Eat THIS on St. Patrick’s Day

By: Karen Dybis | March 16, 2022

Irish foods can be found on the menus of many Metro Detroit restaurants for good reason–the dishes that started in Ireland and were imported to the United States (and Detroit specifically) are flavorful, rich and full of amazing vegetables that will fill you up, whether you are Irish all the time or for just one day a year. 

With traditional Irish food, you can pick up a main protein like corned beef or a Guinness Irish stew with beef. You can also try lamb or corned beef, either in a stew, Shephard’s pie or sandwich. Add some cabbage, some potato soup and some Irish soda bread, and you have a meal fit for a king. If you’re feeling adventuresome, try some cured salmon or some black pudding as well. 

As for the desserts, there are lots of potential goodies to add to your sampling menu. Pick up some Irish apple cake, a brioche bread pudding with bourbon-butterscotch sauce or soda bread. There are lots of ways to bring some sweetness into your celebrations. 

Drinks are an easy one. There’s Irish Coffee, whiskeys or any one of many Irish beers to try. The classic is Guinness, but you can also try an Irish cider or Bailey’s if you want something lighter during the festivities.

Here are some classic Irish meals and where to find them in Metro Detroit.


Irish Lamb Shank Stew

You know beef stew, but do you know the glory of lamb shank stew? Head to O’Callaghan’s in Plymouth for an Irish tradition that you should make your own. This stew features slow-braised lamb, carrots, parsnips, celery, onions and a red wine-herb demi-glace, served with Yukon mashed potatoes. You also should try the corned beef and cabbage or the pub breakfast. 

Shepherd’s Pie

Head over to McShane’s Pub for its classic Shepherd’s pie. This traditional Irish casserole is comprised of stewed seasoned ground beef, peas, carrots and onions in a rich brown gravy smothered with a sharp cheddar jack blend over white cheddar mashed potatoes. They also serve it with sweet honey cornbread.

Corned Beef Sandwich

A deli is a perfect place to enjoy a stacked corned beef sandwich, and one well-loved place for this classic is at any of the Bread Basket Deli locations around Metro Detroit. At the Bread Basket, the corned beef is cooked fresh every three hours, pickled specifically for the restaurants by United Meat & Deli in Detroit. Its bread is the perfect freshly baked loaf, so you cannot miss this stacked sandwich selection. 

Reuben Sandwich

If you want to try this classic corned beef sandwich in a great venue, check out the offering at Grand Trunk Pub. Its Grand Trunk Pub Reuben features Wigley’s Corned Beef, New Holland Brewing Co. Poet Stout Kraut, Swiss cheese, Russian (thousand island) dressing and Avalon Dexter rye bread. It also carries Reuben Rolls, which are eggrolls filled with that same recipe and served with duck sauce. 

Fish & Chips

This classic seafood combination has been a favorite in Detroit for more than a century. Try the dish at the Old Shillelagh, where the fish is provided by the Detroit Seafood Co. and is a rotation of cod, haddock or pollack. It also comes with the freshest of French fries and has a generous portion of tartar sauce to smother the battered fish in a celebration of tradition.