There's no shortage of Irish pubs in Toronto, lots of them with live entertainment. Come St. Patrick's Day, though, they're all a bit Irish, especially if it draws drinkers through the doors.
Those up for a bit of Guinness and good times Monday are spoiled for choices. Here are some of the top downtown draws offering stout and stomping Celtic tunes. Arrive early and stay late.
DORA KEOGH 141 Danforth, 416-778-1804
Guinness: Black gold. The best in the city.
Atmosphere: Squirrel yourself into the snug for the authentic pub experience.
Music: Players bring their own instruments and set up in the corners. Acoustic only, so listen up.
I's The By?: Not bloody likely.
FIONN MacCOOL'S 70 the Esplanade, 416-362-2495
Guinness: Worth the wait.
Atmosphere: What's the Gaelic word for barn?
Music: Loud, meaning conversation, at least in the main room, is a challenge.
I's The By?: Once more with feeling.
JAMES JOYCE 386 Bloor West, 416-324-9400
Guinness: Beware the green beer.
Atmosphere: Student central.
I's The By?: Aye.
McVEIGH'S 124 Church, 416-364-9698
Guinness: Smooth as silk.
Atmosphere: Rough and rugged.
Music: Traditional sing-alongs occasionally led by members of the Irish Rovers, with audience members invited onstage to croon along.
I's The By?: More of a Danny Boy kind of place.