It's easy to peg St. Patrick’s Day as just an excuse to get loaded on copious amounts of green beer and whiskey. We'd prefer to see it as a perfectly acceptable reason to spend all day gorging on insanely rich, decadent Irish specialties—and no, not the greasy versions you'll find at the average corner pub. These five spots are serving up some of the most standout Irish-inspired treats around the country, and we have a feeling you'll want to return again and again, long after the sidewalks stop smelling like beer.
Irish Bacon, Egg and Cheese at Restaurant Eve, D.C.
There's always a crowd at Restaurant Eve in Washington D.C. We're certain it's due, at least in part, to the flavorful bacon, egg and cheese dish from James Beard Award-nominated chef Cathal Armstrong, who has also won a Best New Chef honor from Food & Wine. Although the tasty trio has been a staple on the menu for nearly 13 years, the kitchen keeps things fresh by rotating different interpretations, both in composed dishes and in hearty sandwiches. Keep an eye out for chef Armstrong’s favorite hoagie, the Irish BLT. Two slices of pullman (white flour-based) bread are stuffed with house-cured Irish bacon, lettuce, tomato, poached egg and cheese.
Irish Beef Stew at Farm Bar, Chicago
Farm Bar, a buzzy neighborhood tavern in Chicago, ups the ante on Irish beef stew, serving an exceptionally flavorful version we could eat all year long. The cast-iron pan arrives chock-full of juicy pulled short rib, Irish butter-mashed potatoes and stout-infused gravy. We only wish we had room for seconds.
Irish Soda Bread at Baker & Nosh, Chicago
Chicago’s Baker & Nosh is making us look at that Irish staple, soda bread, in a whole a new way. The fluffy loaves, baked fresh daily, are ultra-moist and studded with raisins and caraway seeds. Hint: They're perfect for soaking up all those whiskey shots too.
Cocktails and Corned Beef at The Dead Rabbit, New York City
If you happen to find yourself in New York City, you'll want to head straight to The Dead Rabbit. The bar's brilliant spins on Irish pub specialties include their outstanding Irish coffee, cult-favorite cocktails like the Irish whiskey-spiked Psycho Killer, and an irresistible corned beef sandwich: Layers of sliced meat are topped with Irish cheddar and housemade coleslaw, and served on toasted wheat sourdough.
Irish Coffee Float at Burger Bar, San Francisco and Las Vegas
Although people flock to Burger Bar for its namesake burgers, owner and Top Chef Masters alum Hubert Keller also serves up a killer holiday-inspired float. The Irish Coffee is made with Irish dry stout beer and coffee ice cream, and topped with whipped cream sprinkled with chocolate-covered espresso beans. Pair it with a side of salty fries, because you can. Sláinte.
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