Chicago’s Best Restaurants for Celebrating St. Patrick's Day
Chicago is a city that’s always rolled out the green carpet for St. Patrick’s Day. The “Pork Butcher to the World” has also produced a lot of corned beef, and we’ve had our share of Irish leaders, most recently two Daleys and a Byrne.
Chicago has also had its share of colorful Hibernian scalawags – “Hinky Dink” Kenna and “Bathhouse” John Coughlin come to mind – and on St. Patrick’s Day, the city boisterously celebrates both the famous and the infamous by eating and drinking in the great Irish tradition. And there’s also the annual green-dying of the Chicago River and the legendary St. Patrick’s Day hijinks in River North and elsewhere.
If you prefer to stay indoors to eat your corned beef and drink your Guinness, here are six of Chicago’s best restaurants for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern. Named after Jack Brickhouse, legendary and larger-than-life Chicago sportscaster, and the beer he loved, Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern is, as you might suspect, going big and all out for St. Patrick’s Day. There will be a lavish buffet with carving stations, an omelet bar (if you’re starting the festivities early), a donut wall and a dessert station. On the big day, Saturday, March 16, you get all that, and four drink tickets, for $30.
The Gage. Leave it to Billy Lawless, a proud son of Eire, to do something special for St. Patrick’s Day. On Saturday, March 16, and Sunday, March 17, the Fiddlin’ Finnegans will perform and an Irish bagpiper will be tooting away all day. Expect to find lots of house-made corned beef, of course, as well as Finnin’ Haddie (smoked haddock cakes) and colcannon (whiskey-braised pork, potato and cabbage). There will also be several holiday-themed cocktails, including Monserratine with gunpowder Irish gin and The Irish Tenor, with Jameson and chartreuse.
Beacon Tavern. Beacon Tavern, another Billy Lawless production, is holding its own on this day of Erin go Bragh by offering special Irish foods and drink in honor of the man who drove the snakes from the Emerald Isle. Corned beef in the Reuben will be draped with house-made sauerkraut, the beef stew will be splashed with Guinness, and, as you might suspect, there will be Finnin’ Haddie.
Geja’s Café. Geja’s is serving a “pot of gold” fondue, along with a four-course corned beef and potato creation enhanced with three holiday sauces: green peppercorn Dijon, stout mustard and Guinness BBQ, all to be enjoyed in the traditionally dreamy dining room. There will also be special St. Patrick’s Day cocktails. Who says St. Patrick’s Day can’t be romantic?
Daisies. Daisies specializes in veggie-forward platters and exquisite pastas, so you might think the restaurant wouldn’t be doing much for St. Patrick’s Day…but you’d be wrong about that. For the St. Patrick’s Day weekend (March 15-17), chef Joe Frillman will be offering corned beef and cabbage pierogis, because, you know, Chicago has a huge Polish community in addition to its huge Irish community.
Cantina Laredo. On Sunday, March 24, as part of the St. Patrick’s Day season, and in honor of the annual 8k Shamrock Shuffle, Cantina Laredo in River North will offer runners a complimentary bowl of their Traditional Guacamole. Cantina Laredo’s justly famous guac pairs perfectly with Breakfast Tacos, Chilaquiles, Omelet el Pastor and many other south of the border deliciousness. All brunch entrees will include a mimosa or Bloody Mary.