• Irene Levy Baker

Safely Celebrating St. Patrick's Day


Photo courtesy of King's Road Brewing Company in Haddonfield.

St. Patrick's Day celebrations will look a little bit different than in past years, but that's no reason to be blue. Here are ways to get your green going in the Philadelphia area -- including places to safely celebrate and where to indulge in St. Patrick's Day food and drinks.


If you want to celebrate Philly-style, make sure to have some Irish potatoes, a local delicacy made of coconut, confectioners' sugar and cinnamon rolled to look like a potato.


For Communities (socially distant)


Over the past year, Haddonfield has excelled at creating fun, safe community celebrations and St. Patrick's Day is no exception. From March 17-21, the neighborhood will host the 1st Annual Paddy Bash featuring specials on Irish products including gifts, books, beverages and food (with in-house and to-go options). Participants, to date, include: Denim BYOB, English Gardener Gift Shop, King’s Road Brewing Company, Mecha Chocolate, Pizza Crime, TAL32 Bespoke Confectionery and

The British Chip Shop. The event is free. No tickets are required, though reservations are required at some restaurants.


On the weekend prior to St. Patrick’s Day, Peddler’s Village in Lahaska will host the 8th annual Shake Your Shamrock 8k, 5k, Little Leprechaun 1/2 mile Kid’s Run and Pot o’ Gold 1-mile walk. The events are limited to 250 people and registration is necessary. To register, visit

https://peddlersvillage.com/event/celebrate-the-green/. Peddler’s Village is also planning a kid-friendly leprechaun hunt with prizes. To register for the village-wide scavenger hunt, check in at the outdoor hospitality booth near the Main Green. On March 13 & 14.


Laurel Hill Cemetery celebrates the "spirit" of St. Patrick's Day with a socially-distant, in-person tour that honors the heritage and accomplishments of its proudest Irish souls. Comes with a special treat from Mueller Chocolate Company. On March 13 at 1 p.m. Tickets needed. Visit the historic cemetery's website for tickets and safety protocol.


For Foodies

Hershel's Deli. Photo by Michael Chaney of Blackwater Promotions.

You'll find one of the city's best - and biggest -- corned beef sandwiches at Hershel's East Side Deli in Reading Terminal Market. The corned beef is piled so high you can barely get your mouth around it and finishing the whole thing may be a challenge.


Create your own St. Patrick's Day feast using a meal kit from Hudson Table in Northern Liberties. The menu includes classic corned beef, Shepherd's Pie, crispy cabbage, cheddar soda bread and chocolate stout cake with Bailey's whipped cream. It comes fully cooked so all you have to do is re-heat it. Pick up is from 3-5 pm on March 17.


You can always count on Scoop DeVille for a creative holiday treat. Check out the main location at 1109 Walnut Street for themed desserts including a homemade St. Patrick’s Day ice cream, the best shamrock shake you’ve ever had and chocolates. Limited availability in its location at the Bourse Food Hall too.

Photo courtesy of Federal Donuts.

Federal Donuts will be making Irish potato donuts. It's a cake donut with cinnamon cream cheese glaze that's sprinkled with coconut and spiced powdered sugar. Order ahead online for pick up or delivery or just stop by. Check the website for hours and locations including a new location on the ground floor of the new Canopy by Hilton at 12th & Ludlow. Note that the Rittenhouse location had to close due to construction on the building.


Get Irish potatoes at Aunt Charlotte’s Candies in Merchantville, NJ, where they’ve been making sweets for more than 100 years. The store, which is run by the 4th generation of the same family, is downstairs and the chocolates are made on the second floor.


For Gift Givers

Photo courtesy of the PA General Store.

Anyone would be lucky to get a St Patty’s Day Chocolate Pretzel Sampler Basket from the Pennsylvania General Store. The 12-inch basket is filled with assorted chocolate- covered pretzels, a sprinkling of green & white dark chocolate mini nonpareils and a milk chocolate shamrock. And this is the place to get Irish Potato candy. Available at Pennsylvania General Stores in Reading Terminal Market, in Elkins Park and online. So delicious looking you might be tempted to get some for yourself too.


Or send someone Irish Potato cookies from Insomnia Cookies. This new flavor -- snickerdoodle with coconut and cream cheese chips -- is a nod to the chain's Philly roots. Insomnia was started by a Penn student in 2003 and is now owned by Krispy Kreme. It has 100 locations in 12 cities.


For Beer Drinkers

Photo courtesy of Flying Fish Brewing.

Watch for Flying Fish Brewing Company’s Irish Potato Candy Stout, an Imperial stout with hints of coconut and cinnamon. The recipe for the seasonal beer calls for fresh toasted coconut and is dangerously drinkable and delicious. It is available at Flying Fish in Somerdale, NJ - indoors, outdoors and for curbside pick up. Or use the beer finder on flyingfish.com/beer-finder to find bars, restaurants and liquor stores that carry the St Patrick's Day brew.


McGillin's Olde Ale House, the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia and one of the oldest in the country, has been celebrating St. Patrick's Day for 161 years. The pandemic-style celebration will look a little different but still be full of green cheer. From now through March 17, stop by for an Irish Potato Martini and other special cocktails, Irish food specials including Shepherd's Pie and some of the city's best corned beef, and authentic Irish Stout. The green beer comes out on St. Patrick's Day when the historic tavern will open at 10 am. First come/first served. No reservations. Tables are available for 90 minutes. No cover. All in a safe, socially distant environment with a socially-distant line. The tavern has indoor seating (at 50% capacity with plexiglass screens) and outdoor seating (with heat lamps).

Photo courtesy of Crossing Vineyards & Winery.

For Vinophiles

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Crossing Vineyards & Winery in Newtown. The Bucks County vineyard will have live music, award-winning wines, and local craft beers on draft and in bottles. On Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14 from 2-6 pm. No cover. No reservations needed. Tables will be offered first come/first served at this event, which will be held indoors, at 50% capacity.


For Virtual Celebrants


The City Winery is live streaming a We Banjo3 (WB3) concert from Pearse Lyons Distilling in Dublin on March 13. It will be the first time all four members of the band have performed together since the start of the pandemic.


The Villanova University Center for Irish Studies and the Villanova University Alumni Association are hosting a virtual St. Patrick's Day celebration on March 17. The celebration will include breakfast in Galway and lunch in Dublin, and culminate with a streamed concert featuring live Irish music by We Banjo 3, The Friel Sisters, and One for the Foxes.

by Irene Levy Baker, author, 100 Things To Do In Philadelphia and Unique Eats & Eateries of Philadelphia. Both books are full of tips. Visit www.100ThingsToDoInPhiladelphia.com for more tips. Planning a staycation? Need gifts? Go to the website for signed copies of books. For free shipping, use promo code TheCityPulse.


Click here for more blog postings by Irene Levy Baker including romantic outdoor sculptures to visit, Museums re-opening protocol and how to help restaurants survive.


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