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“The spirit of Jimmy McVeigh”

McVeigh's Irish Pub
Ranked #1,376 of 8,469 Restaurants in Toronto
Price range: US$1 - US$20
Cuisines: Bar, Pub, Irish, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene
Dining options: Lunch, Drinks, Dinner, After-hours, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Toronto, ON
Level Contributor
104 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“The spirit of Jimmy McVeigh”
Reviewed 2 January 2013 via mobile

I've been going to McVeigh's for years. It's one of the few family run pubs in the city. This is really an old school pub. If you're looking for fancy don't step in the place. Don't ask for coffee... It's not available. I like the real of the place. Real people and real food. Cheers to all my friends at McVeigh's.

2 Thank JSLExplores
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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56 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
462 reviews
305 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“Affordable and Comfortable”
Reviewed 26 November 2012

Great place to watch football while celebrating American Thanksgiving in Toronto. Amazing selection of pub food not often found in such environs. Mandatory, Guinness, Murphy's and Jamesons. Try the Poutine along with your Lipitor. Marky the horse (Calgary Stampede mascot for the Grey Cup Stampeders) even visited and was given a bowl of Stout for his troubles ...and he drank it!

Visited November 2012
Thank jrjojo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
123 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Standard Irish Pub”
Reviewed 4 October 2012

Very Irish feel to the restaurant and as expected to soccer match was on. The Guiness was nice and clean just like I remember from Dublin. Would visit again.

Visited June 2012
Thank Njp007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pepperell. MA
Level Contributor
113 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Nice local spot for a pint and a meal”
Reviewed 12 July 2012

Stopped by while traveling on business, it was a few blocks from the hotel and I had recently been to Dublin so thought I'd try the Canadian version. Guiness was expertly poured and tasty, and the fish and chips were OK. I'd definitely return for a solo dinner or just a pint - the staff was very friendly and the atmosphere brought me back to Dublin!

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank WinterVacationer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
42 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“As close to an Irish pub that you'll get outside of Ireland”
Reviewed 16 June 2012

Have you seen the Boondock Saints? Remember the pub scenes? They were shot at McVeighs.

Having recently celebrated it 50th anniversary, McVeigh's is the original Irish pub in Toronto. People have an image of Toronto that is multicultural and tolerant. They do not realise that Toronto was almost as sectarian as Ireland itself back in the 1960s. Talk to Jimmy McVeigh Sr. about the pub's history and you'll discover that just getting it opened was an accomplishment. The crowd here varies from Irish ex-pats to Canadians (many with Irish/Scottish/Atlantic province roots) to tourists. Many Irish students that are visiting Toronto for the summer frequent the pub.

The pub consists of 2 rooms, one at ground level and the 2nd up one flight of stairs. The upper room is used on Paddy's Day or for private functions and is rarely opened. The main room is bright and has a long bar running down it's length. Guinness, Murphy's, Kilkenny, Harp and Stella are the imports on tap withe domestics coming from the Molson family of products for domestic.

There are plenty of tables and large groups can be accommodated. As the restrooms are downstairs, the pub is not fully accessible. This is the case with many Toronto restaurants and bars. The last major renovation the pub saw was in the 1980's. It looking a little tired around the edges and sometimes the service is the same. Service a previous reviewer stated can be a little vapid. The food is very good with the daily offerings written on a chalkboard. Everything is the same price which simplifies things greatly. Ask the server if you have a special request such as subsituting fries for a salad. I've found that, if possible, they will.

There is live entertainment starting at 21:30 or so every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sundays have a $5 cover but bottles of domestic beer and rail drinks are only $3 each. Needless to say, the place is jammed with students on Sunday nights. If the Yankees or BoSox are in town there will be many American tourists as well. The entertainment is what the Irish refer to as ballad sessions. A mix of Irish and Canadian music along with some bar standards thrown in for good measure. They did have a traditional session on Saturday afternoons but I'm not certain if it's still going on. Throughout the rest of the week, it's a good place to go to talk and have a quiet drink. On Monday or Tuesday you might be the only person there.

I don't know how many pubs in downtown Toronto claim to be "Irish Pubs." What I do know is that you cannot hear live Irish music in them. If they have live music it tends to be some flavour of rock or country. McVeigh's is the only one where it's play every weekend. McVeigh's keeps it's very good rating with me for that reason. When the music is gone, their rating drops to barely average.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Teddybear178
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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