Irish Pubs Perfect for a Pint

By Jay Josker

Published on | Last Updated

Like the saying goes, “Everyone’s Irish on St.Patrick’s Day.”  But here in the (716), the strong Irish heritage that helped make this city what it is (awesome) has left a legacy of fantastic Irish pubs that you can hooley your face off at all year round.  So pull that green t-shirt out from the bottom of your drawer.  It’s time for a tour of some of the best Irish joints in town.

Part One: St. Patrick’s Day Favorites

The Banshee Irish Pub, 257 Franklin St., Buffalo

The Banshee is ground zero for all things Hooley on downtown parade day here in the Queen City.  And it’s about as authentic an Irish Pub as you can find. It’s built in the style of a traditional pub, their Shepherd’s Pie is legit and they’ve got a great selection of Irish beers on tap. And if that’s not enough, outdoor patio will host authentic Irish dancers on Parade Day.

Eddie Brady’s, 97 Genesee St. Buffalo

As Buffalo city planner Chris Hawley says, Brady’s is “where gruff Irishmen, downtown law and finance types, and college good-times seekers collide. Of any Buffalo tavern, Brady’s feels truest to its pre-Prohibition saloon heritage. Among other nightly specials, Brady’s offers the city’s best turkey and gravy dinner—available on Mondays.”

Gene McCarthy’s, 73 Hamburg St., Buffalo

If The Banshee is Ground Zero on downtown parade day, Gene McCarthy’s is the pulsating green hub of the Old First Ward. The rest of the year it’s the local bar of choice in a part of town that was home to a majority of Irish immigrants in Buffalo’s early days and whose descendants still call the neighborhood home today.  McCarthy’s has done a great job staying true to their Irish roots while keeping up with the times by installing the adjacent Old First Ward brewery and an outdoor patio.

Part Two: South Buffalo’s Finest

Irish heritage is alive and well in South Buffalo, so much so that many street signs are also in Gaelic.  This neighborhood has earned its own category.  Let’s go.

Doc Sullivan’s, 474 Abbott Rd., Buffalo

We’ll kick off the South Buffalo part of our tour with Doc Sullivan’s.  Owner Tommy Cowan has done a great job preserving the neighborhood charm that made the bar a local hit.  The other thing that made it a hit?  Their Smitty wings, which are still on the menu and as delicious as ever.  Order them the same way that made them legendary: extra crispy with a side of fries.

Blackthorn, 2134 Seneca St., Buffalo

Beer cheese soup! The Blackthorn is one of my personal favorites. Their Irish Beer Cheddar soup is so delicious that even Guy Fieri, host of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, figured out what the rest of have known for years: that soup is the truth.  Make sure you don’t just stop by at dinner time. Drop in late at night for a stubby bottle of Genny. If you’re lucky, Joe Lynch, one of my favorite Irishmen, will be holding court at the end of the bar.

Potter’s Field, 425 Potters Rd., Buffalo

Another personal favorite of mine, Potter’s Field is the perfect spot for a Sunday Funday in the fall.  Ever heard a Wocka Flocka Flame song in an Irish bar? If you stay long enough after the Bills game ends, the regulars will dump five laundry days worth of quarters into the high tech jukebox and you’ll be treated to the oddest, most wonderful dance party and sing-along you’ve ever witnessed.

Part Three: Overtime

Last but not least, an under the radar pub that locals know well, and visitors are lucky to find.

The Irishman Pub, 5601 Main St., Williamsville

This warm and inviting Irish pub is a popular favorite in the Northtowns and features a large patio facing Main Street that’s great for relaxing in the warmer months.

Kelly’s Korner, 2526 Delaware Ave, Buffalo

Kelly’s touts a classic Buffalo food menu that is chock full of Buffalo classics like wings and a beef on weck sandwich that local swear by. If you’re looking for a local crowd, this is your place.

Adolf’s Old First Ward Tavern, 555 South Park Ave, Buffalo

A favorite hangout of the longtime blue-collar residents of the Old First Ward, Adolf’s is an excellent option if you’re looking for an under-the-radar spot for Friday fish fry. Plus, they’re always running specials on food and drinks including wing nights and buckets of beer.

That completes our tour of the best Irish Pubs in Buffalo.  Whether it’s Saint Patrick’s Day or a Tuesday, there’s always an Irish Pub in Buffalo to be explored.  And chances are, wherever you end up, they’ll be ready to hooley.

Jay Josker headshot

Jay Josker

Jay is a lifelong Buffalo resident. He's a former bartender and currently the Director of Alumni Relations at Canisius High School. When he’s not on an outdoor adventure with his dog Bo, you can find him tailgating at Bills games or planning his next getaway.