Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in an Atlanta Irish Pub

There are two types of establishments on St. Patrick’s Day: places that have green beer specials and hanging shamrocks, and genuine atmospheric Irish pubs that always serve traditional Irish food and drink. Celebrate Ireland’s foremost patron saint at these beloved Atlanta institutions.

Meehan’s Downtown

Drop in for an all-day Irish breakfast at this stalwart pub. Step onto 100 year old heart pine that leads to intimate booths of dark wood with stained glass adornment or pony up to the bar with premier Irish imports and local craft beers. There are more than a dozen Irish whiskies to choose from to accompany Guinness battered fish and shepherd’s pie. Get your corned beef fix in the form of a Reuben. Doors open at 10 am on St. Patrick’s Day with specials like a $7 Irish mule. This is the closest Irish Pub to the stadium, and you can bet they will be showing the Atlanta United match on multiple big screens.

200 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-214-9821, meehanspublichouse.com.

Mac McGee

Walk through the red door on the Decatur Square and you are instantly transported to the Dingle Peninsula. It’s dimly lit and chock full of antiques and bric-a-brac from the Emerald Isle. They make the finest Scotch egg in the city along with traditional fare of fish and chips, bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, and corned beef hash. The star of the joint is what they refer to as the whiskey bible. It lists more than 500 selections, broken down by country. Beer drinkers have 30 taps to choose from. And they pour a perfect pint of Guinness.

111 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-377-8055, macmcgee.com.

 Ri Ra

The name roughly translates as “devilment,” or good fun, and the atmosphere definitely facilitates revelry. The 19th century bar was restored and shipped to Atlanta from Ireland. The parquet floors underfoot are from the yard where the famed Titanic was built. Good fun is improved with good food. Pub classics like fish and chips, all day Irish breakfast, and cottage pie are made with a local twist. Black and white pudding comes in the form of croquettes. Order a dram or try a flight of whiskey. Irish mules made with Irish vodka are a crowd pleaser.

1080 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-477-1700, rira.com.

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Fado means “long ago” in Gaelic, and the surroundings, even in the heart of trendy The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, take you back in time to merry old Ireland. There are several floors to explore, each with a different sort of vibe. From the hand milled bar to hanging light fixtures, everything was manufactured in Ireland and shipped across the sea. One area boasts an over-sized fireplace. The rooftop patio has stone walls and murals. TVs show live Irish and European sporting events. The menu is both Irish classics like corned beef and cabbage and American pub fare. It’s the kind of place where you can sip on a perfect pour of stout as well as a, Irish whisky sour.

273 Buckhead Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-841-0066, fadoirishpub.com.

Olde Blind Dog

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This Brookhaven pub makes for an enchanting romp in an old world wonderland. It has cobblestone “streets” that meander to different room and cozy snugs. You can hide away at a hidden room underneath or up high where a replica Mel Gibson from Braveheart oversees the room. All the décor and antiques were imported from Europe. Start with the ale and cheddar dip with pretzel bread (pro tip: order extra bread) before a plate of curry or Irish stew with lamb and a heaping slice of soda bread. Finish with sticky toffee pudding and a dram from one of over 50 whiskies. There are 40 local and international beers on tap. And for families: kids love strolling the pathways that feel like an outdoor street scene.

705 Town Blvd. NE, Brookhaven. 404-816-5739, oldeblinddog.com.

Heather Sinyard