St. Patrick’s Day 2012: Vancouver’s Grandest Green Pubs

Photo Credit: Flickr | Andrew Mason

There are many worthwhile reasons for lifting a pint. The weekend, for example, is a good one. St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday March 17, is one of the grandest reasons all year.

Dana gave you the scoop on Vancouver’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade; Remy covered the awesome event known as CelticFest.

Here’s a roundup of Vancouver’s best pubs for St. Patrick’s Day libations/celebrations, from unfussy Guinness and Irish whisky joints to all-night dance parties. And some options that fall in between.

Vancouver’s Grandest Green Pubs for Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day 2012

1) Blarney Stone – The name is leading, I know, but resist the urge to smooch the pub doors.  Gastown’s greenest of green pubs (even the website is green) is consistently voted Best Irish Pub in town. Blarney Stone’s ongoing St. Patrick’s Day party starts Friday, March 16 with a live music from Killarney, Irish dancers, pipes and drums and a midnight balloon drop.

The Irish-themed fun continues all day Saturday starting with a breakfast buffet, while Sunday starts with brunch, plus all the live entertainment you could want. Wash the fun down with Blarney’s lengthy draft beer and Irish whisky lists.

2) Ceilis Irish Pub & Restaurant – If size matters to you, Ceilis is your venue for Celtic New Year. The party kicks off at 10am March 17 at Vancouver’s largest Irish pub with rooftop patio on Smithe Street. Performers include The Whiskey Dicks, Solonne Irish dancers and BC’s Pipe Regiment. The usual weekend drink specials ($6 highballs; $8.50 doubles) apply. There will also be festivities at Ceilis Kitsilano, at Burrard and 7th.

3) The Irish Heather Gastropub – Irish-owned and managed, The Irish Heather is the destination for discerning celebrants looking to avoid kilts and green beer. Irish Heather also promises “No Leprechauns,” but how can they be sure? Enjoy a quiet pint (Guinness, Kilkenny, A Wee Angry Scotch Ale) with an Irish Heather pot pie.

Finish off your evening with an intimate drink: behind the understated communal dining room, you’ll also find The Shebeen Whisk[e]y House pouring over 180 single malts, Irish whisky, rye and bourbon-BC’s most extensive collection.

4) Oakwood Canadian Bistro – Kitsilano’s favourite cozy neighbourhood pub is the place for loungers who like access to good eats, while sitting in chic Canadiana, by a cozy fireplace.  Food bloggers won’t stop raving about Oakwood’s brunch menu, which pairs well with pints of Guinness, on special for $5.50 all day long.

As St. Paddy’s Day matures, try the Guinness with Oakwood’s acclaimed All Canadian Poutine (topped with house-smoked brisket), on special $13.50 for both.

5) Doolin’s Irish Pub – This Granville Street joint is your best bet for starting the party early.  With daily CelticFest events March 14- 18, Doolin’s has got you covered. I’m most intrigued by Up Your Kilt Thursday which involves an Irish singalong. On March 17, doors open at 9am, allowing the hardcore to pair pints with the impressive Celtic breakfast menu (think County Cork eggs and and Irish O’Sandwich).

6) St. Patrick’s Day Club Crawl 2012 – This raucous event is aimed at students. Barely 20-somethings ride the St. Patrick’s Day party wagon to 4 downtown Vancouver nightclubs, starting with the legendary Roxy Nightclub. Who knows when the green glitter/body paint will wear off…

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