The Emerald Isle’s pubs are a beloved aspect of American drinking culture, but what makes a great one? Some might say it’s the cozy atmosphere, or maybe the tasty pub grub. Others might favor the craic, or fun Irish-themed events like irish dance or music. Whichever is your preference, there’s no doubt there are plenty of great Irish bars across America, especially in places with big Irish populations like New York City and Chicago. Yelp has rounded up the best Irish pubs in every state, based on customer reviews.
The Black Horse London Pub in San Francisco is one of the smallest bars in the country, but it packs plenty of warmth and fun. The tiny space only seats 22 because of fire code restrictions, but that’s the point: It’s all about the people and the conversation. The tavern also serves a selection of beer, whiskey and cider.
McSorley’s in New York City is the oldest Irish bar in America and still operates today. The tavern was founded by John McSorley, who left Ireland during the great famine of 1854. Today, the pub’s renowned for its storied history and traditional charm.
The Burren in Boston is another old school spot that focuses on the atmosphere and delicious food, such as sticky toffee pudding and corned beef and cabbage. The bar also hosts a rotating lineup of Irish troubadours and folk musicians in its music room upstairs.