The Celtic Diaspora has brought a unique culture to all four corners of the globe, with pubs being at the hub of activity. Here are three special spots that will make you feel right at home on your travels.
Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec
The historic village of Ste. Anne de Bellevue sits at the very western tip of the island of Montreal. Home to generations of French and English, les deux solitudes leave the language at the door at Cunninghams Pub. A bevy of good Irish beers (Guinness, Harp, Kilkenny, Smithwicks) – by the bottle and on tap – will whet the whistle of both seasoned and starter patrons, as will the fine selection of scotch and whiskey (Bushmills, Tullamore Dew, Glenlivet 12). Foodies will love the Smoked Salmon Platter (with warmed side baguette), the hearty Corned Beef Sandwich, the authentic Guinness Irish Stew and the scrumptious Lamb Shank. Be sure to sample the tender Riblets, the Curry Poutine and the Fried Dill Pickles, and don’t leave without downing the house specialty Iced Irish Coffee. The warm décor opens its arms to small groups of friends, and live music on weekends make this cozy corner a great date night out. Afterwards, take a short stroll along Lac St. Louis on the nearby boardwalk.
U2 Istanbul Irish Pub
Long considered the ‘crossroads of civilization’, Istanbul might be the ideal setting for Irish ex-pats, globe-trotters and locals to meet and share a pint. Despite the unfortunate name, the U2’s well-stocked bar hosts an array of excellent imported and domestic ale (Beamish, Murphy’s, Efes Pilsner), along with an abundance of stronger spirits (Jameson, Red Breast, Powers) – all especially refreshing during the scorching summer months. Sadly, the Guinness doesn’t sit well in the arid climate. Thankfully, the simple and hearty cuisine can handle the heat; the Fish ‘n’ Chips are the best in the region, as are the subtly spiced Shillelaghs, which are peppered with fine seasons and layered with fresh local produce. The in-house fare is a must, particularly the Sadj Kavurma Beef and the Beyti Kebab. The locale’s dark interior is a cool oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the endless traffic, and the big-screen TVs regularly pipe in sporting events from the Emerald Isle. Live music on the weekends is certain to get those dry Irish eyes smiling.
What better reason to beat the blues than a visit to an Irish pub in beautiful, balmy Bermuda? And Flanagan’s is worth the trip folks; draft and bottled beers from across the globe, a selection of whiskies from ‘ye ould country’, Island Cocktails and ‘Frozen Fantasies’ for the beach, and world-renowned Martinis (try the Flanagantini) make for all-day happy hours. Breakfast and lunch menus are diverse – go with the Paddy’s Wedges, Leprechaun’s Purse and Fish Chowder – but the dinner fare is the thing here; the Baked Atlantic Salmon and Lobster are unbeatable, as are the Roasted Rack of Lamb, Beef Tenderloin and Donegal Shepherd’s Pie. For dessert, the pairing of Irish Cream Cheesecake and a ‘Blarney Stone’ (Baileys, Malibu, and milk) makes the perfect eating companions. The main bar offers a large dining area and balcony with breathtaking views of the harbor, while the lower floor hosts a sports bar with 24 big screens. Seriously, this is paradise; you’ll think you had died and gone to heaven.