By Amy McNeal
Hours: Monday- Friday, 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 11 – 2 a.m.
This Federal Hill favorite pulls out all the stops for St. Patrick’s Day. This is the place to start your celebration in the wee early hours of the morning on March 17. The bar opens at 6 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day. No Idea features its legendary free cereal bar to help you get something in your stomach to sustain a long day of celebration. Early bird drink specials, usually available from 6 to 8 a.m., help keep more green in your pocket to fuel the day’s celebrations. No Idea also features a drink ‘til noon for one price special if you don’t feel like getting up with the birds. This relaxed watering hole is always bustling for St. Patrick’s Day. Street parking in Federal Hill can be dicey. Consider using the West Street Garage and hiking a few blocks on foot to save the hassle of fighting for a spot.
Hours:Monday- Sunday, 11-2 a.m.
This is the place in Baltimore for watching the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Mick O’Shea’s has an inviting ambiance, with lots of dark wood. The music’s just right, the bar selection is vast, and the staff’s right on target. This bar and restaurant offers great Irish food and American pub favorites. Grab and order of O’Shea’s Won Tons (filled with potato, cheddar and bacon) and a perfectly pulled pint. The big advantage to stopping in this bar for St. Patrick’s Day is the excellent food. If you’re feeling in the mood for a traditional style Irish meal, Mick O’Shea’s has fish and chips, bangers and mash or a fantastic shepherd’s pie. For the less adventurous eater, Mick O’Shea’s also has great burgers and salads. The Guinness steamed shrimp is a local favorite. It’s a very popular place for lunch on St. Patrick’s Day, so plan to wait with a drink or choose to eat at an unusual time.
J. Patrick's Irish Pub
This gem in historic Locust Point is the quintessential Irish pub. The nondescript, windowless exterior belies the great ambiance and amazing service that you’ll find in the kind of bar that transports you straight to the Emerald Isle. This family owned and operated pub has been recognized as having the best Guinness pour in Baltimore. Their signature Irish coffee packs a punch and goes down like a dream. If you’re looking for a cozy place with an older crowd for your St. Patrick’s Day pint, this is the place. Traditional Irish music is on all the time, and J. Patrick’s is known as the place in Baltimore for live traditional Irish music and dance. There won’t be any green beer and all-you-can-drink specials here, just the kind of friendly atmosphere and great service that will make your St. Patrick’s Day pleasant. The place will be hopping on March 17 with music and a fun, adult party atmosphere. Cash only, so come prepared. Convenient parking is available on the street and at nearby Silo Point.
Where will you be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year?
Amy McNeal is a writer and journalist living in Bowie, Md. A Baltimore native, she’s constantly intrigued by her city’s vibrant and unique culture.