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About The Author


Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: March 7, 2016

Where to eat & drink like an Irishman in Portland for St. Patrick’s Day

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Katya Dolloff, a server at Brian Boru, delivers Irish Breakfast to customers during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at Brian Boru in 2013. Press Herald file photo

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.

More Irish eats and drinks

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.

Maine’s Irish pubs: 10 authentic places to hoist a pint

Ri Ra

 72 Commercial St., Portland | 207-761-4446 |
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.

Brian Boru Public House

57 Center St., Portland | 207-780-1506 |
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.

Bull Feeney’s

375 Fore St., Portland | 207-773-7210 |
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.

Tomaso’s Canteen

18 Hampshire St., Portland | 207-536-1285 |
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.




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