Staff Picks: Best Place to Grab a Pint

You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day! This year, say “Sláinte!" at any of our favorite New Jersey bars.

"Nine Pints of the Law" by Lawson Wood. Flickr/Creative Commons

Helmer’s, Hoboken
Yes, it is a German bar and restaurant and not an Irish pub, but let’s face it, Germans make better food to go with beer. The bar menu offers an array of light and dark German and Belgian brews—and currently one American variety for revelers who might not want to venture out of their comfort zone. The food is traditional German – wursts, schnitzel, sauerbraten, potato pancakes. However, the restaurant is most famous for its open steak sandwiches, which really are worth trying. – Amanda Staab

Kilkenny House, Cranford
There’s no dearth of local watering holes in Cranford (the roughly 5 square mile town boasts six bars) but Kilkenny House is your best bet this St. Patty’s Day. Owner Barry O’Donovan, an authentic Irishman to the core, has created a warm pub atmosphere with plenty of imports from the Emerald Isle. The fully-stocked bar hosts plenty of brews from the U.K. – Guinness, Magners, Boddingtons and Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale to name a few – but also hides a few gems, like the Climax IPA from New Jersey’s oldest microbrewery in nearby Roselle Park. – Maryrose Mullen

The Side Bar, Morristown
An oft-overlooked watering hole on the crowded streets of Morristown is the Side Bar, a small lounge attached to the Famished Frog—you actually have to weave your way through the back hallways of the Frog to find it. The extensive beer selection features rarely seen brews like Troegs Troegenator Dopple (a hefty dopplebock), Spaten Dunkel (light lager with dark coloring), Schlenkerla Marzen (a Rauchbier), and long lists of IPAs, barleywines, porters and Abbey and Belgian Ales. The bar is sure to be a hot spot come Saturday March 15, when the Morris County St. Patrick’s Day Parade rolls into town. – Joanna Buffum

Salt Gastropub, Andover
This casual and cozy pub, off Route 206 in Sussex County, is a great place to grab a beer with friends. They serve a selection of bottled and draft beers that changes frequently. Suggestion: wash down your pint with an order of mac n’ cheese. – Dana Inez

Tavern on the Lake, Hightstown
Watch the parade go by on Main Street in the favorite local watering hole, Tavern on the Lake. Under new ownership, this place is perfect for a few too many pints, sky-high burgers, and an everybody-is-your-friend atmosphere. The patio overlooking the lake makes for a delightful happy-drunk sort of St. Patty’s. – Phoebe Lett

Arthur’s Tavern, Morris Plains
Arthur’s Tavern on Speedwell Avenue is a Morris Plains landmark, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. Black-and-white striped awnings hang from each floor of this iconic, two-story white brick steakhouse, which has been serving up no-frills fare for nearly three decades. Every March, Arthur’s proudly waves its extra large Irish flag. Photos of past patrons smiling in green cover its walls.

Although the holiday falls on a Monday this year, Arthur’s will be celebrating all weekend. On the 17th, the tavern will clear some tables to make room for a live band and bar-goers. Conveniently located across from the Morris Plains train station, it’s is the perfect place to keep the party goin’ after the Saturday parade in neighboring Morristown. – Christina Colizza

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