On St. Patrick’s Day, it’s generally all about the beer, but to keep up your strength, it’s important to eat, too. While hearty fare like shepherd’s pie and corned beef and cabbage are widely available, Portland’s Irish pubs also offer sustenance in the form of traditional old-country breakfast: a rib-sticking morning meal of Irish bacon, white and black puddings, eggs, baked beans and roasted tomato — washed down with a Guinness, of course. Here’s our annual guide to authentic Irish eats and drinks for the annual wearing of the green.
At these popular pubs, you’ll find a warm Irish welcome, comfort food, and practiced hands who will top your Guinness with a foam shamrock.
72 Commercial St., Portland | 207-761-4446 | rira.com/portland
Thursday, March 17: The pub traditionally offers a free buffet breakfast to those brave souls who take the Paddy’s Plunge off of East End Beach, benefiting the Firefighters Children’s Burn Foundation. For $50, non-plungers can also participate with entry to the pub between 6 and 7 a.m., Irish breakfast, Guinness and Guinness glass. Limited menu of Irish pub food available all day.
57 Center St., Portland | 207-780-1506 | brianboruportland.com
Thursday, March 17: The annual breakfast starts at 6 a.m. with an a la carte menu and Guinness on tap. Live music starts at 7:30 a.m. with Rum Riot (traditional Irish music) and continues all day.
375 Fore St., Portland | 207-773-7210 | facebook.com/BullFeeneys
Sunday, March 13 (St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts at noon)
10 a.m. Parade Brunch includes traditional Irish breakfast and Irish Benedict (poached eggs and Irish bacon over soda bread with Hollandaise sauce)
11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Corned beef and cabbage, steak & Guinness pie and other Irish specialties; live Irish session music 1 – 4 p.m.
Thursday, March 17
6 a.m. – 2 p.m. Irish breakfast and more
11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Corned beef and cabbage, steak & Guinness pie and other Irish specialties
6 a.m. – 1 a.m. Music line-up ranges from classic and folk rock to bagpipes, pipe and drum corps and Irish sing-a-longs.
Bonus: Male staff wearing kilts.
18 Hampshire St., Portland | 207-536-1285 | tomasoscanteen.com
Thursday, March 17: Early risers can kick-start the day from 6 to 10 a.m. with an Irish Breakfast – a Guinness plus a Jameson or Bailey’s shot for $6. Guinness cans are $4 and Irish Americans (Gansett tallboy + Powers Irish whiskey) are $8 all day; on the menu you’ll find house-made Irish bangers, corned beef sandwiches and lamb stew.