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Where to drink on St Patrick's Day

It rarely falls on a weekend, but these Irish establishments won’t let that get in the way of good craic

Photograph: Anna Kucera

It’s been over two centuries since our colonial forebears from the British Iles raised the first pint in Sydney, but on St Pat's everyone remembers their Irish roots and raises a glass to the sain that expelled the snakes from Ireland - if only he could've done the same to our fairly deadly collection down under.

Where to drink on St Patrick's Day


The Hero of Waterloo

Guinness is Guinness, you say? Not so – they keep the lines cleaner here than most places, and there are folks who will travel for the difference. 

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Millers Point

Maloney’s Hotel

In 2009 this old city pub got prettied up a little, but it's still the only place we know of where you can get Guinness for a fiver. Slainte!

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The Mercantile Hotel

This proudly Irish pub down in the Rocks hosts live music all weekend with party sets on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and more subdued sets on Saturday and Sunday arvos. Plus you can get some Irish stew, or a steak and Guinness pie any night of the week.

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The Rocks

The Fiddler Hotel

The Fiddler is a mega-pub boasting restaurants, a nightclub, an amphitheatre and six bars, the most Irish being the Fiddler Bar.

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Western Sydney

Kelly's on King

The place to come for late night beers and karaoke with an audience, and since she reopened the fans for this Newtown pub have come flocking back.

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PJ O'Brien's

What can we say, we like a pub that has a ham, cheese and tomato toasty on the menu. You'll find this inner city Irish pub inside the beautiful old Grace complex (the Irish ambassador spent some time living above it) and it's a good shot for watching the Rugby finals and of course, spending St Patrick's Day with Guinness in hand.

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The Porterhouse Irish Pub

This is more your everyday Irish pub and as such they don't feel especially pressured to amp up the craic on St Pat's Day. That being said the place is still heaving in March each year with pints of Magners, Kilkenny and Guinness flying over the bar in celebration of this patron saint of Ireland.

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Surry Hills

Scruffy Murphy's

If a few pints of Guinness and a rowdy night out is your bag, you'll probably have no trouble stumbling upon famous Irish pub, Scruffy Murphy's. Located right in the heart of the backpacker area, Scruffy Murphy's offers live music, food and a downstairs nightclub most nights of the week. 

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Trinity Bar

This pared back Irish pub is named after the Trinity College Dublin. You can get a pint of stout and a beef and Guinness pot pie here, but they are less about Emerald Isle paraphernalia as they are about being a dependable, local watering hole. They do go the whole hog on St Pat's Day though, with Irish tunes, Irish food, and most importantly, Irish beer.

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Surry Hills

Want more beer?

Sydney craft beer guide

Thanks to the boutique brewing boom, local watering holes are boasting seasonal brews on tap, craft breweries are opening up all over Sydney, and we have two annual festivals dedicated to all things craft beer. Here's where to get in on the sudsy fun.

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By: Emily Lloyd-Tait