Where should you go to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the Twin Cities? Irish Bars, obviously, are the classic choice, however, most pubs and bars will be wearing green and celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Minneapolis and St. Paul and every other city in the U.S.
You can't go wrong with any of the bars you'll visit after the St. Patrick's Day parades in downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis bar that's serving free beer all day long will be a real mecca for fans of the green.
With all this revelry, you would do well to leave the car at home and take public transit. All buses and light rail services are free on St. Patrick's Day from 6 p.m. until the last scheduled service. All routes operated by Metro Transit, the Met Council, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, and Plymouth Metrolink, (except the Northstar line) will be free. Selected bus routes and the light rail will have extra service after midnight; check the St. Patrick's Day schedule at MetroTransit.org.
So go ahead and have fun. Here are some of the best pubs and bars where you'll want to pay a wee visit on St. Paddy's Day.
This Irish pub is a stone's throw from the route of the Minneapolis St. Patrick's Day parade located next to Target Field and Target Center in the Warehouse District. It's just a short walk from the 1st Avenue LRT station.
Keiran's is a large venue, and they add a heated tent to pack in all the revelers. Kieran's typically opens at 9 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day Eve and St. Patrick's Day itself. Watch their Facebook page for updates on St. Patrick's Day entertainment.
In downtown St. Paul, The Liffey is a popular destination after the St. Paul St. Patrick's Day parade. Another of the Cara Irish Pubs brand, you can expect live music bagpipers, Guinness, and great Irish fare.
Opened back in 1997, this bar has been a staple of the Irish scene. It has an 80-foot bar and a Whiskey Lounge. It's also on the route of the Minneapolis St. Patrick's Day parade and is sure to be packed with Irish revelers on the eve of St. Patrick's Day and on St. Patrick's Day itself.
Another of the Cara Irish Pubs brand, you can expect live music and great Irish fare.
In downtown St. Paul, Patrick McGovern's is a popular destination after the St. Paul St. Patrick's Day parade. It offers two full days of Irish happenings over the St. Patrick's Day weekend.
This is the best place to mingle with the pipe bands from the parade. And you are guaranteed music and a fantastic Irish atmosphere. Watch their Facebook page for 2019 happenings.
Kip's starts the party two days before St. Patrick's Day. The celebration will be full of music and beer specials. On the day itself, the bar typically opens at 7 a.m. with family-friendly entertainment and plenty of food in the morning, segueing into excessive green beer consumption in the evening.
O'Donovan's in downtown Minneapolis is another destination near the Minneapolis St. Patrick's Day parade. O'Donovan's typically parties all weekend and holds a tent party.
O'Donovan's is the first Irish Pub in Minnesota built entirely in Ireland and shipped piece by piece to the United States. You'll experience a bit of Ireland in this cozy pub.
Merlin's Rest is home to a vast selection of whiskey—ideal if you'd like a change from green beer. But beer is definitely on offer as well. There is usually Irish food all day long from "brekkie" on, and pipers will be there while you eat your corned beef and potatoes.
Merlin's Rest will open at 8 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day, and the party continues on until the next day with an Irish pub sing at 2 p.m. You can also expect live music, Irish dancers, whiskey tastings, men in kilts, and more.
Live music typically plays from noon on at The Dubliner, an Irish pub on University Avenue in St. Paul. The Dubliner has been in the University Midway neighborhood since 1983 and is known for a welcoming atmosphere, live music, and even Celtic dance lessons.
The Nomad billed as a "world pub," is known for their annual St. Patrick's Day contest. Starting at 1 p.m., the beer is free, until someone has to pee. It usually takes about two hours before someone spoils the fun. Irish bands follow for a night of live music and shenanigans.
Shamrock's, the bigger brother of renowned burger bar The Nook in St. Paul, goes all out for the day. The bar usually opens at 9 a.m. and there is typically a tent full of entertainment, live music, a leprechaun look-a-like contest, a green hair contest, free food for the first 100 people after the St. Patrick's Day parade, Irish food, beer, and more.
Keegan's Pub is northeast Minneapolis' foremost Irish Bar. For St. Patrick's Day weekend, they typically throw a tent party. In previous years, this has included the Minneapolis Police Pipe Band, Irish band Erin Rogue, and others.
This pub is home to Irish celebrations in the northwest metro. The party typically starts the week before St. Patrick's Day, when the pub will have Irish music, food, trivia, and revelry through the weekend.
They are known for their Irish dishes such as Scotch eggs, shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage and deserts like Banoffee Pie or warm and tipsy bread pudding.
Student-friendly Irish bar Blarney in Dinkytown typically has live music. In previous years, performers have included The Durty Nelly's and The Teddy Holidays. You'll find some traditional foods such as shepherd's pie and Guinness beef stew along with the nachos and burgers.
Jake O'Connors is home to Irish celebrations in Excelsior. There will be a tent party and a full Irish breakfast to set you up for a full day of drinking green beer.