In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, we asked our Editors to come up with some of the best pubs around their city to sit back with a pint–from traditional Irish pubs to joints serving pub fare with an Italian twist.
For the quintessential Maritime pub experience in Halifax, head to the Split Crow on Granville Street. In a historic building in the heart of the downtown, the friendly pub is usually packed and offers live music daily.
Celebrate St. Patty’s Day in style at the Dubh Linn Gate. Enjoy live music, or catch a televised rugby match, all while enjoying a perfectly poured pint and Irish fare. The BrewHouse is an inviting lodge-style bar and grill that offers a selection of in-house brewed beer. Try the Grizzly Brown Ale or the Big Wolf Bitter after taking a tour of the brewery.
Head to the Irish Heather Gastropub in Gastown for a taste of the Emerald Isle. Pints of ale are served alongside steak and Guinness pie and plates of handmade bangers and mash. Tucked behind the Heather is the Shebeen Whisk(e)y House, which houses a huge selection of bourbon, rye, single malt, Irish and Scotch whisky. At Red Card Sports Bar + Eatery find Italian-inspired comfort food in a cool setting that features exposed brick walls and sleek banquettes.
Pub Italia fuses a colourful Italian trattoria with the conviviality of an Irish pub. Throw in the kitschy décor of a medieval monastery and the beloved “Beer Bible” (a selection of 200 local, domestic, and international beers), and it’s got the makings for a rockin’ good time.
Edmonton’s Black Dog Freehouse, located on the eclectic Whyte Avenue strip, is one of the city’s most beloved drinking holes with its cozy, traditional ambiance, friendly staff and second level garden setting “wooftop” patio overlooking the bustling avenue. Each of the pub’s three separate levels features its own distinct atmosphere and music.
There are many excellent spots to choose from in Toronto, but The Queen and Beaver must be near the top of anyone’s list. This two-storey gastro-pub offers upscale English fare and a well-curated selection of ales. Friendly staff and homey decor add to the welcoming feel. A similarly convivial atmosphere pervades at Irish Embassy, which makes its home in a historic bank building and serves as downtown’s go-to destination on St. Patrick’s Day.
There’s nothing like winter activities in fresh mountain air to build up a powerful thirst for quality beer. And the Rockies’ three brew pubs Banff Ave Brewing Co, Jasper Brewing Co, and Canmore’s Grizzly Paw Brewing Company pour tasty house-made brews that will satisfy any beer aficionado. Read our feature on Brew Pubs of the Canadian Rockies for more information.
For St. Patrick’s Day in Victoria, a visit to the aptly named Irish Times Pub is a must. Located on Government Street, in the heart of downtown, the Irish Times boasts two floors serving fine food, good times and live Celtic music nightly. Among the fine brews on tap is an excellent selection of local beers, along with six beers directly from Ireland, including Guinness, of course!
At downtown’s The James Joyce you can easily spend a comfortable hour, afternoon or evening drinking one of the freshest pints of Guinness in town along with a plate of their fine fish and chips–all to the tune of jaunty Celtic music. Meanwhile, at District you can choose from seasonal, local offerings like duck confit gourmet poutine, displayed on blackboards, or standards such as burgers with a side of bacon and maple syrup in a pail.
Live Celtic-rock music is often on the bill at King’s Head Pub. If you miss it, count on its classic British pub menu, pints, pool and darts for a good time.