Where to drink
Where to drink right now: 10 best Irish pubs around Fort Worth
There’s something about St. Patrick’s Day that intrigues the masses, and while the celebration of Irish culture is technically one day only on March 17, the party seems to last all month long. Irish pubs become hot destinations, and locally, they are some of the most popular watering holes in town. It could be the friendly nature of those who own and operate them (a lot are transplants from Ireland or have Irish roots). Or it could be the laid-back vibe that’s a bit more mature than some of the area college bars, one where patrons can amicably play darts and have a conversation without much hassle. A killer plate of fish 'n chips doesn't hurt, either. Here are 10 great Fort Worth-area Irish pubs to check out this month. Sláinte!
Longtime locals might remember Shamrock Tavern, opened by an Irish transplant in 2000 on West 7th Street just before the district’s big boom. In 2012 the name changed to Abbey Pub, still an Irish pub and still popular with locals and out-of-towners hopping around the Cultural District. Choose from more than 60 beers, including more than a dozen on tap. Cure any hunger pangs by ordering barbecue from 360 Smoke Shack next door, and the meal will be delivered to you.
Poag Mahone’s Irish Pub
The West 7th district has literally grown up around this nearby mainstay, but Poag’s still stands out as a time-honored watering hole where both regulars and newbies are always welcome. It’s never really packed, meaning conversations can be heard and pool can be played without too much distraction. Speaking of pool, expect pool and dart tournaments to begin soon. There’s a lengthy row of craft beer taps, along with a good lineup of Irish whiskey and scotch.
The folks behind this longtime, matchbook-sized downtown bar have a big resume. It includes The Winchester, The Local, the newer Radler on West Magnolia Avenue, and the other “Durty” spot in town — the Durty Crow in the West 7th district. This one is one of their oldest bars, having drawn in passersby on Houston Street for a stiff drink in a tight space since 2006. There’s no food (no room for that), but the drinks are stout and service is attentive.
Trinity College Irish Pub
This spot was opened by a real Dublin transplant back in 2020, the most treacherous year for bar openings. But Trinity College Pub has stood strong as a standout for proper Irish food, drinks, and service, thanks to owner Alan Kearney’s experience owning a bar is his Ireland hometown. Guinness is poured at the correct temperature, and the food menu boasts authentic Scotch eggs, shepherd’s pie, and bangers and mash. Don’t leave without a Jameson-spiked Irish car bomb.
Finn MacCool’s Pub
For more than 25 years now, this neighborhood pub has made the South Side a little cooler. Located near the medical district on 8th Avenue, the friendly spot sits in a repurposed 1929 building, where regulars gather to loosen up after work. Note that the kitchen is open from 12-4 pm for comfort eats like sausage and potato soup and steak fingers. Dart tournaments are big here, as are pours of whiskey.
It takes a little searching to find this tenured pub, which sits on White Settlement Road in an industrial district across from Angelo’s BBQ. There are games galore here, from darts and pool to ping pong and Golden Tee. Open since 2007, the dive is mostly known by locals. The bartenders are friendly and ready to pour something classic.
McCullar’s Irish Pub
There are two locations of this Arlington Irish pub and grill, one on Little Road and a newer one opened just last year on Green Oaks Boulevard. Both are Irish-owned and operated, and patrons will find a lengthy list of menu items like fish 'n chips and even “Irish pizza” topped with corned beef, green peppers, and mushrooms. Expect a dimly-lit setting with pool tables, lots of TVs and several beers on draft at each.
J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill
One of the oldest Irish bars in all of North Texas, this Arlington destination has been operating since 1979. It’s the home of the “original” Irish nachos, and these skin-on cottage fries topped with cheese, bacon, chives and tomatoes have been featured on the Travel Channel, Food Network, and ESPN-U, among others. Because of its proximity to AT&T stadium and Globe Life Field, patrons can expect lots of sports fans. But UTA is also nearby, and many college students cut their teeth on bar life here. They host one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parties in the Metroplex, with tented outdoor areas and lots of live music.
Danny’s Celtic Pub
This Bedford pub and patio is a hidden in a neighborhood where locals visit for all-day happy hour and Irish dishes. Nestled on the corner of a shopping strip center, the spot has lots of floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the interior more of a restaurant feel, although there’s a long wooden bar for bellying up. Smoking inside is actually permitted here, but an advanced ventilation system helps clear the air. The patio surrounded by trees is a nice respite. Order a Killian’s Irish Red on tap.
If there ever was a rowdy Irish pub in Fort Worth, this is it. Located a bit north on I-35W in the Fossil Creek area near Western Center Boulevard, this spacious, standalone entertainment destination is part sports bar, part pub, and part live music venue. (There’s even a stage.) Wings, burgers, fish 'n chips, and Irish nachos keep patrons fed, and the bartenders know how to pour a Black & Tan to wash it all down. They also boast hosting the biggest St. Patrick’s Day party in Fort Worth.