The Best Irish Pubs in NYC to Hit Up This St. Patrick’s Day
Along with our fave Irish bar near Times Square, here are the best Irish bars in NYC.
Since the early 19th century, a thriving community of Irish Americans has called New York City home. In addition to large pockets in neighborhoods such as Woodlawn and Bay Ridge, Irish culture can be found across our five boroughs in restaurants and arts centers, as well as legendary watering holes (including Irish bars near Times Square like O'Donoghue’s).
And even though our city prides itself on an unmatched lineup of hot newcomers, singles bars, dive joints, and LGBTQIA+ bars, Irish bars and pubs are never a bad idea for a night out—whether on St. Patrick’s Day or any time of the year. From classics like McSorley’s to fancy cocktail spots like The Dead Rabbit, here’s a roundup of the best Irish pubs and bars in NYC.
Named after an Irish church steeple in the hometown of owner Conor O’Sullivan, Greenwich Village’s Four-Faced Liar is a warm-hearted tribute to Ireland. Within the welcoming watering hole, there are poetry readings, board games (like Scrabble, Boggle, and chess) available for anyone to use, and regular big game screenings. Whether you’re a regular or a first-timer, be prepared to feel right at home with a pint of Guinness and a seat at the bar.
An Béal Bocht Cafe
One of the most well known hubs for Irish culture in the Bronx is undoubtedly An Béal Bocht Cafe. Here, New Yorkers roll up for live Irish music, poetry readings, comedy shows, and more. Pre- or post-performance, peruse a menu of Irish comfort foods like Shepherd's Pie, plus the substantial selection of locally and globally sourced beers.
The Dead Rabbit
With a name that traces back to the 1830s Dead Rabbits gang—which was later used as inspiration for Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York film—The Dead Rabbit has commanded an avid fan base since opening in 2013. Run by Belfast-born Jack McGarry, the first floor features a taproom where rounds of Guinness and Irish coffees are served up, while the second floor parlor specializes in expertly crafted cocktails. A reservation-only event space takes up the top floor of the building. Guests can snag a high-top or booth and sip on a drink while snacking on bites like Corned Beef Sliders and Irish Lamb Stew.
A fixture of the Woodside neighborhood of Queens is local favorite eatery and watering hole, Donovan’s Pub. Opened in 1966 by NYC firefighter Joe Donovan, the spot is known for its dark wood booths, stained glass windows, multiple fireplaces, and no-fuss ambiance. After a 47-year run, Donovan retired and the pub switched over hands to longtime employee (busser turned bartender) Jimmy Jacobsen and his brother-in-law, Dan Connor. The bar still sports the heralded charbroiled half-pound 58 Special Burger and steak fries, just now with a handful of modern updates like a card machine and new sound system.
Famously known for making an appearance in Martin Scorsese’s film The Departed (with a framed photograph of Scorsese behind the bar to commemorate the occasion), this Irish Haven in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park is an ideal no-frills destination. At the almost 60-year-old bar, things are kept simple with a beer and shots-centric beverage program and old-school wood paneled interior. Keep yourself entertained while sipping on $5 pints of Guinness with live music performances, karaoke, trivia nights, and more.
Opened in 1868 by Patrick Henry Carley, Landmark Tavern is a storied Hell’s Kitchen pub that’s experienced its fair share of renovations and owner changes over the years. While the first two floors were closed during Prohibition (as the third floor operated as a speakeasy), the spot’s old-school charm remains intact with its original mahogany bar, tin ceilings, antique register, and private dining rooms. On draft, choose between Guinness, Landmark Ale, and Landmark Lager or find an Irish whisky to sip on. Additionally, comfort classics like Scotch Eggs, Shepherd’s Pie, and Bangers and Mash helm the food program.
McSorley's Old Ale House
Touting a long and storied history, as the supposed oldest Irish saloon in New York City, is McSorley’s. First opened in 1854 by John McSorley, the bar initially operated as a hang-out spot for working class men (women weren’t permitted until 1970). With a long-standing motto of “Be Good or Be Gone,” throughout the years, McSorley’s became a hub and source of inspiration for loads of legendary patrons like Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and E. E. Cummings. These days, the spot still flaunts decades-old memorabilia like a pair of Harry Houdini’s handcuffs and wishbones circa World War I. The menu is kept short and sweet here with a choice between two specialty beers: Light ale or dark porter.
Molly’s Pub and Restaurant Shebeen
Since its inception in 1895, Tudor-style Irish pub Molly’s has lived several lives. First operating as a bar until 1920, Prohibition led Molly’s to transition into a grocery store and retail space. With the repeal of the ban in the 1930s, the business was able to reopen their initial concept and to this day houses original design aspects like the wood-burning fireplace and mahogany bar. Sawdust-strewn floors, worn-in wooden booths, vintage photograph-covered walls, and an antique jukebox make up the interior of the eatery, while can’t-miss menu items include a 10-ounce Bacon Cheeseburger, Shepherd's Pie, and Irish Lamb Stew.
The late and beloved owner of Neary’s, Jimmy Neary, first opened its doors on St. Patrick’s Day in 1967. Known to be a popular post-work decompression spot, the space features leather banquettes, dark red tablecloths, patterned carpet, and walls filled with pictures of celebrity customers. Hearty menu highlights include the Broiled Lamb Chops with mint jelly and Corned Beef and Cabbage. Learn more about the legendary journey of Jimmy Neary and his pub by watching Neil Leifer’s 2017 documentary film, Neary’s: The Dream at the End of the Rainbow.
For more than 30 years, Kips Bay Irish rock bar Paddy Reilly’s has been known for seven-day-a-week live music performances and pints of their only drink on tap: Guinness. From bluegrass and classic rock to traditional Irish tunes and open mic nights, on any given day, join in on the revelry and sway along with a wide range of musicians strumming on stage.
As one of oldest (if not the oldest) family-run bars in New York City, Peter McManus Cafe has earned its reputation as an undisputed neighborhood stalwart—and has even been spotlighted in multiple films and TV shows like Highlander (1986); The Other Guys (2010); SNL; and Broad City. Pull up a stool to the bar or snag a table, while feasting on Irish-influenced American pub fare like the McManus’ Reuben, Chicken Wings, or Classic Hamburger. Beverage-wise, there’s an impressive selection of Irish whiskey and scotch or go for the house classic Jameson & Ginger.
Phil Hughes Bar
Yorkville’s very own Phil Hughes Bar is an ideal landing place for a casual evening hangout. The oldest Irish pub in the neighborhood, the family-owned and -operated dive bar has a pool table, jukebox, and several large TVs for ideal game watching. With authenticity in mind, the joint imports glassware from Ireland (to achieve that perfect Irish pint) as well as a range of Irish crisps (or potato chips). Pull up a seat at the bar and listen to the weekly Thursday night live music or try your hand at the pool table.
PJ Carney's Pub
Conveniently located a block away from Carnegie Hall is longtime neighborhood fixture PJ Carney’s Pub. Since 1927, the mahogany-walled circular bar has been serving nearby showgoers and sports fans alike. Pull up a stool and munch on a crispy order of Beer-battered Fish and Chips or a dozen hot wings to go with an ice cold beer from the 21 varieties on tap.
Named after Irish writer Jonathan Swift, Swift Hibernian Lounge is a charming NoHo bar created to honor (and, perhaps, revive) the lost art of conversation. With snug groups of picnic-style tables and no TVs, it’s an ideal location for truly bonding with fellow drinking buddies sans technological distractions. Explore the globally sourced craft beer selection or go for an ever-classic pint of Guinness, then take a peek at the food program which offers traditional Irish fare like the Irish Brown Bread and Corned Beef Sandwich. Also, stay tuned for upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebrations like a happy hour and literary reading via IG.
The Emerald Isle is transported stateside at this Bayside watering hole. At Wicked Monk, the wood, stained glass, and even a confessional were all once part of an over 100-year-old chapel in Cork, Ireland to create a gothic monastery aesthetic. Open until 4 am on weekends, many of a late night hang can be had here.