934 W. Pratt St., (443) 438-3749, patricksofpratt.com
Irish bars have developed something of a bad rap in today’s craft-beer-and-cocktails/faux-rustic/themed-bars-are-lame nightlife scene; they can be stale in their offerings (how many Guinnesses do you really want to down?), attract a fusty clientele, and tend to have too many TVs. But Patrick’s of Pratt Street in Hollins Market, just across from the B&O Railroad Museum, transcends that perception. The owner of what claims to be the nation’s oldest Irish bar is actually named Patrick. He can tell you how the polished wooden bar has been oriented and re-oriented in since Patrick’s opened in 1847 (it’s changed buildings once in that time). There are real Baltimoreans sitting at the bar. And the only sound you’ll hear is conversation, as there is neither a loud TV nor music playing over patrons. Frankly, it can be unsettling at first. But once you’ve been welcomed by Patrick and the rest of the regulars, you’ll settle right in.