Erin’s Express Bus to Lala-Land

Each month possesses it’s own defining and unmistakable scents. November tantalizes the taste buds with the memory of thick wafts of roasting turkey and crumbly bread stuffing floating through the air only to be joined by the sweet scents of cranberry sauce and candied sweet potatoes. July reminds us of the acrid smoke of cheap bottle rockets contrasted with the mouth-watering smell of sizzling grilled hot dogs topped with ketchup, mustard and relish. To many, March brings to mind the thawing of winter snows and the nascent perfumes of flora and fauna. And to me? March smells like three things: powdered eggs, cheap beer and Irish whiskey.

That’s right! National All-Day Drinking Month continues! For three consecutive Saturdays, the bright future of America dims but a little as 20-somethings across the country take to the bars and to the streets and channel their inner Irishmen. In Philadelphia, Saturday, March 5th brings the annual Erin Express bar crawl throughout Center and University City which attracts thousands of revelers from throughout the region. Villanova drama majors and 58 year-old retired cops alike will be in attendance. “But why not just have it on the second Saturday? March 12th is still before St. Paddy’s Day.” Oh, did I forget to mention? March 5th is just the warmup Erin Express. The REAL Erin Express is tomorrow, March 12th. That’s right, for the Erin Express, March 5th is to March 12th as the NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Final is to the World Cup.

Expect a lot of this.

Needless to say, this type of event is designed for a specific type of person. If you are not a fan of crowded bars and buses, loud music and louder people, omnipotent dirt and trash, the smell of beer and mud or the color green, this is not for you. However, if you are a fun-loving, beer and whiskey-swilling merrymaker such as myself, you will not be disappointed.

March 5th, as you know, was the date of my adventure in Hoboken, New Jersey. Recovery from that day is ongoing, and though my liver tells me not to board the Erin Express, my brain also tells me not to step onto that bus. Thankfully, I have persuasive friends and a weakness for Irish omelettes. See you on the 12th, Erin!


Buses from bar to bar are free between 12:00 – 5:30 and run every 15-20 minutes. There are 13 bars on the route, and if you find yourself lost, just follow the sounds of singing and clinking shot glasses and all will be well.

The Bus should begin to look like this around 3 o'clock.

Smokey Joe’s
40th & Locust
The Blarney Stone
39th & Sansom
39th & Sansom
Drinker’s West
39th & Chestnut
Millcreek Tavern
42nd & Chester
Mace’s Crossing
17th & Cherry
Green Room
19th & Green
Gallagher’s on the Parkway
22nd & Spring Garden
T.A. Flannery’s
21st & Ludlowe
Bonner’s Irish Pub
23rd & Sansom
Callahan’s Grille
26th & South
14th & Callowhill
Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse
18th & Sansom

Link to the event site:
Recommended Drinks


  • Irish Whiskey
    • Jameson
    • Tullamore Dew
    • Powers
    • Bushmills


  • Guinness
  • Harp
  • Black & Tan (Guinness + Harp)
  • Smithwick’s (pronounced Smitticks)

For a true rake of mallow:

  • Irish Omelette
    • Shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey with a raw egg

Don't knock it till you've tried it...

  • Irish “Car-bomb” (note: considered offensive by some native Irish for obvious reasons: the IRA, the Troubles, etc.)
    • Shot of Bailey’s topped off with Jameson Irish Whiskey dropped into a half-pint of Guinness and then chugged
From glen to glen and down the mountainside,
“Buzz”-word of the Day
[heb-i-tood, -tyood] –noun
The state of being dull; lethargy; the absence of mental alertness
“Half of Philadelphia is going to be experiencing some serious hebetube this Sunday morning.”

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