You can never go wrong with an Irish pub. Baltimore
has many Irish pubs within its borders, but this guide takes a look at three: Maggie Moores, The James Joyce
Pub, and Ropewalk. Ropewalk is less of a pub and more of a tavern, but the beer selection is so good that it was included on this list.
21 North Eutaw Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Maggie Moore’s is an authentic Irish pub in the heart of Baltimore’s up-and-coming Westside. It is an old converted bank building that has taken on new life as a pub and restaurant. It is a blast to discover the rooms that have been converted for new use – you can drink in the vault or have dinner on the cozy balcony overlooking the entire first floor. A windy back staircase connects all three floors and gives the place a very intimate feel. There is a good selection of beer on tap, and the food is good. Regular bar food takes on an Irish twist, such as their “Potato Nachos,” which are round disks of potatoes, cooked up golden brown, then covered with all the classic nacho toppings.
Not only is the atmosphere great, but it is directly across the street from the recently renovated Hippodrome theater, making it the perfect spot for a pre-show dinner. The clientele seems to be older, well educated, as sophisticated, many coming from the nearby law, medical, and dental schools, or drawn in by the Hippodrome theatre. This is sure to become a new Baltimore favorite.
The James Joyce Pub
616 S. President Street
Baltimore MD 21202
The James Joyce Pub is one of the coziest restaurants in the new Harbor East development. Everything inside was handcrafted in Ireland, then shipped across the pond to Baltimore, where it was reassembled. The result is a pub that feels authentic, with little touches such as bookshelves and working fireplaces that make you want to come inside on a cold winter day and spend the entire night sitting by the fire and chatting with old friends. Not only did they import all the furniture from Ireland, but they got all the staff from there too! It makes the restaurant even more authentic and appealing. There is a good beer list, and the half price appetizers on Friday make this a great choice for happy hour.
1209 South Charles Street,
Baltimore, MD 21230
While it is not really an Irish pub, Ropewalk Tavern is a unique establishment serving over 155 microbrews and several dozen domestic and imported bottled beers. Chances are if you’re looking for a particular type of beer, Ropewalk will have it. The food is decent (I prefer the other two restaurants), and if you want to eat be sure to get there early because this place becomes packed with young people on Friday and Saturday nights. They have the best beer selection out of the three reviewed here, but the ambiance is less cozy than the other two.