Whether you’re looking for food and drink inspired by the Emerald Isle, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, or just looking for a reliable place to meet up with friends, Irish pubs have become a go-to all across the globe. There is a long history of the Irish settling in Minnesota, especially in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. These fantastic Irish pubs keep that legacy alive, while serving up fantastic food and that perfect pour of Guinness.
175 7th St W
St Paul, MN 55102
A downtown St. Paul destination long before downtown St. Paul was considered “cool” again, the Liffey’s low lighting, dark wood and enormous whiskey selection offer a true taste of Ireland. Add an upstairs patio complete with outdoor bar and that is one of the best bets for some apps and sips come summertime. With a great happy hour and an extensive menu that includes Irish classics like shepherd’s pie, fun munchies like pub pretzels and “wee burgers”, The Liffey is one of the best pubs in the area, Irish or not.
931 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Sister pub to the Liffey, the Local stands out in a sea of downtown Minneapolis super clubs, sports bars, and high-end restaurants as a solid spot for food, drink, and that worldwide favorite sport, soccer. Soccer is a huge here, as it should be at an Irish pub, making it one of the best places in Minnesota to drink and cheer and drink some more. The Local is so dedicated that the bar will serve up Guinness and eats as early as 8 a.m. so that fans can enjoy overseas games.
2162 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55114
The quiet location in St. Paul has been made more accessible for drinkers with the addition of the Green Line LRT, but it’s still one of the better-kept secrets in the city. Located on University Avenue in the growing Creative Enterprise Zone, with the Minneapolis skyline twinkling in the distance, the beer is cold here and the whiskey is plentiful. But that isn’t the only thing that makes this place a great Irish pub; live Irish music is featured almost every night against a backdrop of famous Irish Americans and Guiness posters, and the warm, welcoming atmosphere will turn you into a regular in no time.
16 University Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
A true Irish pub, serving awesome food and drinks until 1:00 a.m, Keegan’s irish Pub is a fantastic place. We’re talking about Irish pubs here, but at the end of the day the most important prerequisite is that it’s fun. Keegan’s is the place to come with friends to throw back beers, laugh and love life. There’s no room for moping at this bar, only cheap happy hour prices, nightly pub games, and other activities like beer release parties and live music.
695 Grand Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
This Irish pub, located on St. Paul’s Grand Avenue, is barely a year old but already it has established itself as a premier place for food and drink done Irish-style. Happy hour, where you can get a local beer and a shot of Tullamore Dew for only $7, is the perfect blend of Minnesota and Ireland. The food does a great job blending the two as well with poutine, cheese curds and other pub favorites made with an Irish twist. But blending is what this place is all about. Emmett’s is the place you can come get drunk with friends, or bring grandma for a meal. It’s a place where you can turn up or turn down and that makes it one of the best pubs in the Twin Cities.
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.