Session’s On: Top Irish Pubs and Restaurants in Chicago

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day (or any day) at these Irish spots in the Windy City.

The Irish have a term for all-day drinking: “Session’s on!” Indeed, Chicago is a city that drinks its bars dry, but also loves its bites inspired by the Emerald Isle. Whether you’re on the crawl for that perfect pint or more into low-key lounging, we pour on the Irish revelry. 

D4

The Irish consider “D4” a posh area of Dublin, but it’s more come-as-you-are at this Streeterville pub. Fancy up a Guinness with Black Velvet (half Guinness, half Magners Cider), or ease into festivities with a Black Widow (Allagash White, Magners Cider and Black Currant). Grab the crab cake sliders to nibble on. 345 E. Ohio St., 312.624.8385, www.d4pub.com

Timothy O’Toole’s

Celtic pride runs deep at this Streeterville staple, which in years past has held “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” and “St. Practice Day” pub crawls for the locals. While Paddy’s Day is one day where hopping from pub to pub is encouraged, you can make this a destination bar; the leprechaun entertainment and bagpipers might even get you off your stool for a jig. 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 312.642.0700, www.timothyotooles.com/chicago

The Kerryman

The owners are Irish, the head chef is Irish, and the fish ‘n chips (extra crispy) at this popular spot is a Johnny Depp favorite (no, he’s not Irish, but he came in multiple times during the filming of “Public Enemy” just for this dish). The line creeps out the door, most likely for the dance party that ensues in the back bar. 661 N. Clark St., 312.335.8121, www.thekerrymanchicago.com

The Gage Irish Bar, Chicago

The Gage  

Where’s a decent place for some creamy pints and corned beef? This Michigan Avenue tap sets the bar high for gastropub grub. The Paddy's Day specials include the classic corned beef and cabbage, or corned beef packed into a wallop of a sandwich, complete with Guinness soaked Swiss cheese. Stick around (yes, that’s a dare) to watch Irish musicians the Fiddling Finnegans. 24 S. Michigan Ave., 312.372.4243, www.thegagechicago.com

Wilde

For pub-inspired dishes any time of day, we’re fans of this Lakeview East spot named for the famous author who was born in Dublin. The library-like atmosphere draws us in to cozy up near the fireplace and chow down on perfectly prepared classics like the gooey, baked macaroni and cheese, or the brunchtime Irish American skillet, packed with Irish bangers, bacon and cheddar. 3130 N. Broadway St., 773.244.0404, www.wildechicago.com

Fadó Irish Pub Chicago

Fadó Irish Pub 

This Irish-operated favorite in River North is always a good time, with doors open early every weekend for real European sports fans. You'll also find the "Rehab Brunch" here, serving $4 mimosas until 3 pm, and team trivia on Wednesdays. 100 W. Grand Ave., 312.836.0066, www.fadoirishpub.com/chicago

Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro

With a name this Irish behind it, you know this North Center resto is going to be good. Our top picks: Irish Benedict with rashers, grilled tomato, spinach and hollandaise served on an English muffin for brunch, and the beef & stout stew chock-full of stout-braised chuck, root vegetables and mustard dill dumpling for dinner. 3905 N. Lincoln Ave., 773.248.3905, www.irishbistro.com

The Irish Oak

If you're looking to have a raucous time, head north to Wrigleyville. The Irish Oak is located just about a block away from the Cubs homebase, and is perfect for grabbing a pint before a game, or kicking back at the bar to watch inside while chowing down on The Fightin' Leprechaun Burger. Don't miss the Signature Whiskey still room in the back. 3511 N. Clark St., 773.935.6669, www.irishoak.com

The Galway Arms

For a fun evening, check out this Lincoln Park pub. With two floors, there's plenty of room to either warm up with a hot meal or throw back a couple of pints. Sunday nights feature live music with Paddy Homan and friends 2442 N. Clark St., 773.472.5555, www.galwayarms.com

 

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