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A guide to Buffalo's Irish pubs for St. Patrick's Day weekend – and beyond

Buffalo has found its way onto a few viral internet lists claiming to know the best cities for St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

Regardless of how much stock you put into rankings, if you've seen the sea of green and glittery face paint at our parades or the whites of patrons' eyes as they muscle their way to the bar for another Guinness, then you'll know we don't need a ranking to prove that's probably true.

To celebrate, we throw two parades and frequent one or two (or more) local pubs, making it a kind of Small Business Saturday for dive bars.

Here's a guide to a few you might want to grab a whiskey on-the-rocks at, or corned beef and potatoes, or probably both to balance each other out after going a little too hard at those parades.

Adolf’s Old First Ward Tavern

555 South Park Ave.

Opened in 1934, the pub is as a pub should be: a hole-in-the-wall designed for beer-drinking and greasy food consumption. Its menu details all of the pub food you could crave, from Reuben-style potato skins to a Guinness-braised "banger" (sausage) hoagie served with chips and a pickle.

It pays homage to Ireland through its abundant liquor selection and shamrock lights. And since its 2014 renovation, the tin ceiling and redone bar shift the pub into a more modern era, as its clientele has changed a bit in nearly a century. "...The place originally catered to grain scoopers and rail workers, men intent on drinking and avoiding sunlight after demanding shifts," News contributor Michael Farrell wrote in 2014 about Adolf's.

Brennan's bartender Keila McConkey pours a Thin Man Burning Money. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Brennan’s Bowery Bar & Restaurant

4401 Transit Road

Expect the roomy and dim Irish restaurant, which bustles on any given weekend evening, to be stuffed near St. Patrick's Day. You can have your dark, smooth Guinness, but if that gets heavy, take your pick of craft beers: IPAs, ales, stouts, lagers and ciders.

It's the kind of place where you can funnel mashed potatoes and pot roast, but also eat anything else. There are chicken fingers for picky eaters, salads dressed with fruit for healthy eaters and an elk burger for adventurous eaters.

[Related: Brennan's boasts ideal backdrop for Irish season]


382 Abbott Road

After recently closing following nearly nine years of businesses, the owners had a change of heart. They decided in January to re-open for two days a week (Thursdays and Fridays). While the menu isn't as large as it used to be, you can still order some Irish classics, such as shepherd's pie and a Reuben-stuffed baked potato.

[Related: Two days a week, Conlon's feeds South Buffalo again]

Doc Sullivan’s

474 Abbott Road

If you go to Doc Sullivan's you should probably have a burger or wings. Sure, you could have a beef-on-weck but the thick loaded burgers might change your mind. Have a Buffalo-style black-and-bleu one, or peanut-butter-and-jelly-topped patty. The uniquely spiced "Smitty's" wings are a local standby.

Dwyer’s Irish Pub

65 Webster St., North Tonawanda

In Buffalo, where Irish pub culture thrives alongside a generation-spanning chicken wing love affair, pubs adapt for both. So it's not surprising that Dwyer's is known for its wings as much as for its uniquely pub-centric ambiance.

With more than 30 kinds of wings, from raspberry barbecue to wasabi plum to just plain old mild, the Niagara County pub makes a prime post-drinking or post-parade stop.

[Related: At Dwyer's Pub Scotch Club, bonding over love of whiskey – and wings]

Buffalo is the fourth best city for St. Patrick's Day celebrations. We'll cheer to that. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Jordan’s Ale House

107 Abbott Road

This family-run restaurant embraces its relative newness (it opened in 2015) with a dose of fresh enthusiasm, from hosting live Irish music often to cultivating a social atmosphere more emblematic of Irish bar culture than a bar decorated with shamrocks. On the menu, you'll find finger foods, cheap draft beer and wine.

The Irish family embrace of Jordan’s Ale House

McPartlan's Corner

669 Wehrle Dr.

McPartlan's is a true family spot. Those nostalgic of homemade Irish food can comfort in a plate of corned beef, while finicky children delight in a cheese quesadilla. Plus, you can order a fish fry on any day of the week. Fried food is a known hangover cure, even for parade-fueled day-drinking ones.

Potter’s Field

425 Potters Road

Don't expect to sacrifice venturesome food for fried appetizers in every pub setting. Here, try the barramundi (a type of Australian sea bass) sautéed and topped with pineapple salsa for something off-the-beaten-path. There's always the corned beef and cabbage served alongside carrots and potatoes, which will likely be an entree on most tables around you.

The vintage sports memorabilia will remind you of how your old Irish grandpa used to decorate the living room and then sit down for some golf, which often plays on the television.

[Read more: Potter's Field is a golfer's haven, even in winter]

The Blackthorn

2134 Seneca St.

For those who want to wear neon green St. Patrick's Day parade attire but also eat crab cakes and filet mignon, this one's for you. And here, if you order a mandarin orange and goat cheese salad, they won't laugh in your face and hand you a block of iceberg lettuce.

Any bar that holds Guy Fieri's attention can serve you up more-than-sufficient drunk Irish food. If the weather's being nice to you, take your pint out to its recently expanded two-story patio.

The Irishman Pub & Eatery is a popular bar and restaurant on Main Street in the heart of Williamsville. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

The Irishman Pub and Eatery

5601 Main St., Williamsville and 160 Buffalo Road, East Aurora

Going for the kind of pub an Irish Millennial might patronize, modern decor blends with traditional wooden booths and a fireplace to meld both old and new together. Guinness stew -- beef and vegetables stewed in house-made Guinness gravy -- and bangers and mash keep the restaurant close to Irish heritage.

And the party continues all weekend for St. Patrick's Day. Under a heated tent on their patio, revel warmly in a weekend stuffed with live Irish music. From Friday through Sunday, catch Irish dancers and bands each day.

[Related: The Irishman opens in East Aurora]

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