Shimmering shamrocks, St. Patrick’s Day is here again! For some, it’s a day to honour the patron saint of Ireland, but for most of us, it’s an excuse to dance, party and pretend we’re Irish.
So, in a city with more Irish pubs than you can shake a shillelagh at, where are the best places to take in some fantastic music while you gulp green beer, Guinness or Irish whiskey?
Truly, any pub in the ByWard Market and environs is sure to be abuzz with St. Paddy’s Day merriment, but if you’re in search of Ottawa’s most “authentic” Irish hotspot then you’ve got to head to the Irish Village.
Just as you’d expect, there’re tunes-a-plenty at the Heart and Crown (67 Clarence St.), from the likes of Pat Kelly & Pat Maher, Celtic music master The Paddingtons and Dave Anthony.
Over at sister pub Mother McGintey’s (67 Clarence St.), the energetic Barry Williams takes the stage, along with Lush and The Boys Next Door, a band that always knows how to make a cover tune sound fresh and fantastic.
Sit down for some tasty Irish cuisine at Patty Boland’s (101 Clarence St.) with a musical side of Dave Anthony, who’s playing an early set here — busy guy. Kilbride and The Bourbon Brothers will make music into the evening.
But nothing says “Irish” and “Ottawa” better than D’Arcy McGee’s. The pub was designed and built in Ireland before setting up shop at 44 Sparks St., and is of course named after one of the city’s most famous figures, Thomas D’Arcy McGee, who has the dubious distinction of being the only Canadian federal politician to ever be assassinated.
It’s also a place you can park your butt all day long, with music starting at 11 a.m. thanks to The Riverthieves.
Trevor Bowering and The Marc Nelson Band play later sets, and the always enjoyable Eric Eggleston Band tops off the night.