Detroit's Irish roots date back to the turn of the 19th century, when Catholics were drawn to the Midwestern city for its already established foundation in the church. What's resulted from that early pilgrimage has been a centuries-long appreciation for Irish-American culture. Thanks to that migration from the eastern United States, we have Corktown (Detroit's oldest neighborhood), a wealth of Irish pubs, and plenty of food that pays homage to the cuisines of the old country (albeit, these days the fare is decidedly Americanized).
While you're planning your St. Paddy's Day revelry, we encourage you to check out some of the food and drink staples that go just a little further than tack on four-leaf clover decorations, slang green-dyed beer, and cheap shots of Jameson. We've researched spots all over metro Detroit this holiday season to help you find some of the most beloved in Irish-American chow.
Ackryod's Scottish Bakery
Ackroyd's at first glance may not seem Irish at all. Don't be fooled because every year the bakery (opened in 1949) gives us some pretty interesting Irish specialties, including a corned beef and cabbage pasty, as well as Irish stew pies made with potatoes, ground beef, peas, carrots, pickled onion, and brown gravy.
25566 Five Mile Rd., Redford, 313-532-1181, ackroydsbakery.com
Claddagh Irish Pub
If you're looking for a traditional Irish breakfast of corned beef hash, Claddagh will be available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on March 17, followed by 14 hours of live entertainment and drink specials. A $5 cover charge starts at noon.
17800 Haggerty Rd., Livonia; 734-542-8141, claddaghirishpubs.com
Conor O'Neill's Traditional Irish Pub
Arguably one of the authentic Irish eateries in metro Detroit, Conor O'Neill's serves a variety of shepherd's pies, Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage, and Boxty (a traditional potato pancake, stuffed with sauteed veggies and herbs). Each Sunday, the spot features traditional Irish music.
318 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-665-2968, conoroneills.com
You will have a number of opportunities to get into the spirit here, with live Irish music after the parade at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. Family Day is on March 16 with live Irish music and dancers, $10 corned beef dinners, and fish and chips. On March 17, you can dig into a traditional Irish breakfast starting at 7 a.m., with music kicking off at 10 a.m.
160 W. Maple Road, Birmingham; 248-642-1135, dickodowspub.com
Duggan's Irish Pub
The day's Irish menu will feature corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, a corned beef Rueben, and mugs of green beer to wash it all down with. Variety is key, and Duggan's offers 26 beers on tap and 37 in bottles.
31501 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-549-3659, dugganspub.com
Grand Trunk Pub
Grand Trunk is known for its array of Michigan beers on tap and quality pub menu — particularly the meatloaf drenched in Two James gravy, Ghettoblaster beer-battered cod fish and chips, and shepherd's pie.
612 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-3043
O'Connor's Public House
Get started with the celebrating early, with a free, hearty Irish breakfast buffet between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day. Plus, there are Guinness Girls on hand, a 5,000-square-foot party tent featuring five bars, six bands, and a live broadcast of the Blaine Fowler Morning Show. Plus, limited options from the regular menu will be available, and it has an Irish American flare (bangers, Irish nachos, and Scotch eggs, to name a few).
324 S. Main St., Rochester, 248-608-2537, oconnorsrochester.com
This Irish hidden gem has always counted shepherd's pie and Irish stew among their main staples. A traditional breakfast that includes Irish Farmers omelets and Irish oatmeal starts at 8 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day. After noon, stay tuned for corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, Irish stew, fish n' chips, and even Stacey McClure's Irish pizza, with shredded corned beef, Swiss cheese, kraut, caramelized onion, honey mustard, and Thousand Island dressing.
2555 W. 12 Mile Road, Berkley; 248-399-6750, omaras.net
Sheehan's on the Green
This Plymouth staple regularly features classics like corned beef and cabbage, in both dinner and sandwich form, and Irish stew.
39450 Five Mile Rd., Plymouth; 734-420-0646
Sullivan's Public House
If the loud, obnoxious, all-green-everything parties aren't your thing, but you'd still like to experience an authentic offering of Irish food, the menu at Sullivan's has a pretty hefty offering. It includes lamb cottage pie, shepherd's pie, bacon and cabbage, bangers and colcannon mash, and a full Irish breakfast featuring rasher, black pudding, sausage, fried eggs, baked beans, grilled tomato, and soda bread.
23 N. Washington St., Oxford, 248-572-7344, sullivanspublichouse.com