Forest Park, Illinois is known well for neighborhood dining, but in the past it was known for its many Irish pubs. In fact, Forest Park has its own St. Patrick’s Day parade which is quite popular. Some of the Irish pubs and as some like to call, the “old-man” bars have closed– but there are still quite a few great Forest Park bars on Madison Street.

With the holidays coming up, what better way to bring in the cheer than by shopping at all the stores and boutiques in town and then capping the day off with some great beer or wine– with your loved ones of course.

Angelo O’Leary’s
7522 Madison St, Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 689-0864

This is the place for pajama karaoke in the area. A fun atmosphere and the staff are some of the friendliest around. Karaoke on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Pool tables and dart boards. Basic Bar food. Changing Beer menu.

Chalk Craft Beer Bar
7414 Madison St, Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 366-3008

Unusual craft beer on tap. First floor has section for live music. Second floor has chalkboard walls so patrons can leave messages for each other on the walls. That is not all, the upstairs is a party room with 28 draft handles. Keep that in mind for any upcoming shenanigans.

Fatduck Tavern and Grill
7218 Madison St, Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 488-1493

The fries are fried in duck fat and oh so good to go along with the beers. Really unusual and varied selection of beers. 23 on tap, 18 bottles and 3 cans. Try the pot roast nachos or the duck confit quesadillas with granny smith apples and pineapple sweet chili sauce.

Healy’s Westside
7321 West Madison Street, Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 366-4277

A long time Irish Bar favorite. Wide variety of beers, 30 on tap, 50 in bottles and 6 in cans. They also have cider on tap. Great food to go along with the beer– they have Cincinnati style chili. The bar is very spacious and is popular to watch sports on Sundays.

House Red Vinoteca
forest park bars wine tasting at House Red Vinoteca
Flickr / Paige Worthy

7403 Madison St, Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 771-7733

This is a welcome and refreshing venue among all the Irish pubs and bars. A rustic wine bar that offers unusual and one of a kind wines. Great place for a date or a quiet night with friends. There are always new wines from different countries to try and you get to sample beforehand. Wines from places you never think of having wine, like Croatia. Food is served in small plate fashion. Again this is a great place to go on a date. Prices are reasonable as well.

O’ Sullivan’s Public House
7244 Madison St, Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 366-6667

This is a nice place to watch sports. There are 15 beers on tap and 50 in bottles– diverse variety. They also have a nice wine list. This place is child friendly, as they have a kid menu and have high chairs for the families with kids that come in during the day.

Old School Tavern and Grill
201 Desplaines Ave, Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 771-3663

This bar is off the main strip of Madison Avenue, so less hustle and bustle. Fantastic beer list which is organized by styles of beer. In addition, a fantastic wine list and the food is extraordinary. They are the only place in the area that has poutine on the menu. Try the cold lamb on rosemary ciabatta bread sandwich. A nice neighborhood bar started out by next door neighbors. How cool is that?

Piggyback Tavern
410 Circle Ave, Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 669-9744

BBQ and Beer, Tacos and Tequila, that is what they serve. Their beer list is great, in that it lists the beer but also gives a description that helps you decide. They have 20 beers on tap, 2 bottles and 23 cans. To go with the fabulous beer, they have hot buttered pretzels and fried green tomatoes for starters. To top it off, they have all kinds of barbecued meats in all forms. Oh, tacos and tequila also. This is a tavern, but their food has received a lot of rave reviews. It was voted one of the best barbecue restaurants in 2013 by Chicago magazine.

Scratch Kitchen and Lounge
7445 Madison St, Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 689-8427

Scratch is equipped with an impressive canned beer list. The beer menu is organized by type of beer, for example: Stouts and Porters, Wheats, Pale Ales, IPAs, etc. Try the Mac and Cheese and also their burgers.

Dale’s Pale Ale Scratch Bar in Forest Park
Flickr / Bernt Rostad

Molly Malone’s Irish Pub
7652 Madison St, Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 366-8073

This was the place to come for Guinness. They had 15 beers on tap and over 50 types of beer by can. Their Irish nachos with pea guacamole and the Baileys Crème Brule was an essential. The place was cozy with a small fireplace and a lot of TVs. Reasonable prices. Irish Dance Lessons were held here once a month.

Notice all of the past tense there? Unfortunately, this staple shut its doors after their Halloween Bash of 2014. However, the doors will reopen soon with the same great Irish flair that we have all come to cherish. Be on the lookout for:

Brian Boru Irish Pub
7652 Madison St, Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 366-8073

An Irish pub owned by a homesick, native Northern Irelander. Don’t expect this place to be another sports bar with an Irish name– expect an authentic public house.


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