Top 20 Irish Pubs

Top 10 Historic Hotels in New England
People have been moving to New England from the Emerald Isle since the mid-19th century, and more Irish people continue to arrive. Many come with long family experience in running public houses -- pubs -- and restaurants in the old country.
Irish pubs in New England are special places, filled with excellent beers and Irish whiskies, traditional Irish foods like bangers and mash, boisterous Irish music, and plenty of hospitality. They brim with revelry At St. Patrick's Day, but they are warm and thirst-quenching places all year. If beer is your favorite brew, thing about jumping aboard one of the many brewery tours that operate in many locations.  

22 Market Square Portsmouth, MA Phone: 603-319-1680

Rí Rá, in the center of Portsmouth, is in a former bank, and you can enjoy Irish beers and music below a stunning dome. The menu is enticing: Dublin sliders, mussels, seafood pies, potato and leek soup, corned beef… There is live music most nights of the week, including Irish and other genres. European soccer and rugby on weekends.

1 Broadway Newport, RI Phone: 401-845-9311

This popular Newport pub is loved for its excellent, live Irish music every Sunday (afternoon into early evening). It is even nice for kids on afternoons. Friendly bartenders and service with lots of beers on tap. European Football league and rugby on the tellie, dart boards, pool table, and patio for smokers. Food, including fish & chips, is good.

57 Center Street Portland, ME Phone: 207-870-1506

This Irish pub has so much to recommend it. There’s a rooftop deck for summer enjoyment; popular Trivia nights; a heavy calendar of live music, including seisun on Sundays. Most impressive is the Hangover Destroyer drink: a stiff Bloody Mary with a cheeseburger slider garnish. Good pub food all around and casual hospitality.

44 Pond Street Ludlow, VT Phone: 802-228-7797

The Killarney is a family-owned pub, offering an authentic Irish flavor to local people and visitors. With 5 high-def TVs, this is the place to sip a pint and watch the game. Find 15 beers on draft, 30 in bottles, and a fine Scotch and Irish whiskey selection. Good food made with local meats, cheeses, veggies. Try the Super Dog Challenge!

911 Boylston Street Boston, MA Phone: 617-262-0911

In 1894,"Nuf Ced" McGreevy opened his 3rd Base Saloon, which became the center of the sports and politics in Boston. In 2008, Dropkick Murphy leader Ken Casey re-opened McGreevy's 3rd Base Saloon. Nuf Ced lives on in a replica of his bar, with a Boston baseball museum. And … beer, whisky, food, big screens, and good company.

273 Main Street Falmouth, MA Phone: 508-548-0285

Liam Maguire, of County Tyrone, Ireland, uses his rich baritone voice to entertain customers with lively pub songs. Serving hospitality, beer, Irish tea, American and traditional Irish food -- consider the clam chowder or the beef & Guinness stew or the Irish egg rolls -- Liam Maguire also offers and rich selection of live music.

381 Smith Street Providence, RI Phone: 401-751-1553

Patrick’s Pub on Smith Hill is not just a watering hole; it is a fulcrum of Irish life in the city. Patrick Griffin, owner, is from Athlone Roscommon, Ireland. At his place, you can enjoy traditional Irish entertainment, Irish music and step dancing, along with traditional Irish and American foods. Darts, pool, sports on TV.

375 Fore Street Portland, ME Phone: 207-773-7210

Bull Feeney's is an authentic Irish restaurant, and the food is hearty (since it is in Maine, of course the Irish tradition makes room for lobster). Vegetarian dishes are served. There is a great collection of Scotch and Irish whiskies along with imported and local beers, for which Maine is famous. Bull Feeney’s has fireplaces, views of the Atlantic, and entertainment nightly.

4 Pearl Street Mystic, CT Phone: 860-572-7778

This is a small pub on a side street in Mystic. The tone is the opposite of a chain operation: you may be greeted by Leo Roche, the proprietor, from Limerick. Seating is intimate and a fireplace warms the public room in winter. Good selection of beer and Irish and Scottish Whiskies. Live music weekly and English football on 3 flat screens.

912 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA Phone: 617-576-0032

This is a genuine neighborhood pub with real heart, and a welcome for newcomers. Tight quarters, very good food, many beers on tap and a full bar, with a range of Irish whiskies. One admirer touts the Sunday night chicken and fish fry. Another said, “Dark corner + good burger + golden whiskey = perfect rainy spring evening.”

378 Centre Street Boston, MA Phone:

Very laid-back neighborhood bar with a good selection of beers, friendly patrons and helpful bartenders. Trivia night is popular. The Behan has been described and praised in Boston Magazine, Boston newspapers, and Irish newspapers. Food is not served here. Music on the weekends. Cash only. There’s an ATM near the entrance.

178 Thames Street Newport, RI Phone: 401-846-5856

Buskers Pub, in the heart of Newport, is a “gastropub,” meaning the food is upscale, fresh, and changes often (filet mignon and Irish bacon, Boxty, lamb shanks, goat cheese and proscuitto shrimp). All this is presented in an old-world setting with genuine antiques from Ireland. The pub serves two dozen draft beers and there’s live music on weekends.

175 Bedford Street Stamford, CT Phone: 203-353-8444

Tigín means small cottage, and, indeed, the feeling is intimate. Tigin blends old-style warmth with modern amenities for a more-hip crowd. Of course, guests find European and regional craft beers, along with a menu of made-from-scratch tavern foods and favorite Irish dishes (breakfast all day). English soccer and rugby are broadcast on weekends.

710 Boylston Street Boston, MA Phone: 617-933-4803

Imported in pieces from the old country, Solas (“comfort” in Gaelic) is ensconced at the classy Lenox Hotel. The bright space is a mesh of modern design and ancient Gaelic artistry. Cushioned wooden benches offer views from windows overlooking Back Bay. Delicious Irish food and a wide variety of drinks, including lots of Irish beers and ales.

3002 White Mountain Hwy North Conway, NH Phone: 603-356-7005

Specialties of the house (which is operated by May herself, 100 percent hands-on) are shepherds pie, beef stew, and chicken pot pie. Corned beef and cabbage is another tasty choice. The walls are draped with antiques and the atmosphere is friendly. A seisun, which is an information gathering of musicians at the pub to play Irish music, is held every Sunday afternoon.

17 Whitney Avenue New Haven, CT Phone: 203-773-1776

This pub -- “The Liff” -- is a New Haven tradition since 1997, founded by an Irishman from a family of pub operators. It boasts regulars that evolved from first dates to marriages and Yale students to doctors. Live music and crowd viewing of the annual World Cup on big screens. Food is Irish fare blended with farm-to-table American fusion.

17 Western Avenue Kennebunk, ME Phone: 207-967-3564

The only regrettable thing about this establishment in the Lower Village of Kennebunk is that it’s closed from mid-December to St. Patrick’s Day. Otherwise, Ryan’s offers excellent Irish brews and high-tone foods like Connemara lamb chops. Sweet outdoor deck opens in warm weather. The owners are second-generation Irish pub owners.

709 Route 4 / Sherburne Pass Killington, VT Phone: 800-325-2540

At McGrath's Irish Pub everybody is welcome, from grandchildren to grandparents. McGrath’s serves Guinness and the state's largest selection of Irish whiskies. The pub has three real dart boards and a large-screen TV for sports. An indoor-outdoor boulder provides seating. A pub menu is served daily. Live Irish music every weekend.

328 Main Street West Dennis, MA Phone:

Good mood, good food, and great Irish music are guaranteed at this Cape Cod pub, where you will be greeted on arrival by owner Joseph O’Shea. Behind him, a trio of fireplace, candlelight, and a great service crew serve you a selection of Irish brews and meals, particularly the acclaimed Irish stew. Celtic musicians bring the music, and welcome guests who want to join in the fiddle, guitar, whistle, or voice.