Men toasting with beer

Best Irish Pubs in the San Diego Gaslamp

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, so enjoy a drink among your people!

Written by
Adam Della Rocca

The annual Guinness, the annual Jameson hangover, the annual bragging about you one-fifth Irish heritage – St. Patrick’s Day is here again. The Keating Concierge Team heralds this holiday each year, by dusting off their list of the best Irish pubs in the Gaslamp. Considering there are more Irish pubs downtown, than there are entries in the Leprechaun horror film franchise, I narrowed down the list to the pubs that are worth visiting no matter the Irishness of the calendar date or your supposed red-haired heritage.

There are seven titles in the Leprechaun film series. I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with this reference, but to be fair, only two were released theatrically, the other five were direct-to-video.

According to Earnest A. Hooton, professor of Anthropology at Harvard, who released a survey in 1952 of 10,000 Irish individuals, “the fact is that only five per cent of the people who inhabit the Island are red-headed.” He said that more “fiery red-heads are found in Holland and Scotland” than in all of Ireland.

Irish Pub

If you Look Carefully, You Can Still Spot Some Packing Peanuts

Most Authentic Irish Pub: The Field Irish Pub - 544 Fifth Ave San Diego, CA 92101

Owners Daniel and Enda Drayne literally packed up a pub, piece by piece, and shipped it to San Diego, recreating the ambiance and nostalgia of their favorite cozy venue (minus the mildewy, damp smell that no one ever seems to talk about when they retell their Ireland vacation stories.)

Women dressed for St. Patrick's Day dancing

If We Lived in An Alternate Universe and Cancun was Located in Ireland

Wildest Irish Pub: McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon - 731 Fifth Ave San Diego, CA 92101

DJ’s spinning dance music, bartenders dancing on tabletops, spontaneous drinking games. None of these are very Irish – but everyone is wearing something green and sporting Mardi-Gras-style green beads. And they serve Guinness. Get your party on – and get lucky with the Irish.

Irish Pub in San Diego

Irish folk Music begat Bluegrass begat Country Western begat…forget it, there is a connection down there somewhere to Blues, Soul and Rock & Roll.

Best Live Music: Patrick’s Irish Bar - 428 F St San Diego, CA 92101

For 80 years, there has been live music nightly at Patrick’s Irish Bar.  The drinks are cheap, the crowd is fun and the staff are warm, if you pay your tab.

Irish pub in Dublin Square San Diego

It Came with Instructions – but They Were Written in Gaelic

Best Visit to Ireland Without a Passport: Dublin Square Irish Pub & Grill - 554 Fourth Ave San Diego, CA 92101

This bar and all of its inspired details were hand-crafted down to the water spots in Kilkenny, Ireland. Then it was all shipped over and assembled in the Gaslamp. With an authentic menu, incredible selection of beer and TV’s playing international football, it’s an Irish Pub without the hassle of not understanding your bartender.

Band Called Finnegan Blue

Best Irish Band You’d Listen to Outside of St. Paddy’s Day 
Finnegan Blue 

Finnegan Blue are San Diego natives who blend the elements of Americana with the high energy and tones of Irish music and New Orleans Second line. They have enough Irish merit to be seen all over San Diego on St. Patty’s Day and have residence at Dublin Square. Worth checking out their schedule for your next San Diego visit.


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