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Bangers and mash in a white dish with a small bowl of green peas.
Bangers and mash from Merlins Rest Pub.
Merlins Rest Pub

9 Classic Twin Cities Irish Bars

A proper pour, polished wood bars, and easy company

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Bangers and mash from Merlins Rest Pub.
| Merlins Rest Pub

Irish pubs are known for many things: long dark draughts of Guinness, quiet sips of whiskey, exquisite and varied uses of the potato. Happily, Minneapolis and St. Paul offer more than a few to choose from. Whether it’s a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, a cozy happy hour, or an emergency craving for fish and chips, here are the Twin Cities’ essential Irish pubs.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The Anchor Fish & Chips

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A bastion of Irish fare in Minneapolis’s Northeast neighborhood, Anchor Fish and Chips is a go-to for traditional menu picks and Irish beer and ciders. Their classic fish and chips are the standout — Anchor serves a filet of battered wild Alaskan cod over a bed of thick-cut chips. But they also offer shepherd’s pie, meat and veggie pasties, curry chips, and poítin poutine, made with gravy infused with Bent Anchor poítin, plus Ellsworth creamery cheese curds. The atmosphere is cozy and casual, a classic pub layout that doesn’t feel antiquated. For drinks, try the Guinness, Harp Lager, or Magners Irish cider.

Kieran's Irish Pub

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Right next to Target Field and Target Center in the Warehouse district, Kieran’s Irish Pub is ideally positioned for pre or post-game festivities, an after-work happy hour, or dinner before a show at First Avenue. Kieran’s Irish Pub serves up pints of Irish and local craft beers, whiskey cocktails, and a menu of sandwiches, salads, and pub favorites like fish and chips.  The pub also frequently hosts live music and a monthly poetry slam — their poet’s corner is a cozy back room with dusty bookshelves, portraits of long-gone poets, a Medieval-style wall mural, and a full bar.

O'Donovan's Irish Pub

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O’Donovan’s is a unique Irish bar in the Twin Cities scene: the pub was originally built in Ireland, and shipped piece by piece to Minneapolis, along with its entire decor. Potato features prominently on the menu: try the Maccafferty’s potato soup, the Shannon gold chips, or the potato pancakes, which are called boxty. Draft beer selections include Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks, and Magner’s Irish cider, plus favorites like Deschutes and Summit. Even better: O’Donovan’s hosts live folk music on most nights.

The Local - West End

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The Local’s downtown location is temporarily closed (and set to return in 2022), but its sister restaurant in St. Louis Park is open. Stop in for corned beef and cabbage, pot roast, steak and vegetable pie, or fish and chips — Irish pub classics in a sit-down atmosphere. The Local’s downtown location is known for its ornate mahogany woodwork and antique cut glass lighting, and their suburban spot at West End, with its rounded bar and frosted glass panes, maintains that old-world Irish feel. They’re also a great place to watch rugby matches on Saturday morning — the Local offers $5 drinks and a limited breakfast menu.

The Dubliner Pub And Café

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The Dubliner has been around in the University Midway neighborhood since 1983. Its kitchen, which one served Irish classics like Guinness-battered fish and chips and a Guinness-braised beef stew, is currently closed until further notice. But the Dubliner is known for its wide selection of pints on taps and top-shelf whiskeys — and it’s a go-to spot for Irish music, culture, and dancing. Live music plays five nights a week: catch local acts like the Twin Cities Céilí Band, Charlie Parr, and Alex Rossi. Wednesday nights feature an Irish Céilí dance lesson, and Friday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. are reserved for an Irish music session.

Morrissey's Irish Pub

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Uptown’s only Irish pub has a cozy, understated wooden interior and a menu of bar fare with some Irish-inspired twists. Try Morissey’s thick-cut corned beef on braised cabbage and colcannon potatoes or the Guinness beef stew made with steak, carrots, and mushrooms; there’s also a full Irish breakfast served all day. Drinks include Irish selections like Guinness, Smithwicks, and Harp, plus local pours from Utepils, Castle Danger Brewery, and Sociable Ciderwerks. Morrissey’s hosts trivia Wednesdays, movie trivia Thursdays, and karaoke Saturdays.

Merlins Rest Pub

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Merlins Rest in Minneapolis’s Longfellow neighborhood is beloved for its drink menu (draft beers and — they claim — the most extensive list of single malt scotch and Irish whiskey in the state), its entertainment (live Irish music, jazz, blues, folk, and open jams), and its total lack of pretense. While it’s not strictly an Irish pub (as a “British Isles” pub, it embraces the cultures and cuisines of England and Scotland, too), Merlins Rest is a staple of the Twin Cities pub scene: it was voted best neighborhood bar for several years by City Pages, the metro’s authoritative, now-defunct alternative newspaper. Menu highlights are classic bangers and mash, Cornish pasty, cottage pie, and English toffee pudding with Bird’s custard.

Patrick McGovern's Pub

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Patrick McGovern’s isn’t an official Irish pub — much of their menu is elevated pub fare. But their 1888 red brick building, in the heart of St. Paul’s historic Seven Corners area, is enough to qualify it for this list. Once home to a whole host of 20th-century watering holes, the pub has steadily grown its footprint over the years, evolving from a gritty old saloon to its current form, complete with a three-tier patio. Irish menu highlights include beef and potato stew, fish and chips, and Irish Mac, made with a Guinness white cheddar and cream cheese sauce.

Shamrocks

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The sister restaurant of bustling burger spot The Nook, Shamrocks is a sprawling pub on St. Paul’s 7th Street corridor. The menu isn’t exclusively Irish — Shamrocks offers lots of classic pub food — but they sell Irish fries loaded with corned beef and sauerkraut, Irish Cobb salad and stew, and Reubens. (Shamrock’s Juicy Lucy take is the Paul Monitor burger, stuffed with pepper jack cheese.) The pub is known for its extensive beer list and live music on weekends.

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The Anchor Fish & Chips

A bastion of Irish fare in Minneapolis’s Northeast neighborhood, Anchor Fish and Chips is a go-to for traditional menu picks and Irish beer and ciders. Their classic fish and chips are the standout — Anchor serves a filet of battered wild Alaskan cod over a bed of thick-cut chips. But they also offer shepherd’s pie, meat and veggie pasties, curry chips, and poítin poutine, made with gravy infused with Bent Anchor poítin, plus Ellsworth creamery cheese curds. The atmosphere is cozy and casual, a classic pub layout that doesn’t feel antiquated. For drinks, try the Guinness, Harp Lager, or Magners Irish cider.

Kieran's Irish Pub

Right next to Target Field and Target Center in the Warehouse district, Kieran’s Irish Pub is ideally positioned for pre or post-game festivities, an after-work happy hour, or dinner before a show at First Avenue. Kieran’s Irish Pub serves up pints of Irish and local craft beers, whiskey cocktails, and a menu of sandwiches, salads, and pub favorites like fish and chips.  The pub also frequently hosts live music and a monthly poetry slam — their poet’s corner is a cozy back room with dusty bookshelves, portraits of long-gone poets, a Medieval-style wall mural, and a full bar.

O'Donovan's Irish Pub

O’Donovan’s is a unique Irish bar in the Twin Cities scene: the pub was originally built in Ireland, and shipped piece by piece to Minneapolis, along with its entire decor. Potato features prominently on the menu: try the Maccafferty’s potato soup, the Shannon gold chips, or the potato pancakes, which are called boxty. Draft beer selections include Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks, and Magner’s Irish cider, plus favorites like Deschutes and Summit. Even better: O’Donovan’s hosts live folk music on most nights.

The Local - West End

The Local’s downtown location is temporarily closed (and set to return in 2022), but its sister restaurant in St. Louis Park is open. Stop in for corned beef and cabbage, pot roast, steak and vegetable pie, or fish and chips — Irish pub classics in a sit-down atmosphere. The Local’s downtown location is known for its ornate mahogany woodwork and antique cut glass lighting, and their suburban spot at West End, with its rounded bar and frosted glass panes, maintains that old-world Irish feel. They’re also a great place to watch rugby matches on Saturday morning — the Local offers $5 drinks and a limited breakfast menu.

The Dubliner Pub And Café

The Dubliner has been around in the University Midway neighborhood since 1983. Its kitchen, which one served Irish classics like Guinness-battered fish and chips and a Guinness-braised beef stew, is currently closed until further notice. But the Dubliner is known for its wide selection of pints on taps and top-shelf whiskeys — and it’s a go-to spot for Irish music, culture, and dancing. Live music plays five nights a week: catch local acts like the Twin Cities Céilí Band, Charlie Parr, and Alex Rossi. Wednesday nights feature an Irish Céilí dance lesson, and Friday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. are reserved for an Irish music session.

Morrissey's Irish Pub

Uptown’s only Irish pub has a cozy, understated wooden interior and a menu of bar fare with some Irish-inspired twists. Try Morissey’s thick-cut corned beef on braised cabbage and colcannon potatoes or the Guinness beef stew made with steak, carrots, and mushrooms; there’s also a full Irish breakfast served all day. Drinks include Irish selections like Guinness, Smithwicks, and Harp, plus local pours from Utepils, Castle Danger Brewery, and Sociable Ciderwerks. Morrissey’s hosts trivia Wednesdays, movie trivia Thursdays, and karaoke Saturdays.

Merlins Rest Pub

Merlins Rest in Minneapolis’s Longfellow neighborhood is beloved for its drink menu (draft beers and — they claim — the most extensive list of single malt scotch and Irish whiskey in the state), its entertainment (live Irish music, jazz, blues, folk, and open jams), and its total lack of pretense. While it’s not strictly an Irish pub (as a “British Isles” pub, it embraces the cultures and cuisines of England and Scotland, too), Merlins Rest is a staple of the Twin Cities pub scene: it was voted best neighborhood bar for several years by City Pages, the metro’s authoritative, now-defunct alternative newspaper. Menu highlights are classic bangers and mash, Cornish pasty, cottage pie, and English toffee pudding with Bird’s custard.

Patrick McGovern's Pub

Patrick McGovern’s isn’t an official Irish pub — much of their menu is elevated pub fare. But their 1888 red brick building, in the heart of St. Paul’s historic Seven Corners area, is enough to qualify it for this list. Once home to a whole host of 20th-century watering holes, the pub has steadily grown its footprint over the years, evolving from a gritty old saloon to its current form, complete with a three-tier patio. Irish menu highlights include beef and potato stew, fish and chips, and Irish Mac, made with a Guinness white cheddar and cream cheese sauce.

Shamrocks

The sister restaurant of bustling burger spot The Nook, Shamrocks is a sprawling pub on St. Paul’s 7th Street corridor. The menu isn’t exclusively Irish — Shamrocks offers lots of classic pub food — but they sell Irish fries loaded with corned beef and sauerkraut, Irish Cobb salad and stew, and Reubens. (Shamrock’s Juicy Lucy take is the Paul Monitor burger, stuffed with pepper jack cheese.) The pub is known for its extensive beer list and live music on weekends.

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