There’s no greater institution in Ireland than a trip to the pub, and our knack of creating a perfect little cosy haven where you can have a good catch-up with friends or a bit of craic with strangers has spread to fine drinking establishments all over the world.
There’s something very special about an Irish bar and the very best ones make you feel right at home the second you step through the door for the first time, but there are those that manage that fine balance of good food, a good pint of Guinness, friendly service and slightly old-fashioned decor a touch better than others.
The US is home to a wide variety of Irish pubs, but if you’re looking for the best Irish pub experience away from home, where are the best ones to frequent?
Buzzfeed had the very smart idea to ask review engine Yelp, for the inside scoop on their site’s most highly rated Irish pubs in each state, resulting in a comprehensive list of the very best Irish across the US, according to the people who’ve been there.
If your favorite place wasn’t chosen, let us know what makes it so special in the comments section, below.
Now, we’ll be traveling slowly through them all just to make sure!
1. Alabama - Lucky Irish Pub & Grill, Mobile.
Describing itself as “a local hangout with food worthy of a road trip,” the food at Lucky’s, including their $5 Irish nachos, has certainly earned itself some rave reviews on Yelp.
“Awesome burgers, beyond any burger I have had in many years. Got the Hickory 1/2 lb burger. For 6:00 on Sunday service was awesome too. Friendly atmosphere, big screens all over. Will definitely be going to see the live music very soon.”
“Great service, neat atmosphere, but the food ... Damn it's good. Chefs were featured on local morning talk show.”
2. Alaska - Lucky Lady Pub, Juneau
Now owned by a 25-year patron, Mark Ericson, Lucky Lady Pub was purchased as the Pamaray Club by Mary Joyce in the 1970s and renamed because Mary considered herself a very lucky lady.
A “laid back dark local's bar with TV's, pool table, friendly vibe,” say the reviewers.
3. Arizona - Tim Finnegan’s Irish Restaurant & Pub, Phoenix
With some nice themed options such as the Killarney chicken and, of course, Irish favorites such as corned beef and cabbage and garlic/curry chips, the food at Tim Finnegan’s makes people very excited: “NOT YOUR TYPICAL MEDIOCRE BAR FOOD! DELICIOUS BEYOND BELIEF!
“Seemed like the longest traveling day ever and we found this gem. I ordered the corned beef and cabbage and thought I died and went to heaven. Some of the greatest mashed potatoes ever.”
4. Arkansas - Cregeen's Irish Pub, North Little Rock
Cregeen’s (meaning little rock in Irish) was apparently built in Dublin and shipped to Arkansas so you know it’s authentic!
“Always my first stop when I get off the plane. Nice, chill place. Great bartenders and a nice menu. I really love this section of Little Rock.”
5. California - The Shamrock Irish Pub & Eatery, Murrieta
Now it feels like Independence weekend. QUEL BORDEL getting the party started! It's a kicking Friday!Posted by The Shamrock - Irish Pub & Eatery on Dé hAoine, 3 Iúil 2015
Opened in December 2012 by Dubliner Graham Judge and Mancunian Paul Little, The Shamrock has quickly seen off competition with authentic Irish culture and charm, hand painted murals, a solid oak bar and genuine memorabilia straight from Ireland.
They are also involved in Get Shamrocked, the biggest 2-day Irish Music Festival in Southern California featuring 15 amazing bands.
“The food is great; the whiskey beer burger with beer batter bacon MUST be tried if only once (pick your own outrageous explicative ).”
6. Colorado - Wee Katie’s Irish Restaurant & Pub, Denver
Named after his grandmother, owner Paul Maye wished to create a pub with the atmosphere of Katie Mullen’s homeland before she emigrated from Co. Tyrone as a young girl.
“The best food I've ever had at a Irish pub bar none. Try the dry rub chicken tenders and the potato cake trio, you won't be disappointed. The lamb is amazing as well, raised locally from Colorado.
“You can't go wrong with this place.”
7. Connecticut - Inishmor Pub, Colchester
Named after Inis Mór in Galway, the owners traveled through Ireland in their 20s and sought to bring some of the atmosphere they experienced back home with them.
“In my opinion, the best place in town for an all around night out experience. From drinks at the bar t authentic and unique Irish food, this place accomplishes all.”
“Great beer selection...Guinness served to perfection.... Shepherd's Pie- Should Never be Taken Off the Menu! My Go To Place, at least once per week....You Will Enjoy!”
8. Delaware - Sheridan’s Irish Pub, Smyrna
Claiming to be Delaware's only authentic traditional Irish restaurant and bar, Sheridan’s is owned by two Co. Dublin blow-ins.
“Every time I've gone, the service is fast and friendly, and the food is excellent.”
“Delicious Irish Pub! Went there with a friend, excellent service and good food, including dishes we had not seen at other Irish restaurants.”
9. Florida - Celtic Ray Irish Pub, Punta Gorda
“This is for real! Owner a hoot! Best jokes! Great food, be sure to check out the fish and chips. Great beer selection. But most of all, I forgot how beautiful Irish gals are! The best smiles in the planet.”
“I will tell you hands down this Pub takes me back to Ireland! hands down the best atmosphere and great staff. The décor is identical to pubs in Ireland.”
10. Georgia - Shenanigan’s, Dahlonega
“Outstanding service, beer, and food at very reasonable prices. The Sausage Dip appetizer is awesome. You won't be disappointed.”
“This is a delightful traditional Irish restaurant. The food was served hot and had obviously been prepared with care. The friendly and happy servers made this a great dining experience.”
11. Hawaii - Murphy’s Bar & Grill, Honolulu
Originally the Royal Hawaiian Saloon, owner Don Murphy has brought a taste of the homeland to this waterfront spot.
“OK - great pub with very good food - why five stars - SERVICE is off the charts.”
“Honestly the best Irish Pub food I've ever had. The ambiance of this place is enough for me to come here regularly.”
12. Idaho - MickDuff’s Brewing Company, Sandpoint
Owned by brothers Mickey and Duffy Mahoney, the pair opened the brewing company because of their own fondness for hand-crafted beer.
“I kid you not, it was the best burger I've had in roughly 13 years. I told my buddies that I was in love with my burger.”
“This place is the best. Every damn Sunday. Definitely upscale pub style grub. Loving it.”
13. Illinois - Mollie’s Public House, Riverside
"Come in if you're good looking," the favorite phrase of the owner’s Grandmother Mollie (Flynn) Carroll from Westmeath.
“What a hidden gem!!! First and foremost, I absolutely loved this place, wow!”
“Let me just tell you it was a great time! Food was amazing and the Bartenders did a great job making sure everyone always had a cocktail and were there if we needed anything.”
14. Indiana - O’Bryan’s Nine Irish Brothers, West Lafayette
“Awesome atmosphere, theme, decorations and live Irish music. Lots of little areas to make it intimate. Servers were on top of their game. And the food....everything we ordered was phenomenal. Highly recommend.”
“The tap is also top notch. Wish I'd have gotten a Guinness because it looked creamy and perfect.”
15. Iowa, Dublin Bay Irish Pub & Grill, Ames
Describing itself as the perfect overgrown “family room” where members of the neighborhood meet, Dublin Bay Irish Pub offers the perfect Irish fare.
“The best place in ames!!! Great service great management! ! They have the best patio in town!!”
“It's amazing that this place could be considered a "hidden gem" of Ames, but it really is easy to miss.”
16. Kansas - O’Neill’s Restaurant & Bar, Leawood
“A favorite place for many years. A neighborhood favorite. Always busy. Excellent service. Great bar to have a drink or eat at. Friendly atmosphere.”
“God, I love y'all! Why is your service/food so damn good? A gem on Mission, I declare....”
17. Kentucky - Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, Covington
“Easily the best and most authentic Irish pub in the Cincinnati area. Great atmosphere, good pub grub and knowledgeable bar staff who know the proper way to draw a pint.”
“O M G! This place is fantastic!!! If I could give it 10 stars I would!”
18. Louisiana - Erin Rose, New Orleans
A loveable neighborhood bar in the French Quarter.
“Just about the perfect place to bring your out-of-town guests. Who can resist their frozen Irish coffee?? Not me, and every person I've taken here agrees.”
“I wish I could give this place more than 5 stars. Honestly. It's that amazing. The killer poboys served in the very back of the bar are pure evil genius. “
19. Maine - Féile Restaurant & Pub, Wells
Located in the historic old structure that housed the Lindsey Tavern from 1799 until the mid- twentieth century, Féile is owned by Limerick locals Joe and Tracy Ryan, carrying on the success of their l pubs in Ireland.
“Love this restaurant! Cozy, and family-friendly, atmosphere. Hands down, the BEST corned beef and cabbage I have ever had.”
20. Maryland - Galway Bay Irish Pub, Annapolis
“A go-to favorite restaurant. Whenever we have out-of-town guests who may not be as big into seafood as we are, we take them here.”
21. Massachusetts - Keltic Kitchen, West Yarmouth
Perfect stop for a full Irish!
“This place served me one of the best breakfast I've ever had. “
“We knew it was going to be good when the line to get in was spread out into the parking lot…”
22. Michigan - Sullivan’s Public House, Oxford
“Sullivan's is an absolute gem. They have the best salmon around. I have never had a bad meal here. The owner's are great and very friendly.”
“Made from scratch Irish fair, by some authentic Irish chef. Bangers and Mash, Shepherd's Pie, and Irish beers on tap from their authentic Irish bar. So cozy and inviting.”
23. Minnesota - Pub 112, Stillwater
Yes we're jamming tonight.Posted by Pub 112 on Dé hAoine, 9 Deireadh Fómhair 2015
“Great little treasure in Stillwater. Vast beer selection.....friendly wait staff....and amazing food! Live sports on 4 screens. Live music on the weekends!”
24. Mississippi - Irish Coast Pub, Gulfport
“Owner and his wife run the joint. Place is incredible. Great music. There's an open mic type night. Phenomenal bands. Cold ass beer.
“And the food... Amazing. Irish Nachos are a must.”
25. Missouri - John D. McGurk’s Irish Pub, Saint Louis
With it’s Irish musicians and artifacts, you could be sitting in a pub in Dublin.
“I've always wanted to go to Ireland, buuuuuut my bank account is currently in the red (waiting on those refunds, lol) However, walking into McGurk's, it's exactly what I'd imagine a true Irish pub to be like in Ireland -- great selection of drinks, loud music and most importantly, delicious comfort food. McGurk's has all that and more!”
26. Montana - Celtic Cowboy, Great Falls
Eat, Drink and BE Irish!Posted by The Celtic Cowboy on Dé Domhnaigh, 31 Eanáir 2016
Named after Welsh immigrant Robert Vaughn, the first European settler in the county, the Celtic Cowboy was one of Great Falls’ earliest philanthropists and most prominent citizens.
“Tons of beer on tap and a great food menu! Never had a bad meal. Service is amazing! Arlene is our favorite server! She memorizes our drink orders and she's super friendly and sweet!”
27. Nebraska - Brazen Head Irish Pub, Omaha
Modeled on the Brazen Head on Bridge Street in Dublin, the Omaha version was designed in Dublin, built in Wexford and then shipped over to the US.
“My first time ever having corned beef and cabbage and I am definitely glad this is where I came. What an authentic looking Irish bar. The staff was friendly and the menu had a ton of options.”
28. Nevada - McMullan’s Irish Pub, Las Vegas
“The staff is very friendly and quaint. The food is perfect to cure your munchies. The drinks are perfectly poured. What more could you ask for at a place like this?!”
“Never had a bad meal here, everything is always divinely delicious! I love the atmosphere, the best Irish pub in Vegas hands down!”
29. New Hampshire - May Kelly’s, North Conway
Even fitted out with it’s own post office!
"Another GREAT meal, GREAT view from deck! Can't wait to come back! Again, and again...three years and counting!”
30. New Jersey - Anglesea Pub, North Wildwood
“What a great find in a sea of wannabes !!!”
“A perfect pint, excellent wings, cozy atmosphere, swift and friendly service - why was last night our very first visit to the Anglesea Pub? We have a new "go to." Looking forward to trying each of their nightly specials.”
31. New Mexico - Two Fools Tavern, Albuquerque
“Fantastic Irish breakfast with a Guinness. They go hand in hand like Red and Green. In true New Mexico fashion, Two Fools Tavern is sure to surprise because it steps out of the usual pub, while still embracing its Duke City roots.”
32. New York - Cronin & Phelan’s, Astoria, Queens
In the city with an Irish pub on almost every block, it’s hard to pick just one but the Yelp reviewers love this Queen’s local.
“This place had some pretty darn good Shepards Pie. The owner is a nice guy. I like places like that. When you leave he comes and shakes your hand and thanks you for coming.”
33. North Carolina - The Belfast Mill, Charlotte
“Like the other reviews, this is a wonderful classic North East style local Irish bar with no bells and whistles. This is here to serve drinks, and have typical bar conversations.”
“I think this is the best bar in Charlotte.”
34. North Dakota - Blarney Stone Pub, Bismarck
Embrace the gift of the “blarney” with a good pint or enjoy “Dinner in Dublin” in this North Dakota favorite.
“Excellent food and beer. You WON'T be disappointed with their Blarney Dip sandwich.”
“I just can't seem to get over how much I love this place. The atmosphere is outstanding. The place is frickin HUGE.”
35. Ohio - Parnell’s Irish Pub, Cleveland
“You cannot find better people than the staff and owner at Parnell's. A must stop before or after a show on Public Square. Its also a great spot to drop in with a friend and catch up over a drink.”
“What I thought was going to be a non-descript, forgettable, quick pick-me-up actually was a very pleasant way to spend a late afternoon.”
36. Oklahoma - Kilkenny’s Irish Pub, Tulsa
“Now this is a local gem! Fantastic pub with one of the best menus I have ever seen we enjoyed appetizer or that had a potato pancake and chicken and other goodies in it it was so delicious.”
“Never been to a bar by myself before. The people there are friendly and inviting. The bartender is HILARIOUS.”
37. Oregon - Irish Table, Cannon Beach
Owned by brothers Sean, Luke, Levi and Shane with Seán’s wife Crystal cooking up a storm, you could be sitting at an Irish kitchen table.
“Amazing! Cheese platter, mussels, steak and ling cod! All delish! My husband tried talking them into opening a place in Portland.”
“The Irish Table is amazing on every level... I had the Prawns last night based on the server's recommendation and they were outstanding. The chandeliers and decor are perfect and everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I felt like part of the family!!”
38. Pennsylvania - Bill Murphy’s Irish Saloon, Philadelphia
“Essentially the platonic ideal of what a neighborhood bar should be … Because of the wide range of positives, it's easy to settle into Murphy's in any scenario from family dining to a casual date to watching sports on their many TVs.”
“OMG the turf burger is LIFE!!! So glad to have this place in my neighborhood. I'm not big on bars these days, but I love pub fare.”
39. Rhode Island - Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, Pawtucket
“I love a beer heaven! More selection than one'll ever get to, thank you Doherty's! The servers are always lovely and the junk on the walls is worth looking at (I always find something I would steal if I were a klepto, but I'm not).”
“Do you want real Irish food? Like, actually tastes like your Irish family made it? Doherty's has got it.”
40. South Carolina - Madra Rua Irish Pub, Summerville
“Yum.... Just had lunch here for the first time and seriously thinking about going out and sitting in my car until dinner! I had one of the Daily specials which was a queso burger.”
“The fisherman's pie is delicious! Madra Rua is by far the most authentic pub in the Charleston area and very reasonably priced!”
41. South Dakota - McNally’s Irish Pub, Sioux Falls
With family Sundays, the Jameson Jewel cocktails, and drunken mussels, McNally’s came up top in South Dakota.
“Excellent friendly efficient staff. Dublin cheesesteak was good for the hubby who also enjoyed the champs. I had the Guinness sliders which was just perfect for my smaller appetite.”
“Cool bar with a great atmosphere. ...and the food-my god the food is impeccably delicious. Try their special. If I knew the place a bit better I'd feel perfectly comfortable just saying, I'll take whatever the chef serves me”
42. Tennessee - McNamara’s, Nashville
“Very good! The shepherd's pie was fabulous, as were the black and tan onion rings.”
“I grew up in NY & Boston and love a good pub. McNamara's nails it. Food is excellent. Live music is great.”
43. Texas - B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, Austin
Another pub created in Ireland and shipped to the US, named in honor of Bessie Dee Riley, an Irish immigrant who traveled to the US to escape the famine.
“Very good Irish pub and they have an amazing harpist Kristen Gibbs playing few days a week. We went there 3 days in a row just to listen her.”
“BD'S holds true to every expectation of a pub. It has charm and lots of character coupled with delicious food and excellent staff. “
44. Utah - Rock & Reilly’s Irish Pub, Park City
According to “Good Morning America,” this Irish rock bar is home to one of the top ten grilled cheese in America.
“Huge fan of this place. I come in whenever I'm in LA. The in house whiskey is fabulous and the staff is great. The food is good for the most part, especially the wings.”
“No doubt my favorite sports bar in LA. I could spend every Sunday here and it never get old. Absolutely obsessed with the food - especially the nachos and boneless chicken wings.”
45. Vermont - McGrath’s Irish Pub, Killington
“Great bar built right into the mountain. Rocks to sit on in the bar area and tables made of local wood. Stew was delicious.”
“Great food!! Had the turkey melt and it was delicious! There was apple butter on the Irish soda bread, along with turkey, melted cheese, and apple slices. Lots of great flavors.”
46. Virginia - The Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant, Arlington
“This is exactly what I want in an Irish Pub - fresh Guinness, Irish accidents, beer specials and attentive service.”
“I was immediately impressed by the small but jubilant bar crowd, Irish owner who personally came to our table to check on us many times, efficient waitress, awesome happy hour specials, great beer list, and overall menu which would please even the pickiest of eaters.”
47. Washington - Shawn O’Donnell’s, Seattle
Thanks to all of you that came out to our Everett pub for the St Pats festival. Good Times!The kid threw a pretty good party at our Seattle O'Donnell's.Check out this 11 sec clip. Wish I could have been at both.Posted by Shawn O'Donnell's American Grill and Irish Pub on Dé hAoine, 20 Márta 2015
“Bread Pudding was delish!! Monte Cristo, Fish N Chips and Irish Nachos were all tasty! Will try again.”
“This pub is the epitome of fun Irish food and drink! The soda bread is served with honey butter. The clam chowder has cabbage in it! … Added to that is a fun atmosphere with Irish music and friendly service.”
48. Washington, D.C. - Kitty O’Shea’s
“This is the epitome of dive bars/local Irish pub, with unexpectedly excellent food. The bartenders are friendly, the food is great, the location is convenient, and the drinks are solid.”
“I love this place. Time after time I'm welcomed by bartenders who remember my name and my drink.”
49. West Virginia - Irish Pub on Washington Street, Lewisburg
Sellers of the most Guinness in West Virginia!
“The Irish stew was fabulous as was the shepherd's pie. Really, really solid food. And it really stuck to your bones. I have also never seen such an incredible beer selection anywhere in WV.”
“Great staff, all always ready to serve you with a smile and conversation. Authentic Irish music performed live most nights by one of the owners makes it even better!”
50. Wisconsin - County Clare Irish Pub, Milwaukee
A beautiful tribute to County Clare with 20 stained glass windows and a “Saint’s Snug.” County Clare claims “A pint of Guinness is the freshest here outside of St. James Gate itself.”
“If I never eat at another Irish-food restaurant aside from County Clare again, I would die happy knowing that I had tasted the best Irish Pub in Milwaukee.”
51. Wyoming - Pat O’Hara Brewing Company, Cody
And last but not least, a great Irish microbrewery in Wyoming.
“Love the Irish Egg Rolls! All the sandwiches are good. Service is welcoming. Good spot for football games.”
“This place was a great find in Cody. Great beer, good food, and friendly staff. It felt like more of a local place than a tourist trap.”
This list was compiled by Yelp and Buzzfeed using an algorithm that looked at the number of reviews plus the star rating for every business using the tags “Irish pubs” and “Irish restaurants”.
*Originally published in February 2016.