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Best Bars To Celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2013 In The Bay Area

The Bay Area has the biggest collection of Irish bars on the West Coast, and they are the best places to celebrate in SF, which has the third biggest St. Patrick's Day parade in America. The parade is actually being held on Saturday, March 16, while St. Patrick's Day falls on Sunday, March 17, 2013, so the weekend will be a major excuse for a pub crawl. Stick to this list of bars and you can rest assured that this St. Patrick's day will be a memorable one.
The Plough and the Stars
116 Clement St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 751-1122

San Francisco's Richmond District is full of Irish pubs, both great and small. Some just offer darts, stouts and shepherd's pie, while others go all out with live music. The Plough and the Stars is legendary for its live Celtic music and dedication to Irish culture. It's practically the epicenter of the Crossroads Festival each March. San Francisco is a town that takes its beer and Irish heritage seriously, so this is no simple feat.

(credit: O'Reilly's Irish Pub/Facebook) (credit: O'Reilly's Irish Pub/Facebook)
O'Reilly's Irish Pub
622 Green St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 989-6222

This pub is ground zero for St. Patrick's Day in North Beach. From the charming step dancers and outdoor live music to the array of fine brews on tap, it's the number one choice for fans of James Joyce and Guiness. Among the throngs who pack the outdoor event, you'll find transplants from across the pond, plus born-and-bred descendants of early San Francisco Irish families whose names still grace local streets. Arrive early for a good chance to be close to the stage if you like real Irish music.

Related: Best Brewpubs Serving Seasonal Beer in San Francisco
Moylan's Brewery & Restaurant
15 Rowland Way
Novato, CA 94945
(415) 898-4677

Moylan's is a pub with such serious dedication to beer, it has an onsite brewery located just behind the bar. While you quaff a Killian's Red, watch through the glass window as a waterfall of fresh hops cascades into the brew kettle. No slouch in the kitchen either, Moylan's offers nightly specials including traditional Irish stew and other classics of Hibernia, plus some regular pub grub. A nice outdoor patio off the dining room offers umbrellas and sunshine. On St. Patrick's Day, arrive early because this place is packed with merrymakers wearing sparkly shamrocks, funny hats and smiles.
The Starry Plough
3101 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 841-2082

Berkeley's top Irish pub is famed for its live music including Celtic performers, all-ages crowds and quirky, low-key attitude. The Poetry Slam events on Thursdays attract a loyal following. A wide variety of beers including Guiness are on draught to quench your thirst after some very fresh fish and chips. On Sundays, the pub breaks out the fiddles and mandolins for some serious Celtic sessions. The pub does not have a liquor license, so fans of whiskey will need to look elsewhere.
Lilly Mac's Restaurant & Pub
187 S. Murphy Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(408) 732-0200

Lilly Mac's serves up fresh and authentic pub fare with a real Irish flair. If you appreciate real crisps as opposed to fries, or bangers and mash, this is the place. Corned beef and cabbage is available on special occasions, too. Settle in with a Kilkenny or Harp lager, and enjoy the Irish stew made with 100 percent Angus beef. Lily Mac's offers live Irish music sessions regularly, while other nights' events may include trivia contests.

Related: Best Bars At San Francisco International Airport

Mary Holman is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. Her work can be found on

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