We know. On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish. But what about the rest of the year? Where can you most easily find a pint o’ Guinness 24/7?
It’s interesting to note that those who claim Irish descent in the U.S. number about 34 million. That’s five times larger than the entire population of Ireland, which is just under 5 million people.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that you’ll find the largest concentration of those with Irish heritage in the Northeastern part of the U.S. You probably will be surprised to find out, however, that Boston is not on the list of the top five most Irish cities in the U.S. It’s not even in the top 10! (But two neighboring cities are.)
Finding the Most Irish Cities in the U.S.
How were the most Irish cities in the U.S. determined? ApartmentGuide.com examined the percentage of residents claiming Irish ancestry in thousands of American cities. Their experts also looked at the number of Irish-related businesses, goods, pubs and restaurants per 100,000 people.
Without any further Blarney, here are the
5 Most Irish Cities in the U.S.
5 (tie) Bloomington, IL
- Percentage of Irish population: 17.55%
- Irish businesses per 100k people: 5.17
Bloomington preserves its Irish culture through its Irish Heritage Society. The community program highlights Irish culture and programs geared to education.
For Irish cuisine and a cold beverage, Bloomington residents frequent Maggie’s Miley’s Irish Pub. It’s a hotspot where you can always find an incredible Irish atmosphere and exciting football matches.
In preparation for St. Patrick’s Day, the town holds the Spring Bloom Arts Festival, which showcases fine arts and crafts, paintings, jewelry and live music from 70 exhibitors.
Residents can also roll into Saint Patty’s Skate at the Pepsi Ice Center. Skaters can listen to Irish songs, savor specialty treats and participate in a best-dressed leprechaun contest.
Since no St. Patrick’s Day would be complete without a parade. Bloomington’s annual festivity is called Sharin’ of the Green St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
5 (tied) Erie, PA
- Percentage of Irish population: 13.00%
- Irish businesses per 100k people: 7.33
Irish immigrants first arrived in Erie poor but hopeful. These settlers rose up to become political leaders, business owners, educators and service workers. Folks in Erie remember and preserve stories from the early settlement in the area — especially on St. Patrick’s Day.
Residents celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Erie Irish Festival. The celebration offers Irish brews and coffees, clothing and their infamous Irish harp battered fish.
In downtown Erie, Molly Brannigan’s is the Irish go-to. Patrons delight in scrumptious food, drink and legendary Erie-Irish tradition.
4. Quincy, MA
- Percentage of Irish population: 23.38%
- Irish businesses per 100k people: 5.29
The concentration of Irish-Americans is high in Quincy, a town located just south of Boston. Massachusetts changed drastically in the 19th century due to the influx of Irish immigrants, hired as workers and servants.
Quincy honors its community of Irish descendants through the Irish Cultural Centre of New England. Learn about Irish literature, hear traditional music and dance and explore the ancient Celtic language.
For food and drink, Malachy’s Saloon is a favorite spot.
3. Ames, IA
- Percentage of Irish population: 13.86%
- Irish businesses per 100k people: 9.06
Ames has a small-town charm and plenty of Irish festivities and culture. Check out Ames’ cultural Irish dance center and the town’s yearly Irish Fest. The festival takes place each August in the Lincoln Park area of downtown Waterloo.
A popular gathering spot is Dublin Bay, arguably one of the best restaurants in the area and a hidden gem. Located in an unassuming building, the welcoming pub has a robust menu. They serve Guinness battered onion rings, shepherd’s pie and soda bread.
2. Albany, NY
- Percentage of Irish population: 16.42%
- Irish businesses per 100k people: 9.33
Experience Irish culture at its finest in Albany. Irish immigrants first arrived here all the way back in the 1640s.
The town has its own Irish American Heritage Museum. The institution preserves the stories of the Irish people assimilating into American culture. The museum is a hub for year-round lectures, film screenings, book signings and more.
In addition, Albany hosts the Great American Irish Festival that takes place each September. It features live music, bagpipe bands, food and vendors.
1. Warwick, RI
- Percentage of Irish population: 26.58%
- Irish businesses per 100k people: 7.41
Surprise, the most Irish city in the U.S. isn’t Boston. It’s not even in the state of Massachusetts. Instead, the most Irish city in the U.S. is Warwick. This Rhode Island city also has the highest percentage of Irish residents out of all the places on our list.
Residents of any background enjoy a small taste of Ireland at County Cork Irish Pub, which overlooks the heart of Warwick Cove.
And maybe it’s just us, but there seems to be quite a bit of the wearing of the green in this quaint New English town.
In case you’re wondering which cities made the Top 10 List of Most Irish Cities in the U.S., take a look below: