The Irish are known for many things: beer, potatoes, and really awesome accents. But ask any person off the street what their favorite traditional Irish dish is and most likely they will be stumped. Irish food gets a bad rap because it isn’t known for one major component: flavor. I am Irish, I can say this. But if you look closely, you will see that you have been missing out. Corned beef?? A pie with bacon in it??? BEER??? And you won’t find a livelier or happier atmosphere anywhere else. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I have a round-up of the best Irish restaurants in Lake County. Go forth and be Gaelic.
Best Irish Restaurants in Lake County
*A moment of silence for the now closed Blackthorne Grille.
431 S. Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville | (847) 362-4020
Downings is a petite Irish tavern, with a menu that changes frequently, and live music every Thursday evening. It’s open until 2:00 a.m. on weeknights and 3:00 a.m. on weekends, featuring a special late-night menu.
The Irish Mill
26592 N. IL Rte. 83, Mundelein | (847) 566-7044
More a bar than a restaurant, you might want to save this for a night you have a sitter.
105 S. Cook St., Barrington| (847) 277-7400
This place is the real deal with dishes like Scotch eggs and corned beef and cabbage, but they have a wide range of other non-Irish foods too for those who aren’t into me luck o’ the Irish-foods.
Mickey Finn’s345 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | (847) 362-6688
There is more than beer at Mickey Finn’s.
Middleton’s on Main
110 S. Main St.. Wauconda | (847) 526-6433
The front porch here is really amazing to dine on. Of course in March, it is not. So go back again in June.
Timothy O’Toole’s Pub
5572 Grand Ave., Gurnee | (847) 249-0800
412 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | (847) 984-2599
Kids eat free Monday AND Tuesday nights so they can get their Irish on as well. There is more non-Irish items on the menu than Irish but the atmosphere is fun and the food is good.
Worth the Trip
The Curragh Glenview
The Glen Town Center, 1800 Tower Dr., Glenview | (847) 998-1100
This traditional Irish pub and restaurant also serves local craft beer. Don’t miss the weekend brunch here.
Peggy Kinane’s Irish Restaurant and Pub
8 North Vail Ave., Arlington Heights | (847) 577-7733
For the reuben rolls and mashed potato balls alone.
425 W. Armitage, Chicago | (312) 944-5087
Not a restaurant, but a dog-friendly Irish bar that we happen to be big fans of because my husband’s Grandad is up on the wall. His picture, not actually him. Look for the large picture of Chicago cops in the back of the bar by the restrooms and tip your hat to William Hoban.
I would love to hear about your favorite Irish restaurants in the suburbs, city and beyond.