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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With the 10 Best Irish Pubs in NYC

Finding the best Irish pub in New York City is like trying to find your favorite blade of grass in an open field. There are hundreds, and picking one can be overwhelming. To make everything a bit easier, here are 10 of the best Irish pubs in New York City. The pubs on this list feature everything you’re looking for in a bar – some Irish hospitality, a little bit of Irish food, and a whole lot of Guinness. 

1. McSorley’s Old Ale House

There’s only one place capable of opening any list about Irish Pubs, and it’s this one. The end-all, be-all great-grandfather of the rest of this list, McSorley’s is New York City’s oldest continuously operating pub. They opened their doors in 1854 and have served the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, and all of the New York Rangers after the 1994 Stanley Cup. Wishbones still hang from the ceiling, left there when soldiers went to fight in World War 1 but never came home to take them down. During the Prohibition, the Fidelio Brewery that supplied McSorley’s with their Ale moved into the basement of the pub. Don’t come to McSorley’s expecting a long list of Irish whiskeys and beers, because you only have two options: light or dark. The bar has been serving just that, a light ale or a dark ale, since John McSorely opened the place. Stop in for the beer, stay for the sawdust still scattered on the floor.

Address: 15 East 7th Street

2. Swift Hibernian Lounge

With furnishings taken directly from Irish author Johnathan Swift’s own church in County Meath, this is the place to go to for a pint. From their perfect pour to their domestic imports, Swift has a beer menu that can entice any craft beer drinker. If beer isn’t your thing, no worries. Their spirits menu features a full page of Irish whiskeys, and another half page of Scotch. Looking for something a little more mixed? Try their cocktail menu, where you can find anything from house versions of an Old Fashioned to their own “Irish Penicillin” (Jameson Irish Whiskey, Connemara Irish Whiskey, lemon, ginger, and honey). Be sure to pair your Irish whiskey with their corned beef & cabbage tacos. 

Address: 34 E 34th Street

3. McGee’s

This Irish Pub is famous for more than their burgers – it’s the inspiration for McLaren’s in everyone’s favorite sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Stop in for their weekly How I Met Your Mother Monday special, with food and drinks named after the gang’s jokes and watch an episode at 8PM, when the bar plays the show instead of their usual sportscasts. Every other day of the week, McGee’s features delicious pub food and late night bar bites, and all the big-name whiskeys you could want in an Irish pub.

Address: 240 West 55th Street between Broadway and 8th Ave

4. Sláinte

This wood-and-brick pub is straightforward and no-nonsense. They feature a weekend brunch from 11AM-4PM with a traditional Irish breakfast on the menu. Other than this, their food selection isn’t what makes them an Irish pub. You’ll find the Irish in them in their drinks – their whiskey menu features all the basics – Jameson, Bushmills, Tullamore Dew – and some not so known names like Laphroaig and Talisker. They also serve up an Old Fashioned made with Irishman whiskey and blackberry brandy. Be sure to check their daily specials, which boast things like $1 sliders on Tuesdays and 50 cent wings on Wednesdays. With 24 beers offered on tap, there’s something for everyone, but those looking for a traditional Guinness or Magners certainly won’t be disappointed. 

Address: 304 Bowery between Bleeker and Houston

5. Molly’s Shebeen

There’s been a bar at 287 3rd Ave since the 1895, and though it wasn’t always Molly’s, it was always Irish. The current version of the pub was renamed using the word “shebeen” to reflect the illegality of drinking during Prohibition when it was taken over by Irish expats in 1991. With a fireplace and a working (and often temperamental chimney), the place is cozy and picturesque. They’re known for their Shepherd’s Pie, Irish Lamb Stew, Corned Beef, and traditional Irish Breakfast. Basically, if you’re looking for Irish food, this is the place to go. When you need something to wash it down, they’ve got you covered for that too. They’ve got all the classics when it comes to whiskey – Jameson, Bushmills, Redbreast, Powers, Tullamore Dew – and the absolute Irish necessities when it comes to beer. You can come in for a pint, be it Guinness, Magners, Smithwick’s, or Murphy’s, or come in for some comfort food. Better yet, stop in for both. 

Address: 287 3rd Ave between 22nd and 23rd Street

6. The Dead Poet

One of the newer pubs on this list, The Dead Poet has been serving up literary themed cocktails since 2000. From Bronx Pale Ale to a perfect pint of Guinness, their beer menu is extensive and features several Irish brews. If you’re not looking for a beer, try a cocktail. Each is named after a famous author or literary work, from the Edgar Allan Poe (Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Chambord, Triple Sec, and a squeeze of fresh lime, shaken with ice and served in a martini glass) to the Goblet of Fire (Stoli Vanilla, butterscotch schnapps, cinnamon simple syrup, club soda, in a copper mug, whipped cream). Should you love one of those literary cocktails, don’t worry: they’ll let you sign out one of the pub’s many books to take home and read.

Address: 450 Amsterdam Ave

7. The Landmark Tavern

If any pub could rival McSorley’s staying power, this one may be it. In operation since 1968, The Landmark Tavern braved the Prohibition (by turning the third floor into a speakeasy, mind you) and remains open to this day. Stop in for a Guinness or any of their single malt whiskeys. With a private dining room upstairs, you come to The Landmark for the beer but stay for the food. From fish and chips to bangers and mash and everything in between, you’ve got options. Live Irish music on Monday nights draws a crowd to the place, and they stay for the old New York feel – the pub has classic tin ceilings and a mahogany floor. Stop in for a Scotch Egg to go with your Guinness.

Address: 626 11th Ave at 46th Street

8. Stout NYC

This particular pub doesn’t exactly have the old-New York feel of the Irish pub, but it certainly has the beverage offerings. With multiple locations, there’s always a Stout NYC within reach. The newest, a few steps from Grand Central, features bottled Irish import stouts and of course, Guinness on draught. Their beer menu is extensive, and so is their whiskey selection. With five varieties of Tullamore Dew and some smaller distillery names on their menu, there’s something for everyone. While you won’t find the straightforward, typical Irish pub food that the other bars on this list offer, you can find the usual Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Chedder and Bacon burgers. Aside from those, they have a wide variety of offerings by way of food on their menu. Stop in here for a more modern take on the Irish pub, for their live music or for their bottomless boozy brunch.

Address: 90 John Street, 133 West 33rd Street between 6th and 7th Ave, & 60 East 41st Street between Park and Madison Avenues

9. The Dead Rabbit

Voted Best Bar in the World 2015 and 2016, The Dead Rabbit is three bars in one, opened by Irish expats Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon. They boast the best pint of Guinness you’ll find in New York on the first floor, called The Taproom. If you’re looking for whiskey, you’ll find 56 different kinds at The Dead Rabbit. They’ve got everything from a $250 Knappogue Castle pot still to seven different varieties of Jameson. The Parlor on the second floor is the place to be if you’re looking for mixed drinks, with a huge array of cocktails following a story created by the bars owners. Be wary, the drinks on this menu start light but get much stronger as the story goes on. The third floor, dubbed The Occasional, is reserved, so if you’re looking for a place to party Irish style with 60 of your closest friends, the Dead Rabbit is your place to be. In between pints, whether it’s brunch, lunch, or dinner, make sure to grab some food. From classic Lamb Shepherd’s Pie to a burger with Irish Cheddar, the food may just be as good as the drinks.

Address: 30 Water Street

10. Paddy Reilly’s

With an 8-hour long happy hour from 11AM to 7PM, Paddy Reilly’s is lauded as having “the best Happy Hour in Manhattan”. With eight taps just for Guinness alone, this is an Irish pub through and through. The hardwood floor itself was shipped over from an Irish hotel, so you can take solace in the fact that you’re even walking on a little bit of the motherland. Ask them if they serve food and a bartender might answer, “All we have is Guinness and more Guinness!” but don’t worry, they’ve been known to supply customers with take-out menus, so consider this place a BYOF(ood). You can also choose to enjoy one of their five classic Irish whiskey offerings. Looking for a little extra entertainment? Paddy Reilly’s offers live music every night with Open Mics every Wednesday. Sit down any night of the week for a pint and some music.

Address: 519 2nd Ave

Bonus Bar: The Best Irish Restaurant in the City – Neary’s

While still a bar (and open until 4AM every night to prove it), the main reason to go to Neary’s is the food and the atmosphere. They first opened their doors on St. Patrick’s Day 1967, making this year the restaurant’s 50th anniversary. Neary’s is the kind of place where the bartender is always ready to talk and the owner, Jimmy Neary, will sit down with you for a few minutes during your meal. If you go for dinner, you’ll find Irish classics like Corned Beef & Cabbage, Lamp Chops with Mint Jelly, and Calf’s Liver on the menu. Every entree is served with a side of potatoes, in classic Irish fashion. Visit for the meal, enjoy the hospitality, and stay for an Irish Coffee (made the right way, with Jameson Irish whiskey).

Address: 358 East 57th Street

Jacquelyn Kozak is a junior at Fordham University studying English and Visual Arts. She enjoys long walks through the zoo and looking at viral videos of dogs, and is allergic to her own cats.
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