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Last Jar Melbourne St Patrick's Day
Photograph: Supplied

Where to drink on St Patrick's Day in Melbourne

The best places to toast to the luck of the Irish on St Paddy's Day

By Time Out editors
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If you love the craic, you're probably familiar with knocking back a whiskey and a Guinness on St Patrick's Day like all good Irish folk do. The day falls on Wednesday, March 17 and we're sure Melbourne's pubs and bars will be getting into the St Paddy's spirit with plenty of Irish pub grub and pints upon pints of Guinness, Kilkenny and Magners. Wear your greenest outfit and head to these pubs – they'll be putting on the best parties for St Patrick's Day.

Love beer? You'll love Melbourne's best pubs and our list of the 50 best bars around the city.

Where to drink on St Patrick's Day

Syd Kiernan (middle) with friends celebrating St Patrick's Day at P.J.O'Brien's Southgate. March 17, 2016. Picture by Fotogroup
Photograph: Cameron L'Estrange

1. P.J. O'Brien's

Bars Southbank

One of Melbourne's premier Irish pubs, PJ O'Brien's is the place to be for a good time on St Patrick's Day. You'll find the walls splashed with Irish paraphernalia, suspended TV screens playing the rugby, live music, and Irish grub (expect Tayto chips, big Irish brekkies and plenty of McDonnell's Curry Sauce). 

A close up shot of an external sign which reads 'The Last Jar'
Photograph: Graham Denholm

2. The Last Jar

Restaurants Melbourne

North Melbourne pub The Last Jar is such good craic. The pints of Guinness or Kilkenny you get here are among the very best in town: yeasty and sour-sweet rather than bitter and metallic. There’s live Irish traditional music on Sundays, which they'll no doubt crank up on St Patrick's Day. Their beer garden will see a fun marathon trad session. But the real draw here is the food. There will be a full Irish breakfast this St Patrick's Day weekend, but if you turn up later in the day, the beef and Guinness shepherd's pie is a hearty dish that is sure to line your stomach. Be sure to book your table to avoid disappointment.

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3. The Irish Times Pub

Bars Melbourne

This classic pub is one of those venues that really crank up the craic on St Patrick's Day. The Irish Times will have a full Irish breakfast menu available from 8-10am, with live bands playing throughout the day. They serve a mean beer-battered chips with McDonnells curry sauce, plus a great beef and Guinness pie if you like to eat your Guinness as well as drink it. On a normal day though, the Irish Times Pub has a quiet atmosphere and a relaxed attitude, often with entertainment such as comedy and live bands.

4. Buck Mulligan's

Bars Cocktail bars Northcote

In an ode to the Emerald Isle and the "stately, plump Buck Mulligan" of James Joyce's Ulysses, Northcote's boutique bookshop and bar represent the glorious union of Irish whiskey and literature. By day, Buck Mulligan's is a bookshop and café. By night, the bar's Irish whiskeys get a good workout. To celebrate St Paddy's Day, there will be a ballad singer on until the early evening, the obligatory silly hat giveaways with every Guinness purchased and complimentary black pudding throughout the afternoon. If you want a more family-based celebration, the Sunday beforehand will include an acoustic duo, a choir in the evening who will sing all the Irish ballads, and whiskey cocktails designed specifically for the day.  

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5. Bridie O'Reilly's

Bars South Yarra

A little bit of Ireland right here in the heart of Chapel Street, Bridie O'Reilly is a hub for good times and decent beers. It's serving a full Irish breakfast with a side of Guinness on St Pat's from 10am, but if you've had one too many pints you'll want to order a plate of cheesy chips slathered in melty cheese and Irish curry sauce. There will be food specials all day like Irish curry, Irish stew, sausages and roast pork running alongside its classic pub menu. Entry is free and there will be live music running all day.

6. The Drunken Poet

Bars West Melbourne

Opposite the Queen Victoria markets on Peel Street, the Drunken Poet is Melbourne’s cosiest little Irish bar. As for all true Éireanns, music is the soul of the Drunken Poet, here six nights a week and always free. St Patrick's Day will bring live music from midday to 11pm. Due to the bar's diminutive size, it is best to get in early, or you'll be queuing on the street.    

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7. The Charles Dickens Tavern

Bars Melbourne

The Charles Dickens is a hidden CBD favourite, but on Saint Patrick's Day, it's not so hidden. While the Charles Dickens may not be doing anything out of the ordinary to celebrate, but it does fill up very quickly and festivities pick up quite early in the day. Make your way there early or you'll be lining up to get in. 

The Common Man
Photograph: Supplied

8. The Common Man

Restaurants Modern Australian South Wharf

The Common Man is opening its doors from 8am with an on-trend dish of green eggs and ham. Irish-themed trivia will start at 6.30pm and there will be drinks specials on all day like $9 Jameson, $12 Guinness accompanied by specials like slow cooked lamb shoulder rolls served in the afternoon.

More great pubs in Melbourne

The Lincoln
The Lincoln
Photograph: Graham Denholm

The best pubs in Melbourne

Bars Pubs

Melbourne is a city that really knows how to do pubs. From beer halls with more than 50 craft beer taps to cozy locals with a great fireplace, there's a pub for every occasion.

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