Real-deal dishes inspired by the Emerald Isle
written by Julie Lee | featured photo by Alan Sheffield
Imitation is flattery, and there are plenty of re-imagined pubs that coin themselves “Irish” but actually serve American fare. Then there are actual Irish restaurants: authentic joints serving real-deal dishes inspired by the Emerald Isle. Let’s raise a pint to some favorites around the state. Sláinte!
Sisters Irish Bistro
It starts with great grandparents hailing from Bantry Bay County Cork, Ireland; Judith Moss had been cooking traditional Irish dishes since she was 12 years old, passing her grandparents’ recipes and traditions down the family line to her daughter and son-in-law. The family now runs Sisters Irish Bistro in the basement of the Reed Opera House in Salem. Sausage rolls with homemade dough, house gravy and imported Irish sausage gravy? Check. Corned beef and cabbage? Check. Bangers and mash? You bet. This is a family-run, family style restaurant, where “customers are family,” says owner Tena Khonizy.
189 Liberty St. NE Ste. B9 | Salem | facebook.com/sistersirishbistro
Nana’s Irish Pub
When the owner’s name is O’Brien, you know you’ve hit a pot of gold in search of a genuine Irish landing spot. Irish heritage and Oregon coast collide at Nana’s Irish Pub in Newport. Here, terrific beer-battered fish n’ chips marries locally-caught seafood with a traditional Irish preparation. Nana’s pies are menu stars—chicken pot pie, steak and Guinness pie, shepherd’s pie—each served with Irish soda bread, airlifting you to Ireland and back. Scotch eggs, wrapped in Irish-style sausage and served with stone ground mustard, are a stellar starter.
613 NW 3rd St. | Newport | nanasirishpub.com
The Pint Pot Public House
Where to have a bona fide St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Eugene? One place: The Pint Pot Public House. This family-friendly joint is small in size and big on veritable Irish dishes like Colcannon and sausage samplers, as well as hearty Irish breakfasts. Appealing to a large sized Irish heritage in Eugene, this tiny gem welcomes patrons with comfy furniture, more than fifty varieties of whiskey to sip on and silver mugs hanging from the ceiling, engraved with the names of regulars who receive free first fills for an annual fee.
195 E. 17th Ave. | Eugene | facebook.com/ThePintPotPublicHouse
There is a little piece of Ireland to be had in Portland. Fáilte to T.C. O’Leary’s. Modeled after community pubs found all over Ireland, T.C. O’Leary’s pairs Irish classics with the best of the Northwest, such as Painted Hills grass-fed beef and house-made sausages, for a locally-sourced yet genuine menu of Irish favorites. The headliners here are the Irish blaas—doughy rolls that are soft on the inside and crusty on the outside, filled with a variety of meats and veggies.
2926 NE Alberta | Portland | tcolearys.com
Maher’s Irish Brew Pub
A welcoming community gathering spot is found at Maher’s Irish Brew Pub in Lake Oswego. Known equally for food and fun, with traditional Irish music jams, open mic nights and local performers taking the stage, this is the place to enjoy traditional dishes such as shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash and corned beef & cabbage. Wash it down with a Dancing Leprechaun—made with Paddy whiskey, fresh muddled lemon and ginger ale—before doing a little Irish jig under the stars.
352 B Ave. | Lake Oswego | maherspub.com