Spirit Cruises January 2023 Leaderboard

America's Best and Worst Irish Bars Are Both in Philadelphia

In the runup to the nation's number one boozy holiday, HuffPo this week published its list of "5 Bars Where You Should Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day," and one of the bars to make the cut is Philadelphia’s oldest and continuously-run watering hole, McGillin’s Olde Ale House.

Needless to say, this comes as great news to McGillin's, which was plying drinkers with perfectly poured pints before Abraham Lincoln was in office. But what’s more, it serves as a huge boost to the City of Brotherly Love, which not so long ago was identified as the home of America’s Worst Irish Bar.

That designation belongs to Downey’s located on South Street. It earned that distinction from the website IrishCentral.com following its appearance on Spike TV’s Bar Rescue.

The HuffPo list was compiled by Clint Lanier and Derek Hembree, authors of Bucket List Bars: Historic Saloons, Pubs, and Dives of America, and in addition to Philly’s McGillin’s it includes world class Irish drinking establishments like New York’s McSorely’s, and Denver’s My Brother’s Bar.


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