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The 10 Best Irish Bars & Irish Pubs in the Twin Cities

best irish bars and pubs twin cities

Belly up to the bar – we’re thinking Irish!

While Minnesota is probably best known for its Scandinavian heritage, you can still find plenty of classic Irish pubs in our Twin Cities. 

We put some boots on the ground, mustered up a craving for Guinness beer and potato plates, and searched out the best Irish bars in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Here’s our 11 favorites, organized by what you’re in the mood for.

Map of the Best Irish Bars in Minneapolis and St. Paul

The most popular Irish bar in Minneapolis: Kieran’s Irish Pub

Kieran’s is definitely the most well-known Irish bar in Minneapolis. This downtown staple sits right across the street from the Target Center, home of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx. Kieran’s massive outdoor patio will draw you in, and the wood-paneled everything, traditional Celtic murals, and endless selection of booze will have you stay.

This is the biggest and most well-known Irish bar in town for a reason.

  • Address: 85 N 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55403
  • Website: Kieran’s

The most popular Irish bar in St. Paul: Patrick McGovern’s Pub & Restaurant

Anyone who’s ever taken in a Minnesota Wild game knows that Patrick McGovern’s is a place where the party starts in St. Paul.

The building was originally constructed in 1888, but for the last 40+ years, it’s housed one of the most popular Irish pubs in the Twin Cities. You can see the history in the layout – over the years, Patrick McGovern’s has expanded and expanded, and it’s now a large maze of dining rooms, bars, and patios that stretches half a city block!

The large food menu is always solid, but the real magic happens on the drink menu. True to the Irish spirit, there’s a whole section of the menu with “Pub Pours” that include all the Guinness mixes you’d expect from a true Irish pub. The most notable would be the Black & Tan, which Patrick MocGovern’s serves Minnesota style – that’s Guinness and… Summit Beer!

The best whiskey and scotch selection: Merlin’s Rest Pub

Ah, Merlin’s Rest… home of the Whiskey Bible. What’s the whiskey bible, you ask? It’s a several inch thick book of nearly 500 different whiskeys and scotches, all organized by place of origin.

Plus, Merlin’s Rest is the only place on this list that actually hosts monthly whiskey tastings. For the true connoisseurs, you can even schedule a private tasting!

All this is why we had no doubts in naming Merlin’s Rest the best whiskey bar in our article about the best bars in Minneapolis & St. Paul.

The best burgers: Shamrocks

Nothing mixes Irish heritage with Minnesota lifestyle quite like an Irish bar with some of the best Juicy Lucy burgers in town.

Everyone in the Twin Cities knows that the legendary Nook is one of your best bets to get Minnesota’s trademark cheeseburger. But less people realize that Shamrock’s is actually The Nook’s sister restaurant, hence why it’s technically named “Shamrock’s – The Irish Nook.”

This St. Paul gem has the exact same food menu as the hugely popular Nook, with the bonus of live music, Irish vibes, and even a shuttle to take you down the street to Minnesota Wild games!

  • Address: 995 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
  • Website: Shamrocks

Best Irish pub with a neighborhood vibe: Morrissey’s Irish Pub

Step inside this little corner bar situated in Minneapolis’s Lynlake neighborhood, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a rustic watering hole across the pond. Dim lights, brick walls, rustic columns, and a wood beamed ceiling give this one a cozy vibe.

Menu-wise, they claim to have the city’s best bangers and mash. While we’ve haven’t been able to verify the claim (yet!) we can certainly vouch for the massive selection of whiskeys and wonderful vibe at this neighborhood bar.

  • Address: 913 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
  • Website: Morrissey’s

The most impressive bar: O’Donovan’s Irish Pub

Just down the street from Kieren’s sits another of the Twin Cities famous Irish bars. As far as we know, this is the only Irish pub crazy enough to have the whole bar built in Ireland, then shipped over, piece by piece. It’s definitely a statement piece that give the whole place an authentic vibe.

Drink wise, the Guinness Black and Tan sits front and center, but they also have no less than 200 different types of whiskey and scotch to choose from, plus an authentic selection of Irish bar food.

Did we mention live folk music?

The most unique food menu: Emmett’s Public House

Let’s be honest, the menus at most Irish pubs can blur together. But in our minds, Emmett’s on St. Paul’s popular Grand Avenue stands out. Maybe it’s their one-of-a-kind pretzel cheese curds, corn beef wontons, or bangers and… mac and cheese?

Emmett’s takes the usual and twists them on their head, for a truly unique and tasty adventure. Of course, it’s all served in cozy environment that will make you want to belly up to the bar or grab a table next to the fireplace. Either way, Emmett’s is a classic.

Update: Emmett’s is closed for construction through Spring 2023.

  • Address: 695 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
  • Website: Emmett’s

Best for live music: The Dubliner Pub

The Dubliner in St. Paul seems just as much of an event space as it is your typical bar. Sure, there’s plenty of beers on tap and whiskeys to choose from, but the real fun here begins with its busy calendar of live music – six nights a week! They even offer Irish dance lessons every Wednesday.

Oh, and don’t miss their newest addition, The Gamer’s Lair. It’s a whole section filled with a pool table, pinball machines, darts, and arcades.

  • Address: 2162 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55114
  • Website: The Dubliner

Our favorite new Irish bar: The Prodigal Public House

What began as a love story between two restaurant workers traveling through Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and the UK, eventually grew into the dream for an authentic Irish pub in the Twin Cities. After returning home, the couple opened The Prodigal Public House.

And this new little spot in Whittier/Uptown is quickly becoming one of the most popular Irish pubs in Minneapolis!

On the drink menu, The Prodigal has a small but carefully curated collection of Scotch and Irish Whiskey (with plenty of beer, of course!) and the food menu is rounded out with some rave-worthy pot pies, fish and chips, and a wide variety of sandwiches and flat breads.

And as expected, this small little bar is decked out in tons of whimsical Irish fare.

Best of the ‘burbs: McCormick’s Pub & Restaurant (Wayzata, MN)

20 minutes east of downtown Minneapolis sits a fantastic Irish pub called McCormick’s.

Located in Wayzata, this spot just oozes Irish character. Endless flags hang from the rafters, Guinness posters line the walls, and the cozy bar is just asking for you to grab a drink or three.

There is a Minnesota twist, though – the restaurant sits just steps away from the beautiful Lake Minnetonka.

  • Address: 331 Broadway Ave S, Wayzata, MN 55391
  • Website: McCormick’s
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