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Best Spots For An Irishman's Feast

By Christine Mouser

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, and if you're looking for a truly Irish joint to celebrate at, then you're in luck. In fact, Pittsburgh has several great pubs and restaurants that offer real deal Irish meals week in and week out. Check out the following places where you can have an Irishman's feast this St. Patrick's Day.

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Hours: Tues-Thurs, 11:30 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Fri-Sat, 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Info: Since Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle opened over 15 years ago, the pub has been cooking up some Irish classics with a modern twist. The menu changes seasonally, but the quality stays the same. And when St. Patrick's Day rolls around, there's no bigger party in town than at this pub. In fact, the holiday is so big here, it's a two-day blowout party with live music and extra space for dancing, eating and drinking. And even when it's not St. Patrick's Day, the pub is still celebrating just like it is. They have a "Half Way to St. Patrick's Day", the annual Guinness Toast (recorded by Guinness Book of World Records and a stage production of the song Finnegan's Wake. Pubs don't get more Irish than this joint. During a normal week, Wednesdays kick off some live music that lasts until the weekend, featuring traditional Irish folk bands to modern Celtic Rock bands.

Irish food favorites: Irish Pub Grub starters: soft pretzels & fried pickles; grilled potato salad, with grilled asparagus, purple onion, bacon and spinach tossed in a mustard seed vinaigrette; corned beef and cabbage, served with boiled potatoes and horseradish cream; fish and chips, deep fried in a Guinness batter; shepherd's pie, done traditionally

Beer: Guinness, Smithwick's Harp, Murphy's, Newcastle, Woodchuck and more available in 20 ounce pints upon request as well as bottles, wines and liquors.

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Hours: Mon-Sat, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sun, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Info: Nestled right in the North Shore and close to PNC Park and Heinz Field, there is no better place to head to after a game than Finnigan's Wake. It's close by, and this Irish pub has everything you would want (and more) on game day with over 16 televisions for all your sports needs. As with Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle, they celebrate it all—St. Patrick's Parade Day, St. Patrick's Day, Halfway to St. Pat's Day, The Great Guinness Toast and the annual Wolftones tour.

Irish Food Favorites: hot sausage (served with sautéed onions and peppers); ham and turkey pretzel roll, (topped off with a spicy mustard); Irish stew (veggies and tender lamb simmered in a Guinness tomato base); Shepherd's pie, fish n chips and beef and cabbage.

Beer: They carry a huge selection of drafts, with 24 different ones to choose from. Some domestics and imports include Boddingtons, Harp, Guinness, Hoegaarden, Smithwick's and Stella Artois.

Hours: Mon-Thurs, 11 a.m. – midnight; Fri-Sat, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sun, 11 a.m. - midnight

Info: True Irish sports fans: this should be your haven. While the Claddagh Irish Pub & Restaurant
broadcasts the typical American sports games on their HD televisions and projection screen, they also show Irish sports like hurling and Gaelic football. Another interesting aspect to this pub is that each meal on the menu can be expertly paired with a certain beer.

Favorite Irish foods: Corned beef toastie (corned beef, mustard mayo and Irish cheddar served on a toasted sourdough, Claddagh fish sandwich (fresh cod in bass ale batter, topped with coleslaw); shepherd's pie, chicken pot pie (topped with a cayenne cheese crumble), Claddagh fish and chips, Claddagh corned beef and cabbage (served with a ground mustard cream sauce)

Drinks: Smithwick's, Belhaven IPA, Magners Irish Cider, Newcastle, Guinness, Strongbow Pub Cider, seasonal drinks and wine

Hours: Opens at 3 p.m. Tues-Thurs; Dinner hours: Tues-Thurs, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Fri-Sat, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Info: When Paddy's Pour House opened in 1979 in Carnegie, it was a great local spot that served great Irish food to the community. Fast forward to 2012 and not much has changed at all. On top of great food and a family atmosphere, Paddy's Pour House still offers some great entertainment on a weekly basis, such as local Irish musicians.

Favorite Irish Foods: Colcannon (authentic Irish dish of mashed potatoes with cabbage and green onions); potato pancakes with applesauce; Irish "Fry" rashers (bangers, black and white pudding, potato pancakes and two eggs); ham and cabbage (head cabbage, rasher or Irish bacon, boiled potatoes), Shin& Guinness (combination of stewed beef, onions, carrots and Guinness); Irish Stew; chicken pot pie; shepherd's pie

Drinks: Murphy's Irish Amber, Murphy's Irish Stout, Guinness, Harp, scotch, whiskey, bottled beers, liquors and wines

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Hours: Mon-Sat, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Info: Here at Monterey Pub, which is located in the Mexican War Streets, the atmosphere exudes a traditional and cozy feel with carved mahogany booths and a fireplace. While the menu also features some old school items, there's still plenty of room for some unique creations.

Favorite Irish Foods: Mexican War Street's Irish Cuban Sandwich (roasted pork loin, bacon, melted Swiss, honey mustard and guacamole); Guinness shredded beef wrap (English double Gloucester, honey mustard, bacon); Dublin burger (topped with mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese and caramelized irish fish chipsonions); pub style shepherd's pie (with ground beef and Guinness shredded beef); traditional shepherd's pie (braised lamb roast with smashed potatoes); Guinness shredded beef boxty; fish and chips; bangers and mash

Drinks: Large selection, including Irish favorites such as Guinness and Harp

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Hours: Mon-Fri, 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Sat-Sun, 8 a.m. – 1 a.m.

Info: Piper's Pub is a rather unique spot located in Southside, Pittsburgh. Marketed as a taste of the British Isles, this pub serves every kind of food from that area—from English and Scottish food to Irish food. This joint is as European as it gets, starting with the food and ending with the countless array of football games (soccer) being broadcasted on a daily basis. Whether you're in it for the unique and delicious food or the exciting games, this is a place you can't miss on your quest for the perfect St. Patrick's Day celebration.

Irish Food Favorites: Irish Boxty (potato pancake folded over bangers, ham, scrambled eggs), Irish breakfast (scrambled eggs, bangers, ham steak and half mashed red potatoes); creamed corned beef boxty; Guinness stew; beef and chicken shepherd's pies; corned beef and cabbage; ham and cabbage; banger's and mash; shrimp and chips

Drinks: Murphy's Irish Stout, Guinness Stout, Black Velvet, Belhaven Scottish Ale, Smithwick's, Magners as well as an extensive list of different scotches

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