It should come as no surprise that St. Patrick’s Day is a pretty big deal around here.

The home of the Fighting Irish typically offers one of the biggest such celebrations in the region. St. Patrick's Day isn't going to look quite the same this year with coronavirus precautions in mind. But you can still ring in the holiday with some authentic Irish fare. Here are the best places in The Bend to do just that.

Fiddler's Hearth

There’s no more authentic pub environment to be found in The Bend than here. A public house in the true sense of the phrase, Fiddler’s Hearth sits in the heart of downtown South Bend. Its cozy, warm environment will envelope you upon entering, especially during colder months when the fireplace is going.

Fiddler’s is best known for its fish and chips, which comes wrapped in local newsprint. You can also find Celtic staples like bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and, of course, corned beef and cabbage.

What would an Irish meal be without a proper pint? Owner Carol Meehan has been recognized by Guinness as offering a “perfect pour.” There’s a wide selection of Irish whiskeys too.  

Kate O'Connor's Irish Pub

Traditional Irish pub with a small-town vibe? Yep. You’ll find all the menu staples – fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie – about 20 minutes from downtown South Bend at one of New Carlisle’s best restaurants. If you’re looking to warm up, go for the Irish potato soup.

Spend some extra time in New Carlisle by exploring a couple area parks, Spicer Lake Nature Preserve and Bendix Woods County Park, or shopping in downtown at The Village Shoppes or Feeney's.

RELATED CONTENT: Small Town Charm in New Carlisle

O'Rourke's Public House

Get into the Irish spirit at this popular spot across the street from the University of Notre Dame. O’Rourke’s Public House is said to have the largest selection of Irish whiskeys in Indiana. Yes, you can find traditional favorites like Jameson and Bushmills, plus a whole lot more.

O’Rourke’s also serves up authentic Irish fare. Start your meal with scotch eggs (a specialty at Fiddler’s, too). Move on to the Guinness beef stew or The Blarney, a sandwich with corned beef and cabbage.

Might be a good idea to walk the meal off by touring Notre Dame’s campus. Its iconic landmarks are always worth a visit.