The best Irish pubs in Philadelphia

Are these the best Irish pubs in Philadelphia? | J. Fusco for Visit Philly
J. Fusco for Visit Philly

Looking for the best Irish pubs in Philadelphia? Whether you’re gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day or simply want to enjoy the cozy vibe of an Irish pub on any other day in the year, Philadelphia has plenty of Irish pubs to choose from for a good time. Since we have so many, picking a favorite is impossible, but hopefully this list will make your bar hopping adventures a little easier. Here are some of the best Irish pubs in Philadelphia.

McGillin’s Olde Ale House
1310 Drury St.

This is the oldest continually operating pub in the city, people. Dating back to 1860 (the same year Abraham Lincoln was elected!), McGillin’s has stood the test of time and survived the Civil War, the Prohibition era and according to their website, even outlasted the shuttering of many brick-and-mortar retailers like Woolworth’s and Strawbridge’s. For a truly Irish night out, be sure to get a draft of O’Hara’s Celtic Stout, which is brewed in Ireland and McGillin’s is one of the few pubs in the country to carry it.

Finn McCool’s Ale House
118 S. 12th St.

Named after the mythical figure who is said to have built the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, Finn McCool packs a hard punch when it comes to being a great Irish pub. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, enjoy a happy hour menu with $5 food specials (cheesesteak spring rolls, anyone?) and local brews on tap like Victory’s Golden Monkey, Yards Brawler and the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. Their long list of other brews on tap includes picks from across the United States, Germany and Ireland, so chances are you’ll never be bored.

O’Neal’s Pub
611 S. 3rd St.

Located just off of South Street, O’Neal’s Irish pub is the longest running, family-owned Irish pub in South Street Headhouse District. Having opened its doors back in 1979, it continues to serve up solid eats and a long list of draft and bottled beer. They even have “draft suggestions,” where you mix two different kinds of beer together like half & half (Stella and Guinness), snakebite (Stella and Cider), Black Velvet (Guinness and Cider) and Belgian Dip (Blue Moon and Guinness).

McCloskey’s Tavern
17 Cricket Ave., Ardmore

McCloskey’s Tavern in Ardmore first opened its doors in 1934 and has been going strong ever since. On tap, they currently have Allagash White, Chimay Grand Reserve, Conshohocken Motherload Russian Imperial Stout, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Goose Island Sofie, Sterling Pig Shoat Pilsner, Stella Artois, Guinness and more. Their food menu includes homemade soups, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers and traditional pub favorites like Shepherd’s Pie, Meatloaf and Fish and Chips.

1214 Sansom St.

Fergie’s is a traditional Irish pub that has something for everyone. If you’re a fan of live music, they’ve got Live Band Karaoke on Friday nights and an Open Mic every Monday, in addition to a range of local artists playing everything from traditional Irish music to folk on various nights. Their current draft list includes Allagash White, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Jack’s Original Blend Cider, Philadelphia Brewing Kenzinger, Yards ESA, and of course, Guinness Stout. Don’t worry about eating before heading out to party because their pub fare is top notch, and even includes solid vegan options.

The Bards
2013 Walnut St.

If you’re in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, The Bards has you covered for your Irish pub fix. First off, they’ve got a nice selection of Irish beers on draft, including Guinness Irish Stout, Smithwicks Irish Red, Magners Irish Cider and Harp Irish Lager. There’s also a happy hour from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes $1 off drafts, $5 well drinks and $5 wines. Finally, if you’re in the mood to watch a sporting event, they’ve got a few televisions for that. 

So what are your favorite Irish pubs in Philadelphia? Tweet us @MetroPhilly

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