03/17/2014 09:49 am ET Updated May 17, 2014

The Most Authentic Irish Pubs in America

It's St. Patrick's Day once again, and we have a hankering for corned beef and cabbage, well-poured Guinness, and some old-fashioned pipe and fiddle music. This time of year, we all have a little Irish in us, but just like us, not all Irish pubs can claim true Emerald Isle authenticity. So, where do we go to chow down on the best shepherd's pie, to hear a bona fide brogue, to kiss someone who's actually Irish? What separates the shamrock-laden theme bars from the genuine article?

Click Here to see the Complete Slideshow for 18 Most Authentic Irish Pubs in America

We've searched the nation over, and have discovered these pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. What were we looking for in making our judgments? Of course, a real Irish pub has to know how to pour a proper Guinness. For those not in the know, it takes a full two minutes to get the beer into the glass correctly, and requires your bartender to commit to several integral steps to achieve a perfect pint.

Next on the list is music, specifically Irish session music. Ideally, the bars on this list host Irish musicians throughout the year, but never let it be said that an Irish pub has to adhere strictly to all the old-world traditions. Many of these bars have listened to their patrons, and have expanded their musical offerings to include locally and nationally known rock bands, sometimes sacrificing the ubiquity of session players. While you may not always see a group of musicians with pipes, guitars, and hand drums playing old drinking songs at these bars, most all of them have some good music to hear on a regular basis.

Finally, history is of huge importance to codifying the authenticity of these pubs. That doesn't mean that all of them have been around for decades (or in some cases, more than a century), but it does mean that the bars listed capture a sense of Eire, be it through the ancestry of their ownership, the history of the building, the provenance of the clientele, or the source of the decor.

If you live around any of these pubs, stop in for a pint and bite on St. Patrick's Day for a genuine trip back to the old country, and what promises to be a great time. Take a look at our slideshow and see which Irish pubs made the list of most authentic in the United States.

  • #5) McGillin’s Olde Ale House — Philadelphia, Pa.
    Opened originally in 1860, McGillin’s is Philly’s oldest tavern and it’s still one of the city’s very best. Frequented by locals and politicians, the ship bell behind the bar singles out the good tippers from the bad ones. It’s also a perfect place to catch a Phillies game in the summertime. Photo Credit: McGillin’s Click Here to see More of the Most Authentic Irish Pubs in America
  • #4) The Corrib Pub — Brighton, Boston, Mass.
    The Corrib started its life almost half a century ago as workingman’s bar, and meeting place for Irish-American labor organizers. Today, The Corrib is home to good food, good people, and an authentic Irish immigrant provenance. Buy a round for the bar, and they’ll love you forever. Photo Credit: CorribPub
  • #3) Molly’s Shebeen — Gramercy, New York City
    Cited over and over as one of New York’s most authentic Irish pubs, Molly’s has been around for more than fifty years serving its famous shepherd’s pie. Cozy and woodsmoked, the building has operated as one public house or another since 1895, and still sports its original Honduran mahogany bar and wood-burning fireplace. Photo Credit: © Flickr / Adam Kuban Click Here to see More of the Most Authentic Irish Pubs in America
  • #2) Blackthorn Bar — South Boston, Mass.
    In the heart of Southie lies the Blackthorn, a prop-free enclave where the Irish authenticity comes from the family lineage of most of the locals and staff. Nearly straddling East and West Broadway in this historically Irish-immigrant neighborhood, the Blackthorn puts its money where its mouth is, serving the city’s least expensive pint of Guinness. Photo Credit: facebook_Blackthorn
  • #1) McSorley’s Old Ale House — East Village, New York City
    In its 150th year, McSorley’s is among the oldest continuously operating businesses in New York. Sawdust floors are underfoot, and the bar staff are all Irish. Nestled in the East Village, McSorley’s is a place where every generation of New Yorker has made its mark. Living, breathing history and Jameson? How can you go wrong? Click Here to see More of the Most Authentic Irish Pubs in AmericaPhoto Credit: McSorley’s

-Adam Boles, The Daily Meal

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