It's a rare opportunity for Austin: St. Patrick's Day this year falls on the Sunday after South by Southwest has largely wrapped up. So there's no need for us to decide whether we should be drinking Guinness at an Irish pub or catching one more show at our favorite Red River Street music venue.
Instead, all we have to choose is which of the many St. Patrick's Day celebrations around town we want to attend. Here's a look at some of the best options.
St. Patrick's Day Extravaganza at Darcy's Donkey, 1608 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin's newest Irish pub will devote three full days to St. Patrick's Day celebrations. A group of bag pipers kicks off the weekend at happy hour on March 15. The next day begins bright and early with a showing of Six Nations rugby and demonstrations by the Irish Dance Center afterward at noon. And on St. Patrick's Day itself, live music plays all day. There will be a limited menu featuring some of Darcy's most popular items.
Complimentary St. Patrick's Day Chocolate & Beer Tasting at Delysia Chocolatier, 2000 Windy Terrace
Delysia and Uncle Billy's Brewery have teamed up to host a three-day pairing event, March 15-17, with beer and chocolate in celebration of the flavors of popular Irish fare. The featured flavors available for this tasting include Guinness, Irish coffee and Killian's Irish Red. These chocolate truffles will be paired with three Uncle Billy's beers: Shokolad Dark Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout, espresso porter and Barton Springs Pale Ale.
St. Patrick's Day at B.D. Riley's, 1905 Aldrich St. and 204 E. Sixth St.
St. Patrick's Day is the biggest day of the year for Irish pubs, and that's no different for the locally owned B.D. Riley's. The celebration has become a well-oiled machine for the bar, which will have plenty of Guinness pints and fish and chips at both locations. There will be live Irish tunes starting at 10 a.m. at the downtown spot. The Mueller pub gets festivities started a little earlier by screening a soccer match between Liverpool and Fulham.
St. Patrick's Day at the Draught House, 4112 Medical Pkwy.
This longtime Austin brewpub might feel like an authentic Irish pub by the end of the night. The Draught House's celebration will have a bagpipes performance, Guinness glass giveaway, Real Ale's Hans Pils dyed green with all-natural spirulina and the Draught House's own Shamrock Stout on special for $3. Plus, Garbo's is providing the fish and chips.
4th Annual Jack & Ginger's St. Patrick's Day Celebration, 11500 Rock Rose Ave.
One of the largest St. Patrick's Day parties in town is Irish pub Jack & Ginger's takeover of Domain Northside's Rock Rose district. Blocking off Rock Rose from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on March 17, the celebration includes a choice of the bar's 82 beers on tap — as well as green beer, of course. There will also be Irish and American comfort foods available, such as shepherd's pie, and live music playing from two outdoor stages. (Bagpipes? You bet.)
The cost to attend is $10 from 10 a.m. to noon and $20 for the rest of the day. And take note, families: This party is only for people 21 and older.
15th Annual St. Patrick's Day Fest at North by Northwest, 10010 N. Capital of Texas Hwy.
Head to one of Austin's oldest brewpubs for an afternoon of food and drink specials, including the newly released Dry Irish Stout that will be cask-conditioned with Lucky Charms. There will also be Irish car bombs, Irish stew and soda bread, cabbage and corn beef. Fancy yourself a fast eater? Participate in an oyster-eating contest. The festival is $3, with all proceeds benefiting the Austin Humane Society.
Pluck Me, I'm Irish at Pluckers Wing Bar, 300 Mays Crossing Dr.
The Round Rock location of Pluckers hosts a family-friendly celebration with games, live music, $3 green beers and face painting. Pluckers will also offer a special round of the restaurant's scavenger hunt-style game, Pluck Hunt.
St. Patrick's Day at Easy Tiger, 709 E. Sixth St. and 6406 N. Interstate 35
Both locations of the popular beer garden will have special St. Patrick's Day treats, including corned beef and cabbage, the Irish Goodbye cocktail (Jameson Whiskey, Maine Root Ginger Beer, lemon juice and simple syrup) and Real Ale's Green Hans Pils that will come the color of a shamrock. The brewery made it in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
Sláinte! Unofficial SXSW Party: Green Beer for a Cause at Celis Brewery, 10001 Metric Blvd.
The North Austin brewery teams up once again with the Shoal Creek Conservancy for an event that doubles as a SXSW party and a St. Patrick's Day celebration. Celis will have two green-hued beers on tap — the Shamrock Shoal Creek Stout and the Pinch Me I’m Lime Berliner Weisse. The Sunday shindig also offers an outdoor corn hole tournament, live music and special brewery tour benefiting the conservancy.
St. Patrick's Day Party at Pinthouse Pizza, 4729 Burnet Rd.
Enjoy Pinthouse Pizza's gold medal-winning Bearded Seal Dry Irish Stout, as well as the Admiral Imperial Dry Irish Stout, at the flagship location of the brewpub. Plus, the local Silver Thistle Pipes & Drums Band stops by at two different times to perform, first at 5 to 6 p.m. and then again at 9 to 10 p.m. on March 17.