Just like Christmas, and the chance to ask your boss for a raise, St Patrick’s Day comes but once a year, and you’d better make the damned most of it. Whether you’re in the mood for some blowing and fiddling (that’s tin whistles and Irish fiddles, you dirtbags) or simply hankering after a hearty Guinness, here are the best events this St Patrick’s Day in Melbourne.
Start Four Days Early At An Irish Festival
While some of you might start your pre-drinking at 3pm the day of a blow-out, the Irish start their St Pat’s Day preparations a massive FOUR DAYS before the main event. Join in the festivities at Edinburgh Gardens, North Fitzroy, on Sunday 13 March from 12 noon, when the Melbourne Irish Festival pops up in the stunning northside park.
Get To Grips With Whiskey At 1806
No St Pat’s Day would be complete without a dram or two of Irish firewater, and there’s no better place to sip a whiskey than at CBD cocktail hotspot Bar 1806. The underground drinking den has the good folk from Teeling Whiskey in house for the saint’s day eve, Tuesday 16 March, when they’ll be serving up Irish-inspired canapés, whisky samplers and delicious cocktails. The prefect way to prep for the main event.
Enjoy A Guinness At A Southside Institution
Alright, so it might be the only day of the year that you’d admit to drinking in P. J. O’Brien’s, but the Southbank Irish pub certainly knows how to throw a fantastic traditional St Patrick’s day party. Starting at 8am (!) with Guinness and a full Irish fry (that’s breakfast, by the way) for a mere $25, P.J’s celebrations continue with Irish dancing, live music, free Guinness pints dished out at random, and a food menu that includes an Irish twist on the parma. We assume it includes potato.
Better yet, O’Brien’s head bartender has designed a limited St Pat’s Day cocktail list that includes some drinks we’re dyyyying to try. Ditch the green beer and go for a Jameson Martini, a Double Black Martini, or a Black and Gold, which contains Guinness, Jameson’s Caskmates whiskey (the best thing to come out of Ireland since Tayto), lime juice and an egg white. Slainte!
…Or A CBD Pub
One of our top picks for a pint o’ the black stuff in Melbourne CBD, The Irish Times, is serving a fantastic St Pat’s Day breakfast which is a pinch at $20 a head. If you’re feeling very in touch with your Irish roots, you can stay there all day and enjoy some ‘real’ Irish music (so, Westlife?) as well as freshly poured Magners and heaps of Irish food options. Just remember to ask for extra Guinness sauce!
Head To The Biggest St Pat’s Party In Melbourne
The biggest—and arguably most rowdy—St Patrick’s Day party in Melbourne is hosted by The Dan O’Connell in Carlton. Not content with packing out the sizable corner pub with party-goers, the venue closes off the surrounding streets, installs a massive stage, and serves food, drink and craic to the masses. Opening at 7am (yes, really), this isn’t one for the faint-hearted…
Food Trucks & Live Music At A Street Festival
Flemington pub The Quiet Man puts on one of the best open-air St Patrick’s Day events in Melbourne, and this year is shaping up to be no different. Get involved in the Irish dance-off, get some shamrocks painted on your face by a street performer, have a pint or seven, and generally indulge in some typical Irish hospitality.
Show Your Devotion At The Six Nations
Ireland are great at kicking in other people’s heads while playing rugby, and this year’s game that coincides with St Pat’s Day is Ireland vs. Italy on Sunday 13 March at 12.30am. Make your Saturday evening a late one and spend it at The Celtic Club, Melbourne’s Irish pub and members club that (strangely enough) issues passport forms as well as serving Kilkenny at an incredibly reasonable price. #seemslegit
Head To A Reliable Irish Pub
Not satisfied with any of the above? Head to The Corkman, The Last Jar, The Drunken Poet, or your local Bridie O’Reilly’s (yikes) to see out 17 March in true Irish style—drunk, merry, and having made a heap of mates whose names you can’t remember, but who you’re sure are very, very Irish.
Stuck for some Irish inspiration? Check out 9 Things The Irish Got Right.
Image credit: Brunch News