The Reader's guide to getting your green on.
The Reader's guide to getting your green on. Credit: Getty Images/Frank Polich

Saint Patrick’s Day at the Abbey Pub A parade-day bash includes a 9 AM bus ride to and from the site, Irish dancers and bag pipers, and music, with the last set at 11 PM. On the day itself Gaelic football live from Ireland begins at 8 AM, with repeat appearances by Irish dancers and pipers, and more music throughout the day and night. 3/12, 3/17, 3420 W. Grace, 773-463-5808,

Beverly Neighborhood Menu at the Atwood Cafe As part of his “Looping the Neighborhoods” series offering a prix fixe menu inspired by a neighborhood each month, throughout March executive chef Derek Simcik is focusing on Beverly, offering three courses for $40, $55 with wine pairings. Choices are as follows: cruibins (a fried trotter rillette with pickled cauliflower and mushroom compote) or fish-and-chips (cod brandade with a poached quail egg and potato lavash); bangers with root vegetables, potato puffs, and marrow emulsion or trout with mushroom and goat cheese mousse, bacon, and maple emulsion; and chocoate potato cake with creme fraiche gelato and Guinness syrup or cardamom-spiced pudding with burnt orange compote. 8-10 PM through 3/31, 1 W. Washington, 312-368-1900,

Irish Fare at Blokes & Birds Saint Patrick’s Day specials at this Lakeview pub include corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie with Jameson gravy, Irish puddings, and colcannon. Drink specials include pours of Irish whiskeys and Brian Boru Irish ale from Three Floyds Brewery. 3/17, 3343 N. Clark, 773-472-5252,

Irish Fare at Dunlays on Clark In addition to the regular menu, the Lincoln Park bar and restaurant offers corned beef and cabbage, Big Mike’s Irish stew with soda broad, and shepherd’s pie, plus drink specials on Jameson shots, Guinness pints, and Irish Car Bombs (Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey’s Irish Cream). 3/12-3/17, 2600 N. Clark, 773-883-6000, dunlays on

Saint Patrick’s Day at E. Leaven River North deli E. Leaven serves Irish specials that include a corned beef sandwich and Guinness combo and a traditional breakfast of tomato, sausage, beans, corned beef, fried egg, potatoes, and toast. Beer features heavily in two special pastries: a chocolate Guinness cupcake, and a Guinness brownie with peppermint frosting.  3/12-3/19, E. Leaven Food Company, 54 E. Ontario, 312-202-0899,

Saint Patrick’s Day at Emerald Loop The bar will open at 7 AM on parade day, Sat 3/12, and 10 AM on Thu 3/17, offering green beer, Irish dancers, and pipers. There’s a Saint Patrick’s day happy hour with live music and $4 green Miller Lites beginning at 5 PM Fri 3/11.  216 S. Wabash, 312-263-0200,

Saint Patrick’s Day at Fado Doors open at 7:30 AM on parade day, Sat 3/12, and at 9:30 AM on Thu 3/17, with live music throughout both days. 100 W. Grand, 312-836-0066,

Fireworks Navy Pier hosts live Celtic music to accompany the annual ten-minute display. Shoreline Cruises offers rides on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan during the show; information is available at  Sat 3/12, 7 PM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, 312-595-7437,

Free Rides Per tradition, Miller Lite organizes free shuttle service for those who can’t or shouldn’t drive on this notorious day of drink. See online for route maps and schedules (or text “CHIRISH” to 30364); stops include downtown and north-side bars and train stations.  Sat 3/12, 10 AM-6 PM, and Thu 3/17, 2-10 PM, 800-373-3743,

Irish Fare at the Gage The Irishmen in charge of the Gage—chef Dirk Flanigan and owner Billy Lawless—serve a la carte Irish dishes including whiskey-braised pork shoulder with leeks and kale; curried goat loin with rutabaga hash, sultanas, and chutney; rabbit sausage with pork belly, potato, mustard, and cabbage; and toasted oatmeal cake with apple parfait, toffee, and currants. Drink specials include the Michael Collins (whiskey, ginger liqueur, lemon, and soda) and the James Joyce (vodka, Kahlua, Coca-Cola, and Guinness).  3/12-3/17, the Gage, 24 S. Michigan, 312-372-4243,

Saint Patrick’s Day at Kit Kat Supper Club All green martinis are $5, from the Big Apple to mint chip, melon ball, key lime pie martini and lime drop; mojitos and margaritas are also half off. 3/17, 3700 N. Halsted, 773-525-1111,

Launch Party for Chicago’s Historic Irish Pubs Mike Danahey and Allison Hantschel have assembled this new book in Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series. Fri 3/11, 7 PM, Fifth Province Pub, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, 773-282-7035,

Lucky Seven Days of Saint Patrick A series of Saint Paddy’s-themed performances include appearances by local Irish acts Kevin Flynn and the Avondale Ramblers (Wed 3/16, 8 PM, $10) and singer and dancer Kathleen Keane (Fri 3/18, 8 PM, $20). Act One, the restaurant adjoining the theater, also books Irish musical acts and serves pertinent food and drink specials throughout the week.  3/11-3/18, Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse, 773-381-4554,

Irish Buffet at Morton’s As it proceeds nearby, Morton’s offers an indoor respite from the city parade in the form of an all-you-can-eat buffet ($14.99), which features Irish fare like corned beef, cabbage and carrots, red new potatoes, and soda bread. The usual drinks are also on offer: green beer, Guinness, and Jameson.  Sat 3/12, 10:30 AM-3 PM, Morton’s the Steakhouse, 65 E. Wacker Pl., 312-201-0410,

Northwest Side Irish Parade An old Irish stronghold hosts its own Saint Patrick’s Day Parade: this northwest-side version assembles at Onahan Elementary School (6633 W. Raven), heads down Neola, then turns up Northwest Highway to end at Harlem. Pat Quinn and Jan Schakowsky are among the special guests; both the Jesse White Tumblers and their namesake, secretary of state Jesse White, will also attend. Admission to the afterparty, from 1 to 5 PM at the Immaculate Conception Recreation Center, includes a corned beef and cabbage dinner (7211 W. Talcott, $10).  Sun 3/13, noon,

Pond Dyeing The conservatory demonstrates how Chicago dyes its river green, but on a much smaller scale—they do it in a pond in the Fern Room, with remote-controlled boats stirring the dye.  Fri 3/11, 10 AM, Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park, 312-746-5100,

Seventeen Days of Saint Patrick’s at Mrs. Murphy’s & Sons Irish Bistro As part of the restaurant’s celebration, it will offer all-you-can-eat fish-and-chips for $15 on Fri 3/11; open at 10 AM on parade day, 3/12, featuring traditional Irish breakfast, Irish dancers, and pipers; offer a Parade Day Hangover Cure Brunch featuring $5 Guinness Bloody Marys on Sun 3/12; host a free trivia night beginning at 7 PM on Wed 3/16; and open at 11 AM on Thu 3/17. 3904 N. Lincoln, 773-248-3905,

Shame That-rick’s Day Regular Hideout feature Shame That Tune, a live comedy game in which competition is organized by musical genre, devotes itself to Irish and Irish-American rockers tonight. It’s hosted by Abraham Levitan and Reader contributor Brian Costello.  Fri 3/11, 6:30-7:30 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433 or 877-435-9849,, $5.

Shamrocks at She-nannigans Celtic punk band the Tossers perform at an early Saint Paddy’s Day party, where the honor of helping to dye the Chicago River green will be bestowed upon the winner of a drawing (Thu 3/10, 9-11 PM, no cover). On Sat 3/12 a postparade party cosponsored by Miller Lite and WXRT features music by the Ripley’s (1-4 PM, no cover). And at Shamrock Around the Block the party spills over into neighborhood bars Bootleggers, the Original Mother’s, Mother’s Too, and the Lodge; entertainment includes pipers, drummers, and leprechauns on stilts (Thu 3/17, 11 AM-4 AM).  She-Nannigans House of Beer, 16 W. Division, 312-642-2344,

Siamsa na nGael Annual celebration with Celtic music and storytelling. Actor Martin Sheen narrates, and music is by the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Old Saint Patrick’s Concert Choir, Rodrick Dixon, Catherine O’Connell, Michael Boschert, Jimmy Moore, John Williams, Skip Cleavinger, and Kathleen Keene. Stephen Alltop conducts.  Wed 3/16, 7:30 PM, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, 312-294-3000,, $25-$55.

South Side Irish Fest This annual party is a celebration of Irish customs: competitive activities include an Irish soda bread contest, kilt contests, and a contest to “make your canine look as authentically Irish as possible.” Friday night, for people 21 and up, features music by Kevin Flynn and the Avondale Ramblers; family-friendly Saturday features music too, as well as a kids’ Irish parade, an open mike, and crafting.  3/11-3/12: Fri 5-11 PM, Sat noon-11 PM, Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th, 773-445-3838,, $10, $2 for kids 2-12, kids under 2 are free.

Saint Patrick’s Day at the Temple Bar Kerry, Ireland-based Tim Flemming performs on the first night of a series of celebrations in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day (Fri 3/11, 9:30 PM; also Sat 3/12, 2 PM); afterward, highlights include Celtic music by Baale Tinne (Thu 3/17, 8 PM), Irish grub like curry chips and shepherd’s pie, and specials on Guinness.  3/11-3/19, Temple Bar, 3001 N. Ashland, 773-248-0990,

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Chicago’s official festivities begin at 10 AM as city workers dump dye—an “environmentally friendly green,” they say—into the Chicago River at the corner or Michigan and Wacker. The parade starts at Columbus and Balbo at noon, proceeding north to end at Monroe.  Sat 3/12, 10 PM,

Saint Patrick’s Festival The Irish American Heritage Center plans over a week of celebrations in honor of the motherland. Highlights include a kickoff dance, which showcases more than 150 Irish dancers from assorted professional troupes (Fri 3/11, 7 PM, $10); a family-friendly festival following Chicago’s parade, with live music, dance, and food (Sat 3/12, 1 PM-midnight, $12-$15); and a panel discussion on the state of the Irish economy (Sun 3/13, 4 PM, $15). On the holiday itself, an 11:30 AM Catholic mass precedes a daylong party with more dancing, more food, and more music—performers include the Chancey Brothers and the O’Hare School of Irish Dance (Thu 3/17, noon-midnight, $10). Most events are free for kids under 13 who are accompanied by a paying adult; see online for more details.  3/10-3/19, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, 773-282-7035,

Saint Pat’s Fest The musical lineup at this annual party includes Red Pop Fury, the City of Chicago Pipe Band, Sean Cleland and the Cook County Reelers, and Fitz and the Celts.  Sat 3/12, 3-11 PM, Mahoney’s Pub & Grille, 551 N. Ogden, 312-733-2121.

Saint Patrick’s Day at Vie Chef Paul Virant’s Western Springs restaurant serves a four-course Irish prix fixe menu that includes smoked salmon with potato salad, brown bread croutons, and clotted cream; corned beef with smashed potatoes, grilled cabbage, braised carrots, and mustard; an Irish cheddar plate with beer jam and soda bread; and Guinness chocolate stout cake.  Wed-Thu 3/16-3/17, 5-10 PM, Vie, 4471 Lawn, Western Springs, 708-246-2082,, $44, $15 for beer pairings.