We take pride in our collective Chicago heritage, claiming friendship with numerous traditional cultures. This weekend, we’ll be celebrating the match made in heaven that is Chicago and Ireland.
Important note: You don’t have to drink to have a kick-ass St. Pat’s. Spend your Saturday with some friends and hit up a few places on your Chicago checklist. The river will be dyed green at 9 AM by the Chicago Plumber’s Union, and if you make it to the Michigan Avenue Bridge, you’ll have the best view in the city. Our city is bursting with darling pubs and cafes inspired by the Emerald Isle; try some tea with bacon, sausages, and eggs (the quintessential Irish breakfast), or indulge in some corned beef at your local Irish-flag-sporting deli. Try Irish stews with a dessert of bread pudding at a number of excellent restaurants; The Kerryman Pub and the Pleasant House Bakery aren’t too far from the loop, but if you’re feeling extra adventurous, The Globe Pub and The Galway Arms are well worth the trip. Just don’t forget to head to Buckingham Fountain to watch the parade kick off at noon!
Beverly and Bridgeport are strongholds of first and second generation Irish culture, and residents are eager to share it with you! Pay these delightful neighborhoods a visit and see the living proof that Ireland’s traditions are magnificent enough to resonate across oceans, countries, and generations.
Irish/Chicago/Irish Chicago notes:
Though the Irish population in Chicago has declined in the last twenty years, it still outranks our impressive German and Polish demographics by sheer number.
Coddle is a type of Irish stew, usually cooked to use up leftover vegetables and meat. It’s absolutely delicious, served at most pubs, and as the recipe is quite lenient, easy to make yourself!
Slaintè (Sl-ahn-cha) means “health” in Gaelic/Irish, and is said when cheers-ing drinks. To health!
The chemical content of the powdered material used to dye the river is traditionally kept secret (which, considering the potential for environmental damage, is slightly sinister), but we do know it’s vegetable-based, supposedly perfectly bio-degradable, and is actually orange until it comes into contact with water! Whatever it is, we use 25 pounds of it to dye the river!
Since he’s been in office, President Obama (a Chicago native) has dyed the White House front lawn fountain green on every St. Patrick’s Day.
We have an Irish American Heritage Center! It’s at 4626 N. Knox Ave, check it out!