Spirit of Philadelphia First Friday 2018 Leaderboard

Philadelphia's Top Irish Bars

by Drink Philly on Mar 15, 2016 in Roundups

Irish pubs are plentiful, since the Gaelic tradition of enjoying good whiskey and brew goes back many years. Here we present our picks for the top Irish bars in Philadelphia.

Fergie's Pub
Tucked away in Midtown Village you’ll find this traditional Irish pub run by Fergus Carey, who also is a partner in Monk’s Cafe and other beer havens around town. On the taps are a great selection of local beers, accompanied by Irish fare. You can also find a nightly Quizzo and live events, including traditional Irish music. (1214 Sansom St.; 215-928-8118)

This popular Center City pub has been around for over 77 years. Patrons of all kinds can take advantage of plentiful outdoor seating and the award-winning wings while throwing back a few brews. Indoors you’ll find a traditional atmosphere with vintage memorabilia, antique bars, a fireplace and large banquettes — it’s  perfect for group outings, enjoying karaoke or watching sporting events. (1116 Walnut St.; 215-627-7676)

Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse
The Cavanaugh family of bars venerable Rittenhouse post covers all the bases with always solid draft and bottled beer selections, great food, fun cocktails and an impressive selection of whiskies. (1823 Sansom St.; 215-665-9500)

Fado Irish Pub
Pronounced “f'doe,” the word is an Irish expression meaning "long ago." Fado strives to give the experience of a modern day Irish pub that is infused with tradition and history. This is a great spot to watch soccer matches and a hang out during the World Cup. Sip on delicious Irish whiskey or a well-poured Guinness. (1500 Locust St.; 215-893-9700)

McGillin's Olde Ale House
This 153-year-old tavern was named after Irish immigrant William McGillin, who owned the bar and raised his 13 children upstairs. Nationally renowned, McGillin's carries a selection of local microbrews and two house specialties, McGillin’s Real Ale and McGillin’s Genuine Lager. You can't go wrong paying a visit to this legendary and much beloved Philly institution in Midtown Village. (1310 Drury St; 215-735-5562)

Plough & the Stars
A mainstay in Old City, this Euro-sports-centered bar is great for watching rugby and soccer matches, as well as enjoying live music. Food specialities include Irish-style curry and a Guinness casserole. Don’t miss the mean selection of scotch and Irish whiskeys, as well as a solid beer lineup to choose from. (123 Chestnut St.; 215-733-0300)

Irish Pol
Though you’ll be hard pressed to spot green paper shamrocks or any of the other trappings of St. Patrick’s Day, this Old City spot fully embraces the merriment and hospitality that’s often associated with the people of the Emerald Isle. It’s also home to one of the neighborhood's largest draft lists and cheapest happy hours. (114 Market St.; 267-761-9532)

Tir Na Nog
A beloved happy hour spot, this contemporary Irish outpost is another great place to kick back with large groups. Or just stop in to check out seasonal sporting events while downing a beer from one of thr 21 taps. (1600 Arch St.; 215-514-1700)


The no frills neighborhood bar keeps it real on East Girard Avenue. Here you will find a distinctly Fishtown-flecked brand of blarney from a cast of regulars that includes old heads, gentrifiers, and hipsters seeking refuge from the crowds at Johnny Brenda’s, Frankford Hall, and Kraftwork. It’s also a great spot to pick up a sixer to-go on the way to Pizzeria Beddia. (202 E Girard Ave.; 215-425-1847)

Cavanaugh’s Headhouse
Along with the obligatory Guinness on draft, the Cavs crew’s Headhouse location offers a constantly rotating lineup of popular local and craft beers. The cocktails are also worth checking out, as is the menu, which runs the gamut from wings and burgers to fish and chips and shepherd's pie. (421 S 2nd St.; 215-928-9307)

Located right next to 30th Street Station, this pub's name (pronounced "slawn-cha",) is Gaelic for “Cheers!” The 25 rotating beers on draft are poured via a European draft beer system imported from County Cork, Ireland. The modern Irish pub also has a great selection of Irish whiskeys — you'll definitely have plenty to cheer about. (3000 Market St.; 215-222-7400)

This neighborhood watering hole in Fairmount is the perfect place to down a Guinness and some wings. You can often find live music playing and, on Wednesdays, grab 50-cent wings while playing Quizzo. (1549 Spring Garden St.; 215-563-6990)

McGlinchey's Bar & Grill
Beer plus jukebox plus hot dogs equals no-nonsense fun. This isn’t exactly a traditional Irish pub, but it's one of Philly's best dive bars, and one of the few spots you can still get away with smoking indoors. (259 S 15th St.; 215-735-1259)

Black Sheep Pub
This three-story townhouse decorated with antique fare and a fireplace has remained a popular hangout for pub dwellers in Rittenhouse. Specialties include shepherd's pie and Guinness Irish stew. Also enjoy Quizo every Wednesday evening. (247 S 17th St.; 215-545-9473)


The friendly neighborhood bartending crew will make you feel right at home at this family owned and operated pub. The draft list is complemented by a healthy bottled beer selection, and the menu features pub favorites like shepherd’s pie and Irish beef stew. (611 S 3rd St.; 215-574-9495)

Irish Pub

Open for over 30 years, the Irish Pub has two locations in Philly and great daily specials. The pub is also the host of the annual Tour De Shore which raises money for the Irish Pub Children’s Foundation. (2007 Walnut St.; 215-568-5603; 1123 Walnut St.; 215-925-3311)

St. Stephen's Green

Named after Dublin’s historic park, this cozy and handsomely wood-paneled gastropub brings a taste of Ireland to the Fairmount section of the city. Here you will find Guinness, Harp, and Magners Irish Cider on tap alongside craft beers from Dogfish Head, Brooklyn Brewery, and Yards. The menu offers everything from wings and burgers to fish and chips and shredded lamb tacos. (1701 Green St.; 215-769-5000)

Bards Irish Bar
Irish owned and operated since 1995, the slogan of this Rittenhouse pub is "The Bards, for a real taste of Ireland." Enjoy a good selection of domestic and imported beers, Irish-influenced food and live music and quizzo. (2013 Walnut St.; 215-569-9585)

Photos by Drink Philly

Tags: Beer, Holiday, Whiskey
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