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Non-touristy Irish restaurant in the downtown area

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Cincinnati, oh
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Non-touristy Irish restaurant in the downtown area

I was at the Irish Embassy last year and wasn't all the impressed.....too much of a young yuppie crowd to really feel authentic.

Anyone have any suggestions for a place to find a good Irish menu? A hole in the wall place would be preferred, but not necessary.


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1. Re: Non-touristy Irish restaurant in the downtown area

Sadly, that may be hard to find. The most recent wave of Irish immigration was in the 1960s, and for the most part they're now pretty well assimilated. There are tons of faux Irish pubs just like in any other city, but the authentic Irish experience? Who knows. Maybe Dora Keough, on the Danforth (the sister joint of the revered Allen's Pub): http://allens.to/dora/

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2. Re: Non-touristy Irish restaurant in the downtown area


I think www.mcveighspub.com/contact.html will meet your criteria!

Mississauga, Canada
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3. Re: Non-touristy Irish restaurant in the downtown area

My Irish friends go here:


Unfortunately it is in the west end of the City.

northern Ontario
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4. Re: Non-touristy Irish restaurant in the downtown area

Hello Grease1739,

I am not certain if this is what you are after, but check out this link to The Pour House. It is an Irish pub/ restaurant. I have been there several times and always enjoyed the food and atmosphere.


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5. Re: Non-touristy Irish restaurant in the downtown area

The Galway Arms, in Toronto's far SW corner, looks great, but the Irish items on the menu are very limited: http://www.galwayarms.ca

The Pour House, at Dupont and Davenport on the northern edge of the Annex, is a great neighbourhood pub and has a decent number of traditional dishes, but it's part of a chain that includes Pogue Mahone at Bay and College and and the Mill Street Brew Pub in the Distillery District.

I'd forgotten about McVeigh's. Indeed, that's where the seriously Irish crowd hangs out downtown. There are stories around that it was once the local meeting place for IRA men on "vacation."

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6. Re: Non-touristy Irish restaurant in the downtown area

Hey, Grease. I take it from your posting that you are looking for a restaurant, not a pub as such. If that is the case, forget McVeigh's. They do have food, but that's not why people go there. It's a down and dirty drinking place, usually with a corny Irish musical ensemble. I go there about once a month - - - it's one of my favourite places in town. But not to eat!

For a restaurant, I'd suggest you consider two places. The first is PJ O'Brien's. It's owned by the same folks that own the Irish Embassy, but it's a little less yuppified. Unfortunately, they recently expanded by taking over the adjacent space and adding a more pubby area, so that it's less of a "hole in the wall" than it was. But if you stay on the restaurant side it's a tad more refined.


Not sure when you're going, BTW, but since they are downtown both the Embassy and PJ's fill up big time after work and especially if there is a Leafs or Raptor's game on - - - the ACC (where those teams play) is within walking distance and all the nearby bars and restaurants get pretty full beforehand.

The other place is Dora Keogh, already referred to above. Note that it's a pretty fun pub but not a sit down restaurant. I've seen waiters bring food in from Allen's (next door), but the seating at Dora is pretty uncomfortable and not conducive to dining. However, they do have a back kitchen area that you can book and where you can have a private Irish meal. It opens on to the bar area and you can see and be seen. Never done it, but I've seen others enjoying it and it looks completely cool. It only seats about 8 or 10 people. Not sure if you need to be with a group or not, but if this sounds like something you'd be interested in you may wish to inquire. Dora Keogh is just outside of downtown, in Greektown (go figure) and right on the subway line.


Other than that, other posters are correct in that the vast majority of "Irish" places are pre-fab chains, okay for what they are but devoid of character.

Hope this helps!

7. Re: Non-touristy Irish restaurant in the downtown area

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