By Joshua Palmes

St. Patrick’s Day is the holiday when everybody gets to be Irish. All across Connecticut people will be heading out in search of “craic” – the Irish term for fun, entertainment, pleasant company and good times. And the state has a number of bars and restaurants that fit the bill. Anybody craving classic Irish comfort food and refreshing drinks along with music and pleasant bartenders will find them at these pubs.

The Harp and Hound
4 Pearl St.
Mystic, CT 06355
(860) 572-7778

Perhaps no other bar in the state will make you feel more like you’re in Ireland than Mystic’s Harp and Hound. Owner and Limerick native Leo Roche transformed one of the town’s oldest buildings into a pub reminiscent of those in his native country, complete with authentic decor and furnishings. You also can’t beat the Harp’s outstanding selection of Irish drafts, whiskeys and coffees. Stop by and check it out after the annual Mystic Irish Parade on March 19.

Keagan’s Irish Pub
544 Main St.
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 346-2400

Keagan’s in Middletown has a simple charm that makes it a welcoming setting for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Enjoy its specialty appetizers, including the Pots of Gold – potato cakes stuffed with corned beef and shallots – or the house tater tots with smoked bacon, cheddar and Guinness onions. There are also several corned beef sandwiches and you can customize your own beef, chicken or veggie burger. And the accommodating  bartenders are always happy to pour you one of Keagan’s many local and international craft brews.

The Black Sheep
247 Main St.
Niantic, CT 06357
(860) 739-2041

The Black Sheep is one of the best Irish bars on the Connecticut shoreline. Visit on St. Patrick’s Day for a cold beer (over a dozen on tap) and a burger with Black Sheep’s Irish whiskey ketchup. Or go for the Devil’s Stack Burger – two patties filled with corned beef and Swiss cheese on rye toast. There are plentiful soups, sandwiches and seafood dishes as well. And don’t be surprised to find several Irish dancers, singers and musicians performing that day.

Related:  Top Irish Pubs In Connecticut

O’Brien’s Pub
83 Lake Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
(203) 628-7108

O’Brien’s in Danbury reopened last year after being damaged by fire in 2015, and the new and improved pub has been a big hit with patrons. Inside the bright red building Harp and Guinness and Smithwick’s flow freely and the food is irresistible. If you’re bringing a friend or a date share the Irish Mixed Grill, which is piled with lamb chops, Irish bacon, sausage, tomatoes, beans and pudding. The O’Brien Burger with eggs and Irish bacon is another favorite, and make sure not to miss out on the hand-cut fries.

The Playwright Irish Pub
1232 Whitney Ave.
Hamden, CT 06517
(203) 287-2401

Hamden’s Playwright has everything you need for a festive St. Patrick’s Day. Start with drinks, which span an extensive assortment of whiskeys, craft cocktails, martinis, cosmos, plus two dozen beers on tap. Then order a burger or baby back ribs covered with Irish whiskey BBQ sauce, or perhaps a holiday classic like Guinness stew, bangers and mash, or Shepherd’s Pie. Add in live traditional Irish music, and the Playwright is a perfect experience.

Related: Top Beer Gardens In Connecticut


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