Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Hurling Club's Instagram.

There are 22 million Americans who claim Irish heritage, making them the third-largest ethnic group in the nation. In Pittsburgh, 16.2% identify as Irish American, confirming the city’s strong ties to Ireland. In the month of March, however, even more of us become Irish for a day.    

With all these Irish smiling eyes in the city, it’s no wonder there are numerous ways to honor our connection to Ireland. Beyond the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, these are ways you can tap into your official, (or unofficial) Irish roots through food, drink and fun.    

Sláinte! Irish food and drink 

What’s the craic in Pittsburgh? There are several places to find an entertaining good time that’ll make you feel like you’re sitting at a pub having a pint in Dublin.

Photo courtesy of Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle’s Facebook page.

Known to locals as the “heart of Ireland in the heart of the Strip.” Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle has been pouring pints since 1992. With traditional Irish fare like fish and chips or a shepherd’s pie, this beloved pub never disappoints. Be sure to check the event calendar to find live music nights and dance meet-ups. 2329 Penn Ave., Strip District

Photo courtesy of Riley’s Facebook page.

Often voted as one of the best Irish bars in the burgh, the authentic pub setting at Riley’s Pour House would make anyone smile. Known for its Reuben sandwiches, Riley’s also has traditional dishes on the menu such as colcannon and chicken with coddle. 215 E. Main St., Carnegie 

Sieb’s Pub & Restaurant is the hometown, family-run restaurant and bar that has the feel of going to an alehouse on the Emerald Isle. The homemade Irish stew is a can’t-miss menu item and comes served in a hearty bread bowl. 3382 Babcock Blvd., Ross Township 

With Irish Stouts and Red Ales on draft, Pub in the Park is the place to be for a pint. It offers a full menu of all your favorite bar foods — a standout is the Irish eggrolls — a crispy wonton stuffed with corned beef, sauerkraut, and swiss cheese with a 1000 island dipping sauce. 7034 Blackhawk St., Swissvale 

“Erin go Braugh” (Ireland Forever) in the Burgh 

Outside of great places to eat and drink, you can celebrate Ireland throughout the city. Head to the Carnegie Science Center for “Ireland,” a 2D or 3D experience that lets you visit Ireland without leaving the Burgh. The movie follows four different experiences of finding Irish genealogy and ancestral heritage. 1 Allegheny Ave., North Shore 

The Irish Room inside the Cathedral of Learning. Photo courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh website.

Spend time exploring the Irish Room at the University of Pittsburgh Nationality Rooms. It houses a replica of the Book of Kells and is ornately designed with Celtic stonework. Located on the first and third floors of the Cathedral of Learning, the Nationality Rooms were established in 1926 as a way to commemorate different ethnicities that helped make Pittsburgh the city that it is today. The university also offers the study of the Irish language at its language center. P.S.: Yinzer Backstage Pass explored the local landmark and you can go behind the scenes with them for a video tour. 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland 

The Irish Centre of Pittsburgh has provided community, cultural and educational exchange through activities centered around all things Ireland since 1966. The center has a variety of events and social activities, from traditional Irish music sessions to language learning and history classes. 6886 Forward Ave., Squirrel Hill    

Lace up your jig shoes, the Ceili Club is Pittsburgh’s answer to celebrating Irish music and dance. The group meets on Tuesday evenings at Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle for dance sessions. Be sure to follow along on social media to find upcoming events and chances to join in!  

Photo courtesy of St. Patrick Church’s website.

Looking to see the Blarney Stone without heading to County Cork? A piece of the famed rock is rumored to be wedged somewhere in the tower of St. Patrick Church. The first Catholic church established in Pittsburgh, St. Patrick was founded in 1808. Aside from a sliver of stone from Blarney Castle, the church is known as well for its “scala sancta” or holy stairs, which are a 28-step replica of those at the Vatican. 1711 Liberty Ave., Strip District    

What at first glance feels like a mix of rugby and soccer, Gaelic football is played right here in the city, with the Pittsburgh Gaelic Athletic Association. PGAA offers the chance for men, women and youth to participate in a field sport that is centuries old. If you can’t participate with the midwestern and national championship-winning team, keep an eye on the 2023 schedule as a spectator.   

Photo courtesy of Canva Pro Images.

Another national champion, Pittsburgh’s Hurling Club is keeping the ancient Gaelic sport alive. With similarities between lacrosse and field hockey, hurling is a stick and ball field game that dates back to the 13th century. The team is known as the Pittsburgh Pucas, which harkens back to Irish folklore, as a creature that often appears as a black horse and determines the fate of whomever it meets. Beginners are encouraged to sign up and learn more about the sport. 

Mark your calendars for fall, when in September all Irish-loving Pittsburghers come out to celebrate at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival. Since 1991, the Pittsburgh Irish Festival has hosted a multi-day event aimed at celebrating the rich Irish history of our region through music, dance, food and drink. It’s a “halfway to St Patrick’s Day” bash for both Irish Americans and individuals who just would like to be Irish for a day. 801 Carrie Furnace Blvd., Rankin   

Thirsty for more? Read 5 Pittsburgh bars pouring Guinness the right way.