St. Patrick’s Day in PA: Your guide to Irish pubs and fare

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Pennsylvania has a storied history of Irish immigration. Often spurred by hard times back home, Irish immigrants have been making their way to Pennsylvania for centuries and have helped shape the commonwealth into what it is today. Indeed, people with Irish ancestry make up more than 15% of the state population!

But once a year — on St. Patrick’s Day — everyone says they have a little bit of Irish in them. On March 17, Irish culture is celebrated and sometimes stereotyped while the beer (mostly Guinness) flows.

You can join the craic this season at a number of bars and restaurants across Pennsylvania. Sláinte! (Cheers!

The Plough and the Stars – Philadelphia

The Irish immigrants who founded and own The Plough and the Stars, an Irish restaurant and bar in Old City, opened the restaurant to introduce authentic Irish cuisine to Philly.

Irish pubs aren’t always well-known for their food, but that’s not the case with The Plough, whose chefs have even cooked at the James Beard House. The menu focuses on “new” Irish fare — not just corned beef and cabbage — and includes options like a casserole made with Guinness, shepherd’s pie, and lots of seafood and vegetarian entrées.

The restaurant is of course going all out for St. Patrick’s Day, with Irish dancers, giveaways, live music, singing, storytelling, and plenty of craic.  

people dining under umbrellas outside
Photo courtesy of Bob Krist for Visit Philadelphia.

The Irish Coffee Shop – Upper Darby

If you’re not planning to party your Paddy’s Day away, you’ll be happy to know that you can tuck into a traditional Irish breakfast at this café and grocery store. The Irish Coffee Shop serves a full Irish breakfast each morning, complete with beans, eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, black pudding, and more. (You could tuck into this breakfast after a night spent partying, too.)

The shop also serves traditional Irish favorites for lunch and dinner — be on the lookout for St. Patrick’s Day specials.

The Bog – Scranton

The Bog may not explicitly advertise itself as an Irish pub, but the small bar has the drinks and the comradery of one. What else would you expect in Scranton, where roughly a third of residents have Irish roots?

The dive bar often features live music and other events, like parties for Scranton’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

young dancers at St. Patrick's Day Parade
Photo courtesy of R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.

Oxford Hall – New Cumberland

The Celtic shop and café that is Oxford Hall is an ideal place to grab your St. Patrick’s Day essentials — groceries, home foods, apparel, and more — while you sip a cup of Irish tea.

The shop’s own Tea Corner Café serves Irish and British favorites, like Heinz beans on toast, pasties, and even a miniature Irish breakfast. 

street sign showing celtic businesses
Photo courtesy of The Block On Bridge via Facebook.

Monaghan’s Irish Pub – Essington

Monaghan’s Irish Pub is a Delaware County community bar pouring your favorite drinks and serving up affordable eats.

In addition to an all-day celebration for St. Patrick’s Day with music, food, and other entertainment, you’ll find plenty of events throughout March, including a kid-friendly version of Paddy’s Day. And a week before St. Patrick’s Day, you can gear up for the big day by heading to Monaghan’s St. Practice Day party.

Siamsa Irish Pub – Stroudsburg

Advertising itself as the only Irish pub in the Pocono Mountains, Siamsa Irish Pub is certainly authentically Irish — the pub itself was built in Ireland and then shipped to the States to be rebuilt. That’s commitment.

While enjoying the pub’s upscale atmosphere, you can munch on Irish classics like corned beef and cabbage or shepherd’s pie, while drinking from a beer list with more than 30 options.

Visit on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate like the Irish do — with a party!

Fergie’s Pub – Philadelphia

Fergie’s Pub is as much an Irish pub as it is a Philly one. Located in Center City, the bar grabs your attention with its drink list, food menu, and events like live music and open mic nights; it doesn’t have any TVs.

Though it’s always Paddy’s Day at Fergie’s, March 17 brings a bigger party — and more reason to pour the whiskey. You can also join the revelry on March 10, the day of the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Monterey Pub – Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s Monterey Pub is in the city’s historic Mexican War Streets neighborhood, and has a bit of history itself: While the building has served as a neighborhood watering hole for decades, it has also spent time as a barbershop, a brothel, and possibly even a hideout for rumrunners during Prohibition.

Like any good Irish pub, the North Side bar is set to deliver during the St. Patrick’s Day season with drink specials and Irish eats.

Irish Cousins – Erie

Irish Cousins has served the Erie community for decades, and you can take part in the tradition by spending your St. Patrick’s Day at the Lawrence Park pub. Expect live music, food and drink specials, and an early opening — who’s ready for a 7 A.M. Guinness? 

Garryowen Irish Pub – Gettysburg

Garryowen Irish Pub is Irish-owned, which is likely clear once you enter and see the list of more than 200 Irish whiskeys.

The pub often holds events like whiskey tastings, high teas, and nights featuring live, traditional Irish music. Plus, it holds the event of the year — a St. Patrick’s Day party with traditional Irish eats, Irish music, and lots of Irish whiskey.

The Dubliner on the Delaware – New Hope

The Dubliner on the Delaware, a New Hope favorite, may be a casual pub, but the delicious, authentic Irish food it serves suggests it is also a foodie paradise. The restaurant on the Delaware River serves pub favorites like burgers and wings alongside Irish classics like shepherd’s pie. There are also plenty of vegetarian options.

During the week surrounding St. Patrick’s Day, when you’re dancing among bagpipes and Irish steppers, you may feel as if you’ve been transported to Ireland itself.

exterior of Irish pub
Photo courtesy of The Dubliner on the Delaware via Facebook.

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