Irish or not, you will feel like a kinship with the Emerald Isle as soon as you set foot in one of the Bay area’s many fine Irish pubs and restaurants. Serving authentic old world favorites (corn beef and cabbage, anyone?) and featuring more beers then some traditional bars, these establishments leave the competition green with envy.
COURIGAN’S IRISH PUB One Beach Drive SE, St. Petersburg, 727-551-9019. This mellow establishment is a stone’s throw from downtown St. Petersburg’s waterfront and museums. Courigan’s fish and chips are a popular pick, and a staple of the late night menu. Or enjoy the Irish stew or corned beef and cabbage with a tall glass of Guinness.
CROWLEY’S DOWNTOWN 269 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-821-1111, crowleysdowntown.com. Head to this downtown destination for Irish items such as bangers, Irish dip and one of the best veggie burgers in town. Breakfast is available on Saturdays and Sundays at 8 a.m., if you prefer to be “Irish” earlier in the day.
DUBLINER IRISH PUB 2307 W. Azeele St., Tampa, 813-258-225; 12836 Henderson Road., Tampa, 813-300-2076, thedublineririshpub.com. Known as “the little Irish pub that could,” Dubliner certainly can. With 44 taps to choose from, the South Tampa location will never be “tapped out” of fresh beer. The Irish Nachos are ideal to pair with your Guinness.
DURTY NELLY’S IRISH PUB 129 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 813-220-1799. Get down and “durty” at this St. Petersburg pub, located in the heart of Downtown St. Petersburg. Chug the cheap drinks, while gazing at the Irish décor.
FINLEY’S IRISH PUB AND EATERY 13477 Belcher Road S., Largo, 727-535-7858, finelysirishpub.com. This is one of Largo’s best bets for Irish whiskey and bites, including corned beef and cabbage, and bangers and mash. Try the Shepherd’s Pie Quesadilla for a culinary culture clash. Happy hour specials are everyday (11 a.m.-7 p.m.), and you can catch the game on one of the 12 big-screen televisions.
FLANAGAN’S IRISH PUB 465 Main St., Dunedin, 727-736-4994, flanagansirishpub.net. Enjoy Irish menu selections, such as steak and mushroom pie, made with Guinness gravy. Don’t forget to order a Guinness to pair with that pie. Something is always going on at Flanagan’s, so check the website for drink specials and various events, such as karaoke.
FOUR GREEN FIELDS 205 W. Platt St., Tampa, 813-254-4444, fourgreenfields.com. This establishment is responsible for an 87-percent increase in sales of Guinness in the Bay area since its 1992 founding, according to Guinness Import Company. Join the popular Four Green Fields Running Club (Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m.) and combine fitness and drinking by running a 5K race and enjoying your favorite beer after crossing the finish line.
IRISH 31 1611 W. Swann Ave., Tampa, 813-250-0031, irish31.com. A cozy, modern SoHo destination. The Size of Ireland Pot Pie may be the ultimate chicken pie experience, and don’t forget to pair an Irish 31’s Breakfast of Champions shot with brunch (Sundays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.).
JAMES JOYCE IRISH PUB 1724 E. 8th Ave., Tampa, 813-247-1896, jamesjoyceybor.com. You’ll feel right at home at James Joyce’s new location, with fireplaces, private (but not too private) areas for you and the apple of your eye, hardwood floors and more. If you’d rather enjoy authentic Irish fare and the fresh air, head to the patio. With 50 taps, including Victory Golden Monkey and Cigar City Florida Cracker, 100 bottles of craft beer from around the world, and Beer Tasting Tuesdays, there isn’t a shortage of beer at James Joyce.
MACDINTON’S IRISH PUB 8 a.m.-3 a.m., 405 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, 813-251-8999; 242 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg, macdintons.com. One of SoHo’s (and now St. Pete's) most popular drinking spots, Irish or not. If you find yourself hungry, try the bangers and mash. Enjoy live music Friday through Sunday, karaoke on Tuesdays, and $10 “sink or swim” on Fridays (6-8 p.m.). Bring Fido to MacDinton’s Yappy Hour, where he will find canine companions. Check website for nightly specials.
MALONEY’S LOCAL IRISH PUB 9540 W. Linebaugh Ave., Tampa, 813-749-0859, maloneyslocalirishpub.com. Craic (Gaelic word for “fun,” pronounced crack) is not whack at this authentic Irish destination, located steps away from popular destinations like Burger 21, Pizza Fusion and World of Beer. If you’re craving a burger, try Guinness or Pub Whiskey burgers, paired with Guinness French onion soup.
O’BRIEN’S IRISH PUB 701 W. Lumsden Road, Brandon, 813-661-9688; 1701 S. Alexander St., Plant City, 813-764-8818, obrienspubs.com. Swig Swithwick’s Irish ale with an item from the late-night menu, such as Wee Shepherd’s Pie. Check the website for nightly dinner, drink and shot specials, as well as events. If you’re an avid fisher, join O’Brien’s Fishing Club.
O’KEEFE’S FAMILY TAVERN AND GRILL 1219 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater, 727-442-9034, okeefestavernonline.com. Established in 1961, this Irish pub is a Clearwater institution. Even President Barack Obama stopped in for a visit. Check out the “famous naked lady” picture, rumored to be founder Bill O’Keefe’s wife. Try Irish Puffs or Seven-Course Irish Dinner, featuring six domestic drafts and a boiled potato.
O’TOOLE’S IRISH PUB 1215 W. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, 813-684-2600, otoolesirishbar.com. Irish breakfast is available Saturdays and Sundays (11 a.m.-4 p.m.). For those craving a little Irish/Chinese fusion, check out the Irish Egg Roll. Happy hour occurs every day (4-7 p.m.) but check the website for drink specials and events, such as trivia.
P.J. DOLAN 2836 E. Bearss Ave., Tampa, 813-374-2338, pjdolans.com. Grab a seat on Uncle Paddy’s Patio on a Thursday and enjoy $5 bangers and mash. Or head to P.J.’s on a Tuesday for a $4 pint of Irish beer, such as Smithwick’s and Guinness. Check website for additional food and drink specials.
PEGGY O’NEILL’S IRISH PUB AND EATERY 1026 Florida Ave., Palm Harbor, 727-787-7734; 13910 W. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, 813-749-7192, peggyoneillsirishpub.com. Named after a Peggy O’Neill who supposedly went down on the Titanic while attempting to emigrate to the U.S. from Ireland, this pub is open until 3 a.m. every day so you can go down with the ship before heading to work a few hours later. You can also catch the game on one of the 32 televisions while sipping Mama O’Neill’s Irish Coffee. Check the website for daily specials.
SHAMROCK’S ALE HOUSE 7805 Temple Terrace Highway, Tampa, 813-988-4958, shamrocksalehouse.com. This family-owned, family-oriented sports bar is one of Temple Terrace’s best bets. Fifteen HD big-screen televisions broadcast sporting events, all day, every day. For an Irish experience, try Flanagan’s fish and chips, featuring an enormous filet battered with Shamrock Ale House’s beer. Shake up your routine and head to Shamrock’s on a Tuesday evening for the meatball sub special and a game of BINGO. Other specials and events are listed on their website.