A Toast to Tradition: Exploring Downey’s Irish Pub and Mexican Restaurants in McAllen, TX

Estimated read time 10 min read

In the heart of McAllen, Texas, a city known for its vibrant culinary scene, Downey’s Irish Pub stands out as a beacon of traditional Irish charm. This local favorite is not just a pub; it’s a cultural experience that blends the warmth of Irish hospitality with the rich flavors of McAllen’s Mexican cuisine. In this article, we’ll dive into what makes Downey’s Irish Pub and the surrounding Mexican restaurants in McAllen, TX, such must-visit destinations for foodies and pub enthusiasts alike.

The Ambiance

Downey's Irish Pub

Downey’s Irish Pub offers a unique and captivating ambiance that seamlessly blends cozy comfort with lively energy. In this article, we will explore the elements that make the atmosphere at Downey’s truly special.

Cozy and Inviting Interior

As you step into Downey’s Irish Pub, you’ll immediately notice the warm and welcoming interior that embraces you like an old friend. The ambiance is carefully crafted to evoke feelings of coziness and familiarity. Here are some key features of the pub’s interior:

  • Classic Irish Memorabilia: The walls of Downey’s are adorned with classic Irish memorabilia, creating a visual tapestry of Irish culture and heritage. From vintage posters to shamrock-themed decor, these elements transport you to the heart of Ireland.
  • Wooden Furnishings: The use of wooden furnishings, from the tables and chairs to the bar itself, adds to the rustic charm of the pub. The rich, earthy tones of wood create a sense of warmth and comfort.
  • Soft Lighting: Downey’s opts for soft, ambient lighting that enhances the cozy atmosphere. It allows for intimate conversations while still providing enough illumination to enjoy your meal and surroundings.

Lively and Engaging Vibe

While Downey’s Irish Pub excels in creating a cozy and nostalgic ambiance, it also exudes a vibrant and lively energy that keeps patrons coming back. Here’s what makes the atmosphere lively and engaging:

  • Traditional Irish Music: The sound of traditional Irish music fills the air, adding an authentic touch to the experience. Live music performances or carefully curated playlists contribute to the lively vibe.
  • Friendly Patrons: The pub’s reputation for being a welcoming and friendly establishment means you’ll often find happy patrons engaged in conversations and laughter. It’s an environment where strangers can become friends over a pint of Guinness.
  • Texan Flair: Downey’s Irish Pub seamlessly combines Irish tradition with Texan flair. This unique fusion results in an ambiance that is both culturally rich and regionally distinct. You may find Texan-style comfort food on the menu, which complements the Irish offerings.

The Menu

Downey’s Irish Pub boasts a menu that is as diverse as it is delicious. Here are some of the highlights:

Shepherd’s Pie

Dive into the heartiness of this classic dish featuring ground lamb, a medley of vegetables, and a rich, flavorful gravy, all luxuriously topped with a generous layer of creamy mashed potatoes.

Ground LambMinced lamb, tender and lean
VegetablesA mix of carrots, peas, and corn
GravyA savory, meaty sauce
Mashed PotatoesCreamy and buttery

Irish Stew

Experience true comfort with a steaming bowl of tender beef, carrots, and potatoes, all simmered to perfection in a savory broth that warms the soul.

BeefQuality, tender cuts
CarrotsSliced for sweetness
PotatoesChunky and satisfying
Savory BrothSeasoned to perfection

Bangers and Mash

A quintessential Irish favorite, Bangers and Mash consists of succulent sausages served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and savory onion gravy.

SausagesJuicy and flavorful
Mashed PotatoesCreamy and buttery
Onion GravyRich and savory

Irish Tacos

Prepare your taste buds for a fusion of Irish and Mexican flavors, as Irish Tacos showcase slow-cooked corned beef, cabbage, and a spicy salsa, offering a unique twist to the traditional taco.

Slow-Cooked Corned BeefTender and flavorful
CabbageCrispy and slightly tangy
Spicy SalsaA zesty combination of ingredients

Guinness Quesadillas

Delight in the mouthwatering fusion of creamy melted cheese and Guinness-braised beef, expertly paired with pico de gallo, delivering an explosion of flavors in every bite.

Melted CheeseRich and gooey
Guinness-Braised BeefCooked to perfection
Pico de GalloA fresh salsa with a kick

The Drinks


At Downey’s Irish Pub, we take our beverages seriously, and no Irish pub experience is complete without a carefully curated selection of drinks. Whether you’re a fan of classic Irish stouts and ales or want to explore local Mexican flavors, we have something to quench your thirst and elevate your pub experience.


We pride ourselves on offering a diverse range of beers, catering to various tastes and preferences. Our beer selection includes:

Irish Beers:

  • Guinness: A legendary Irish stout known for its rich, velvety texture and iconic dark color. It’s a must-try for any stout enthusiast.
  • Smithwick’s: A traditional Irish red ale with a smooth and malty flavor profile. It’s a favorite among those looking for a balanced and easy-drinking option.
  • Harp Lager: A crisp and refreshing Irish lager that’s perfect for those seeking a lighter beer with a clean finish.
  • Kilkenny Cream Ale: A creamy and slightly sweet ale that’s often compared to a smooth, malty cousin of Guinness.

Mexican Beers:

  • Corona: A Mexican classic, known for its light and refreshing taste, often enjoyed with a wedge of lime.
  • Dos Equis: Offering a choice between Amber and Lager, Dos Equis provides a taste of Mexico with options for those who prefer a richer, maltier experience or a lighter, crisper one.
  • Tecate: A Mexican lager known for its clean and crisp flavor, making it a great choice for those hot McAllen days.
  • Modelo Especial: A well-balanced Mexican pilsner with a touch of sweetness and a clean, crisp finish.

Irish Whiskeys

While Downey’s is primarily a pub known for its beer selection, we also offer a modest yet respectable range of Irish whiskeys. These include classics like Jameson and Bushmills, perfect for those who enjoy sipping on a smooth, well-aged whiskey.


For those looking for something beyond beer and whiskey, our talented bartenders can craft a variety of cocktails, both classic and creative. Some popular choices include:

  • Irish Coffee: Made with hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and topped with whipped cream.
  • Black and Tan: A layered drink featuring a combination of stout and pale ale.
  • Moscow Mule: A refreshing cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice.

Non-Alcoholic Options

At Downey’s, we want everyone to enjoy their time here. We offer a selection of non-alcoholic beverages, including:

  • Soft Drinks: A range of sodas and juices.
  • Mocktails: Specially crafted non-alcoholic cocktails for those who prefer a more elaborate drink without the alcohol content.
  • Coffee and Tea: For a soothing caffeine fix.

Daily Specials

To keep things exciting, we offer daily drink specials. These can include discounted pints of beer, themed cocktails, and promotions on select whiskeys. Be sure to ask your server about our current specials when you visit.

Must-Try Dishes

Here’s a snapshot of some popular dishes from Mexican restaurants in McAllen, TX:

Tacos al Pastor

Tacos al Pastor is a quintessential Mexican street food dish that has captured the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts worldwide. Here’s a detailed breakdown of this delectable dish:

  • Marinated Pork: Succulent pork meat is marinated with a blend of adobo spices, typically including achiote paste, garlic, and citrus juices. The marinated pork is then thinly sliced.
  • Vertical Spit: The marinated pork slices are stacked onto a vertical spit, allowing them to cook slowly and evenly as they rotate. This method imparts a unique flavor and texture to the meat.
  • Soft Corn Tortillas: Tacos al Pastor are traditionally served in soft, warm corn tortillas, adding a perfect balance to the rich and savory pork.
  • Pineapple: Slices of fresh pineapple are often added to the tacos, offering a sweet and tangy contrast to the savory pork.
  • Onions and Cilantro: Finely chopped onions and fresh cilantro are commonly used as toppings, enhancing the overall freshness and flavor of the tacos.

Tacos al Pastor are typically served with a side of lime wedges and a variety of salsas, allowing you to customize the level of spiciness to your preference.

Enchiladas Verdes

Enchiladas Verdes is a delightful Mexican dish known for its vibrant green salsa and rich, cheesy goodness. Let’s delve into the components of this flavorful plate:

  • Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas are lightly fried or briefly heated to make them pliable for stuffing.
  • Chicken Filling: The filling consists of tender, shredded chicken, which can be seasoned with various spices and herbs for added flavor.
  • Green Salsa: The highlight of Enchiladas Verdes is the tangy green salsa made from tomatillos, green chilies, cilantro, and garlic. This salsa gives the dish its distinctive color and zesty kick.
  • Melted Cheese: Generous amounts of melted cheese, often a blend of Mexican cheeses like queso fresco or Monterrey Jack, top the enchiladas, creating a creamy and indulgent layer.

Enchiladas Verdes are typically garnished with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of crumbled queso fresco. They are often served with rice and refried beans as side dishes, creating a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

The Experience

Dining at these Mexican restaurants is more than just a meal; it’s an experience. The vibrant decor, lively music, and friendly staff create an atmosphere that’s both welcoming and exciting.

Prices and Specials

At Downey’s Irish Pub, you’ll find a cozy and inviting atmosphere that pairs perfectly with their delectable menu. Let’s take a closer look at the prices for some popular dishes:

DishPrice (Approximate)
Shepherd’s Pie$12
Irish Tacos$10

As you can see, the prices at Downey’s Irish Pub are quite reasonable. The Shepherd’s Pie, a classic Irish dish, is priced at around $12, making it an affordable and satisfying option for those looking for traditional Irish fare. Similarly, the Irish Tacos, which offer a unique twist on traditional tacos, are priced at about $10.

Mexican Restaurants in the Area

If you’re in the mood for Mexican cuisine, there are also great options in the area. Let’s take a look at some typical prices for Mexican dishes:

  • Tacos: Mexican restaurants in the area often offer tacos at around $2 each. These can be a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a quick and budget-friendly meal. You can mix and match various taco fillings to suit your taste.
  • Enchiladas: For those who prefer enchiladas, you can expect to pay approximately $10 per plate. Enchiladas are a flavorful and filling option with various choices of sauces and fillings.

While Downey’s Irish Pub offers delicious Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Tacos at affordable prices, Mexican restaurants in the area provide excellent value with tacos priced at around $2 each and enchiladas at approximately $10 per plate.


Downey’s Irish Pub and the Mexican restaurants in McAllen, TX, offer a delightful blend of cultures, flavors, and experiences. Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy pint and some Irish stew or spicy tacos in a lively setting, this vibrant Texas city has it all. So next time you’re in McAllen, make sure to stop by Downey’s Irish Pub and explore the local Mexican culinary scene for an unforgettable gastronomic journey.


Q: What are the operating hours of Downey’s Irish Pub?

A: Downey’s Irish Pub is open from 11 AM to 2 AM, seven days a week.

Q: Are there vegetarian options at Downey’s Irish Pub and Mexican restaurants in McAllen, TX?

A: Yes, both Downey’s Irish Pub and the local Mexican restaurants offer a variety of vegetarian options.

Q: Is there live music at Downey’s Irish Pub?

A: Yes, Downey’s often features live music, especially on weekends.

Q: Can I book a private event at Downey’s Irish Pub?

A: Absolutely! Downey’s Irish Pub offers facilities for private events and parties.

Q: Are the Mexican restaurants in McAllen family-friendly?

A: Yes, most of these restaurants are perfect for family dining and offer a friendly atmosphere.

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