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6 Places to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in North County

St. Patricks Day San Diego North County

It’s estimated that about 12% of Americans have some sort of Irish heritage but one look at the packed bars and we know that far more than that love to go green on St. Patrick’s Day. Kids avoid getting pinched at school, moms attempt to make shamrock shaped crafts and cookies while those of legal drinking age use it as a (valid) excuse to throw back a pint or two of Guinness.

Just in case you fall into the latter category or perhaps crave an annual dose of caloric comfort food, here’s where to go in North County San Diego today.

1. O’Sullivans (Carlsbad & Escondido)

Some claim that this is THE place to be on St. Patrick’s Day. Things can get a little crazy at both locations. These Irish pubs are known for traditional fare, friendly service and the largest selection of Scotch and Irish whiskeys in North County San Diego. It’s probably as close to Ireland as we get over here as the Escondido location was voted one of the 10 best Irish pubs in the world by Ireland of the Welcomes magazine.

If you’re looking to start with dinner, enjoy a twist on traditional corned beef with a boxty dish, which is potato pancake wrapped around delicious fillings. The Corned Beef Boxty features lean corned beef, garlic-sauteed cabbage and carrots and parsley cream sauce. If that doesn’t float your Irish, O’Sullivan’s serves a full “Irish Fayre” menu with Gaelic Steak and Corned Beef and Cabbage as options.

Celebrating early? O’Sullivan’s doors open at 10AM, so you’ll have a fantastic start for watching live entertainment Brogue Wave taking the Escondido location’s stage from 1-5PM and 7-11PM; or the Clay Colton Band on stage in Carlsbad at the same times. Get there before 4PM and you’ll avoid the $5 cover.

2. Churchill’s Pub & Grill (San Marcos)

Known for hearty pub food like bangers and mash and burgers with a wide range of toppings, this gem is another place to celebrate like our friends across the pond too. Fans rave about the enormous beer selection, including Newcastle on tap (call the bar as selection changes).  For St. Patrick’s Day, Churchill’s serves all-day shot specials and corned beef and cabbage. Bagpipers play, too. Because of course they do.

3. Poway Irish Pub (Poway)

On March 17, the pub will celebrate with an outdoor beer garden, afternoon Irish entertainment, and a special menu. Go for a corned beef sandwich or splurge on some Irish nachos — pub chips (fries) topped cheese, sour cream and a variety of meats including corned beef or buffalo tenders. Start with Paddy Balls –  mashed potatoes that are rolled with cheese and chives, then breaded and deep fried. Other Irish food favorites include Guinness Stew and Grilled Corned Beef on Rye. After dinner, catch an earful of the rock band Serious Guise scheduled to play at 9PM. And, yes, it’s one of North County San Diego’s best dive bars.

4. Hennessey’s Tavern (Carlsbad)

This chain specializes in good food and casual ambiance. Grab a mouthful of festive fare including corned beef reuben sliders and Irish stew. Hennessey’s celebrates St. Paddy’s Day with its World Famous Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner for less than $15 and despite its name, is served all day on March 17. If you still have stomach room, maybe you’ll opt for the World’s Largest Pint too, which is a 50-ouncer filled with domestic or import/premium draft beer.

  • Address: 2777 Roosevelt St, Carlsbad
  • Click here for more information: Website, Hours, etc.

5. Master’s Kitchen & Cocktail (Oceanside)

If you’re looking for more dinner and less all-day drinking, get a load of Master’s St. Patrick’s Day special of braised corned beef. steamed cabbage, baby potatoes, and heirloom carrots for $18. Check out the epic happy hour too, featuring house wines for $6, draft beer for $5, and wings, carne aside tacos, ahi poke, artisan cheese duo, root beer BBQ ribs and more for $7.

6. Burgeon Beer Co. (Carlsbad)

Check out brand new Carlsbad brewery Burgeon and sample its new Nitro Dry Irish Stout, Bandon. The stout will be served all day and complemented by Irish food cooked up by the Food Dood.

Reminder! Get a Driver!

Have a driver such as Uber bring your tipsy self back home at the end of the evening.

Your Turn…

Where are you headed to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Be safe!

Debbie Anderson: Debbie is a freelance writer and editor who’s been blogging at San Diego Momma since 2007. Debbie's been featured in Writer's Digest, the San Diego Reader, and San Diego Magazine, and was named Top 25 blog by Red Tricycle, nominated for an InfluenceSD "Best in Lifestyle" blog award, and appeared on NBC, Fox, and The CW Network as a blogger spokesperson. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or at Google+.

Katie Dillon Katie writes La Jolla Mom, a lifestyle site focused on parenting, luxury travel, cooking with kids, home management, and local happenings. When not traveling, she lives in the seaside community of La Jolla, CA with her 7-year-old fashionista, dog, and husband.