The Best Irish Pubs and Bars in Philadelphia for St. Patrick's Day
With classic dishes, pints of Guinness, and live music, these are the top Irish pubs in Philadelphia.
In a city as historic as Philadelphia, you can bet the vast majority of Irish pubs around town are carrying their own storied histories as well. With bars that span decades and family-run businesses that span generations, the city is filled with cavernous pubs with stories to tell and shepherd’s pie to serve that make perfect destinations to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or enjoy the pub experience all year long.
From iconic destinations dating back to the 19th Century to modern favorites with local craft beer served alongside traditional Irish pub fare, take a look at the best Irish pubs in Philadelphia.
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.
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 almost 30 years, Kelliann’s is a quintessential corner bar for comfort bar 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, you can really choose your own adventure at Kelliann’s.
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 bolognese, lobster ravioli, and even a 20-ounce rack of lamb.
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 pub food like artisan pizzas, soups, 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.
Fadó Irish Pub
Fado has long been a mainstay for comfy seating, weekend DJs, and plenty of fodder for fans of international soccer and Philly Union. Fado is big on its whiskey, and you’ll find no shortage of specialties on the spot’s food menu, often featuring traditional Irish fare including stew, mash, and sausage rolls. This massive bar takes over most of 15th Street between Locust and Latimer Streets, and its expansive space has made it a staple for St. Patrick’s Day-style reveling as well as a lowkey destination for drinks and dinner. Lots of bar areas and cozy nooks give you plenty of space to find your ideal vibe.
How to book: Via website
Tir Na Nog
Tir Na Nog is just a stone’s throw from Love Park and City Hall, making it a great destination for tourists and locals on the hunt for a casual setting for drafts and bar food. The place is big on shareable bites, like smoked salmon bites and harp-battered chicken tenders, but is even more known for offering one of the best Irish Coffees in town. Try the concoction of Tullamore DEW Whiskey, brown sugar, hot coffee, and cream while catching a Union game or trying the menu’s traditional Irish breakfast.
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 US 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.
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 seitan buffalo wings and seitan “chorizo” tacos, as well all the other classic pub food you would expect.
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 disco fries, fried chicken sammies, and five types of wings. 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.
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.
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 fish and chips, empanadas, fish tacos, and a brunch menu that’s served from noon to 4 pm on the weekends. In addition to standard drafts, bottles, cans, wines, and cocktails, Pete’s takes special care of those not imbibing with spirit-free cocktails, too.
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 beer 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 eggplant quinoa burgers to hanger steak with mashed sweet potatoes.
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 beef stew and fish and chips.