Houston may not be folks’ first thought when pondering places with strong Irish influence, but they’d be wrong to overlook it. Because as one of the most diverse cities in the nation, our sound stable of places to whet your whistle includes some very friendly (and sometimes rowdy) Irish pubs where you can talk a load of Blarney alongside a pint of the black stuff. With St. Patrick’s Day just a wee bit away, it’s time to get reacquainted with the watering holes and get ready to party like your last name is O’Sullivan. These Houston spots will bring all the Irish pub feels.
Galleria Score a smooch under the electric green “Kiss Me I’m Irish” sign at this fun-loving watering hole, the latest concept from Eighty Six’d Restaurant & Bar Group (Bovine & Barley, The Fish); then spend the remainder of the evening cozying up to pints of Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, Guinness Stout, and Smithwick’s Irish Amber Ale fresh from the tap, taking flight through the whiskies of Cork’s Redbreast Distillery, and grubbing on pub classics from Fish & Chips and Bangers & Mash to totally-not-Irish Pizza and Sushi Rolls. How to book: Stop in for first come, first served seating.
Spring Branch Helmed by the same two Irish lads behind Rice Village’s late The Gorgeous Gael, this Marq center sports pub is serious about its Guinness, claiming to have the best pour in Houston. You’ll have to grab a pint to see for yourself, of course, and enjoy stuff like stout marinated Shepherd’s Pie, Irish style Bangers N’ Mash, and Guinness-battered Onion Rings and Guinness Chocolate Cake while you do. How to book: Stop in for first come, first served seating.
Montrose The little bro to sibling establishments McElroy’s and Shay McElroy’s, Johnny’s brings big deck energy to the classic Irish pub experience. No for real, there’s a big side deck where you can grab a picnic table and settle in for fresh pints, bar pies and corned beef sammies, and fun events like Bourbon Butter Steak Night (Tuesdays). How to book: Stop in for first come, first served seating.
Montrose This friendly neighborhood pub rocks a huge, huge Irish whiskey selection, inviting patio, and fun-loving attitude year-round, but special to this year, it’s teaming up with another friendly neighborhood pub (Griff’s, which was destroyed by major fire damage in January) for some sure-to-be wild St. Patty’s Day shenanigans. The joint parking lot party will feature Irish cocktails, Irish Slammers, all kinds of Irish drafts, and a special just for the holiday: Green Beer. How to book: Stop in for first come, first served seating.
Upper Kirby/Downtown With handsome leather furnishings from the Old Capital Club of the original Rice Hotel, this duo of Irish-owned and -operated bars is a throwback to nicer pubs in Dublin. Do they have Corned Beef Reubens the size of Texas in Dublin? Whatever. Hit the quaint McElroy’s for dart tourneys, pints of Guinness, and a totally chill outdoor beer garden; or head to downtown’s Shay McElroy’s to cozy up with whiskey in a private “snug” and sip draughts at the rich, intricate, 19th-century bar shipped straight from the motherland itself. How to book: Stop in for first come, first served seating.
Upper Kirby It’s 50% live music venue, 50% Irish pub, and 150% guaranteed good time… We’re pretty sure that math is right. Hit the Mucky Duck to quench your thirst with the best pour in Houston (it has a Guinness trophy to prove it) while you take down Welsh Rarebit, Irish Beef Stew, and Fried Gulf Shrimp Tacos-which, admittedly, aren’t Irish at all, but this is Houston. What did you expect? How to book: Score tickets online or stop in for first come, first served seating during No Cover nights.
River Oaks Perfect pours and Chicago-style thin crust bar pies are the name of the game at this real-deal pub, which has been serving loyal patrons all of the above since 1983. The stellar Irish whiskey runs the gamut, from Bushmills Black Bush to Tullamore Dew 10 Years Old single malt. You may need a swig or two to keep up with the St. Paddy’s Day crowd. The all-day Irish rager will host live rock, bagpipers, step dancers, and traditional eats like Corned Beef and Guinness Bread. How to book: Stop in for first come, first served seating.
Montrose/Washington You may not think a pub across from a Whole Foods will give you any kind of legitimate Irish experience. But you’d be wrong, fella. This one’s owned by a dude from Dublin, who named the bar after his father’s ’70s era Dublin public house. As such, you’ll find one of the creamiest pours of Guinness, plus proper Irish bar snacks, a roster of the finest Irish whiskey, and a steady European crowd amping up the night’s shenanigans. How to book: Stop in for first come, first served seating.
Downtown Dark, dingy, and narrow, this Downtown watering hole is everything an Irish pub should be. The crowd is super-welcoming — even more so after a few pints. But perhaps the coolest part is that it’s rumored to be haunted by a lady ghost who chills in the bathroom. The building dates back to 1890, so it’s not entirely outside the realm of reality, right? RIGHT? How to book: Stop in for first come, first served seating.
The Woodlands What’s better than an Irish pub whose building materials are straight-up shipped over from a century-old pub in Ireland? An Irish pub whose materials are straight-up shipped over from a century-old pub in Ireland that you can bring Branduff McGrady and Addergoole to. Sick dog names, by the way. While the bistro side of things may not be the most authentically Irish (there’s mozzy sticks and “Irish nachos”), you can still get a perfect pour of the black stuff that will transport you right over to the Emerald Isle. How to book: Stop in for first come, first served seating.Sign up here for our daily Houston email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.
Brooke Viggiano is a Houston writer who will most definitely be wearing a fake beard and Green Man suit this St. Paddy’s Day. Hit her up for a blather @BrookeViggiano.
The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.
From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.
Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.
Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.