March 17 2012 by Claudia Kunkel
Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, I've come up with a list of the notable Irish Pubs around the U.S. and Ireland; who knows, some of you might just be lucky enough to live by one of these popular institutions. I can attest to the wonderful pubs in the Temple Bar area of Dublin, having wandered into one or two of them. I would be hard-pressed to name my favorites, since I thought every one of those pubs were delightful, charming and perhaps offering the best draw of a Guinness that I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. For those of you that enjoy a draught or two, a Guinness is something to be savored and leisurely lingered over, while joining in on a chorus or two of Danny Boy. (Warning, singing along with Danny Boy while enjoying a Guinness may produce a tear or two).
1. One of the oldest pubs in Dublin is The Brazen Head which is conveniently just minutes away from the Guinness Storehouse where the famous ale is brewed. Not only can you enjoy a pint, but they also feature some of the best live music to be found in Dublin. The pub still maintains its original building which now houses a quiet restaurant serving, of course, Irish Stew, and two larger rooms to accommodate the crowds coming to listen to the music. The pub still maintains its charm and welcoming hospitality.
2. Another must-see is the O'Donoghue's Pub located near St. Stephen's Green. This establishment originally started out as a grocery store and turned into a pub when purchased by the O'Donoghue family. The pub is probably one of the most famous of all the pubs around Ireland, due in part to the traditional Irish music played nightly. Most of the more notable musicians to come out of Ireland got their start playing here including The Dubliners. This pub is on the tour bus circuit and can get quite crowded, especially during rugby matches!
3. Coming stateside, The Plough and Stars located in Cambridge has been voted Best Bar & Pub of Boston. It is also the oldest Irish pub in and around Boston. It plays host to locals and tourists alike all crowding in to the small pub to dine on traditional dishes and listen to live music.
If you live in the Boston area, this is one pub to put on your list.
4. The list wouldn't be complete without stopping in New York City at McSorley's Old Ale House. Established in 1854, it is NYC's oldest pub. McSorley's started out as a local, neighborhood pub for the working man to enjoy a refreshment or two on his way home from work. Once it was discovered by the rest of the city's inhabitants, it has seen its share of famous people walk through their front door including John Lennon, Woody Guthrie and several presidents.
There are many grand pubs around the world, each offering up their own version of Irish traditions. One thing they all have in common, is the genuine warmth, humor and hospitality that the people from the Emerald Isle take with them wherever their journeys lead them. If you're ever in Ireland check these pubs out and stay at a Best Western - Erin go Braugh!