17 Best Restaurants to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day This Year + Gift Ideas

Are you looking for somewhere to go to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year? Or maybe you want to learn a little more about this fun holiday?

Whether it's drinking green beers while you listen to Irish music or eating corned beef and Irish Stew, there are plenty of restaurants to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

In this blog post, you'll learn the best restaurants to eat at for St. Patrick's Day as well as other ways to celebrate the holiday and St. Patrick's Day food.

The History of St. Patrick's Day

Every year we celebrate St. Patrick's Day on March 17th, but do you know why and where the holiday even originated? As you probably figured out, St. Patrick's Day has Irish roots.

March 17th is the anniversary of St. Patrick in the 5th century. The Irish have celebrated this day as a religious holiday for more than 1,000 years. This holiday also occurs during Lent where people celebrating it are prohibited from eating certain foods.

So, you may be wondering who St. Patrick was. For starters, St. Patrick wasn't Irish but he found his true faith when he was taken prisoner by a band of Irish raiders. He spent six years in captivity in Ireland.

When he was alone and afraid, he turned to religion for comfort and relief. Eventually, he managed to escape and walked 200 miles to the Irish Coast where he was eventually able to flee home to Britain.

While he was back home, he had another revelation where an angel came to him in a dream telling him to come back to Ireland as a missionary. He went to school to be a priest and then returned to Ireland to minister to the Christians there.

He became so popular because he incorporated Traditional Irish rituals into his various lessons like using bonfires on Easter because they honored their Gods with fire.

St. Patrick also superimposed a sun - an important Irish symbol - onto a Christian cross. This cross became the Celtic cross.

While he was known as the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick was never actually canonized by the Catholic Church as they had no such formal process. He was proclaimed a saint by the Irish people because of his popularity in Ireland.

What Food is Traditionally Eaten on St. Patrick's Day?

Thousands of Irish Americans everywhere gather with their families to celebrate this holiday and eat corned beef and cabbage. 

But corned beef didn't become a St. Patrick's Day traditional food until the 20th century when Irish immigrants in New York City substituted corned beef for Irish bacon. This substitution became a tradition because it was less expensive than the Irish bacon.

But you won't find people in Ireland dining on a classic corned beef sandwich, cabbage, or even green beer drafts. The most popular Irish foods to eat on St. Patrick's Day in Ireland are slow-cooked lamb or beef stews. These are often served with traditional colcannon or butter mashed potatoes with cabbage folded in.

There's nothing better than a slow-cooked Irish beef stew with buttery potatoes and cabbage!

Irish soda bread is another favorite Irish dish and it's usually made with a cross-cut in the center. But you won't find the caraway seeds or raisins that are found in American soda bread recipes.

St. Patrick's Day is focused on going to mass and then there are some parades, but generally, the day focuses on people spending time with family and friends enjoying traditional Irish food. And as far as drinking goes, Irish people may drink a few traditional Irish beers like Guinness and they'll probably have a round or two of Irish whiskeys.

So, if you want to eat real traditional Irish grub, a hot corned beef sandwich won't cut it. However, since it's made its way into the list of Irish dishes that Americans eat every St. Patrick's day, it's okay for traditions to change over time depending on what's available and inexpensive to eat.

St. Patrick's Day Gift Ideas

Besides going to restaurants or an Irish pub for St. Patrick's Day, you can make it a day to give presents. One of the best gifts for St. Patrick's Day is a gift card.

Gift Card Granny has gift cards to many popular brands so we know you'll find the perfect one for your St. Patrick's Day gift.

You could also get a present from ShamrockGift.com, a company that sells quality Irish gifts. They have sweaters, cable knit throws, and more.

Amazon also has great presents like shamrock LED light-up headbands, t-shirts, candles, and more.

The Best Restaurants to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Here are some of the best restaurants to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

1. McDonald's

A minty twist on a fast food favorite 

McDonald's is known for their famous McCafe Shamrock Shakes that they only offer once a year in March to celebrate the holiday. This mint-flavored shake has layers of chocolate that pair well with the mint.

They also offer a Chocolate Shamrock Shake, Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappe, Shamrock Mocha, and Shamrock Hot Chocolate.

Gift Card Granny does not currently offer McDonald’s gift cards

2. Buffalo Wild Wings

Go wild whether it’s game day or not

Buy a Buffalo Wild Wings gift card

Since a huge part of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, for some folks, consists of drinking alcohol and making merriment with friends, Buffalo Wild Wings makes for a great place to kick back and share a good brew with your pals. Alongside delicious bar food and award-winning chicken wings, patrons can sip on a variety of spirits and signature cocktails to help keep the night alive. Try out their Sour Irishman cocktail if available, or simply add Jameson Irish Whiskey to any beverage of your choice. 

Pick up a Buffalo Wild Wings gift card from Gift Card Granny to earn cash back! 

3. Hickory Tavern

Commemorate the occasion with cocktails and queso 

If you're in the Southeast of the U.S. around St. Patrick's Day, the Hickory Tavern often offers a free appetizer like Chips & Queso. In the past, they've also had a special cocktail in the adult version of the shamrock shake - a vanilla milkshake with three different kinds of rum.

They also offer a corned beef & cabbage special all day on St. Patrick's day.

Hickory Tavern gift cards are not offered through Gift Card Granny at this time. 

4. Cold Stone Creamery 

A lucky ice cream treat is something to smile about

Buy a Cold Stone Creamery gift card

Get some sweet luck for St. Patrick’s Day when you pick up a Lucky Charms ice cream cone at Cold Stone Creamery. This limited-edition flavor is a fan-favorite and doesn’t last long, so get your fix in before it’s gone like a rainbow. 

Earn cash back on a Cold Stone Creamery gift card from Gift Card Granny!

5. Bruegger's Bagels

Different look, same fantastic taste

The green bagels that this restaurant offers for a couple of days around St. Patrick's Day. Bruegger's kettle boils them and then bakes the bagels in small batches to ensure their freshness.

Gift Card Granny does not offer gift cards to Bruegger’s Bagels at this time. 

6. Bruxie

Enjoy your chicken with an Irish twist

This chain restaurant is known for the waffle sandwiches and they make a Get Lucky Fried Chicken Sandwich to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. They gave their traditional fried chicken and waffle sandwich an Irish twist. Guests can also eat their fresh mint shake and popular Irish Nachos the week of St. Patrick's Day.

Bruxie gift cards are not available on Gift Card Granny. 

7. Flour & Barley

This Irish pizza will blow your mind 

Flour & Barley, the popular pizza restaurant in San Diego, Waikiki, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, celebrates the Irish holiday with a Luck of the Irish Pie. This pizza includes corned beef, sausage, Brussel sprouts, and potato with a pesto cream sauce.

Flour & Barley gift cards are not available on Gift Card Granny at this time. 

8. McAlister's Deli

Go green to score some festive favorites 

Buy a McAlister’s Deli gift card 

For your holiday delight, McAlister's has two holiday specials. If you wear green you get a free green tea and the St. Patrick's Day Reuben Spud. This potato is baked in the oven and topped with sauerkraut, swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing, and corned beef.

Earn cash back on a gift card to McAlister’s Deli when you use Gift Card Granny

9. McSorley's Old Ale House

An old-time Irish saloon with authentic ale

If you live in New York City, one of the best restaurants to celebrate St. Patrick's Day is this old alehouse. Founded in 1854, it's the oldest alehouse in New York City and has sawdust floors. It stays authentic during the holiday offering just two beer specials - McSorley's Dark Ale and McSorley's Light Ale.

Gift cards to McSorley’s Old Ale House are not available via Gift Card Granny. 

10. Krispy Kreme 

Creative donuts with a classic taste

Biting into a good donut is like munching on a piece of heaven-baked goodness. For St. Paddy’s Day, Krispy Kreme embraces the green with an array of frosting designs inspired by the holiday. Try a cream-filled donut dipped in icing and topped with a shamrock sprinkle blend, or go with an original glazed donut dipped in green icing and topped with a St. Patrick’s sprinkle blend. 

Gift Card Granny does not currently offer Krispy Kreme gift cards

11. Qdoba

This green cheese has a spicy kick to it

Qdoba is a popular Mexican restaurant chain offering Green Tabasco Flavored Queso during the month of March. Qdoba blends this spicy flavor into their famous three-cheese Queso that you can add for free to any of their entrees.

Qdoba gift cards are not available at Gift Card Granny at this time. 

12. Lumberjacks Restaurants

Get a filling meal with family and friends 

Lumberjacks is a West Coast restaurant chain with a limited-time offer around St. Patrick's Day. They're offering a homemade corned beef platter with cabbage just for the holiday.

Gift cards to Lumberjacks Restaurants are not currently available at Gift Card Granny. 

13. TGI Fridays

Guaranteed to have a good time any day of the week

Buy a TGI Friday’s gift card

The TGI Fridays restaurant chain has two specials for St. Patrick's Day - green beers and You Call It cocktails with Jameson. The special is only available on St. Patrick's Day.

Snag a gift card for TGI Friday’s from Gift Card Granny!

14. The Tilted Kilt

Sip on some great brews at your neighborhood Celtic sports bar 

The Tilted Kilt Chain has an Irish Hooley menu throughout the month of March. They have several drink specials like the Belfast Bloom made with Baileys Irish Cream, Guinness, and Jameson Irish Whiskey, The Irish Slammer made with Guinness and RumChata, and more.

Their holiday food menu includes corned beef and cabbage that you can get with eggs or not, a corned beef sandwich special on a toasted hoagie, and Irish chip dip made with horseradish and cold corned beef.

The Tilted Kilt gift cards are not currently offered through Gift Card Granny. 

15. Dunkin'

Grab a seasonal donut and get caffeinated

Buy a Dunkin’ gift card

Dunkin' is one of the most popular breakfast restaurants in the nation and you can get a Shamrock Sprinkle Donut topped with fun shamrock sprinkles.

Get a Dunkin’ gift card from Gift Card Granny!

16. Three Brothers Bakery

A piece of the royal cake treatment

Three Brothers Bakery is based in Texas and has a variety of holiday specials that make it one of the many great restaurants to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. You can get a Louisiana-styled St. Patrick's Day King Cake filled with fruit or cream cheese. It's topped with white icing and dusted with light and dark green sanding sugar.

You may also see a selection of cupcakes and cookies.

Three Brothers Bakery gift cards are currently unavailable on Gift Card Granny. 

17. Chili’s 

A margarita at the end of every rainbow

Buy a Chili’s gift card 

If you’re a margarita lover in general, then you may want to consider checking out your neighborhood Chili’s for a St. Patrick’s Day-inspired cocktail called the Lucky Jameson. Touted as the chain’s marg of the month, this classic margarita is made with a dash of Jameson to give it an Irish touch. Pair that with killer appetizers and you’re guaranteed to have a good night out. 

Earn cash back when you buy a Chili’s gift card from Gift Card Granny!

Final Thoughts on Restaurants to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Now that you know a little bit about the history of this holiday and where to  celebrate St. Patrick's Day, you can observe the holiday with gifts and a night out. If you have Irish relatives, a quiet St. Patrick's Day at home with a delicious slow-cooked roast may be the best way to celebrate.

Whatever you choose to do, remember the holiday is all about spending more time with your family and friends and honoring St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.