And the best U.S. city for an Irish pub crawl is ... El Paso?

The American Southwest is a hotbed for high-quality Irish pubs — at least according to an eyebrow-raising new study.

click to enlarge Folks celebrate the Irish at San Antonio's annual St. Patrick's Day River Parade. - Jaime Monzon
Jaime Monzon
Folks celebrate the Irish at San Antonio's annual St. Patrick's Day River Parade.
Folks looking to party on St. Patrick’s Day are in luck if their celebration includes travel plans to West Texas. That's because an eyebrow-raising new study named El Paso as the best U.S. city for an Irish pub crawl.

Yes, you heard that right.

The nation's second-largest majority-Latino city — a place where only 2.6% of residents identify as having Irish ancestry — earned that distinction in a report published by online casino Vegas Gems.

So, what does an online gambling website know about Irish pubs, or El Paso, for that matter?

Well, Vegas Gems collected data from the 40 most-populous U.S. cities and ranked them on the number of Irish pubs in each, the average rating of these pubs, the number of pubs with a 4.5 star or better rating on Google Reviews and the number of Irish pubs with a total of 400 or more reviews. Researchers also calculated the average cost of domestic and imported beers in each metro.

With 57 Irish pubs in its city limits and an average beer price of $3.75, El Paso earned the study's top score of 83.77. Interestingly, other cities in the American Southwest also ended up at the top of the list — the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, Arizona, took the No. 2 spot, while Tucson came in at No. 3.

Meanwhile, heavily Irish Boston — whose NBA team is named the fricken Celtics — came in at No. 6.  Other U.S. cities known for their over-the-top St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, including Chicago and Savannah, Georgia, didn’t even make the list.

Go figure.

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