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The 16 Essential Irish Pubs in Chicago

Where to find the best Guinness, shepherd’s pie, live music, and more

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On Saturday, March 12, Chicago will dye the river green and bars all over town will get into the Irish spirit by putting out the corned beef and cabbage, pouring all the Guinness and the Jameson, and importing bagpipers and step dancers. But there are plenty of bars that celebrate Ireland all year round, where true connoisseurs of Guinness can grab a pint and watch football (that is, soccer) and rugby or listen to fiddle music in relative peace. Here are 16 of the best.

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Lady Gregory's

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Named for the Irish playwright and co-founders of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, this comfy Andersonville pub makes patrons feel right at home with its spacious interior complete with a library space and fireplace. The food menu offers comforting favorites such as chicken pot pie, meatloaf, and lobster mac and cheese as well as a selection of gluten-free items, while the drinks list has everything fans of Irish booze need with 100 beers on tap and bottle and more than 300 whiskeys. There’s a sibling restaurant, Wilde, in Lakeview and an Old Town location called LG’s Bar.

Lady Gregory’s [Official Photo]

The Atlantic Bar & Grill

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Soccer fanatics can catch all of the big matches every week at the Atlantic. It’s also the home for Tottenham Hotspur F.C. supporters, but on Friday nights, everyone is welcome to get in on the karaoke action while sipping on house brews like the Atlantic Irish ale. There’s also excellent fish and chips.

The Atlantic [Official Photo]

The Fifth Province

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Head to the Irish American Heritage Center for some cultural history go along with that pint of Guinness. Learn about Ireland’s fine arts before stopping into the Fifth Province, a traditional pub for folks to gather and enjoy live music and classic fare like corned beef and shepherd’s pie.

Irish American Heritage Center [Official Photo]

O'Shaughnessy's Public House

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O’Shaughnessy’s is a relative upstart compared to the numerous pubs that have been around for decades, but it’s an Irish oasis for those living in Ravenswood, and the wood-accented bar gives the place an authentic feel. Visit on the weekend to soak up a hangover with a full Irish breakfast of bangers, rashers, black and white pudding, eggs, potatoes, baked beans, and toast.

The Grafton Irish Pub & Grill

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Home is where the whiskey is. Or something like that. In any case, the Grafton’s extensive whiskey collection and its relaxed atmosphere make it the perfect neighborhood spot to drop in for a pint. During the colder months, cozy up next to the fireplace, listen to some live music, and soak up all the booze with a top-notch burger.

The Grafton [Official Photo]

Mrs Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro

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Billed as “contemporary Irish cuisine” in the heart of North Center, Mrs. Murphy & Sons offers a modern take on traditional fare, including fisherman’s stew, Guinness and onion soup, and baked cheese rarebit, alongside a selection of craft brews and whiskeys. The large space also houses private dining rooms that can accommodate everything from weddings to large group gatherings. Mrs. Murphy’s is the sister — or mother — restaurant to Wrigleyville favorite Murphy’s Bleachers. The space is within a former funeral home.

Chief O'Neill's Pub & Restaurant

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Owned and run by two Irish-born musicians, the sounds of live tunes are just as vital as the food and drinks at Chief O’Neill’s. Guests can catch live acts several nights a week and also enjoy an all-you-can-eat Friday fish fry and Sunday brunch buffet. In the summer, the large back patio is a lively spot to kick back and relax over a cold beer and some Emerald Isle favorites such as braised lamb shank and Guinness-infused meatloaf.

The Wolfhound Bar and Kitchen

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The latest entry in Chicago’s Irish pub scene finally opened in November after a two-year pandemic delay. Expect bar food like smash burgers, chicken sandwiches, and spinach and artichoke dip, plus an all-day and -night Irish breakfast and, of course, Guinness.

The Kerryman

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What was once the punk club O’Banion’s is now one of the city’s most popular Irish bars in River North. The owners are actual Kerrymen, though chef Damo Moloney hails from Limerick. Find fish and chips, steak and Guinness pie, and, in a concession to less traditional tastes, avocado toast at brunch.

The Kerryman [Official Photo]

Fado Irish Pub

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Pronounced “f’doe,” this Irish pub has drawn soccer and rugby fans to River North for the past 25 years. The two-floor space, which is meant to be contemporary Irish on the first floor and historic on the second, includes a bar partially made with a 100-year-old piece reclaimed from a Dublin pub. Be prepared for massive crowds on St. Patrick’s Day.

Fado Irish Pub [Official Photo]

The Gage

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For a fancier Irish pub experience, visit this Michigan Avenue spot from Billy Lawless, an authentic Irishman. The menu offers the standard burgers and fish and chips, but also steak, prawn cocktail, and wild mushroom pappardelle, all of which can be accompanied by selections from the expansive wine cellar.

Shinnick's Pub

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A Bridgeport staple since 1938, Shinnick’s Pub is a neighborhood dive that’s withstood the test of time. Irish through and through, the bar has been run by three generations of the Shinnick family and is a popular spot for White Sox fans due to its close proximity to the ballpark. You won’t find any green beer here, but the heart and spirit of the South Side Irish live here.

Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Porter Cullens Irish Pub & Restaurant

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Founded in 2014 to serve the the South Side Irish community, Porter Cullens’s pride and joy is its steamed corned beef (it’s been known to serve 12,000 pounds in a year) and its perfectly poured pints of Guinness, praised by actual members of the Guinness family.

Cork & Kerry

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This South Side institutions with locations in Bridgeport and Beverly is the place to be for White Sox games, especially the Beverly beer garden. Only the Bridgeport location serves food; the menu offers the usual lineup of pub fare with a few twists like Irish egg rolls (stuffed with corned beef, cabbage, and cheddar) and an Irish sandwich (bacon, cheese, coleslaw, and egg).

Cork & Kerry [Official Photo]

Barney Callaghan's Pub

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Formerly Keegan’s Pub, this Beverly staple underwent an extensive redesign and name change back in 2015. It’s known for its Guinness pours (sometimes with portraits of customers’ faces in the foam) and Bloody Marys and also offers live music and screens soccer matches and Sox games.

Barney Callaghan’s [Official Photo]

Hinky Dinks Pub

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Mike Kenna, who controlled the First Ward for the first half of the 20th century, was an especially corrupt alderman, even by Chicago standards. He got his nickname, Hinky Dink, because of his small stature. This Mount Greenwood dive, like its namesake, is petite but has considerable draw in the neighborhood for beer, whiskey Wednesday, and both American and European football.

Lady Gregory's

Named for the Irish playwright and co-founders of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, this comfy Andersonville pub makes patrons feel right at home with its spacious interior complete with a library space and fireplace. The food menu offers comforting favorites such as chicken pot pie, meatloaf, and lobster mac and cheese as well as a selection of gluten-free items, while the drinks list has everything fans of Irish booze need with 100 beers on tap and bottle and more than 300 whiskeys. There’s a sibling restaurant, Wilde, in Lakeview and an Old Town location called LG’s Bar.

Lady Gregory’s [Official Photo]

The Atlantic Bar & Grill

Soccer fanatics can catch all of the big matches every week at the Atlantic. It’s also the home for Tottenham Hotspur F.C. supporters, but on Friday nights, everyone is welcome to get in on the karaoke action while sipping on house brews like the Atlantic Irish ale. There’s also excellent fish and chips.

The Atlantic [Official Photo]

The Fifth Province

Head to the Irish American Heritage Center for some cultural history go along with that pint of Guinness. Learn about Ireland’s fine arts before stopping into the Fifth Province, a traditional pub for folks to gather and enjoy live music and classic fare like corned beef and shepherd’s pie.

Irish American Heritage Center [Official Photo]

O'Shaughnessy's Public House

O’Shaughnessy’s is a relative upstart compared to the numerous pubs that have been around for decades, but it’s an Irish oasis for those living in Ravenswood, and the wood-accented bar gives the place an authentic feel. Visit on the weekend to soak up a hangover with a full Irish breakfast of bangers, rashers, black and white pudding, eggs, potatoes, baked beans, and toast.

The Grafton Irish Pub & Grill

Home is where the whiskey is. Or something like that. In any case, the Grafton’s extensive whiskey collection and its relaxed atmosphere make it the perfect neighborhood spot to drop in for a pint. During the colder months, cozy up next to the fireplace, listen to some live music, and soak up all the booze with a top-notch burger.

The Grafton [Official Photo]

Mrs Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro

Billed as “contemporary Irish cuisine” in the heart of North Center, Mrs. Murphy & Sons offers a modern take on traditional fare, including fisherman’s stew, Guinness and onion soup, and baked cheese rarebit, alongside a selection of craft brews and whiskeys. The large space also houses private dining rooms that can accommodate everything from weddings to large group gatherings. Mrs. Murphy’s is the sister — or mother — restaurant to Wrigleyville favorite Murphy’s Bleachers. The space is within a former funeral home.

Chief O'Neill's Pub & Restaurant

Owned and run by two Irish-born musicians, the sounds of live tunes are just as vital as the food and drinks at Chief O’Neill’s. Guests can catch live acts several nights a week and also enjoy an all-you-can-eat Friday fish fry and Sunday brunch buffet. In the summer, the large back patio is a lively spot to kick back and relax over a cold beer and some Emerald Isle favorites such as braised lamb shank and Guinness-infused meatloaf.

The Wolfhound Bar and Kitchen

The latest entry in Chicago’s Irish pub scene finally opened in November after a two-year pandemic delay. Expect bar food like smash burgers, chicken sandwiches, and spinach and artichoke dip, plus an all-day and -night Irish breakfast and, of course, Guinness.

The Kerryman

What was once the punk club O’Banion’s is now one of the city’s most popular Irish bars in River North. The owners are actual Kerrymen, though chef Damo Moloney hails from Limerick. Find fish and chips, steak and Guinness pie, and, in a concession to less traditional tastes, avocado toast at brunch.

The Kerryman [Official Photo]

Fado Irish Pub

Pronounced “f’doe,” this Irish pub has drawn soccer and rugby fans to River North for the past 25 years. The two-floor space, which is meant to be contemporary Irish on the first floor and historic on the second, includes a bar partially made with a 100-year-old piece reclaimed from a Dublin pub. Be prepared for massive crowds on St. Patrick’s Day.

Fado Irish Pub [Official Photo]

The Gage

For a fancier Irish pub experience, visit this Michigan Avenue spot from Billy Lawless, an authentic Irishman. The menu offers the standard burgers and fish and chips, but also steak, prawn cocktail, and wild mushroom pappardelle, all of which can be accompanied by selections from the expansive wine cellar.

Shinnick's Pub

A Bridgeport staple since 1938, Shinnick’s Pub is a neighborhood dive that’s withstood the test of time. Irish through and through, the bar has been run by three generations of the Shinnick family and is a popular spot for White Sox fans due to its close proximity to the ballpark. You won’t find any green beer here, but the heart and spirit of the South Side Irish live here.

Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Porter Cullens Irish Pub & Restaurant

Founded in 2014 to serve the the South Side Irish community, Porter Cullens’s pride and joy is its steamed corned beef (it’s been known to serve 12,000 pounds in a year) and its perfectly poured pints of Guinness, praised by actual members of the Guinness family.

Cork & Kerry

This South Side institutions with locations in Bridgeport and Beverly is the place to be for White Sox games, especially the Beverly beer garden. Only the Bridgeport location serves food; the menu offers the usual lineup of pub fare with a few twists like Irish egg rolls (stuffed with corned beef, cabbage, and cheddar) and an Irish sandwich (bacon, cheese, coleslaw, and egg).

Cork & Kerry [Official Photo]

Barney Callaghan's Pub

Formerly Keegan’s Pub, this Beverly staple underwent an extensive redesign and name change back in 2015. It’s known for its Guinness pours (sometimes with portraits of customers’ faces in the foam) and Bloody Marys and also offers live music and screens soccer matches and Sox games.

Barney Callaghan’s [Official Photo]

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Hinky Dinks Pub

Mike Kenna, who controlled the First Ward for the first half of the 20th century, was an especially corrupt alderman, even by Chicago standards. He got his nickname, Hinky Dink, because of his small stature. This Mount Greenwood dive, like its namesake, is petite but has considerable draw in the neighborhood for beer, whiskey Wednesday, and both American and European football.

Related Maps