My grandfather, who was part of the first generation of his Ireland-born family to be born in the United States, once told me that Irish pubs are like beers and whiskeys: "There's lots of them, but not very many of them are worth your time."

And he was a man who would have known about such things. That, and how to place bets with bookies, how to handicap the ponies, where the best all-night card games were...you get the idea. He was wildly fun.

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Shepherd's Pie and a Pint, Getty Images
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Irish kippers and poached eggs, Getty Images
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Traditional Irish Stew with a pint of beer on a table.
Traditional Irish Stew, Getty Images
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In Addition To A Good Drink, The Best Irish Pubs Also Have To Check Some Other Boxes

According to the experts at FoodAndWine.com, in order to be considered a great Irish pub:

  • The beverage selection should be concise ("Guinness, hard cider and Irish whiskey are what you should be choosing from. If you're ordering a martini or an IPA, why are you there in the first place?")
  • The music should be Irish
  • The space should be worn in ("Your Irish pub should look like people have been smoking in it and spilling drinks on the floor for years.")
  • The bar should be lively, but not painfully loud
  • The food should be at least a little Irish
Photo Taken In Canada, Victoria
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It Looks As Though An Irish Pub 83 Miles From Rockford Meets All The Criteria

And that place, named the best Irish pub in Illinois by popular food website EatThis.com, is Chicago's Kerryman Bar and Restaurant, located at 661 North Clark Street.

Kerryman Bar and Restaurant, Facebook
Kerryman Bar and Restaurant, Facebook
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Kerryman Bar and Restaurant, Facebook
Kerryman Bar and Restaurant, Facebook
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Kerryman Bar and Restaurant, Facebook
Kerryman Bar and Restaurant, Facebook
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EatThis.com, in their rundown of the best Irish pubs in every state, has this to say about the Kerryman Bar and Restaurant:

This sprawling space (formerly a punk club) serves elevated takes on Irish favorites like Irish breakfast and beef and Guinness pie. Wash down your shot of Jeppson's Malort, an odd whiskey native to Chicago, with a perfect pour of Guinness.

If you'd rather try your luck over the border and behind the cheddar curtain, EatThis.com says that O'Donoghue's Irish Pub in Elm Grove is the best Irish Pub in the state of Wisconsin.

LOOK: Best Beers From Every State

To find the best beer in each state and Washington D.C., Stacker analyzed January 2020 data from BeerAdvocate, a website that gathers user scores for beer in real-time. BeerAdvocate makes its determinations by compiling consumer ratings for all 50 states and Washington D.C. and applying a weighted rank to each. The weighted rank pulls the beer toward the list's average based on the number of ratings it has and aims to allow lesser-known beers to increase in rank. Only beers with at least 10 rankings to be considered; we took it a step further to only include beers with at least 100 user rankings in our gallery. Keep reading to find out what the best beer is in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.

LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.