CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Why is corned beef and cabbage a St. Patrick’s Day tradition?

It isn’t a national dish of Ireland however on St. Paddy’s Day, the tradition was boiled bacon. But in the 19th century, Irish Americans were too poor to afford the high price of pork and bacon products. Instead, they turned to the cheapest cut of meat available: beef brisket.

What is corned beef?

Brining the beef brisket with large-grained rock salt, also called “corns” of salt became the name corned beef. It was adopted by different cooking methods of other cultures in the U.S. Cabbage was then added because it was one of the cheapest vegetables available.

According to Yelp, these are the top restaurants that serve the best corned beef in western Massachusetts:

  1. Coughlin’s Place: 182 N Main St in East Longmeadow
  2. Collins Tavern: 997 Westfield St in West Springfield
  3. Jake’s Restaurant: 17 King St in Northampton
  4. Mrs. Mitchell’s Kitchen: 514 Westfield Rd in Holyoke
  5. Memo’s Restaurant & Catering: 1272 Memorial Ave in West Springfield
  6. Rusty’s Place: 930 Hampden St in Holyoke
  7. Irish Ale House: 536 Worthington St in Springfield
  8. Bonnie B’s: 204 Main St in Greenfield
  9. The Harp Irish Pub: 163 Sunderland Rd in Amherst
  10. Donovan’s Irish Pub: 1655 Boston Rd in Springfield
  11. Sherwood Shoppe: 437 Wells Rd in Becket
  12. The Still Bar & Grill: 63 Springfield St in Agawam

Yelp, a ratings and reviews site, put together the list by evaluating all of the Massachusetts restaurants that serve corned beef on its platform on several factors, including the number and quality of ratings.