Oh, it’s that time of year again. Parades are popping up in every town. Folks are foraging in their closets for anything green they can get their hands on, and every pub is preparing for their biggest day of the year, St. Patrick’s Day. It’s been four years since I hit four pubs in one day (and really don’t want to ever do it again) so, we asked our team of food sleuths to come up with their suggestions for the best places to get your green on this St. Paddy’s day (and yes, it’s Paddy not Patty). Since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, all the more reason to turn the whole weekend into a celebration.
164 St. James Place and the Boardwalk, Atlantic City 609-344-9063 or 9064
Back in the days of prohibition this historic watering hole was a speakeasy. The building dates back to the early 1900’s and is featured on the famous Monopoly board game. The dark paneled bar, Irish art and memorabilia reminds you of days gone by with a large selection of stouts and beers flowing, and irish ballads playing in the backround. Try some fish and chips, some great bar sandwiches, and if beer isn’t for you, their irish coffee may win you over.
191 Paris Ave Northvale, NJ 07647 201-564-7893
Think Irish fare means heavy meat and potato filled pies and chewy corned beef? This Northvale bistro is as charming as it is able to deliver tasty dishes which are both classically Irish and eclectic in spirit. Owners Noel and Eileen (otherwise known as Biddy) have elevated this restaurant bar location to smartly styled yet cozy heights with the addition of deeply pigmented colors on walls, quaint paintings and a corner fireplace in the dining room. Fish and chips, beef stew and Shepherd’s Pie will satisfy, but you’ll be tempted by Goffle Road chicken preparations and Pat La Frieda blend burgers topped, in the case of the Biddy O’Mally Burger ($13), with Gruyere, caramelized onions, arugula, pancetta and Malbec butter. Arugula and Brie salad is not to be missed. Bread comes from Balthazar; seafood offered is sustainable. Beer lovers will delight in a tidy array of craft and classic labels, with gluten-free suds available as well. Biddy O’Malley’s strikes a fine balance between cozy bistro comfort and classic Irish spirit. Lively bar with a great happy hour vibe, yet sophisticated enough dining room to visit for a romantic date or special occasion.
630 U.S. 130 South; Burlington, NJ 609-747-0123
Dolan’s Irish Pub stays true to their Irish identity while supporting the local community; serving locally grown and sourced menu items including pastured chicken and grass fed beef from a local farm. Try the Harp-Battered Chicken Fingers or Fried Irish Cheddar. Traditional Irish fare includes Fish & Chips, Shepherd’s Pie and Bangers & Mash. Save room for the Jameson Walnut Tart or Chocolate Guinness Pudding. The St. Patrick’s Day party will last all weekend long, Friday, March 15-Sunday March 17 with live Irish music, DJ, $3 Trilogy Pints, $4 Imperial Kilkenny Pints, food specials and more!
3817 Pacific Ave, Wildwood, NJ 08260 609-522-3800
A lively local favorite located in the heart of Downtown Wildwood, Cattle ‘n Clover Steak House puts a nouveau twist on traditional Irish fare. Try the Irish Surf n Turf (Fish and Chips with Shepherd’s Pie), C ‘n C Strip Steak (with a tobacco Bailey’s glaze) or the Meatloaf Panini. Wash it all down with a “Big Ass Beer” or try out the Whiskey list. On March 16th and 17th, C ‘n’ C hosts their 2nd Annual Pacific Avenue Block Party which kicks off with the Cattle Drive 5k Run for charity on Saturday and features vendors, kids’ activities and a live music lineup all weekend long. It’s the place to BE in South Jersey on St. Patrick’s Day!
123 North High Street, Millville, NJ 856-293-1200
An original 1883 three-story building in the heart of downtown Millville, and reconstructed in the best Philadelphia pub tradition, The Old Oar House boasts a wrap-around bar with more than 18 beers on tap. Featured brews include Harp, Guiness, Flying Fish, and Turtle Stone Brewing company. Irish pub specialties include Corned Beef & Cabbage, Shepherd’s Pie, and Guiness Irish Stew. Live music every Friday and Saturday night. Fenced-in outdoor beer garden for seasonal enjoyment.
395 Bloomfield Ave. Caldwell, NJ 973-226-9812
The Cloverleaf Tavern has been a staple of downtown Caldwell for over 75 years, serving mouth watering American cuisine with a dash of Irish Flare. In addition to their fantastic food, the Clover offers a rotating selection of 100 beers, some on tap and others in bottles, which means you can always find something to wet your whistle. Their St. Paddy’s Day celebration is second to none and it begins on March 14, 2013 with food specials and continues until Sunday March 17th, featuring the Green Breakfast of Champions which includes Irish Soda Bread French Toast served with Jameson butter starting at 9:30 A.M.. They will also have live entertainment on Saturday March 16, 2013 and Sunday March 17, 2013 to help bring out the green in us all. Whether you are truly Irish or only green one day a year, the Cloverleaf Tavern will surely make you dance a jig in honor of this fun filled holiday.
292 Grove Avenue, Cedar Grove, NJ 973-239-1189
Authentic Irish pub, good anytime of year, but it really kicks into high gear for St Patrick’s Day. Their famous corned beef & cabbage is available the entire week of the holiday, and getting in there requires planning! This year, St Paddy’s Day is on a Sunday so I’m sure the place will be rockin’ all weekend. While you’re there, do not miss the Irish Soda Bread! They also have a location in Wayne www.grasshoppertoo.com.
Lazy Lanigans Publick House, Linda Arceo, Gloucester County
139 Egg Harbor Road, Sewell, NJ 08080 856-245-7040
Lazy Lanigans Publick House in Washington Township is ready for the biggest party of the year. This busy Irish Pub features traditional Irish food and a fun atmosphere. A sampling of their menu includes tasty appetizers like Irish Nachos and Hand-Cut Fry Baskets, traditional Irish Potato Soup, Corned Beef Sandwiches and signature entrees such as Shepherd’s Pie, Guinness Beef Stew and Jameson’s Chicken. For dessert try some of their homemade items including Nutella Banana Bread Pudding and Brown Bread Ice Cream. In the mood for some traditional brews? Lazy Lanigans extensive beer list includes well known names like Guinness and Harp, but also unique craft beer selections such as Kilkenny, Goose Island and Yards available in bottles or on draft. There will be live bands all weekend in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and major specials including opening early for breakfast; $5 pint offerings and $6 Irish Car Bombs.
28 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542 609-924-5555
Every year the “A&B” celebrates St. Patty’s Day with its annual Longbeard Contest to benefit a local charity or family in need. This year they are raising funds for the kenwood family, in memory of Michael Kenwood, an EMT who lost his life attempting a swiftwater rescue during Hurricane Irene. Along with measuring the whiskers, there is an Irish fare menu. Featured items include: Irish Kettle Chips, house made chips with crispy smoked bacon, Irish cheddar, blue cheese and scallions; Dublin Egg Rolls made with pulled corned beef, cabbage and vegetables with Guinness mustard dipping sauce; and in addition to traditional corned beef and cabbage, entrees include Guinness Braised Short Ribs of Beef with colcannon and vegetables and Bangers and Mash, grilled Irish sausages with colcannon and onion gravy.
Hailey’s Harp and Pub Jessica Perry, Middlesex County
400 Main Street, Metuchen, NJ 08840 732.321.0777
This cozy pub in downtown Metuchen bustles year-round, so spirits are bound to soar (and pour) on the day where everyone is Irish. Start celebrating early with Hailey’s traditional Irish breakfast, accompanied by live music and Irish dancing throughout the day. For the later risers, the huge menu offers hearty, stand-up pub grub and Irish fare alike. Hailey’s has the classics covered, of course, but the twists are fun. Soak up one of their 40 rotating beers with the corned beef and cabbage spring rolls. After all, you have work the next day!
711 Main Street, Belmar, NJ 07719 732-280-2266
If you’re planning on attending the annual Belmar’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, Connolly Station is an excellent stop for some good Irish pub grub. Start off with some Irish nachos or the Irish Potato and Leek soup then move on to the Guinness Infused Beef Stew or the traditional Corned Beef Platter. After dinner, head into the bar for music from local bands such as The Boilermakers, The Pickles, Paul Cilinski, and DJ Rob (3/17).
2031 Hwy. 71, Spring Lake Heights 732-449-2626
Many places bill themselves as “Irish pubs”, and many come up short. Serving typically American food with Irish ales and stouts hardly an Irish pub makes. Not only does St. Stephen’s Green serve the good ol’ Irish standybys on draught, but it has Irish food specialties that pair perfectly with those ales and stouts.
The menu is chock full of Irish goodness and occasionally littered with an American treat or two. A stop at St. Stephen’s Green must include a taste of the Stout & Ale Bread, prepared on the premises using Smithwick’s Ale and Guiness Stout. Another not-to-be-missed menu item is the Baked Aged Irish Cheddar appetizer, made with Wexford cheddar blended with Murphys Stout and roasted garlic and served with beer bread crostini. Sink your teeth into the Irish Wolfhound, Irish Whiskey BBQ flavored pulled pork topped with cole slaw and served on 3 buttered and toasted rolls.
Maloney’s Pub and Grill Peter Culos, Monmouth County
119 Main Street, Matawan, NJ 07747, Phone (732) 583-4040
Maloney’s in downtown Matawan is known for their extensive draft beer list of over 100 taps. Food is not forgotten at this beer Mecca either. They offer a contemporary twist on American classics prepared with local ingredients whenever possible. Also known for their clever beer pairing dinners, there’s always something happening at Maloney’s and St. Patrick’s day is no exception! Maloney’s will run St. Patty’s Day specials from THURSDAY MARCH 14th – SUNDAY MARCH 17th. Traditional corned beef and cabbage plates, Reuben’s, corned beef on rye, fish & chips, shepherd’s pie, special soups and homemade Irish soda bread round out the food offerings. Top off your meal with house-made bread pudding and an Irish coffee. You can wash it all down with Harp, Guinness, Smithwicks, and Magners Cider. Of course, they will also tap some special craft brews in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Look for Slyfox Seamus Red, Widmer’s O’Ryely IPA, Sam Adams Tasman Red, Slyfox O’Reilley’s Stout, Victory Donnybrook Stout, and Rogue Irish Lager on tap. Finally, on St. Patrick’s Day, MARCH 17, they will open at 10 a.m and have live entertainment all day. Seating will be on a first-come, first serve basis.
30 Monmouth St Redbank, NJ. Phone: 732-747-6699
The Dublin House is one of the best Irish “pubs” around. Located in one of the most historic buildings in Red Bank, it stands out like the emerald isle amidst a sea of shops and parking lots. It will surely be the spot for a day of revelry on St. Patrick’s Day.
2313 County Route 547, Lakehurst, NJ 08733
New to the Irish Pub scene, Tipperary Pub is doing an excellent job of dishing out the expected Irish fare like Shepherd’s Pie and Bangers an’ Mash with an Irish eye to authenticity and freshness. Some more must tries on the “Irish side” are the Fish and Chips and their “To Die For” Irish Mac and Cheese complete with fried egg on top. So decadent and so worth it. Since St. Patricks day is a multi-day affair at Tipperary Pub, entertainment starts Friday and continues to Sunday with Thomas Wesley Stern and GreenSpell until the wee hours. And, just to wake you up off the bar, watch out for the bagpiper who will be making some surprise rounds throughout the day.
53 Broadway, Denville, NJ, 07834 973-586-3377
The authentic look and old country feel of the establishment will make you feel as if you’ve just landed on the streets of Ireland. Menu features extensive options, including Irish traditional grub. Sunday brunch is offered and endless sports are shown on the lounge’s flat screens.
101 Boulevard Seaside Heights, NJ 08751
No trip to Seaside is complete without a stop at this neighborhood favorite. Ironically, they are most famous for their delicious bar pie, but their menu also features some comfort food favorites like crispy beer battered fish and chips, their mouth watering ½ pound pub burger made with sirloin and topped with the cheese of your choice, a thinly sliced hot corned beef sandwich, and the always delectable Mom’s meatloaf smothered in brown gravy. Klee’s is always filled with good food and friendly faces.
150 W. Main Street, Somerville, NJ 908-203-0700
Mannion’s Irish Pub atmosphere flows with Irish pride while boasting authentic Irish fare. They offer everything from classic dishes such as bangers and mash and shepherds to Irish twists on favorite pub foods, like corned beef potato skins and Guinness battered fish and chips. St. Paddy’s Day is a weekend long affair featuring a myriad of entertainment ranging from live celtic bands to Irish step dancers, with bag pipes popping in throughout the weekend festival. For extra fun into the wee hours of the night, hop upstairs for some to The Clubhouse for sports, games, and revelry.
Did we miss your favorite St. Patrick’s Day destination? We’d love to hear from you, leave a comment or join in the conversation on Facebook.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.