Five ways to be Irish in Vegas

It’s that time again, when young children’s fancy turns to thoughts of clovers and prizes at the ends of rainbows, and slightly older children’s fancy turns to seeing how much green tinted alcohol they can pour down their gullets before covering the pavement in what we affectionately call an Irish volcano. In Vegas, we’ve always taken partying to its extremes, and this St. Patrick’s Day will be no exception. So if you’re one of those people who throws on some green beads, or takes something off to get green beads thrown at you, we’ve got the Irish eyes for you. And if you’re one of those laid back, reasonable, well-tempered Irish people – you know, the ones who can totally take a joke and are in no way litigious – we’ve got spots for you too. So enjoy our ways to be Irish in Vegas, and remember that this is pretty much how we are all the time – just with less green stuff.

Apparently Rí Rá means some sort of ruckus or commotion – but in a fun Irish bar kind of way. See, we educate and entertain. Photo courtesy of Rí Rá.

Drink whiskey and beer

Yep. We’re starting off the stereotypes strong. All Irish people do is drink whiskey and beer and eat potatoes. And all Americans do is drink whiskey and beer and eat potatoes while putting cheese on top of all of those things then suing the cheese company. But while we wait for the motions to be filed, head to Rí Rá for an outstanding selection of Irish whiskeys – yes, that’s “whiskeys” with an “e” in it. Bushmills, Jameson, Redbreast and much more are available. And be sure to wash them down with pints of Guinness or Harp. There’s much more to being Irish than drinking, but you can just drink until you forget that. Rí Rá will also have Irish dancers, Irish music, Irish food and pretty much all the other things we’re about to list. It’s authentic and an experience any Irish person – real Irish or filled out the fake passport on Rí Rá’s website to enter a contest to win a trip to Ireland Irish – shouldn’t miss.

It's what Dr. Seuss would make if he were drunk. Photo courtesy of Shake Shack.

Eat Irish food

There aren’t a lot of Irish restaurants around. Anyone who’s eaten corned beef and cabbage can probably guess why. We still don’t know how one corns beef. We’re hoping it doesn’t involve the corn hole game with the beanbags. But we’re certain that restaurants in Las Vegas do a better job of representing authentic and delicious Irish food than we do of making fun of an entire culture probably because of our own insecurity or something. Try TAP Sports Bar at MGM Grand for Corned Beef Short Ribs and a Guinness Chocolate Shake. Or head to Raffles Café at Mandalay Bay for Guinness Braised Irish Bangers, complete with a rich pairing of cabbage and leeks. Shake Shack at New York-New York Hotel and Casino will have special, and puntastic, When Irish Fries Are Smiling – crinkle-cut fries topped with horseradish cream, scallions and crispy all-natural applewood smoked bacon. Or if you want to go rogue, and are now seeing why we started this off with a joke about corned beef and cabbage, Rice & Company at Luxor will have the Lucky Roll, intricately filled with crab, shrimp, avocado, asparagus, carrots and lettuce. It’s not exactly Irish, but it’s lucky. And who doesn’t want more luck in Las Vegas?

That's the kind of party we like in Vegas, one that makes no sense and leaves you wondering whether it actually happened. Photo courtesy of The LINQ Promenade.

Listen and dance to Irish music

Here’s where we really get to let the Irish out – and by that we mean get drunk and pretend we know how to Riverdance. The LINQ Promenade, known on St. Patrick’s Day as that space outside O’Sheas where you get thrown after you’ve had too many pints and ask the bartender to shake your shillelagh, will host a massive BLOQ Party that they insist on spelling with a “Q.” Live music will fill the space as a parade of bagpipers, leprechauns, stilt walkers and more dance and perform throughout the outdoor mall. It’s sure to be packed with visitors eager to see the High Roller turn green, but there should be enough room to dance a jig or two whilst making a complete arse of yourself. They’re also giving away a trip to Ireland (you can actually enter now at O’Sheas) and beer trucks and portable bars will be set up throughout the area. Drink, dance, lose your pants – it’s an Irish/Vegas lullaby.

Sin e Ri Ra band at Nine Fine Irishmen – because Rí Rá the restaurant doesn't own ri ra the term. Photo courtesy of New York-New York.

Pretend to be a leprechaun

Yep. We jumped the stereotypes up a few more notches with this one. But honestly, there’s just so much going on at Nine Fine Irishmen over the next week we couldn’t think of anything else to call it. Starting on March 13 and running through St. Patrick’s Day, Celtic Feis is billed as the “biggest celebration of Irish culture on the Las Vegas Strip.” Before you fill your pretty little head with assumptions about drunken, green-clad individuals parading around and excluding gay people, keep in mind this is a culturally appropriate celebration. Live entertainment will spill out of the bar and onto the Brooklyn Bridge in the evenings. And the Las Vegas Pipe Band will lead a parade on St. Patrick’s Day through New York-New York. The parade is for all ages but the beer, cocktail and shot specials are obviously just for adults. We’re not that Irish. You could spend a whole week at Nine Fine Irishmen embracing a heritage that probably isn’t actually yours. Just be sure to pace yourself. And whatever you do, don’t start arguing with an Englishman. Reading an article about Sinn Féin does not make you an expert on foreign affairs.

It's what Dr. Seuss would make if he were stoned. Photo courtesy of Tacos and Tequila.

Do pretty much nothing to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, like actual Irish people

Now we come to the truth. People in Ireland don’t go gaga for this holiday the way we do in America. And a lot of people in America don’t even celebrate the day for anything other than a chance to drink. This is Vegas, we don’t need an excuse to drink. So if you want a break from the crazed, drunken throngs of people with green paint on their faces asking everyone they meet to feel around for their pot of gold, we’ve got plenty of options. La Cave Wine and Food Hideaway at Wynn Las Vegas will offer a traditional Irish dish. Tacos and Tequila at Luxor will have special green quesadillas for everyone who wants a little pico de gallo with their pinches. And Trevi in the Forum Shops at Caesars will offer their delectable Italian food with a slight Irish twist – which of course means using green food. Fettuccine al pesto con gamberi and creamy pistachio gelato will be highlights. Maybe you’re Irish and maybe you’re not. Maybe you like getting wasted in the name of culture and maybe you don’t. Either way, Vegas is a town of fine tastes, finer spirits and the opportunity to let your wild side, and suave side, out for any occasion.


I came from a little town in the Midwest. And believe me, I’m never going back. It’s probably nice if you love grass and snow; but I love the lights, the glamour, and the flocks of tourists seeking fun and fortune. Once the sun goes down, I’ll be the first one out hitting the clubs or just wandering the Strip for a little nighttime adventure. Passing through Bond on my way to Lily Bar, or taking a shortcut through Double Helix before landing at Parasol Up/Down, I’m the one you’ll randomly bump into – only sometimes literally – strolling through Sin City’s liquored veins – and loving every minute of it.