St. Patrick's Day Dining and Drinking Guide

Everyone's a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day. Or so we tell ourselves as we dress up in Kermit-green attire and binge on corned beef and whiskey dusk till dawn. One of the most boisterous holidays of the year, St. Patrick's Day is still definitely deserving of some culinary cred, what with its penchant for killer corned beef, potatoes, sausages, and other guttural comforts. It's one of the last indulgent hurrahs before spring settles in and we all have to get our act together and start acknowledging that bathing suit season is not far off. So before that happens, here's your guide to some surefire spots for dining and drinking in Chicago for St. Patrick's Day. 


The Dawson
The Dawson

Food, music, and frivolity converge in true Irish-style at The Dawson March 14 through March 17. During this time, the West Town restaurant will offer a special St. Patrick's Day-inspired menu curated by chef Shaun King. Expect fish & chips, shepherd's pie, and corned beef-cabbage sandwiches, plus special interpretations of Irish-inspired Old Fashioneds and Snakebites. Irish coffee will also be in attendance, made with Jameson Black Barrel, bourbon barrel sugar, Metric coffee, and fresh cream. Additionally, on March 14, the restaurant will have bagpipers playing music and the patio will be open, weather allowing. 

Go Irish via the American South at Luella's Southern Kitchen. Why? History flash: because many an Irish immigrant went down South to establish roots in the U.S., thus infusing and adapting their influence throughout the region and cooking up a new style of Irish cuisine. Said cuisine can be sampled in all its authentic glory at Luella's Southern Kitchen, where St. Patrick's Day menu specials are available from March 17 through March 20. Menu specials include Dublin's Lawyer, a dish of Irish lobster stew with Creole seasoned lobster, roasted mushrooms, Carolina Gold rice, and whiskey cream. There will also be potato-leek soup with smoked braised ham hock and for dessert, Southern rice beignets called calas with Irish oatmeal cookie ice cream.

Keep it simple, keep it comforting, and keep it drunk at The Anthem, one of the best (and most tolerable) sports bars on Division Street in Wicker Park. The crafty bar is celebrating St. Patrick's Day by opening early at 9:00 a.m. on March 14, featuring green beer, Guinness, Jameson shots, and car bombs. Food specials, also available on St. Patrick's Day proper, include shepherd's pie and corned beef and cabbage. 


There's just something homey and comforting about spending an indulgent holiday pigging out at R.J. Grunts, one of the cozy progenitors of the Lettuce Entertain You empire. Available all month long, the burger of the month is a St. Patrick's Day homage made with a beef patty topped with Baileys aioli, cabbage slaw, whole-grain mustard, Jameson vinaigrette, Guinness cheddar cheese, and thin slices of corned beef from Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen. It's all heaped on a potato bun for optimal Irish pleasure. 

Beer and food take the stage in unique fashion and presentation at Dusek's Board and Beer. Pilsen's beer-focused restaurant is a welcome respite from the downtown calamity on St. Patrick's Day, especially when multiple food and drink pairings are involved. On March 17, the restaurant will feature a special St. Patrick's Day flight menu, which pairs three bites with three beers for $15. These include a soda bread strata with aerated porter paired with Great Lakes Conway Ale; corned beef and cabbage dumpling with chive sour cream paired with Flying Dog Lucky SOB; and shepherd's pie croquette paired with O'Haras Dry Irish Stout. 

If you're looking a little outside the box this year, look no further than Slurping Turtle. Because Irish food-cum-ramen is something not to miss. Corned beef and cabbage ramen is available March 14 through March 17, featuring housemade noodles strewn with shredded cabbage, potatoes, corned beef slices, and a corned beef broth. 

- Matt Kirouac