You don’t have to be a shamrock-hugging leprechaun to enjoy a craic-tastic St. Patrick’s Day in Richmond this year. But you do need our handy guide if you want to find the city’s very best Celtic celebrations on March 17. Looking for great beer, hearty comfort food and toe-tapping Irish-themed party spots? Read on.

Ceili's Celebration

“We’re planning Richmond’s biggest and best St. Patrick’s Day celebration,” says Mark Reid, owner of Ceili’s Modern Irish Pub. Opening early at 11am on March 17, that includes a rolling roster of live Irish music, Celtic dancers and the celebrated Crescent Beach Pipe Band – as well as a late-night DJ party until 2am.

Ceili's Modern Irish PubPhoto Credit: Ceili’s Modern Irish Pub

Beer-wise, Ceili’s 21 taps will be working overtime on the big day, with Guinness flowing faster than Dublin’s River Liffey during a heavy rainstorm. And alongside its regular menu of pub grub classics – from shepherd’s pie to fish & chips – there will also be enticing Emerald Isle specials including Irish poutine.

But Ceili’s isn’t the only Richmond spot to down some pints, dance a few jigs and imagine that you’re kissing the Blarney Stone this weekend.

Pubs a’plenty

O’Hare’s GastroPub starts its 31st annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration with a Friday night warm-up party followed by Saturday’s main festivities: starting at 11am, it’s a full menu of Irish dancers, an evening DJ and copious amounts of Irish stew, green-dyed beer and a truckload of well-poured Guinness.

And in the heart of Steveston – which has more than a passing resemblance to a bright-painted old Irish village – pub favourite Buck & Ear will be encouraging some twinkle-eyed Celtic carousing with its green beer, $4 Jameson whiskey specials and the chance to win your own “pot of gold” – a $100 gift card.

Brewpubs and Breweries

Like the rest of Metro Vancouver, drinking in Richmond isn’t just about traditional pubs, though. The city has a growing band of cool microbreweries – perfect for discerning ale fans craving a few unique drinks this St. Patrick’s Day.

Monkey 9 Brew Pub will be offering happy hour drink prices all day, along with live music from the Roommates, starting at 7pm. Food-wise, look out for an Irish special: corned beef brisket with butter-braised cabbage and carrots plus roasted red potatoes. Thirsty for a Guinness alternative? Try their tasty Silverback Stout.

Monkey 9 Brewing Co.Photo credit: Monkey 9 Brewing Co.

Popular geek-themed brewery Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – motto: Keeping Beer Weird – isn’t planning anything unusual for St. Patrick’s Day. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t don a green hat and check out their delicious brews on March 17. Start with a Pixel Pils, graduate to a Destiny IPA and then plunge into their rich Bean Me Up Espresso Milk Stout.

Continuing your craft crawl (designated driver required), add the nautical-themed Britannia Brewing Company to your itinerary. The brewery has concocted a special Sea Hound Oatmeal Irish Cream Stout for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day and it pairs perfectly with their hearty beef dip sandwich.

Back at Ceili’s, Reid is looking forward to the pub’s big party on Saturday. “St. Patrick’s Day is all about people from all walks of life and all ages coming together and having some great, unpretentious fun – we love it.”