Sunday, July 14, 2024

The “Derry Girls” television show inspires a weeklong pop-up of themed food and drink at Noir in Harvard Square. (Photo: Netflix)

This Sunday brings St. Patrick’s Day – once a religious holiday, now a celebration of all things Irish – and St. Patrick’s Day brings special menus and live music to Cambridge and Somerville. Boston was recently ranked No. 1 on a list of the best cities for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations by WalletHub; Census data found that almost 20 percent of Massachusetts residents claim Irish ancestry, which is about double the national average. We can’t give you a pot of gold, but we can give you a collection of ways to celebrate the holiday in Somerville and Cambridge. Sláinte!


Eat out, or get it delivered

If you’re looking to get some Irish-inspired grub, Bambara Kitchen & Bar has a St. Patrick’s Day brunch special. For $20, you can get a corned beef and potato hash with caramelized onions, two poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce for $20. (Bambara recommends a Guinness on the side.) It’s available Sunday, in addition to the regular brunch menu, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Inside the Kimpton Marlowe Hotel, 25 Edwin H. Land Blvd., East Cambridge

If you’re enticed by something a little more casual, Anna’s Taquerias has its legendary St. Patrick’s Day burritos. Served for one day only each year, they contains corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, pinto beans, spicy or regular mustard and cheese, and is available Sunday. The regular Anna’s fillings such as rice and beans, sour cream, guacamole and salsa are available for those looking to tap into Irish-Mexican fusion. Various locations

For those more interested in St. Patrick’s Day at home, Clover offers a themed box for home delivery Saturday, $120 for the two-person option and $200 for the four-person option. It includes a bake-at-home Irish soda bread kit, bangers and mash with caramelized onion gravy, lentil shepherd’s pies with mashed potato topping, and other dishes. You can add an Irish Breakfast Kit – a proper Full Irish breakfast for four (given that Clover is vegetarian) costing $65. Recipes come from the Kendall Square Clover’s general manager, Kevin, an Ireland native. Various locations


Go to dinner (or brunch) and a show

To enjoy a show with your meal, check out the St. Patrick’s Day Variety Show at The Burren. The show has seatings Friday through Sunday, with tickets available as of this writing for the 11 a.m. Saturday seating and four on Sunday: 9 and 11 a.m. and 3 and 7 p.m. The show includes two meal options: corned beef and cabbage, or Guinness beef stew with soda bread, plus shamrock cake for dessert. (There’s a vegetarian option available.) Burren owners Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costello are traditional Irish musicians who will perform alongside guests Robert Elliott, Rose McCarthy, Padder Giles Seamus Noonan and Irish step dancers. Tickets are $30 online and $35 at the door. The Burren, 247 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville

Summer Shack’s weekly drag brunch gets a St. Patrick’s Day spin at 11 a.m. Sunday, hosted by Neon Calypso. Tickets are $20. 149 Alewife Brooke Parkway, Cambridge


Listen to or learn about traditional music

Aeronaut Brewing will have live, Irish music both weekend days: Gwen Johnston & Friends play from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, and Forfocséic with Thom Dunn from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday. 14 Tyler St., near Union Square, Somerville

For Irish education on St. Patrick’s Day, Club Passim hosts a class on Celtic ballads and singing at The Passim School of Music. Taught by singer-songwriter Lindsay Straw, the two-part workshop covers the vocal basics of Celtic arrangements (10:30 a.m.) and the narrative ballads and love songs of Celtic music through the ages (1 p.m.). Each is $40, or it’s $65 for both. Register here. 26 Church St., Harvard Square, Cambridge


Enjoy a brew or a special cocktail

Noir hosts a weeklong pop-up paying homage to “Derry Girls,” the coming-of-age sitcom set in Northern Ireland in the 1990s at the tail end of the Troubles. The idea was born out of a desire to bring cocktails into St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, and “I’m already obsessed with the most popular TV show to ever come out of Northern Ireland,” Noir general manager Augusto Lino said. There are eight aptly named drink specials, including Erin’s Diary (vodka, apricot, Peychaud’s bitters, lemon), English Lad (butter washed gin, blanc vermouth, Havana & Hyde bitters) and the Good Friday Agreement (Irish whiskey, Pimm’s No. 1, Yellow Chartreuse, Punt y Mes), plus One for the Weens (chamomile, green apple, lemon; non-alcoholic). Food specials such as beer and aged cheddar fondue with sourdough bread and corned beef sliders with green cabbage slaw are available. (It’s probably worth noting Northern Ireland belongs technically to the United Kingdom, not Ireland.) Inside the Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St., Harvard Square, Cambridge

Stout Fest at Lamplighter Brewing is at both Cambridge locations (284 Broadway, The Port, and 110 N. First St., North Point) from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Free and open to all, the first-come, first-served celebration includes dark beer flights featuring two Irish stouts (Finnegan’s Wake and Dubliners), green glitter beer and classic half-and-half pours.


Ignore St. Patrick’s Day

Maybe you could care less about St. Patrick’s Day (good luck) and need something to do away from the green. Hit the annual Bow Market Book Fair on Saturday hosted by Tiny Turns Paperie and All She Wrote Books – a daylong event with a children’s’ story hour, a rabbit bookmark making workshop, a literary costume contest, and a cookbook swap. The full list of events can be found here. 1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville