Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Austin with 9 Great Places to Try
A festive day to gather together and celebrate. In Austin there are many things to do and see in commemoration, but celebrate right with these 9 great places to try on St. Patrick's Day.
A city of over 2 million people with a strong Celtic population, there are tons of things to do and see for St. Patrick’s Day in Austin. There are plenty of places to join in the camaraderie and fun while enjoying a pint or two or three! While most celebrations will involve consuming of food and beverage there are also cultural events, performances and so much more waiting for you to discover in Austin.
1. St. Patrick's Day Austin
A very informative title for this mega event held annually on you guessed it…St. Patrick’s Day! A combined effort from the Celtic Cultural Center of Texas, Cultural Arts Division and the Austin Celtic Association brings locals and tourists together for a day of merriment. There is history, games, arts, crafts, performances, food, drink and gifts plus so much more. Here is a highlight of some of the best performers and things to do that have been a part of St. Patrick’s Day Austin in the past and likely again for 2016.
Critically acclaimed and honored FullSet have been compared to Danu & Altan and have won the Breakthrough Annual Music Bursary Award as well as other acclaim from notable Irish publications. Irish Music Magazine and Irish American News have both spoken their praise for this innovative group which still holds strong roots in their music.
A local Austin group that focus on playing traditional Irish music of melodies and songs. Their style has been compared to the ‘pure drop’ genre, and is sure to delight fans seeking the traditional set.
Silver Thistle Pipes & Drums
Another traditional musical group composed of many different players. This non-profit association offers lessons, performances, events and more. The members will be playing both traditional and contemporary bag pipe music along with drums for the spectators of St. Patrick’s Day Austin.
Inishfree Austin Irish Dancers
Performers from the Inishfree School of Irish Dancing have delighted guests with their fancy footwork and traditional steps. This group offers both child and adult dance classes in the Austin area and have traveled the world representing the state of Texas and the United States in competitive Irish Dance. Wearing beautifully made costumes with flowing tendrils of hair, the performers of the Inishfree Austin Irish Dancers will captivate the audience and entrance them with step. Hear the rhythmic tapping of the feet and awe at the nimble jumps and hops that are incorporated into traditional dance. This group may well be your favorite of the day.
Another performing group for your entertainment are the Clickety Cloggers. This hybrid dance group has roots in the traditional Appalachian style clog dance with a central Texas flare. Open to anyone with prior clogging experience or willing to complete a basic training course provided by the group.
Irish Language Workshop
Provided by the Gaelic League of Austin, you can try your accent out by learning at their free workshops held at the festival. The Gaelic League of Austin is a group open to anyone (not just with Irish Ancestry) who has a love for Celtic culture and wants to learn more and preserve the history, art, culture, language, and all things of Irish influence. At their workshop you can read some writings of traditional Irish language or discuss in Gaelic with some of the members. They encourage everyone who can speak the language to use it in everyday life as a method to preserve the heritage and history of such a proud people.
Kid Friendly Activities
In addition to all the musical performances and entertainment groups throughout the day there are some fun and kid friendly activities provided. Let their hair whip around and upside down on the gyroscope ride, where kids are strapped into a harness and then spun at rapid speed in all different directions. One minute up, then 180 degrees around, upside down, left, right and all around. Just make sure to eat afterward on this wild ride. For the more patient subject there is on offer colorful and whimsical face painting. Kids have had full face butterflies and rainbow tigers painted from hairline to neck. See their faces light up at the colorful creations as a part of the fun for kids. For the slightly older kids (or kid at heart) there has been a game theater to play in with video screens, comfortable chairs and much entertainment to be had.
Food and Drink
One of the best parts of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is savoring the traditional food and drink of the Irish culture. At the St. Patrick’s Day Austin, you won’t find any green beer, rainbows, and pots of gold or things like that. What you will find is authentic Irish food and real imports! Some of the food and drink that will be available from the concession area includes corn beef and cabbage slaw, fish and chips, Irish nachos, and green velvet cupcakes to name only a few.
On tap you’ll find Guinness, Harp and Strongbow Cider as well as a few mixes, shots and savoring drinks for your palate. They say if you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait five minutes and it will change. Well if it happens to be a bit cooler on St. Patty’s then rest assured you can warm up with a hot Irish Coffee or a Bailey’s Boilermaker. The menu for drinks just might be longer than the menu for food at this all day festival.
It should be plain to see by now that if you want a little bit of everything Irish in one convenient place to celebrate with others then look no further than St. Patrick’s Day Austin. Tickets for entry range from around $5 to $15 per person based on age and can be purchased online or at the gate entry with free parking provided to all.
Find St. Patrick’s Day Austin at the Shoal Crossing Event Center located at 8611 North Mopac, Austin, Texas or online at http://www.stpatricksdayaustin.com
2. Fado's Irish Pub
Austin’s best known and truly great Irish Pub, Fado’s throws one amazing party each year for St. Patrick’s Day. With a prime location in the heart of the Warehouse District and easily accessible parking surrounding the area, mark it on your itinerary to stop by this party. You can regularly stop by the pub to catch international sporting events that most American channels don’t carry such as the Six Nations Rugby, Champions League, Barclay's Premiere League and more. Enjoy their full brunch menu with drink specials including $3 Bloody Mary’s and mimosas.
2016 will mark the 20th anniversary of the festive affair and is sure to involve even more than last year. Led by Fado’s, several other bars and restaurants lining 4th Street shut down to traffic to open the St. Patrick’s Day block party that is legendary. Offering two stages of live entertainment, because Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, and events all throughout the day, you don’t want to miss this party. Start the morning off right and wander down for Kegs & Eggs where early rising celebrants can fill up with a hearty pint and plate of breakfast. Continuing through the day will be giveaways, multiple bars, food stalls and plenty of green. Once 4th Street closes down around 1:00 PM then patrons can enjoy the beer garden area and participate in on-going shenanigans organized by the various establishments. Tickets to this event can be purchased in advance at Fado’s or at the door and prices are usually around $10 per person. Find more information about this year’s fun online at http://www.fadoirishpub.com/austin/st-patricks-day/
Find them at 214 West 4th Street, Austin, Texas.
For the really enthusiastic, Fado’s also offers several lead up events in March including the hilarious St. Practice Day, usually held the Saturday before the real St. Patrick’s Day. Patrons at the St. Practice Day can have access to the full brunch and food menu at Fado’s as well as drink specials. For an additional $20 per person, fans can watch the Six Nations Rugby games and cheer or groan along with your favorite team.
3. B.D. Riley's
Another favorite Austin pub is B.D. Riley’s right on the infamous Sixth Street in Austin, Texas. While the building might be historically Austin with an original stonework wall from the 1870’s, the interior is authentically Irish. Having imported everything inside from Ireland and built in place, this pub is as true as it gets in Texas. Just a few blocks away from Fado’s they also carry an immense celebratory spirit for St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish. What sets this place apart is their attention to detail, especially when it comes to beer, having won the award for best Austin beer pour. Don’t forget to sample that cuisine too including fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, Shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, Irish stew and Irish nachos to name a few.
With 18 different draft beers including five Irish classics and several local Austin brews, the bar menu should be enough to get you here. Or try one of their 14 different Irish whiskeys for a total of 30 brands and ages of whiskey. Their rave reviews speak for themselves as many visitors and locals alike flock to B.D. Riley’s to catch regular sport games, eat delicious and authentic pub food and partake in a refreshing and tasty beverage.
Don’t miss their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with pints flowing (at the right temperature and in the proper vessel too) including live music, award winning food and more. If you want the atmosphere of a good party without all the fuss, head to B.D. Riley’s on St. Patrick’s Day for a sure fire good time. Their slogan speaks for itself, “6th Street. For grown-ups.”
Located at 204 East 6th Street, Austin, Texas, find them online at https://bdrileys.com/
4. Dog & Duck Pub
Categorized as a British pub, this is another spot you will find locals and visitors celebrating on St. Patrick’s Day. With a new location and all the charm and friendliness from the old haunt, stop by the Dog & Duck for one of their 33 pints on tap or sample a plate of their tasty pub food. Opening at the end of October 2015, the Dog & Duck Austin will have a sister in the Dog & Duck pub in London. If that doesn’t speak to the authenticity of a good local, then what will?
Offering a jukebox full of classic tunes and eclectic hits to pub games such as darts, pinball, pool and board games there is entertainment beyond the bottom of your glass. Spread out in their new space offering both indoor and outdoor seating to soak up the rays on a warm day or hide inside on a rare chilly day in Texas.
The house menu will make your mouth water offering both classic British and Irish dishes that include a full English breakfast, Welsh rarebit, beans on toast, fish and chips, bangers and mash, Shepherd’s and Gardener’s pies, bubble and squeak, and Mulligatawny to name a few. Fear not for they offer ample vegetarian options as well.
Stop by for a fun St. Patrick’s Day event including live music all day long. Find their new location at 2400 Webberville Road, Austin, Texas or online at http://www.dogandduckpub.com
5. The Ginger Man
Another spot in the Warehouse District, you’ll find the Ginger Man. It is one excellent pub, which generally offers more than 50 beers on tap, several cask conditioned and 50+ more beers in the bottle. Great beer is what the staff does best, and so it makes sense to stop by during your annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Lounge in one of their ample indoor seating options or stretch out under the sun in the outdoor patio with pergola above. There is plenty of space to share at the Ginger Man which regularly hosts events and beer-ducational programs to the public.
One of which is their annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities that will involve live music (possibly some bag pipes), traditional Irish food and of course an array of good beer. With a great central location in the heart of Austin, this easily walkable spot will make sure you can find a great St. Patty’s experience this year. Find the Ginger Man at 301 Lavaca Street, Austin, Texas or online at http://thegingerman.com/austin/
6. Opal Divine's
Two locations in Austin make Opal Divine’s a convenient and lively place to spend March 17th. To take a break from the many pints of Guinness and other beers you may consume this holiday, make your way here to try one of the 130+ different whiskeys and bourbons they have in stock. They offer several whiskey flights to sample a few regions (including an Irish whiskey sampler) or build your own from their extensive list. Or keep it steady and enjoy one of their 25+ beers on tap including the favorite of the day, Guinness.
To fill your bellies and offset all the delicious beverages you’ll be consuming, order a plate or two of their southern comfort food. Usually offering an Irish inspired dish for St. Patrick’s Day, if you want to step out and take a risk, try their chicken fried rib-eye or the loaded potato skins. Either way you will leave Opal’s with a full belly and a happy heart. Playing live music for patrons on the happy St. Patty day, swing by at either location for a good time.
Find Opal Divine’s two locations at either 3601 South Congress Avenue or 12709 North Mopac Expressway in Austin and online at http://www.opaldivines.com
7. North by Northwest
Also offering two location in Austin, one in the South and one up North by the Arboretum you will find North by Northwest. This brewpub not only serves a line of its own beer on tap, but also provides thirsty patrons with countless other varieties of beer. Offering brunch, lunch and dinner menus, you can eat and drink to your heart’s content this St. Patrick’s Day. Usually providing patrons with an Irish inspired dish for the special day you can also look forward to live music, because it is Austin, to tap your toes to.
Belly up to the bar or table and find a location at 5701 W Slaughter Lane, #D and at 10010 North Capitol of Texas Highway in Austin, Texas and online at http://www.nxnwbrew.com/
8. Bull McCabe's Irish Pub
The perfect place to go for the musically inclined as Bull McCabe’s is not only an Irish pub but also a live music venue with one of the best stoops to people watch in downtown. Let the hilarious and friendly staff pull a proper pint of Guinness for you this St. Patrick’s Day. With all the offerings of a sturdy downtown Austin bar you can party your green pants off, and then take a stroll down Red River Street to find even more shenanigans. Hear from some great bands from the Austin and surrounding areas while enjoying a good brew. Find Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub at 714 Red River Street in Austin or online at their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/bullmccabesatx/events
9. Amy's Ice Cream
Not an establishment that quickly comes to mind when thinking of places to go on St. Patty’s Day, but the creative folks at Amy’s Ice Cream celebrate the robust flavor of Guinness Stout in subtle ways. While the selection always varies at each location and based on time of year, some of the Irish inspired flavors have included the Guinness Chocolate Stout, Irish Coffee, Salted Whiskey Caramel, Irish Cream, Mocha Irish Cream, Chocolate Irish Cream, and Irish Cream Coffee. Try your luck at your local location to see if this St. Patrick’s Day they are saluting the Irish at the bottom of a cool scoop of ice cream or two.
Twelve locations throughout Austin including: Arboretum, Austinville (both North and South), Burnet, 6th Street, Guadalupe, South Congress, The Grove, Westgate, Hill Country, Westlake and even at the Airport. To get specific addresses and more information, find them online at http://www.amysicecreams.com
Austin has a cool vibe that embraces the weird and eclectic but also offers a traditional pub or two for those seeking a good time for a classic St. Patty’s Day party. From eating Guinness infused ice cream to watching Celtic dancing and hearing the tune of a bag pipe you can find a good time in the Lone Star State. There are so many options for a good time with many establishments offering multiple locations to make grabbing your Guinness easy. Several are all located near enough each other that you could party hop from the Ginger Man to Fado’s, then B.D. Riley’s and finish at Bull McCabe’s. Austin is a very walkable town with ample transportation options to make sure your St. Patty’s Day is safe and fun. So cheers to a good time on St. Patrick’s Day.
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