There is a strong history of Irish settling in Minnesota. While their legacy is much more than just pubs and whiskey, we are lucky to have that influence on the local scene as well. It doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy these places, but you can be sure that they’ll get rowdy when that day arrives. But for a pint, some great pub food and a little bit of culture from the Emerald Isle any night of the week, belly up to these bars.
175 7th St W
Saint Paul, MN 55102
The interior is dark wood, soft colors and low lighting, the type of place where you can enjoy your beer without worrying about anyone else around you. And then some nights the revelry will be too much and you’ll find yourself singing folk songs arm in arm with other beer-swilling good ol’ boys. It’s the kind of place where you can get a little wild the night before taking grandma there for brunch in the morning. It’s a true pub.
The Dubliner Pub
2162 University Ave W
Saint Paul, MN 55114
The interior is dark wood, soft colors and lighting, the type of place you can enjoy your beer without worrying about anyone else. And then some nights the revelry will be too much and you’ll find yourself singing folk songs arm in arm with other beer-swilling good ol’ boys. It’s the kind of place where you can get a little wild the night before taking grandma there for brunch in the morning.
Half Time Rec
1013 Front Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55103
This classic Irish dive just got a whole lot more Irish with the addition of a menu. And what a menu it is. Wonderful pub fare, from shepherd’s pie to mushy peas, sausages, potatoes and some of the best mac and cheese (made with beer), make this a must-try for anyone looking for the luck of the Irish. The beer selection is strong, the history hangs like musk from the walls and you can play bocce ball in the basement. It doesn’t get much better than that.
5189 Main St E
Maple Plain, MN 55359
Built in the tradition of the pubs in Ireland, the authenticity of your surroundings at McGarry’s will only add to the experience of beer drinking, conversation swapping and pub food eating. While it might be a little out of the way for city dwellers, it is the type of place that proves there are quality watering holes outside of the city limits. The food is really great (the pot roast sliders are a must) and you’ll always feel welcome.
Keegan’s Irish Pub
16 University Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
With a bar imported from Ireland and a great selection of whisky, Keegan’s certainly isn’t lacking in Irish charm. The food is also great, offering Irish classics for lunch and dinner daily, and breakfast on the weekends. It’s always a lively place, full of happy locals drinking and dining, chatting and laughing, and isn’t that what a great pub is all about? When it comes to that great place where you know you can find cold beer, a plate of hot food and great conversation, Keegan’s nails it.
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Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.