Chicago Irish joints for pub grub

Celtic Crown Public House

The marquee outside announces daily specials, so if you pay attention, you may find yourself with a bill for $3 burgers or 35 cent wings. Even at full price, Celtic Crown is still worth a visit for better-than-average bar food. As you’d expect at an Irish pub, the corned-beef sandwich is satisfying, as is the baked barbecue-rib plate (note to true ’cue fans: The meat is baked, not smoked). The atmosphere is loud, but the waitstaff never overlooks the diners for drinkers.

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North Center

Cullen’s Bar and Grill

With the waitresses brandishing brogues along with the shepherd’s pie and Guinness pints, you know this Lakeview Irish pub is the real deal. Everyone from neighborhood families to tipsy Cubs fans stops in for the above-par bar grub. Besides potpies, fish-and-chips and other Emerald Isle imports, you can’t go wrong with the char-grilled meatloaf sandwich, turkey-and-corned-beef Reubens or onion rings the size of your head.

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Southport Corridor

English

This British-ish spot is putting its money on the pub scene, with upscale drinks like a St. Germain Champagne cocktail mingling with such U.K. bar classics as fish-and-chips. The Newcastle-battered cod is crispy, fat and flaky, and the three-ale hanger hoagie is just heavy enough. The bad ’80s tunes that creep into the music mix can wreck the Brit-pub vibe, although the rowdy post-work crowd gets the noise level up to rugby-fan decibels to drown it out.

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River North

Mrs. Murphy and Sons

Soda bread? Black-and-white pudding? Not so much. This Irish bistro serves food you’d find in modern-day Dublin, which means Guinness isn’t just on the epic beer list, but also in a rich onion–and–white cheddar stout soup. You’ll also find it in the beef stew, along with chunks of parsnips and carrots. It’s even in the mac and cheese served alongside barbecue ribs. Not hungry? Stop by for a great selection of Irish whiskey at the gorgeous bar.

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North Center

The Pepper Canister

If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to actually feel years being taken off your life with a single meal, Pepper Canister’s Irish-ish pub menu is just the ticket to kill your curiosity. Go greasy with the “toastie special,” a buttery, oniony, cheesy mess of a grilled sandwich that’s apparently all the rage in Ireland. It’s perfect for the drunk, the hungover and anybody trying to pack on the pounds.

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River North

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