Some of the pubs and bars on our list have a full restaurant menu and others are strictly bars. You can find Irish bars that are heavy into sports and others that are a little more upscale and family-friendly. There's a healthy selection for everyone.
If you're in the area and thinking of taking that special someone out for a unique night, one of our Irish pubs might be exactly the atmosphere you need. Treat your friends and family with a virtual GiftYa card that they can use to take in one of the Irish offerings in or around the city. Whether they're an Irish expat looking for something that reminds them of home, or just a Chicagoan who is Irish at heart, there are plenty of amazing offerings right here in Chicago.
Irish Times is located in Brookfield, Illinois. So it's a bit outside of the city. But it's a great stop if you're out that way. If you spend the day at Brookfield Zoo or one of the local shopping attractions near here, you'll be glad you stopped at Irish Times.
The place is welcoming and comfortable, with beautiful wood decor, great seating areas, an outside beer garden, and super friendly staff. The Irish ambiance is everywhere, including the amazing menu. They have solid Irish staples, like a fantastic Shepherd's Pie. They also have American foods, so there's something for everyone. Irish Times has plenty of local regulars because it's friendly and welcoming, and the food is good.
Fado is an experience everyone should try once. Patrons often comment on the cozy, unique atmosphere. There's a reason for that. The pub was specially designed in Ireland. The bar itself is a reclaimed 100-year-old bar from Dublin, according to their website. And there are little cubbies and nooks to gather in, as well as open seating to make the experience really unique.
The food is high quality and all made in-house. They have a limited menu but it's all delicious. You can get traditional Irish menu items or some of their more creative offerings. There's a little something for everyone here. They show European Futbol, which is a fan favorite and the place can get pretty busy for these events. The staff is always on point and always friendly. If you're looking for the feel of Ireland with high-quality food and service, Fado is a good choice. We can't forget to talk about the bar. You can get your traditional Guinness and whiskey, of course. But they have a full list of cocktails that are sure to delight, as well.
Keenan O'Reilly's is a proud dive bar with an Irish heritage. The drink prices are good, you can play pool or the jukebox, and the vibe is completely relaxed. This is a neighborhood joint with a relaxed vibe. No frills, no muss, no fuss.
If you like dive bars, this is a great choice. Patrons are mostly friendly, providing you're friendly. It's an easy place to pass the time or find new people to chat with. This place is as unpretentious as it gets. A solid choice for a comfortable night out with friends or a quick stop at the pub solo.
Cork & Kerry has two locations. There's one in Bridgeport and one in Beverly. Both South Side Irish all the way. We're going to highlight the one in Bridgeport here but both are worth visiting if you're in the area. The Bridgeport location is called Cork & Kerry at the Park because it's so close to Sox Park. It's only a few blocks, so you can walk over after a game and they have live music after all the home games.
They have a solid menu with Irish favorites, some new things thrown in, and traditional Chicago pub foods. Try their Irish Eggrolls if you want something unique. Try anything if you want something good. They have a large drink menu and it's reasonably priced. Cork & Kerry has a friendly staff and a good vibe. It's a great place to unwind after a day at work or to celebrate an event. Also, a great place to catch the Sox games, but it is a Sox bar (head warning, for any Cubs fans).
The Kerryman bills itself as Chicago's liveliest Irish Bar and it might just be right on the mark with that description. The owners are all from Ireland and they still run the bar. They obviously love what they do and are happy to talk with patrons. The scene is comfortable and friendly. Food items are delicious. They have a mix of Irish standards and newer bar foods so that anyone can find something on the menu they'll love.
There's a lot going on here. They have DJs on weekends and dancing upstairs. The main bar is cozy with a full food and drink menu. And then there's the outside beer garden which is pet-friendly. If you're a local pet owner who wants somewhere to stop in the middle of a walk with your dog, they'd welcome you here. Great little vibe in a traditional Irish setting.
Emmit's isn't the oldest Irish Pub in Chicago, but the location itself has some great history. Currently, Emmit's has been open since the 1990s, which isn't a short time now. They are a traditional Irish bar with good food, a solid selection, and a full bar menu.
What makes Emmit's kind of unique is the vibe. The bar and decor are comfortable and the staff is friendly. The owners and staff can all tell you a bit about the history of the location. It dates back to before prohibition and there are some good stories back there in the Chicago archive. The regulars also make this place fun. It's not uncommon for new people to stop in for one and stay for the whole night. Looking for a new place to try out with great food? This is the spot.
The Curragh Irish Pub is an excellent place if you're looking for a truly Irish experience. They bill themselves as an Irish American Pub. You can easily find a brogue among the many patrons and you'll usually find soccer on when in season.
They have a good menu with traditional Irish food and American pub items added to the mix. Their drinks menu is extensive as well. You can find your favorites and a fair few items you haven't tried yet. The staff is also super friendly and happy to offer recommendations if you want to try something new. They have regular customers who make the atmosphere feel like a home away from home. Check out some of their local events and stop in and join the fun.
The Galway Arms is a great Irish Pub in Lincoln Park. They boast an open patio which is fantastic during the summer and warm weather months. Obviously, this is Chicago, so the warm weather months aren't the majority of the year. But they do have heaters outside and there is inside seating, as well.
They have a traditional menu and a great little vibe. They also have traditional Irish music every Sunday. Check out what they have planned when you stop in. The inside bar is cozy and has a great little atmosphere. It's a good spot to meet up or stay for the whole evening.
Declan's has a great Irish pub vibe. Good selection of food and the food is all tasty. They don't have a huge tap beer selection, so it's not the best choice if you're a big craft beer person. But there are plenty of bars that specialize in that. This bar is for people who want a great Irish vibe and a friendly neighborhood bar.
If you're one of the people who like an old-timey feel to your bars, Declan's has the old tin ceiling that used to be a standard for bars back in the day. You can always find sports on the televisions and a welcoming smile from the staff.