The Snug Public House
One day just isn't enough to celebrate St Patrick - the Snug's Irish owners Michael and Kim Lynch are preparing a three-day party starting on Saturday with live bands, Irish fare and back slaps for those in their 100 pint club. The jumbo breakfast roll (served before 3pm), with chunky hand-cut chips, two fried eggs, crispy bacon, Irish pork sausages, black and white pudding and grilled tomato is a fitting start to the festivities. It's called snug for a reason, so get in early.
68 Sydney Road, Brunswick; 9388 8756; thesnugpublichouse.com
The Irish Times
City peeps can start the day with an early morning traditional Irish breakfast with white and black pudding. Just look for the huge Irish flag flapping overhead, or listen for bagpipers walking up and down Little Collins. The usual clientele is a mix of after-workers en route to the train station and sports-mad Irish, here to watch the Setanta channel on the box til 3am. Live music will be on all day upstairs.
427 Little Collins St, city; 9642 1699; theirishtimespub.com.au
Tucked away in Carlton's back streets and surrounded by Melbourne University's ever-expanding campus, The Corkman features historic bluestone foundations and bricks hand-pressed by convicts. A "slow trad session" on St Pat's day is ideal for those learning an instrument and Dublin Coddle (pork sausage, bacon, potato and barley poached in chicken stock) will be at the ready. Student specials are on offer throughout the week and there's dorm accommodation upstairs.
160 Leicester Street, Carlton; 9347 1772; thecorkman.com.au
The Drunken Poet
For the first time in years, the poet is opening for St Pat's Day. It's a small, intimate venue, filled with character and characters. Thanks to clever touches by owner Siobhan Dooley, it is generally regarded as the city's most authentic Irish venue. Choose from a good selection of local craft beers if Guinness is a wee bit heavy. The tiny crowd will undoubtedly huddle and move in unison as the tunes begin to play. Toasted sandwiches, pickled eggs and Taytos (Irish-brand chips) are always on offer for the peckish.
65 Peel Street, West Melbourne; 9348 9797; thedrunkenpoet.com.au
The Wee Chief
Since opening last year, the Chief has become a backpacker and Irish expat favourite, especially for the sports-obsessed; walls are adorned with famous Irish athletes, including a tribute to the great Jimmy Stynes. For the hungry, pull up to the barrel-cum-table and order the "Irish Parma", which resembles the standard parma but is wonderfully doused in McDonnells Curry Sauce. Celebrations with raucous tunes will start on Sunday.
2/12 Fitzroy St, St Kilda; 0403 216 760; theweechief.com.au