In Omaha, we don’t need a reason to have fun. But St. Patrick’s Day offers a good excuse for revelry, and we’re all about festive experiences, tasty food, and getting a taste of the luck of the Irish.
First and Foremost: Food and Drink.
Come hungry at a slew of local restaurants serving up Irish classics like bangers and mash, and corned beef and cabbage any time of year. Try a boxty at Brazen Head Pub, where the traditional Irish potato pancake is served in six variations. Each is filled like an omelet with a variety of ingredients. Try the Brian Boru Boxty, filled with an Irish banger (sausage), champ potatoes and cheddar cheese. A Brigade Boxty is stuffed with grilled shrimp, crabmeat, pepper jack cheese, and bell peppers. YUM. St. Patrick’s Day is every month at family-owned Paddy McGown’s, where corned beef and cabbage dinners are served the 17th of every month. While you’re there, try their Irish Nachos–fried cottage chips smothered in melted cheddar cheese topped with bacon, sour cream, Paddy’s seasoning salt, and green onions.
And of course, Omaha is the birthplace of the Reuben sandwich, made of–you know it–corned beef. The classic Reuben begins with rye bread topped with savory corned beef, fresh sauerkraut, bubbly Swiss cheese, and creamy Russian (or Thousand Island) dressing. While corned beef isn’t an Irish original (it was a substitute for bacon for Irish Americans in the late 19th Century), it has since been adopted as an Irish favorite. Try the original Reuben sandwich at Crescent Moon, and find more ideas on ways to experience the Reuben here. P.S. National Reuben Sandwich Day is March 14, but we celebrate the Reuben year-round.
Say “Cheers” at a slew of pubs with Irish vibes and where the Guinness flows. Dubliner Pub in the Old Market brings the Irish fun 365 days a year, including from 6am-2am every St. Patrick’s Day. Every night is Irish Night, with weekly revolving drink specials and live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Annie’s Irish Pub in The Capitol District embraces an open-air concept with plentiful indoor and patio seating, a great spot for watching a sports game on the big screen with your beer, wine or mixed drink; live music and DJ weekly. Meanwhile, Proof Whiskey Bar & Craft Cocktails, home to one of the most beautiful bottle shelf displays in the city, is known to offer 50% whiskey pours from their selection of more than 300 premium whiskeys on Paddy’s Day.
Now, for the Fun.
St. Patrick’s Day fun spans all ages in Omaha. The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade hosted by The Ancient Order of Hibernians is a signature Omaha event. This parade featuring marching bands, drill teams, Irish dancers, and costumed performers loops through the Old Market beginning at 10am. And if you see yourself working off that beer more than drinking it (or even if you like both), there’s the annual Shamrock 5K–one of the most colorful run/walks in Omaha. Kids too can get in on the Paddy’s Day fun at Omaha Children’s Museum with special activities like a Museum-wide scavenger hunt for pots of gold; just don’t forget to wear your green! And it wouldn’t be Paddy’s Day for many without a trip or two to the bar. Every year, Lucky’s Bar Crawl kicks off starting at 4pm in the Old Market. The “create your own adventure”-style crawl includes eight participating bars and restaurants. Admission includes two drinks and access to the afterparty.
More to Celebrate the Occasion.
Show your love for all things Irish with Omaha-made goodies available around the city (and online, if you’re shopping from afar). The Cordial Cherry is a whimsical shop stocked with homemade, hand-decorated chocolate-covered cherry cordials. Their almost too-pretty-to-eat lineup of chocolate art, made of quality ingredients like Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Vermont Butter and Belgian chocolate, includes shamrock-topped Irish Cream Cordial Cherries. Local coffeehouse Hardy Coffee Co., with three locations throughout the city, has themed St. Patrick’s Day sweets available–including impeccably decorated sugar cookies in four designs. Quirky store and Midwest favorite Raygun stocks their Omaha store with apparel, home décor, kitchen items and more–their “O’Maha” t-shirts, buttons, and die-cut stickers are a nod to the Irish. Crafting studio The Makery has several class opportunities for painting a festive door hanger (tip: go for the shamrock).
And there’s more gold to be discovered in the pot at the end of the rainbow. Find more ways to celebrate and enjoy Omaha at VisitOmaha.com.