Editor's note: This story was originally published on March 9, 2012. It was updated on February 26, 2019.
Irish poet and playwright W.B. Yeats once said, "The problem with some men is that when they're not drunk, they're sober." Agreed — it can be an issue (although it goes for both men and women).
Thankfully, we have a public house or two (or 10) in town to help you fix your problem. While Phoenix can't offer anything in the way of The Brazen Head, the Valley can at least provide a place to just sit with a pint, a shot, and a plate of traditional Irish fare.
Find just that at these 10 Irish pubs, each with that special element of craic.
Casey Moore's Oyster House
850 South Ash Avenue, Tempe
This Tempe mainstay was named for Casey Moore, a woman born to Irish immigrants in 1886. Her deal was singing and playing the piano, and apparently friends and neighbors would frequently gather at her house. The same goes today. Casey's may have strayed a bit from its Irish roots, but this Tempe hot spot still makes the list. Their logo is a shamrock, after all, and they have do have a Blarney Stone. If you need an escape from the college crowd and neighborhood types on the patio, move inside to the classic, musty bar area for an imperial pint of Guinness and one of their extra-crispy fish sandwiches.
The Dubliner Irish Pub
3841 East Thunderbird Road
Around since 1985, the Dubliner is said to have been Phoenix’s first pub to serve Guinness on tap. The pub often hosts trivia nights and live music, all while serving dishes like the corned beef sliders, Irish beef stew, and chicken with Guinness gravy. For a quick bite, get yourself a side of Irish soda bread, or some Jameson chocolate bread pudding. Draught beers include Guinness, Harp, and Smithwick’s; whiskeys include Blackbash, Paddy’s, and even Dew Middleton.
The Harp Irish Pub
1744 South Val Vista Drive, Mesa
Billed as an Arizona pub with an Irish soul, the Harp Irish Pub claims everything in the restaurant is authentically Irish — from the interior and fixtures to the food and recipes. Their daily happy hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m. and offers $1 off drafts and bottle beers (including the Harp Irish lager), $1 off well drinks, $1 off house wine, and $2 off select appetizers. Find everything from Guinness Fondue to Irish bangers and mash, traditional corned beef, fish and chips, and the Irish Sundae — a Baileys Irish Cream brownie with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce.
Murphy's Law Irish Pub
58 South San Marcos Place, Chandler
This Irish bar in downtown Chandler might be easy to miss, as it's crammed in with the many shops, restaurants, and others bars surrounding Dr. A.J. Chandler Park. But upon entering the narrow room that is Murphy's Law, you'll know you've found your next favorite pub. A good mix of Irish and Arizona ales fill the beer menu and food options include Irish mac and cheese, Murph's Reuben sandwich, and St. Ivan fish tacos. Their mission? To bring the vibrant Dublin pub scene to the east Valley.
2601 West Dunlap Avenue
This is the neighborhood bar of Irish pubs. O'Connor's Pub lets you work on your darts game while gulping a Guinness, Harp, Smithwick's, or Magners — possibly coupled with a shot of Redbreast, Powers, or Teeling Irish whisky on hand. The food menu doesn't go too deep, but at least there's beer-battered french fries to keep you going while listening to live Irish music or a game of some kind. Established in 1990 by Jimmy O’Connor, O'Connor's Pub is also known for daily specials on Tully Tuesdays, Whiskey Wednesdays, or Thank Guinness It's Fridays.
Rosie McCaffrey's Irish Pub
906 East Camelback Road
Once upon a time, there was an Irishman from Belfast named Seamus McCaffrey. He opened a little bar in downtown Phoenix, and it was awesome. Then one day he decided to sell his namesake pub and open a new one on Camelback Road in 2002, which he named after his beloved wife, Rosie. And thank the heavens above he did. We don't know what we'd do without her Harp Battered Fish 'n' Chips and wall of whiskey (we're talking Bushmill's, five kinds of Jameson, Tullamore, and Paddy's). You'll also find streaming Glasgow Celtics football, as well as Guinness, Harp, Kilkenny, Smithwick's, and Magner's Irish Cider on tap every day at the bar.
Rúla Búla Irish Pub & Restaurant
401 South Mill Avenue, Tempe
Rula Bula is still killing it with good Irish eats, an impressive selection of Irish whiskeys, and a lively garden patio in downtown Tempe. Translated as "uproar and commotion," Rula Bula is housed in the colorful historic Andre Building which opened as a saddlery and harness shop in 1888 (you'll notice nods to those roots on the shelves and display areas around the pub). What's more, Rula Bula's bar was actually built in Ireland, shipped to Tempe, and then reassembled where it sits now. It waits patiently to support your order of Irish nachos, Guinness barbecue wings, Galway Bay-style mussels, or just a pint. Bonus: The desserts are extra-fun here, and include the Guinness Float and deep-fried Irish bread pudding.
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Seamus McCaffrey's Irish Pub and Restaurant
18 West Monroe Street
This is like the Temple Bar of downtown Phoenix. Seamus McCaffrey's is dark and divey, and the food can be awesome, but it can also get pretty busy with tourists and weekend warriors. And that can be exactly why you love it. The bartenders are always friendly and will never let you sit with an empty beer for long, and it's always a fun adventure to head up the hot stairs to pee. The fish and chips are good 85 percent of the time, but the chicken pot pie is always a safe bet and we've never seen a bad Guinness pour. While you sit, look around the Irish bric-a-brac including the old healthy Guinness campaign signs, and map of Ireland broken out by county.
Skeptical Chymist Irish Restaurant & Bar
15689 North Hayden Road, #125, Scottsdale
Modeled after an old Irish apothecary, the Skeptical Chymist will cure your thirst and fill your belly. Find yourself heading for this north Scottsdale pub for the food — including the fish and chips, the real lamb shepherd's pie, and the all-day Irish breakfast. The Guinness is plentiful, but sometimes you'll want to class it up with one of their specialty cocktails like the Irish Mimosa or Leprechaun's Charm.
Tim Finnegan's Irish Restaurant & Pub
17045 North 59th Avenue, #103, Glendale
The food here may sound like average pub fare, but what's coming out of the kitchen is a few steps above the norm. Many are fans of the traditional shepherd's pie made with lamb and the all-day Irish breakfast — a massive plate of meat, eggs, beans, toast, tomatoes, and authentic white and black pudding. There's often pub trivia or live music, which you can enjoy with a Guinness or spoonfuls of Baileys tiramisu.