A lot of people in Sacramento don’t really know where to go for a good pub experience. Here are a few you’re sure to love in and around the city. From a dive to a wood-clad hot spot, they all have that great old-fashioned pub feel to them. These places are great whether you go to watch a game with some buddies or to live it up on a Friday night.
Bonn Lair
3651 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 455-7155
www.bonnlair.com

Bonn Lair is a midtown staple. Its beer selection is great with 17 beers on tap and 30 more in bottles. There are always two taps devoted to Belgian beers and there’s a gluten-free beer. Bonn Lair has been around for as long as most people in Sacramento can remember. It just celebrated its 21-year anniversary in January. Enjoy great pub fare including chips with beans and cheese. French fries covered with beans and melted cheese may sound weird, but don’t knock it til you try it. Sunday nights at 8:30 is trivia night so get there early to set up camp. Bonn Lair regularly puts on special events like a pirate party, a rib cook off and Oktoberfest in the last year alone.

The Blarney Stone Irish Pub
8906 Greenback Lane
Orangevale, CA 95662
(916) 988-0985
www.theblarneystoneirishpub.com

The Blarney Stone has a lot going on every week. “Get lucky Tuesdays” include $3 you call its and no cover charge. Throw Back Thursday features karaoke at 9 p.m. with $3 Smirnoff and $5 vodka Red Bulls. Every Saturday you can catch live music and enjoy $5 Jager bombs and $7 Killians red pitchers. On Monday you can play pool for free and get $2 High Life pints and Jack for only $4. Friday and Saturday nights the kitchen is open until midnight. The Blarney Stone also has something that nobody else has: “Top o’ the mourning Happy Hour” from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday with $2.75 wells and drafts.

Boxing Donkey Irish Pub & Restaurant
300 Lincoln Street
Roseville, CA 95678
(916) 797-3665
www.theboxingdonkey.com

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. This is one of those times. When you approach the Donkey, you just know you’re about to enter a good old-fashioned pub. This place has been in business for over six years and has developed a great following. Boxing Donkey regularly runs specials like the “Weekend Chef Special” with things like the 5-way bacon burger: a half pound hand-pressed Angus beef burger fried in bacon fat. Something else to die for on the menu is the homemade crispy buffalo chicken mac and cheese with bacon and blue cheese crumbles. Enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday night at 9 p.m.

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de Vere’s Irish Pub
1521 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 231-9947
www.deverespub.com

deVere’s is probably the most popular pub in Sacramento. It is usually packed no matter what time or what day it is. Its regular happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. and all day Sunday. Happy hour includes $4 pints, $4 well drinks and all draft beer is only $12 a pitcher. deVere’s has a crowd that really shows its colors when it comes to soccer. You can watch some of the most popular games shown on the many flat screens there. February is melt month so there will be a different grilled cheese sandwich released each week this month. Delicious!

O’Mally’s Irish Pub
1109 2nd Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 492-1230

O’Mally’s Has been in Old Sacramento for almost two decades. This bar has a lot of “regulars,” but that’s not to say you’ll feel uncomfortable if it’s your first time there. It features 13 beers on tap, including three on nitrous. There is room for about a dozen people at the bar, and a few tables if you want to sit down. There are three flat-screen TVs, a pool table, a couple arcade games and a virtual game at the bar. The staff is very accommodating but also what you’d expect from a dive bar. Drink specials occur regularly, especially when there is a big time event in Old Sacramento.

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As a hospitality professional Andy Soto has worked every facet of the industry. He currently leads the team at Spectrum Restaurant Consulting. He started writing a hospitality blog in 2009 and restaurant writing for Sacramento Press in 2010. In 2011 Andy became a Sacramento Restaurant Examiner for Examiner.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.