the dark stuff doesn’t tickle your fancy then there’s a great selection of wine, whiskey, and bottled beverages to quench your thirst. The Irish themed cocktail menu is really impressive and Shenanigans even have their own ‘Moonshine’ (think all the alcohol: Poteen, Bombay Sapphire, and Drambuie). The food on offer is simple but classic with a variety of pasties, chips, and a great throwback to school-dinner days with the good old fashioned toastie. Between 7-11pm on Friday Jake Carter will be taking to the stage for a free evening of excellent live music. With more free events on throughout the weekend Shenanigans really accommodate for those who want to keep the craic flowing this St. Paddy’s Day weekend.
Waxy O’Connor’s, West George Street, Glasgow
Glasgow’s Waxy O’Connor’s is an Irish gem to behold (albeit in Scotland). The pub is set over three floors and boasts a grand total of six bars – no waiting in line to get served here! Elaborately decorated with wood panelling, Waxy’s may be a fire hazard but it sure is charming. With a labyrinth of seating lacing through the bar there are tonnes of nooks and crannies to nestle down in if you need a break from the crowds this St. Paddy’s Day. Waxy’s has a great food menu to see you through the day, even offering an all-day breakfast (with soda bread!) or the likes of pork and Guinness sausages if you can’t get enough of the brown stuff. To round off the weekend, Waxy’s will be showing the final of the Six Nations where Ireland and England will battle it out, with kick off at 5pm. Scotland are also playing earlier in the day so prepare for a busy one!