Best Chicago Restaurants for St. Patrick's Day
On St. Patrick’s Day, there’s no doubt that bars get a LOT of business. Ask any bartender and he or she will tell you: there’s no business like the business bars get on the day when the Chicago River runs green and masses of people (mostly young) cruise the streets of (mostly) the northside, looking for fun and another pint of something.
But St. Patrick’s Day isn’t all about drinking; this special Irish holiday is also about eating, and we Chicagoans are lucky to have many restaurants that are offering food specials on St. Patrick’s Day to help you get a little something in your belly besides Guinness.
Here are five of Chicago’s best restaurants, each offering something a little special on St. Patrick’s Day.
Café Robey. On Saturday, March 14 through Tuesday, March 17, Café Robey is offering a special of a house-made corned beef sandwich, with corned beef (of course!), sauerkraut, gruyere and Russian dressing on grilled pumpernickel with fries. All of that is offered for the value price of $14, and you can get this traditional St. Patrick’s Day sandwich in either Café Robey or on the second-floor lounge. After you’ve eaten, go up to the rooftop bar and get a bird’s eye view of Chicago in full party mode.
Gaijin. For the full month of March, Paul Virant is offering a corned beef, Osaka-style okonomiyaki, with traditional garnishes and spicy mustard for $15. In case you don’t know, okonomiyaki is the traditional Japanese cross between a crepe and a pancake, covered with savory or sweet ingredients. To drink, there’s matcha lemonade and ujikintoki kakigori, which is matcha ice cream with red bean paste, matcha syrup, kinako mochi, coffee jelly, and a snow cap.
The Dearborn. Owned by the sister team of Clodagh and Amy Lawless (Irish? Yes, indeed!), The Dearborn will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a big way over four days. On Thursday, March 12, and Friday, March 13, this Loop destination will revive a popular freebie from years past: a Guinness pint glass engraving station. From 5 to 7 p.m., guests can have their glass engraved (no charge, while supplies last). On Saturday, March 14, from noon to 8pm, The Dearborn welcomes Celtic musicians Paddy Holman & Friends for a live performance. Of course, there will be some holiday-appropriate Irish food offered from the 14th through the17th: corned beef Reuben ($16); an all-day Irish breakfast of fried eggs, bangers and more traditional accompaniments ($19); shepherd's pie ($24) and for dessert, a boozy Irish Blackout Trifle with Bailey’s mousse and a Guinness caramel swirl ($12).
Celeste. Celeste offers their regular menu which features some truly wonderful dishes, like tea smoked trout salad, hanger steak pastrami and oxtail potato croquettes. But here’s the kicker: Celeste’s disco is open all day long and there’s no need to purchase a ticket package ahead of time because there’s no ticket or cover required. There will be live DJ appearances throughout the day, so come early and stay late.
George III. If you’re looking for an, um, quieter St. Patrick’s Day celebration, two of Chicago’s finest fine-dining chefs are teaming together on a dinner series that will bring each into the other’s kitchen for the night. The first dinner is hosted on Tuesday, March 17, when Chef Michael Lachowicz of George Trois in Winnetka welcomes Chef Troy Jorge of the Michelin-starred Temporis. After St. Patrick’s Day, on Tuesday, April 21, Lachowicz will join Jorge in West Town’s Temporis kitchen. Each dinner will be built around a tasting menu of dishes from each chef that will set in relief their individual styles, with optional wine pairings. The 10-course George Trois dinner will be $215. The 12-course Temporis dinner will be $200. If you’re tired of the crowds of crazed partygoers on St. Patrick’s Day, Lachowicz and Jorge offer you a delicious way out.