The month of March means it’s once again coming up to St Patrick’s Day. The annual celebration of Ireland and its patron saint, which falls on 17th March, is always celebrated by countries around the globe.
Of course, the main way that people tend to celebrate the day is by going out for drinks. To celebrate it, we’ve rounded up a list of the best Irish pubs in London for you to take part in the Irish themed festivities. You can expect plenty of Guinness, as well as live music and bustling, communal atmospheres.
Located in the affluent Notting Hill, The Cow is one of the best and and most famous pubs in London. Having attracted a large amount of high profile names over the years, including Stella McCartney, the Beckhams, Alexa Chung and others, the pub has certainly made a name for itself. Not only does it serve Guiness and other delicious drinks, it also offers an amazing food menu, with a particular emphasis on meant and seafood. The Cow is definitely a place to consider if you really want to treat yourself for St Patrick’s Day.
Address: 89 Westbourne Park Road, London, W2 5QH
The Auld Shillelagh prides itself on authenticity, so much so that it was bestowed the title of “Most Authentic Irish Pub Outside Of Ireland” by The Irish Times. A fantastic destination for St Patrick’s Day revelry, the pub hosts weekly music performances, shows plenty of big sporting events on its large TV screens, and has a brilliant beer garden in which you can sit and sip some of the pub’s delicious Guiness.
Address: 105 Stoke Newington Church St, London N16 0UD
Covent Garden is home to some of London’s most legendary drinking spots, and The Porterhouse is certainly up there with the best. Part of the reason is the pub’s huge size: it takes up some 12 floors, so there’s a hell of a lot of room in here come St Patrick’s Day. Not only that, it also crafts its own beer over in Dublin, and serves some fantastic Irish stout. There’s also a large food menu to keep the hunger at bay, and plenty of live music events take place here, including on the 17th. It’ll likely be bustling on the day, but then again, so will all of the pubs on this list.
Address: 21- 22 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7NA
A pub that lives and breathes Guinness, The Toucan in Soho is a lovely place to go drinking year around, not just for St Patrick’s Day. The pub is a Soho staple, and unsurisingly attracts a lot of customers around the 17th of March. Irish music performances are a regular occurrence in the basement, and the whole place has a very relaxed, chilled out vibe with its plethora of Guiness and Ireland themed memorabilia. The Toucan also serves plenty of Irisih whiskey alongside the beers, and a range of great food too. This is definitely somewhere to consider for a good drinking night with friends, and might just have the best Guinness in London.
Address: 19 Carlisle Street Soho, London W1D 3BY
Another pub that fully embraces Ireland and St Patrick’s Day, The Claddagh Ring is possibly as good as you can get for a St Patrick’s Day night out. This year, this Church Road establishment is hosting a St Patrick’s Weekend, with a huge array of festivities and performances to get stuck into across Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There’s plenty of genuine Irish gigs to be found here, and it’ll be hosting screenings of Six Nations matches too, if that’s your jam (and even if it isn’t, the Ring nearly always discounts Guinness and other drinks during these matches, so you might as well take advantage.)
Address: 10 Church Road, Hendon, London
The Boston Arms is another really fab Irish pub, inside a beautiful Victorian era building in Tuffnel Park. There’s a fair amount of competition for Irish pubs in North London, but the Arms more than holds its own: not only is it great for St Patrick’s Day, its a nice chill place for a pint at any time of year. Recently revamped and renovated, there’s two particular areas to highlight: The Snug, which is a cosy little place with comfy leather sofas to relax, and The Yard, a lovely “secret” beer garden to get some fresh air and enjoy sips of beer, while kicking back to watch the Six Nations with a great communal atmosphere.
Address: 178 Junction Road London N19 5QQ
If you’re in the Camden area and looking for a good Irish pub, The Sheephaven Bay is probably your best bet. With a warm and friendly atmosphere, this is a great place to go for a great night out with a fun vibe. There’s plenty of events hosted here, like live sport, music and quiz nights, and there’s a fantastic conservatory and beer garden, which is especially good in warmer weather. The main pub area has signed sport memorabilia and the liveliest atmosphere, while the the Saloon is great for relaxing meals and a game of darts. There’s an extensive food menu here to choose from, as well as a superb range of drinks including cask ales, lager, wines and more. This is certainly a great spot to choose for St Patrick’s Day.
Address: 2 Mornington Street, Camden Town NW1 7QD
Another Camden venue, The Dublin Castle has become famous over the years for its famed musical acts who’ve performed there: Classic ska band Madness gained a reputation for its live performances here, and music legends Blur, Coldplay, The Artic Monkeys and Amy Winehouse also made appearances here. It was originally built for Irish navvies, and has kept true to its roots. It remains an excellent live music venue to this day, with jam-packed shows from Wednesdays to Sundays. The drink selection is no slouch either, with great beers, wines and ciders. Go here if you want a particularly musical St Patrick’s Day.
Address: 94 Parkway, Camden, London, NW1 7AN
“From Dublin to London’s East End” is how Gibney’s describes itself: the original Gibney’s opened in Dublin in 1937, run by the Gibney family, but a London counterpart opened up in 2021. You can find it underneath Daffodil Mulligan restaurant in Old Street, and it’s a fab place to go for St Patrick’s Day. Alongside its fantastic drinks menu of Irish whiskey, scotch, beer and gin, it has an amazing bar snacks menu, with highlights like Beef Tartare On Toast and Durrus Rarebit. There’s also options for private dining with family style sharing menus, designed by Richard Corrigan.
Address: 70-74 City Road, London, EC1Y 2BJ
Easygoing and welcoming, Howl At The Moon is another excellent Irish pub. It wants you to feel as chill and laid back as possible, encouraging everyone to not take themselves too seriously. There’s an extensive range of drinks on offer here, like amazing craft beers, real ales and ciders, and the food menu is also great. Live bands, usually up and coming, perform here regularly, and you’ll also be able to catch Six Nations games here on their TVs. Howl At The Moon is where you want to go if you want a truly care free St Patrick’s Day celebration.
Address: 178 Hoxton Street, London, N1 5LH
A truly charming Irish pub, The Faltering Fullback can be found in Finsbury Park. It’s one of the most picturesque pubs on the list, with a lovely, leafy garden area and plenty of trinkets adoring the inside. As you’d perhaps expect from the pub’s name, it also shows a huge range of sport for you to enjoy with your drinks, and there’s also live music including Irish folk bands and open mic nights. Daniel Radcliffe even starred in a music video here for band Slowclub in 2012. There’s also The Fullback pub quiz that takes place every Monday. The food meanwhile is authentic Thai, with an extensive menu of soups, Thai curries and noodles.
Address: 19 Perth Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3HB