Irish pub guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Sept. 13, 2013 at 4:31 p.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
Milwaukee may be a city with strong German roots, but when it comes to pubs, we're as Irish as Brian Boru. From the North Side to the airport, from Lake Michigan to Elm Grove, there's many a place where you can kick back, relax, raise a pint and toast slainte.
Some of these places may not smack you over the head with a shillelagh of Irish authenticity, but they've got it where it counts – what's more Irish, after all, than a good time and a great beer?
N88 W16495 Main St., (262) 250-1095
AJ O'Brady's is the place to be in downtown Menomonee Falls. With a spacious bar and plenty of tables, it's just as much a restaurant as a pub, and the food is great. They've also got a killer Happy Hour deal, breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, and a lovely view of The Falls themselves. It may not smack you over the head with a shillelagh of Irish authenticity, but what's more Irish than a good time and a great beer?
The Black Rose Irish Pub
2856 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 763-6526
Sharing space with SoLo Pizza, this spot offers enticing happy hour specials and a menu that features Reuben rolls, Irish stew and the usual suspects. There are sports on the flat screen TVs and a friendly, welcoming vibe.
Brocach Irish Pub & Restaurant
1850 N. Water St., (414) 431-9009
Brocach means "Badger den" in Gaelic; the pub began in Madison and made its way to Milwaukee in late 2007. The two-story pub and restaurant feels authentic, with an array of framed beer art and romantic paintings that lend a quirky, pub-y feel and soft red cushions make seated guests want to stay a while. There are two full bars – upstairs and downstairs – with a fireplace in the lower level. A full menu is offered daily, as well as a late-night menu and weekend brunch.
Bub's Irish Pub
N116 W16218 Main St., Germantown, (262) 255-1840
Ireland comes to the heart of the Northwest Side thanks to the dad of one of the Trinity Irish Dancers and his 15,000-square-foot pub. Food and drinks are served daily along with a happy hour, and you can usually catch live music on the main stage. It's also a great spot to catch the Packers.
Burke's Irish Castle
5328 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 453-6088
This stadium-area pub used to be Milwaukee institution Derry Hegarty's but was sold to Sean Burke in August of 2012. Don't worry, though - they still run the shuttle to the Brewers games. And they've still got plenty of Irish pride. They also offer great pub fare, brunch and fish fries.
717 N. 16th St., (414) 933-9047
This Marquette upperclassmen hide-out straddles the line between college bar and Irish pub in the space formerly occupied by the Ardmore Bar, where The Replacements rocked Marquette back in the day. Caffrey's boasts the largest heated outdoor patio on the Marquette campus.
2417 N. Bartlett Ave., (414) 332-2440
Tucked away just off North Avenue, Champion's serves up a proper pint in a cozy neighborhood tavern. Formerly located on Murray Avenue, the third-generation family-run bar is now more than 50 years old. The outdoor deck boasts a TV, and Champion's is always a great place for a game of cribbage, shuffleboard or bowling.
1234 N. Astor St., (414) 272-5273
A pub, a restaurant and an inn. They serve up great food, wonderful beer and Irish music. Root soup, wonderful meat loaf, smoked salmon and, of course, corned beef are all favorites on the menu. They even do brunch.
5171 S. 108th St., Hales Corners, (414) 427-8900
New to the southwest suburbs, Finn McGuire's brings the tradition of the Irish "local" to Hales Corners. The Irish pub and grill has a steady schedule of cover-free live music and a diverse menu of pub grub and old world standbys.
425 E. Wells St., (414) 278-8586
OK, so it's a bit more than an Irish pub and restaurant. But, it has an Irish name and it's where you see "everyone you know."
Halliday's Irish Pub
1729 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 278-9290
It's not the fanciest of bars, but it's one the few Irish pubs in Milwaukee that looks a lot like something you'd actually see in Ireland: a corner tap with a lot of character. It also has a great outdoor patio and friendly staff.
The Harp Irish Pub
113 E. Juneau Ave., (414) 289-0700
Located in the heart of the Water Street bar district, The Harp's riverfront patio is a Milwaukee must-see and the pub grub doesn't hurt, either.
House of Guinness
354 W. Main St., Waukesha, (262) 446-0181
In the heart of downtown Waukesha, House of Guinness has 15 beers on tap. Like any good Irish pub, there's live music most weekends.
The Irish Pub
124 N. Water St., (414) 225-9400
This is authentic Irish in the heart of the Historic Third Ward - a friendly pub offers two stories of Irish drink, food (including Jameson whiskey wings), games and live music. Come in on Mondays for a $1 burger and on Tuesday for cheap wings
McBob's Pub & Grill
4919 W. North Ave., (414) 871-5050
This family business is best for cold beer and pub food on the northwest side. In addition to all the expected pub options, McBob's serves food seven days a week. Visit for breakfast Friday through Monday, beginning at 8 a.m., and sample a McGinnity, Campbell Scramble or McRoberts Plaid.
McGillycuddy's, 1135 N. Water St., (414) 278-8888
McGillycuddy's is more Water Street than Irish, but it's still a good time. They have both Guinness, Harp, Bass and Smithwick's on tap, as well as several Irish bottled beers. The menu is large and varied (the wings are especially notable) and c'mon – they have something called a "Whiskey Club." What's not to love?
Mo's Irish Pub
142 W. Wisconsin Ave., (414) 272-0721
10842 W. Bluemound Rd., Wauwatosa, (414) 774-9782
With two locations – one in the heart of Downtown Milwaukee, the other in Tosa – Mo's offers a truly Irish combination of good food, good draught and lively socializing. Many aspects of Mo's were selected in, and imported from, Dublin to ensure the décor accurately portrays an original Irish pub. And, listen for the Gaelic dialect you'll hear from some members of the staff whose Celtic roots provide an added dimension of authenticity.
Murphy's Irish Pub
1613 W. Wells St., (414) 344-0116
Murphy's is all Marquette. Sure, it's a Irish bar, too, but it sticks to its ranking by Playboy.com as one of the best college bars in the country as much as it toasts its Irish roots.
4928 W. Vliet St., (414) 453-6200
O'Brien's boasts two bars, ample table seating and a space for playing music. The pub fare is cheap and satisfying, the beer is cold and the staff is friendly. The regulars swear by the mozzarella sticks.
338 S. 1st St., (414) 271-7546
Formerly Slim McGinn's, O'Lydia's opened in 2011 and features an assortment of Wisconsin micro-brews and 16 beers on tap, plus all the classic pub fare, dinner specials and even brunch. O'Lydia's also boasts a 60-person party room, open air patio and enclosed patio bar. Throw in a free shuttle to Brewers games, and what more could you ask for?
Packy's Irish Pub
4068 S. Howell Ave., (414) 483-4546
This airport-area Irish pub features live music and serves a full Irish breakfast from noon until 3 p.m. on Sundays, along with an affordable dinner the rest of the weeknights!
2339 N. Murray Ave., (414) 223-3496
The charming couple that owns Paddy's treats everyone like a close friend, with a warm smile and cold pint. A dimly lit interior (with mounds of M&Ms and Chex Mix on the tables!) is augmented by a great little courtyard (weather permitting, of course).
Taylor & Dunn's Public House
10365 N. Cedarburg Rd. (Highway 57), Mequon, (262) 242-8030
This suburban Irish pub boasts "good drink, good food and good cheer." We hear the corned beef sandwich is among the best you'll find in the state. They also offer "burger madness" savings and nightly drink specials!
Trinity Three Irish Pubs
125 E. Juneau Ave., (414) 278-7033
Trinity Three Irish Pubs features three distinct pubs (Duffy's, Foy's and Gallagher's), all with different colors and feels. The food is as Irish as you'll find in Milwaukee: the menu begins by listing a pint of Guinness in the appetizers section, and moves on to Irish stew, shepherd's pie and corned beef on rye, among much more. The Reuben rolls are our favorite.
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