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Header photo courtesy The Field
Everyone’s favorite all-day drinking marathon, St. Patrick’s Day, is rolling up on us fast. Ahead of this Sunday, Blendz takes a look at some of the finest Irish pubs in the area. The below list rounds up a few of the most authentically constructed Irish bars—some flown straight from The Green Isle—as well as a couple spots that have some serious fun with their pub grub.
Cheers to St. Patrick’s!
Address: 544 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
The Field’s all about authenticity… and when you’re an Irish bar, that’s pretty damn important. Every piece of decor has been shipped directly from Ireland in order to create a turn-of-the-20th-century look. Legitimate Irish accents abound from the waitstaff, and there’s a bounty of legitimate Irish grub to be had—corned beef & cabbage, whiskey chicken boxty (homemade potato pancake), Shepherd’s pie, Guinness stew, and more. It’s all rounded out by frequent live music.
Address: 3373 Adams Ave., San Diego, CA 92116
Older even than The Field, The Ould Sod’s been doing its thing for roughly 30 years. Traditional Irish music on Tuesdays is complemented by karaoke on Thursdays and Saturdays, not to mention Irish whiskey available for less than a fiver on Saturdays. There’s also a dope outdoor beer garden to enjoy on a sunny day.
Address: 118 E Grand Ave, Escondido, CA 92025
640 Grand Ave, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Double your pleasure with the two locations of O'Sullivan's in Escondido and Carlsbad. The Irish Pubs Global Association named the owner, Dennis O’Sullivan, “Publican of the Year,” which is apparently a thing so, hey, we’ll roll with it. Aside from its award-winning staff, you’ve got to try the dope-ass fare they have here—Irish favorites like corned beef and cabbage, Bushmill-stuffed chicken, Guinness stew, homemade brown bread, shepherd’s pie, and more. And of course, their extensive selection of brews are complemented by Irish and Scotch whiskeys.
Address: 554 Fourth Ave, San Diego, California
Nestled within the Gaslamp, The Dubliner is a faithful recreation of a nineteenth-century Irish public house (Tynan's Bridge House Bar in Kilkenny, Ireland). Really—the place was handcrafted in Ireland and shipped over to America in 2001. It can get quite boisterous and there are some solid live music acts to enjoy during the week. And like many of the locales on this list, there’s a wicked amount of great food, both traditional and, ugh, not-so-traditional. On the one hand, you have faithful recipes such as boxties, bangers and mash, lamb shank stew, and shepherd’s pie, while on the other you have experimental dishes such as “Irish Nachos” (hand-cut house fries with Irish cheddar mornay, green onions, crispy bacon, tomato and charred Serrano; served with jalapeño aioli). Yum!
Address: 1125 6th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
The Stout Public House is a relative newcomer to the Irish bar scene in San Diego but it still brings the goods. Sports are a big deal here—you can virtually always catch the game and it’s even become a go-to for hockey fans. Happy hour is offered daily from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with select $4 pints. And the menu’s comprised of fare that spans from starters to entrées, soups and salads. And therein lies the trick—since this is a newer location, they’re up for a lot more experimentation. There are Irish favorites, sure, but there are also more random pub selections such as BBQ carnitas sandwiches and pesto chicken. If you want something a bit different, Stout Public House may be your spot.
Address: 2955 Jamacha Road, El Cajon, CA 92019
5500 Grossmont Center Dr. #277, La Mesa, CA 91942
Like Stout Public House, Hooleys is not afraid to get a lil weird. Don’t get us wrong—this is another location that was literally imported from Ireland, so the bar and its repurposed church pews and brass whiskey stills is authentic as hell. Plus, there are “Irish Thursdays” featuring specials on boxty plates and Irish brews, as well as a traditional Irish breakfast available on the weekend. But some of the other fare is downright eclectic, including cultural mashups such as “corned beef tacos.”