St. Patrick’s Day (aka: The Feast of Saint Patrick) may have started as just another religious holiday back in the 17th century, but here in the 21st century, it’s a worldwide cultural phenomenon. From coast to coast, from Europe to America, March 17 is a day to seek out your Celtic spirit and celebrate it with the gusto of an Irish leprechaun (we hear they celebrate mighty heartily!). And right here in gorgeous California, we have the perfect spots to do that celebrating—at some of the best pubs you’ll find outside of Dublin.
Take a look at five of our favorite California Irish pubs—we guarantee your Irish eyes will be smiling and your Irish oats will be sowed before you can say “Kiss that Blarney Stone!”
1. The Irish Bank
10 Mark Lane
San Francisco, CA 94108
Head down a dark alley in San Francisco’s Financial District and what will you find? Well, if you pick the right one: a charming slice of Ireland. The Irish Bank is consistently on Northern Cal’s “Best Of” lists with a great selection of whiskey, pub food (fish n’ chips, beef stew and vegetarian Shepherds Pie to name a few), a friendly staff and tons of indoor & outdoor seating. As you’d expect, St. Patrick’s Day weekend is going to be festive here with a St. Patty’s Day block party on Saturday (March 15) and Monday (March 17), complete with live music and a DJ. Both parties last from noon to midnight.
2. de Vere’s Irish Pub
1521 L Street
Sacramento, CA 5814
If you’re looking for a high-energy pub to hang your hat for St. Patty’s Day, California’s state capital is the place to be. Why? Because its home to de Vere’s Irish Pub, of course! Not only does de Vere’s have a fantastic selection of whiskey and beer, but their food is also worth a rave or two. They pride themselves on their homemade tactics: baking their own Irish Brown bread, butchering their own meat, grinding their own burgers, etc.—which according to fans, is evident in every dish. They also have a kid’s menu so bring the wee little ones along if you like. Saint Patrick’s Day at de Vere’s will begin at 9 am with a limited menu that includes breakfast items, corned beef and cabbage and more. Check out the scene if you’re in the Sac area.
3. The Field Irish Pub
544 Fifth Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
If you’re in the San Diego area, you’ll want to head to the Gaslamp District for a true Irish treat. The Field is as authentic as they come; in fact, the pub itself is a turn of the century establishment that was shipped—piece by piece—from Ireland to San Diego and even some of their menu items are made with ingredients imported directly from the “Emerald Isle.” Basically, every day is St. Patrick’s Day at the Field, so come on by March 17…or any day of the week for one of their signature Irish dishes, beer and “Irish Specialties” like the Irish Mist or the Potcheen (a spirit that is actually now banned in Ireland). A thousand “Happy St. Patrick’s Days” to you!
4. Casey’s Irish Pub
613 S Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Since 1969, Casey’s Irish Pub has been a downtown L.A. gem; a self-proclaimed “super pub” that’s become somewhat of an iconic landmark of the city. Originally built in 1916, the 10,000 square foot historic maze of rooms is well worth a visit for the delicious food (Guinness Stout is listed as an “Appetizer”), the unbelievable beverage list, the live music and, of course, the atmosphere. As far as the Irish holiday goes—Casey’s is hosting their 4th annual St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival on March 17, from 6 am to 2 am. There will be DJs, Irish fare and oh yes, green beer so don’t miss it if you’re in Los Angeles. *Bonus tidbit: In true Hollywood style, Casey’s is even a film star, serving as a backdrop for Tom Hank’s “Charlie Wilson’s War,” George Clooney’s “Good Night and Good Luck” and TV hits like “Mad Men.”
5. McP’s Irish Pub Tahoe
4093 Lake Tahoe Blvd.W2V B
S. Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Tahoe is known for a lot of things, but Irish pubs? You better believe it! McP’s itself may look like a ski lodge from the outside (and offer some spectacular views of the Sierras), but their delicious pub food like the Mulligan’s Stew, nice selection of Irish beers and festive atmosphere make it clear this is not your every day mountainside bar. Their St. Patrick’s Day celebration includes a Corned Beef & Cabbage special and Irish Shooters all day. Felix and the Soul Cats will be the night’s musical entertainment.
Are you a St. Patrick’s Day reveler? Let us know where you’ll be celebrating the greenest holiday of the year!