Toronto’s Essential Irish Pubs

Embrace your inner Irish at one of these local watering holes

If you plan on drinking like an Irishman this St. Patrick’s Day (or any day really), you had best find yourself a suitable watering hole. We’ve rounded up the best Irish pubs in the city to tip back your Guinness and celebrate this merry holiday. In no particular order, here are our entirely subjective, arbitrary and probably alcohol-influenced choices.


McVeigh’s has been a landmark on Richmond Street for over 50 years. Family owned and operated, McVeigh’s is the real deal. This downtown spot offers a full menu of traditional Irish food, but most importantly they serve an excellent pint of beer. It also served as the Irish Pub in both Boondock Saints movies, so there’s that. McVeigh’s is Irish all the way.

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Murphy’s Law

Murphy’s Law is a Beaches local. With over 24 taps of craft beer and more than 20 bottles in the fridge, this essential Irish Pub also has a tasty menu of pub grub favourites. Come for the beer, stay for the rooftop patio and live music (Thursday-Saturday).


P.J. O’Brien’s

Probably one of the most authentic on the list, P.J. O’Brien’s boasts an old fashioned Gaelic good time. Tucked away in the financial district, this charming Irish pub features copper-topped bars, traditional pub fare and a premium selection of draft beers. Whether you’re there for a pint or a sample from their extraordinary selection of Irish Whiskeys, you’ll probably find what you’re looking for at PJ’s.

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The Ceili Cottage

This favourite spot among Leslieville locals has to be one of the coziest places to be in the winter. The space really does look like a cottage; the atmosphere is just as rustic as you’d expect but the real charm is out on the patio. Yes, they have a yurt constructed outside for the winter months. This laid-back pub has a large selection of draught (and whisky and scotch if you need a pick me up). Informal, intimate and charming. And did we mention the yurt?

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Dora Keogh

Located on the Danforth, Dora Keogh is warm, cozy and familiar. This small, authentic place has become an east-end favourite. They have one of the best-imported beer selections in the city and a dining room, Yer Ma’s Kitchen, ready to pump out delicious home-cooked food. They also feature live Celtic music on the regular. Be warned, party people: this place fills up fast on St. Patrick’s Day.

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Brazen Head

This Liberty Village pub has three ideal patios overlooking Toronto’s skyline. If it’s not quite patio weather yet – inside Brazen Head is equally as impressive with a roaring fire place, velvet curtains, and friendly staff. Expect to find all the traditional Irish menu items, with a few surprises.


Stout Irish Pub

Nestled in the heart of Cabbagetown, Stout Irish Pub is known for its impressive list of brews and its delicious eats. This place has all the Irish charm you need. There’s a fireplace, lots of board games and tons of comfy seating.

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The Roy Public House

Forget the chain pubs that litter the downtown core. If you’re looking for an authentic Irish experience, come here for a drink. Situated on Queen East, The Roy is known to attract locals. This place doesn’t look like a leprechaun threw up all over it, and that’s a good thing. With plenty of beer options, cider on tap and great food, it’s no wonder this place always brings in a crowd.

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(Main imagine courtesy of P.J. O’brien’s)