It’s that time of year again, and with almost 23 million Irish-Americans living in the U.S¹ it’s no wonder that St Patrick’s Day celebrations in the states are almost as grand as in Ireland itself! To help as many people celebrate the day as possible, we’ve put together a list of the best cities to visit this year to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in true Irish fashion, with Charlotte and Philadelphia taking the top spot.
The five best locations for celebrating St Patrick’s Day this year and their scores are:
- Charlotte, North Carolina – 49
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 49
- Jacksonville, Florida – 48
- New York City, New York – 46
- Dallas, Texas – 45
To create our ranking, we considered the number of Irish pubs with a minimum rating of 4 stars, the average cost per pint of imported beer, the average cost of an Airbnb and Irish pub Yelp! reviews, in 20 of America’s most populated cities².
The five worst locations for celebrating St Patrick’s Day this year and their scores are:
- Austin, Texas – 12
- Los Angeles, California – 15
- San Diego, California – 24
- San Antonio, Texas – 24
- Houston, Texas – 28
As part of our study, we looked into the number of Irish bars and pubs with a minimum 4* rating³, and can reveal that New York City has the most Irish pubs. The five cities with the most Irish bars are:
- New York City, New York – 172
- Charlotte, North Carolina – 146
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 142
- San Francisco, California – 134
- Jacksonville, Florida – 125
The best cities to stay in over St Patrick’s Day have also been considered, with Chicago revealed as the cheapest and Austin the most expensive. The five cities with the cheapest average cost of spending St Patrick’s Day in an Airbnb and their average nightly prices⁴ are:
- Chicago, Illinois – $148
- Fort Worth, Texas – $160
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – $175
- San Jose, California – $192
- Washington, District of Columbia – $192
In addition to the number of Irish bars and pubs within each of the 20 most populated U.S cities, we also looked at where you can make the most of your night, without burning a hole in your pocket – perfect for St Patrick’s Day! These are the top 5 cheapest cities to drink in and the average cost per pint of imported beer⁵:
- Indianapolis, Indiana – $5
- Columbus, Ohio – $5.5
- San Antonio, Texas – $5.5
- Fort Worth, Texas – $5.75
- Charlotte, North Carolina – $6
The final factor we considered in the ranking was the average rating of the highest rated Irish pub in each of the selected cities. Using reviews from Yelp!⁶ we can reveal that New York City not only has the most Irish pubs and bars, but the best rated Irish pub in the city – McSorleys Old Ale House, has the highest number of reviews and an average rating of 4.5*. These are the top rated Irish pubs and bars according to Yelp! reviews and their ratings:
- McSorleys Old Ale House, New York City – 4.5* from 1831 reviews
- The Crafty Irishman, Dallas – 4.5* from 393 reviews
- Culhane’s Irish Pub, Jacksonville – 4.5* from 329 reviews
- Tim Finnegan’s Irish Restaurant & Pub, Phoenix – 4.5* from 221 reviews
- Finley’s Pub, Denver – 4.5* from 209 reviews
All factors considered, our research shows that Charlotte and Philadelphia are the best cities to visit this St Patrick’s Day for a celebration with some of the best Irish bars and pubs, accommodation that won’t break the bank and the places you can get the most booze for your buck!
For this study, WeThrift looked at the 20 most populated cities in the U.S².
To rank each city, four metrics were taken into consideration; the number of Irish pubs with a minimum rating of 4 stars, the average cost per pint of imported beer, the average cost of an Airbnb for the 17th – 18th March, and the rating of the highest rated Irish pub in the city according to Yelp! reviews. Each city was given a score of 1 to 20 based on where they ranked in the list, with 20 being the best and 1 being the worst. Some cities were given the same score if they ranked the same as each other.