McVeigh’s Irish Pub
This Irish pub has seen at least 50 years of St. Patrick's Day celebrations and it's a staple if you're planning a pub crawl across the city. The Celtic music will be heard loud and clear starting at 12:30 p.m. Add traditional Irish food and flowing beer, and McVeigh’s is sure to provide you with a proper St. Paddy’s Day.
124 Church St., Toronto, ON M5C 2G8. 416-364-9698; mcveighspub.com
The Leslieville local and quintessential Irish pub is always packed on March 17. It’s the perfect place to make some new friends, enjoy special prices on Jameson shots and pints of Guinness, and take in the live music. Snack on the house specialty, the Scotch egg: a soft-boiled egg wrapped in pork sausage, lightly breaded and fried golden, served warm with HP brown sauce.
894 Queen St. E., Toronto, ON M4M 1J3. 416-465-3331; theroy.ca
The Galway is a hotspot on St. Patrick’s Day, so get there early with your crew. We can’t stress this enough: Order the wings tossed in Texas gold sauce to pair with your pints.
838 The Queensway, Etobicoke, ON M8Z 1N7. 416-251-0096; thegalwayarms.ca
Brazen Head Irish Pub
With three floors all hosting live music, the Brazen Head is guaranteed to attract a big crowd today. Its location in Liberty Village makes it a prime spot for people watching, made even better with crowds of tipsy revelers in crazy green attire. Soak up the draft Guinness with shared plates, bar bites, and Irish classics like chicken potpie and Kilkenny-battered fish 'n' chips.
165 E. Liberty St., Toronto, ON M6K 3K4. 416-535-8787; fabrestaurants.ca
The $5 cover today is worth every penny. Céilí Cottage is a step up from the average pub, offering an oyster bar and dishes made with local, farm-fresh ingredients. The St. Pat's party kicks off at 11 a.m. with all-day Irish dance shows and live music, and the celebration continues tomorrow starting at 3 p.m. If you are blessed with the luck of the Irish it may even be warm enough to enjoy the patio (the forecast isn't too promising, so search for a four-leaf clover or just hang under the heated tent). Beyond Guinness, Harp and Kilkenny, try Céilí’s own Scrimshaw Oyster Stout: brewed with 1,500 Green Gables Malpeque oysters in every batch.
1301 Queen St. E., Toronto, ON M4L 1C2. 416-406-1301; ceilicottage.com