L.A. is full of great pubs—and you don’t even need the luck o’ the Irish to find ’em. When it comes to tracking down the perfect Irish bar, what could matter more than the availability of Guinness? A lot, as it turns out, because you’ve got to factor in great Irish cuisine, ambiance and even quality Celtic music. Thankfully, whether you’re a fan of whiskey bars or beer bars, there’s nothing quite like a dive plastered in shamrocks and our city has them in spades. So quit wondering where to drink in Los Angeles tonight: Lace up your Riverdance shoes and clink pints at one of our thoroughly Irish watering holes.
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L.A.’s 11 best Irish pubs
Here is what we love about the Auld Dubliner: The menu doesn’t dabble in Irish dishes, it full-on embraces them. Bangers and champ, a plate of sausage and mash; Irish ham and cabbage; shepherd’s pie; boxty, a traditional Irish potato pancake; and an all-day full Irish breakfast are just a few of the plates that’ll have you breaking out in a jig. Their drink selection is nothing to scoff at, either: The Auld Dubliner is known for pouring the perfect pint of Guinness—and did we mention they have apple cider on tap, too? Stop by throughout the week for live music, dominated by Celtic “Shamrockabilly” artists.
Even if you’ve never been to Casey’s, you’re probably familiar with the sprawling, dark-wood-everything bar: It’s served as the set for just about every pub-focused scene on TV in the last 20 years. Given an Irish reboot from the brains at 213 Hospitality, Casey’s is still imbued with that faded-elegance vibe. The many rooms here are dotted with TVs—you’ll find both North American and European sports on the screens. In addition, there’s the occasional live band, plus darts, billiards and some quality shepherd’s pie and fish and chips. Throw in those killer happy hour specials—which run all day on weekends—and you may never leave.
This rip-roaring Irish pub originally opened more than 50 years ago and boasts hearty hospitality from friendly bartenders, plus a wide range of Irish beers and ciders—and they won’t discriminate if you ask for your Magners on the rocks, either. As for entertainment, there’s live music most nights a week and karaoke every Sunday (The Pogues, Dropkick Murphys and the Cranberries, for the win). Check the calendar and head over on specific nights to take advantage of drink specials such as Whiskey Wednesday ($5 pours after 9:30pm), or on weekdays for a happy hour that nets you $3 beers and $4 well drinks.
Your eyes may need some adjusting once you enter the Irish Times, a divey, dimly-lit Irish pub, but give it some time and you’ll soon find yourself comfortably immersed in your surroundings. That’s because comfort is key at this Culver City bar, where regulars gather for trivia on Tuesdays and Thursdays while noshing on bangers and mash or beef-and-Guinness pie. Authentic Celtic music drifts throughout the pub, then there’s karaoke on Wednesdays, and live bands that perform on Fridays and Saturdays (no cover!)—but nothing tops the noise coming from tables of regulars who’ve camped out at the pub since noon. Not a regular yet? Order a pint of Strongbow Cider, pick up a pool cue and you’ll be sure to make friends in no time.
An Irish pub in the middle of Hollywood may seem like a boozy tourist trap, but we’re not complaining because Jameson’s Irish Pub has one of the best happy hours on the Walk of Fame: two-for-one drinks, Monday through Friday, noon to 8pm. What’s more, their namesake liquor is featured in over half the drinks on the cocktail list, making this pub a whiskey-lover’s haven—and you know they’ve even got Jameson on tap. Try the classic Jame-O’ Rita, a Jameson-based bloody Mary, or the Irish Hooligan (featuring a little bit of everything, including Jameson, vodka and peach schnapps…heyo!). The booze carries over to the food menu as well, where diners can order Guinness-breaded chicken tenders, Jameson–BBQ-sauce chicken sandwiches and apple-and-Irish-whiskey sausage. This is one tourist trap we wouldn’t mind being stuck in.
Starting your morning at a pub may bring the term “alcoholic” to mind, but at Joxer Daly’s, there’s no better time to sit down at the bar. That’s because the pub’s beloved weekend Irish breakfast is about to make a big comeback with bangers, Irish bacon, eggs, toast, and white and black pudding. You can wash it down with $6 glasses of champagne or wine during breakfast—and is there a better reason to get out of bed than that? If you’re more of a night owl, pay a visit on Fridays and Saturdays when there’s live music to enjoy. Care to create your own tunes? The bar offers live-band karaoke on Thursdays, although with all of the quality beer on tap (Boddington’s! Guinness!) you just might be singing here every night of the week.
There are Irish pubs that feature music, and then there are music venues that happen to live in an Irish pub. Molly Malone’s has been brewing up its own little pint of Dublin in L.A. since 1969 and showcasing musical talent (and a great beer list) every step of the way. Rock, Irish folk, country: The lineup spans the genre gamut, and with Molly’s stellar acoustics, it’s one of L.A.’s better pubs for catching a show—dinner and a show, in fact. On nights with live music, the kitchen is open late. True, the menu sometimes reads as less than traditional—burgers, ham-and-cheese sandwiches and BLTs abound—but the Kildare Hot Corned Beef Sandwich is as Irish as they come. Plus, you’ll need some sustenance while you dance the night away by the main stage, also known as the Snug.
Check out this Irish pub for some after-beach drinks and a football game, or start you morning here—either way, it’s got plenty to offer. Swing by on Saturday or Sunday for breakfast and get free, bottomless mimosas with any purchase. You won’t find traditional Irish fare on the food menu, but the drink menu is stacked with whiskeys, beer and cocktails, like the Irish Mule and Irish Ivy Gimlet. Check out their daily specials online, including build-your-own-burger Thursdays (with $5 beer pitchers) and $3 bar bites and beers on Fridays.
Its mascot is a drunken toddler named Reilly, and really, that sets the tone before you even step inside. Rock and Reilly’s has maintained frat-house status among the Sunset Strip’s watering holes, throwing epic St. Paddy’s Day block parties and boasting maxims like, “A new study shows that binge-drinking leads to a kick-ass good time.” But it’s also got hubs near USC and in LAX, making this the perfect pub to partake in casual whiskey tastings all over the city. If all the testosterone proves too much to handle, step outside onto Reilly’s outdoor patios (especially in WeHo) with an order of the Irish Nachos, a fan favorite. Comprised of house-made kettle chips and topped with peppered bacon, Irish cheddar and corn salsa, the snack provides just enough sustenance to refuel for another round of bro-tastic shots.
There are 3,000 miles between Boston and Los Angeles, but that doesn’t keep Sonny McLean’s, an Irish pub in Santa Monica, from losing team spirit. Throughout the week, the Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox and Bruins can be found playing on one of the bar’s TVs, while East Coasters in low-slung Sox caps reminisce about Dunkin’ Donuts and the T (the older-than-dirt metro system, for the uninitiated). The menu boasts New England and California fare, but the best dishes here are of British and Irish descent: The bangers and mash—pork sausages with mashed potatoes and house-made gravy—is a stick-to-your-bones revelation. When it comes to clinking glasses, choose from a list of highly curated ciders, stouts and IPAs.
The quaint community of Toluca Lake has its fair share of restaurants, cafés and bars, but for a pub that takes pride in its steady drinking crew, head to Timmy Nolan’s for a pint (or one of the 20-plus Irish whiskeys available). Starting around 3pm, the first floor of this dark, quintessential Irish pub begins to fill up with regulars asking about friends and family between sips of Guinness and Fuller’s London Porter, stopping their chatter only for snacks from the small grill across the bar (the potato skins are great if you’re craving comfort food). Upstairs, a full dining room is available for pub goers to try the signature Irish stew, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and more. But beware game day: The vibe quickly morphs from a relaxed Cheers atmosphere to that of a sports bar packed with rabid fans rooting for their team. Blimey.