[Chris Jones of Wagstaff Worldwide offers this amazing collection of St. Paddy's Day activities - beer, mixology, food, and more!]
Chicagoans’ enthusiasm for St. Patrick’s Day is unmatched, as the city celebrates with two parades, river dyeing, and Irish food and drink. Chicago hotels, restaurants, and bars fuel the festivities with events and deals to keep the party going from Downtown Parade Day (March 11) through St. Paddy’s Day proper (March 17). From Lucky Charms-inspired cocktails to new—and traditional—takes on corned beef, here are some of the city’s top spots to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Restaurants & Bars
An Irish Buffet for the Ages
American Craft Kitchen & Bar (151 E. Wacker Dr.)
- American Craft Kitchen & Bar is known for its farm-to-fork fare, but the restaurant is embracing a new cuisine in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day. The restaurant is offering a dinner buffet ($24.95 per person) for one night, March 11, featuring an exciting array of Irish fare. For the starters, diners can look forward to flavorful homemade soups, including Guinness and onion or cream of cabbage, a traditional Irish salad with Dubliner cheese, and colcannon, a creamy Irish potato dish. The entrée selections include boiled corned beef, lake trout filets with sticky bacon and flake almonds, and shepherd’s pie. The buffet also includes assorted desserts and coffee, tea, or soda.
- To make a reservation, call 312.565.1234 ext. 4496.
Drink in the Luck of the Irish at Arbella
Arbella (112 W. Grand Ave.)
- On Saturday, March 11, Arbella, the globally inspired cocktail lounge in River North is channeling the Irish spirit and opening early to offer one-day-only food and drink specials on the day of the downtown parade. Starting at noon, guests can enjoy Arbella’s featured green drink, Luck Has Nothing To Do With It ($12) with Lucky Charms-infused vodka as well as their classic green Chilcano ($10) with cucumber infused pisco. Arbella will also offer a boilermaker special featuring housemadeOld Fashioned shot and pint of Lagunitas Pilsner for $10. For those in need of a little sustenance, guests can also snack oncorned beef and cabbage croquettes ($3) to power through the day.
- Walk ins are welcome and reservations can be made by calling 312.846.6654 or by visiting OpenTable. For more information on Arbella, follow them on Twitter & Instagram, and Facebook.
Toast in a BIG Way
BIG Bar (151 E. Wacker Dr.)
- With its unparalleled Chicago views and prime downtown location, BIG Bar is offering guests a front-row seat to the city’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities and a celebratory menu on March 11 and 17. The special menu features some of BIG Bar’s favorite small bites, such as the Nachos Grande and BIG Burger, and one food special, a savory Corned Beef Reuben ($15) with Thousand Island dressing and sauerkraut piled high on rye bread. Guests can toast to good health with St. Patrick’s Day drink specials, including BIG Bar’s signature 100-ounce Miller Lite Towers ($30), an Irish Mule ($7), and Leprechaun’s Luck! ($13), an exclusive cocktail featuring midori, vodka, domaine de canton, lemonade, and bitters.
- For more information, please call 312.565.1234.
Bottleneck Management Hosts Patrick’s Day Parties and Cooks Up Celtic Cuisine
Bottleneck Management (Multiple Locations)
- All Bottleneck Management Chicago locations (The Boundary, Old Town Pour House, Howells & Hood, Sweetwater Tavern & Grill, and South Branch) will offer specialty Irish dishes Saturday, March 11 and Tuesday, March 14 through Monday, March 20. Dishes include Corned Beef Reuben ($14), Guinness Lamb Stew ($16) and Shepherd’s Pie ($16).
- Additionally, select locations will host festivities for Chicago St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 11. The Boundary (1932 W. Division St.) and Old Town Pour House (1419 N. Wells St.) will host a Kegs and Eggs event from 8 a.m.-11a.m. Tickets are $25 and include a breakfast buffet, green Miller Lite, Tito’s Bloody Mary’s and La Marca Prosecco Mimosas.
- Howells & Hood (435 N. Michigan Ave.) and Sweetwater Tavern and Grille (225 N. Michigan Ave.) will open at 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. respectively for their annual patio parties on March 11. Festivities will include, bag pipers, a photo booth a DJ and specialty drinks.
Cocktails for Leisure, Luxury, and Luck
Circa Restaurant and Lounge (521 N. Rush St.)
- Circa Restaurant and Lounge is offering four lavish cocktails ($15 per cocktail) in March to bring an air of luxury to the city-wide St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The cocktail offerings include: The Dubliner - made with Guinness Stout, Heering Cherry Liqueur, and amaretto; Irish Lad - features Jameson, lime, Branca Menta, simple syrup, and fresh mint; Shamrock Shake - combines Crème de Menthe, Absolut Vanilia Cream, Luxardo Maraschino Cherries, and gold flakes for a touch of luck; Chirish Coffee - provides the ultimate espresso boost with Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Tuaca Liqueur, and finished off with a golden spiced citrus wheel.
- The cocktails are available March 10-19 at the restaurant and lounge located inside The Gwen, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago.
Irish Eyes Are Smilin’ with Hearth Roasted Corn Beef and Cucumber Cocktails
- Eight Bar gets into the Irish spirit the entire week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day with specialty food and drink offerings. Guests can enjoy Executive Chef Danny Grant’s Hearth Roasted Corned Beef ($18) with caramelized cabbage, fine herbs, buttery potatoes & mustard jus while sipping on a Shamrock Swizzle made with Botran Rum, cucumber, lemon juice, Chareau Liquer, and garnished with a sprig of mint. The specialty cocktail will be available in both a small format ($8) and a large format ($88) which will be served in a fun, glass tabletop dispenser.
- The specials are available from Friday, March 10 through Friday, March 17. The full menu will also be served throughout the week. For more information on Eight Bar, please call 312.944.8888 or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Parade Day Brunch of Champions: Irish Coffee + Corned Beef Hash
GreenRiver (259 E. Erie St. 18th Floor)
- As an ode to the Irish Americans who helped transform Chicago into the metropolis it is today, Executive Chef Aaron Lirette is serving up an Irish-inspired special for St. Patrick’s Day. Corned Beef Hash with sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and caramelized onions will be available during brunch service on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12. For those looking for a boozy pick-me-up, guests can order the bar team’s highly-acclaimed Irish Coffee with Jameson Caskmates, Cynar amaro, GreenRiver’s house blend Sparrow Coffee, topped with housemade whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg ($8). While this bold twist on the traditional Irish cocktail is available at GreenRiver year-round, enjoying sips throughout March is a great excuse to celebrate the holiday all month long.
- Brunch service is available on Saturdays and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Reservations can be made on OpenTable, or by calling the restaurant at (312) 337-0101. For more information, please visit www.greenriverchi.com.
Draft Beers, and Jell-o Shots, and Sliders - Oh My!
Henry's (18 W. Hubbard St.)
- The popular Hubbard Street bar gets into the spirit of St. Patrick's Day offering food and drink specials that will have guests feeling lucky. Bar-goers can choose from Miller Lite drafts, Green Jell-O Shots, and Corned Beef Sliders all for just $5 dollars. Just steps from the Chicago River, Henry's is the perfect spot to booze and nosh after watching the river turn green.
- These specials are available on Friday, March 17, and reservations are not necessary.
My Goodness, My Guinness!
JW Marriott Chicago Lobby Lounge (151 W. Adams St.)
- The Lobby Lounge is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day the right way, with My Goodness, My Guinness, a menu of items prepared with Guinness beer. Executive Chef Michael Reich utilizes the burnt flavor from the Irish dry stout and blends it into one-of-a-kind menu items. The menu includes Crispy Brussels Sprouts with a Guinness reduction, a BBQ Corned Beef Sandwichwith braised cabbage slaw and spiced Irish mustard on marble rye, Guinness Mini Beef Burgers with whiskey caramelized onions horseradish pickles, Dubliner cheddar and beer mustard on a potato roll, and to top it off, Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Bailey’s mousse and salted caramel sauce.
- The Guinness menu is available in the Lobby Lounge on March 17 and 18 only. Walk ins are welcome.
St. Patrick’s Day at SideDoor
SideDoor (100 E. Ontario St.)
- The playful gastropub adjacent to Lawry’s The Prime Rib celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with Irish-inspired food and drink specials. On the menu is a Jameson Patty Melt with crispy onions, Jameson whiskey demi-glace, and Guinness cheese sauce on marble rye,Great Lakes Conway’s Irish Ale, plus a cocktail called The Donnybrook with Powers Irish whiskey, Templeton Rye, Amaro Nonino, honey, citrus, teapot bitters, and an egg white float, served in a coupe.
- These specials are available from Saturday, March 11 through Friday, March 17. For more information or for reservations, please call SideDoor at 312.787.6768.
Take in the Best View of the Chicago River at Travelle Kitchen + Bar
Travelle Kitchen + Bar (330 N. Wabash Ave.)
- Taking full advantage of the restaurant’s proximity to the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, Travelle Kitchen + Bar invites guests to watch the Chicago River get dyed green from above. Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 11, the lounge opens early for guests to reserve bar tables (with a $50 minimum spend per person) to take in the incomparable view. For those in search of a festive green libation, Travelle Kitchen + Bar is featuring the Cucumber Matcharita with mezcal, cucumber matcha juice, lime juice, Chareau Aloe Liqueur, and simple syrup. This refreshing cocktail, garnished with fresh mint and an edible flower made from cucumber peel, ensures a day filled with the luck of the Irish.
- For reservations, please visit www.travellechicago.com, or call 312.923.7705.
St. Patrick’s Day Selfie Elevator and a Personal, Local Guide to Chicago’s Celebrations
DoubleTree Chicago Magnificent Mile (300 E. Ohio Street Chicago, IL)
- DoubleTree Chicago Magnificent Mile Hotel will welcome guests and locals celebrating nearby to swing by the hotel’s very own “St. Paddy’s Day Selfie Elevator” for a chance to take your photos in a special (mobile) booth decked out in honor of Chicago’s favorite holiday. The hotel’s team will be transforming one of their elevators into an explosion of St. Paddy ’s and Leprechaun fun with unique opportunities to capture selfies commemorating the week’s celebration.
- The Selfie Elevator will be open for snaps and selfies from Friday, March 10-Sunday, March 19. Photos will be posted to Instagram using the hashtag #LuckyDT.
- From the dying to the river, to the parades and countless Irish pubs pouring Guinness in honor of St. Patrick himself, Chicago offers an overwhelming amount of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to choose from. To help put travelers at ease, DoubleTree Chicago Magnificent Mile will be offering guests checking in for the week surrounding the holiday a local, personal guide to the fun. The list will contain local happenings, their locations, pricing, and all the information guests need to decide where to sport their green pride. These local guides are part of a company-wide initiative of Kokua Hospitality, the hotel management company that oversees DoubleTree Magnificent Mile. The participating properties will share these guides in an effort to offer guests local connections to their hotels’ surrounding neighborhoods throughout the U.S.
Your St. Paddy ’s Post
Hyatt Regency Chicago (151 E. Wacker Dr.)
- There's no better place to enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in the Windy City than Hyatt Regency Chicago. Located on the Magnificent Mile and the Riverwalk, the hotel is the place to revel in one of the city’s biggest celebrations, the Chicago River Dyeing tradition, which takes place right outside the hotel. After the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, which takes place a few blocks away from the hotel, the celebration continues inside with festive libations at BIG Bar, an upscale, mezzanine-level lounge, which offers the continent’s longest free-standing bar and unparalleled views of downtown Chicago. To top off a day of celebrating, guests can stop by American Craft Kitchen & Bar, a farm-to-table restaurant on the hotel’s ground floor, for a St. Patrick’s dinner buffet on March 11.
- For additional information, please call 312.565.1234.