Dogtown: Where to Eat and Drink In St. Louis' Hibernian Hot Spot
The ultimate Irish pub. | Sarah Rusnak
Dogtown fully embraces its Irish identity as evidenced by the Ancient Order of Hibernians' St. Patrick's Day Parade where attendees hold nothing back, imbibing from sunup to sundown in celebration of St. Patrick and shamrocks. During the rest of the year, though, Dogtown is home to a solid core of neighborhood bars and restaurants. Of course, you'll find a few Irish pubs, but there's also a one-of-a-kind karaoke bar and a bakery specializing in wedding cakes. So don't wait around till March 17 -- there's more to Dogtown than just Guinness and Irish whiskey (though there is plenty of that, too).
Pat's Bar and Grill
(6400 Oakland Avenue; 314-647-6553)
If there is one place that encapsulates Dogtown, it's Pat's Bar and Grill. Opened in 1942 by Pat Connolly, then a recent immigrant from County Galway, Ireland, the eponymous pub is covered in green, white and orange. Over the decades, the venerable bar and grill has mastered the classic Irish pub formula: a down-to-earth atmosphere, friendly service and a solid menu, which includes not only a number of traditional Irish meat-and-potatoes entrees but also a smorgasbord of deep-fried fare. The chicken wings are some of the best in St. Louis, and they obviously need to be washed down with a cold Guinness.
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This Dogtown café offers a straightforward menu of soups, salads and sandwiches, but it's the attention to detail that will bring you back for more. Prime example: Nora's smokes many of its meats in-house, which makes a noticeable difference -- like pork loin smoked and served with bacon, Brie, onion and applesauce. Other sandwiches include a Reuben and the "Hangover Club": smoked turkey, Genoa salami, provolone, bacon and mustard. Vegetarians can enjoy a veggie melt or the portobello Philly, while cold sandwiches include a nod to the neighborhood in the "Dogtown Sub," made with roast beef, ham, smoked turkey, provolone, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.