Food & Drink

The Best Irish Bars in New Orleans

Published On 03/14/2016 Published On 03/14/2016

Everyone knows that the Crescent City has rich French, Spanish, Creole, and even Italian roots. But Irish traditions go deep in New Orleans -- you can bet your shillelagh they do. Irish immigrants helped make this city what it is today. (There is an entire Uptown neighborhood called the Irish Channel, after all.) And where there are Irish people, there are Irish pubs -- thank the stars. If you’re looking for a proper pint of Guinness or a dram of uisce beatha in the Big Easy, here are your best bets. Sláinte!

Finn McCool's


If you’re a fan of soccer -- or "football," if you're someone who insists on that -- Finn’s will make you very, very happy. A classic neighborhood Irish pub (voted one of the city’s favorites, in fact), you’ll find all the world-class matches you want here, not to mention rugby, UFC, and the Gaelic Games. Plus, it hosts events like trivia nights, Scrabble tournaments, and Irish dancing.

Scott Gold/Thrillist

The Irish House

Lower Garden District

As far as true Irish bars go, it’s difficult to beat this classic LGD spot. You can sip a pint of Guinness at the handsome bar, or on a couch in front of the fireplace. But what really sets The Irish House apart is its menu. Few places in NOLA do a true "full Irish" breakfast, and none of them do it better than The Irish House. We’re talking eggs, black pudding, white pudding, rashers, sausage, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms... how can you go wrong? (Don’t ask your cardiologist this question.)

Mick's Irish Pub


Don’t be fooled by the bellicose leprechaun on Mick’s signage; this place is all about fun and games. While the ownership changed in the early '90s, folks have been proudly pouring pints at this beloved neighborhood watering hole for over a century. It ain’t anything fancy, but that’s not really what you want in a local pub. What Mick’s offers is good drinks, good company, and maybe a friendly round of darts, pool, pinball -- even shuffleboard.

Flickr/Louis Armstrong

Erin Rose

French Quarter

OK, it’s narrow and cramped, but the Erin Rose is beloved by New Orleanians for a number of very good reasons. First, the atmosphere and clientele are fun and relaxed -- the hallmark of a truly great Irish bar. Second, you’ll find the original Killer PoBoys in the back, which is thoroughly baller. Third: exquisite prices. And fourth, it serves frozen Irish coffee, which is essentially a coffee milkshake with booze, one of the best things to have ever been invented, ever. Ever.

Tracey's Original Irish Channel Bar


Irish Channel

There had to be at least one Irish Channel bar on the Irish pub list. While Tracey’s isn’t as "Irish" as, say, The Irish House, it is consistently one of the best spots in town to watch Saints games with a friendly crowd. Food-wise, it’s also a destination: there's a shucker selling cold, raw oysters out front on the sidewalk in season, plus one of the best roast beef po-boys in the city (the same one formerly found at Parasol’s). Cap it off with gravy cheese fries. Everyone needs those.


Fahy's Irish Pub

French Quarter

If you’re down in the Quarter and have no desire to partake in the neon-drenched, hooch-soaked circus that is Bourbon St, opt for a more relaxed time at Fahy’s. This is exactly the kind of place you want to go when you get burned out on hurricanes and hand grenades: just an unassuming, hospitable, no-frills pub. Get in a round of pool or darts, drink a pint, and chill out.

Markey's Bar


Beer, burgers, wings, jukebox, video poker, sports on TV... Markey’s is pretty much the platonic ideal of a corner bar. This place has been serving Bywater residents since the 1940s --  long before the parents of the current hipster residents were glints in their daddy’s eyes. Fortunately, the vibe hasn’t changed as much as the neighborhood has, as Markey's remains a charmingly unassuming dive. 

Kerry Irish Pub

Kerry Irish Pub

French Quarter

The atmosphere in this place is imported directly from the Emerald Isle -- any Irishman would feel right at home here. Plus, this spot is one of the few Irish pubs in the city with reliably solid live music, sometimes Irish, but also folk, blues, and, of course, jazz (this is still New Orleans, after all). And best of all, there’s no cover charge.

Flickr/Angie Garrett

Molly's at the Market

French Quarter

Right across from the famous French Market, you’ll find Molly’s, one of the finest Irish dives in the Quarter, if not the city. Always busy but never fussy, Molly's is a place where you’re bound to run into a character or 10, likely tossing back shots of Jameson. Even when the atmosphere gets hairy -- on weekends, or during busy French Quarter times (Mardi Gras, French Quarter Festival, Halloween, etc.) -- the bartenders remain cool, friendly, and attentive. You’ll also find l’enfant terrible -- one of the best pop-up restaurants in New Orleans, hands down -- here.

Ryan's Irish Pub

French Quarter

While it may proclaim itself "The best f**king Irish Bar in the World," Ryan’s is really more of a dive/sports bar where you can, among other things, catch NHL games, should you -- for some strange reason -- be a hockey fan in New Orleans (remember the New Orleans Brass?). It may not quite do the banner justice as a genuine Irish pub, but it’s still a fun place to hang out on Decatur, sans the "boobs-for-beads" vibe endemic to some of the nearby tourist traps. All in all, it's a great place to wind down with a pint if you’ve been walking the Quarter all day.

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Scott Gold is a writer in New Orleans who would eat a full Irish breakfast with a pint of Guinness every day if it wouldn't kill him. Follow him on Twitter @scottgold.

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1. The Irish House 1432 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Uptown)

Located Uptown, the Irish House is a classic Irish gastropub serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, as well as a wide array of cocktails and beers. We highly recommend stopping by for brunch and eating their authentic Irish breakfast. It will taste like you're eating in Dublin.

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2. Erin Rose Bar 811 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70112 (French Quarter)

A half-block away from Bourbon Street, this friendly Irish pub is covered in framed photographs, car parts autographed by drag racers, and other memorabilia from NOLA's glory days. Erin Rose is known for its Bloody Marys, frozen or hot Irish coffee, and its killer po' boys, such as its Dark 'n Stormy Po' Boy with rum-braised pork.

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3. Finn McCool's Irish Pub 3701 Banks St, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

In the tradition of Irish pubs, Finn McCool’s is more than a bar. The Mid-City institution borrows from the best of two cultures: an Irish pub that functions more like a community center, and a no-pretensions New Orleans corner bar that welcomes all comers. What you’ll find at Finn’s are friendly bartenders and a heavily local crowd (unless, maybe, it’s St. Patrick’s Day). If you’re looking to watch football -- and I don’t mean the American kind -- Finn’s is the best place in New Orleans to plant yourself.

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4. Mick's Irish Pub 4801 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

As far as divey sports bars go, Mick's is a very solid option in Mid-City for cheap drinks, sports on the TVs, a pool table, and a dart board. We think that Mick's Irish Pub is one of the best Irish pubs in New Orleans, but you'll have to stop by and see for yourself.

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5. Tracey's Bar 2604 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Established in 1949, Tracey's is an Irish Channel favorite, slinging booze, po-boys, and gourmet soups, in front of 20 televisions, as well as housing the Upper 9 Doughnut Company every Saturday. We think that Tracey's is one of the best Irish bars in New Orleans.

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6. Fahy's Irish Pub 540 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70112 (French Quarter)

Fay's Irish Pub is a great place to visit if you are looking for an Irish pub vibe without all of the noise and rowdiness. Here you can play pool or darts while you enjoy a pint of Guinness instead of fighting your way through a drunken crowd to the bar.

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7. Markey's Bar 640 Louisa St, New Orleans, LA 70117 (Bywater)

Markey's is a charming dive bar that has survived the many changed to the Bywater area over the years. Here you can enjoy beer, burgers, and wings while watching their tv, listening to the jukebox, or playing video poker. We believe that Markey's Bar is the best Irish bar in New Orleans.

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8. The Kerry Irish Pub 331 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

The Kerry Irish Pub is one of the few authentically Irish pubs in the city that will make you feel like you were transported to Dublin. They feature live music from time to time, ranging for Irish music to jazz and blues. Locals love stopping by Kerry Irish for an authentic Irish experience.

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9. Molly's at the Market 1107 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

This French Quarter bar has all the makings of a divey Irish pub, plus so much more. Molly's is known for its frozen Irish coffee, an alcohol-laden coffee milkshake that's decidedly better than regular Irish coffee. It's the perfect place to day drink in NOLA as you watch the Decatur Street wildness ride past you.

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10. Ryan's Irish Pub 241 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

If you ask on of the bartenders at Ryan's, they'll tell you that they are one of the best Irish pubs in the world. While we wouldn't go that far, we do think that this place is a solid dive/sports bar. It is a great place to go and enjoy a drink without the typical party vibe of the French Quarter.