It should come as no surprise that St. Patrick’s Day is a pretty big deal around here.
The home of the Fighting Irish offers one of the biggest such celebrations in the region. A weekend full of activities starts with the Paddy Party + Pub Tour on March 13. It continues the next day with the St. Patrick’s Day parade and greening of the East Race Waterway.
RELATED CONTENT: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in The Bend
Heading to The Bend for the festivities makes for a great late weekend getaway. And it wouldn’t be complete without exploring some authentically Irish dining experiences.
Here are a few places to find Irish eats in The Bend.
NOTE: Visit South Bend Mishawaka partners are listed in red.
There’s no more authentic pub environment to be found in The Bend than here. A public house in the true sense of the phrase, Fiddler’s Hearth sits in the heart of downtown South Bend. Its cozy, warm environment will envelope you upon entering, especially during colder months when the fireplace is going. There’s live music most every night.
Now let’s get down to the menu. Fiddler’s is best known for its fish and chips, which comes wrapped in local newsprint. You can also find Celtic staples like bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and, of course, corned beef and cabbage.
What would an Irish meal be without a proper pint? Owner Carol Meehan has been recognized by Guinness as offering a “perfect pour.” There’s a wide selection of Irish whiskeys too.
Kate O’Connor’s Irish Pub
Traditional Irish pub with a small-town vibe? Yep. You’ll find all the menu staples – fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie – at one of New Carlisle’s best restaurants, about 20 minutes from downtown South Bend. If you’re looking to warm up, go for the Irish potato soup. The atmosphere around St. Patrick’s Day is sure to be lively, and if you’re there at the right time you might catch some Irish dancing or bagpipes as entertainment.
Spend some extra time in New Carlisle by exploring a couple area parks — Spicer Lake Nature Preserve and Bendix Woods County Park — or shopping in downtown at The Village Shoppes.
RELATED CONTENT: Small Town Charm in New Carlisle
O’Rourke’s Public House
Get into the Irish spirit at this popular spot across the street from the University of Notre Dame. O’Rourke’s Public House is said to have the largest selection of Irish whiskeys in Indiana. Yes, you can find staples like Jameson and Bushmills, plus a whole lot more.
O’Rourke’s also serves up authentic Irish fare. Start your meal with scotch eggs (a specialty at Fiddler’s, too). Move on to the Guinness beef stew or The Blarney, a sandwich with corned beef and cabbage.
Might be a good idea to walk the meal off by touring Notre Dame’s campus. Its iconic landmarks are always worth a visit.