Plenty of River Walk bars will don shamrock drag for the holiday, but green beer alone does not St. Patrick’s Day make. With a rich Irish history and an ever-growing nightlife scene, San Antonio is now full of proper pubs. Sure, a few aren’t exactly authentic, but that Party City leprechaun hat isn’t either.
The Cottage Irish Pub
Away from the downtown throb on Broadway, this newcomer is ideal for a quieter St. Pat’s. Day drinkers can fortify with a full Irish breakfast with brown soda bread and rashers, then get a respectable buzz with a frozen Irish coffee or two. Start with hand-cut chips with a tangy curry sauce.
This long-standing pub is a faithful recreation of its namesake in Limerick, complete with stone walls and a hearth. Trade clover suspenders for classic Donegal tweed and sidle up to a barstool for a whiskey flight or a Black and Tan.
The Irish Pub
A Medical Center go-to, this no-frills watering hole offers simple sandwiches, cocktails, and plenty of shots, shots, shots. More dive bar than a classic pub, it gives just what a neighborhood bar should — a comfortable place for carousing with friends.
Kennedy’s Public House
One might be more likely to see Dubliner nosh on black pudding than Irish nachos, but let’s face it. This American ode to Gaelic(ish) ingredients is bar food done right. This strip-mall pub’s version is jam-packed with all the fixings, which is reason enough to celebrate.
This River Walk stop has about as much to do with the United Kingdom as Hooter’s has to do with owls, but it is on the route of the annual parade. Nonetheless, the bar stocks various whiskies and domestic and imported craft beer. And its cottage pie has all the necessary carbs to soak the booze up.
This downtown haunt has long been a fave with footie fans thanks to its near-blinding array of flat screens. Guests can also cheer on its well-stocked bar, which includes some unexpected Irish whiskies and less-common beer imports like Smithwick’s Red Ale. The food runs the sports bar gamut from nachos to pizza, but Irish classics like beef Guinness stew and pasties scream, “Erin go bragh.”
With its dark wood cabinetry and bric-a-brac on the walls, this St. patty’s day destination offers a more enveloping atmosphere than some of the bars on this list. The specialty cocktail list keeps the theme going with Irish versions of popular drinks.