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The best Irish pubs in New York

Embark on a multiborough journey for beer, bar-stool grub and a jolly-good time at the best Irish bars across Gotham

Photograph: Daniel Krieger

Glugging down pints of Guinness shouldn't be reserved solely for St. Patrick's Day. The warm, Celtic atmosphere at these traditional pubs is a year-round affair, complete with the fail-proof combo of whiskey cocktails, some of the best beer in the city and plenty of spirit from the Emerald Isle. Find the best Gaelic tavern near you and toast to drinking like the Irish.

RECOMMENDED: Complete St. Patrick's Day guide

An Béal Bocht

The craic: The name is Gaelic for "the poor mouth" (also the title of a novel by Irish writer Flann O'Brien), but that's not the only artistic influence at this congenial hang, which serves as a gathering place for Riverdale's Irish-American art and theater communities. Posters and sketches depict literary heroes like James Joyce. Comfort foods abound on the lengthy menu, which stars bangers and mash ($12) and a classic Irish breakfast ($12) with traditional meats (Irish bacon, Irish sausage, and black and white puddings from Prime Cuts Irish) and Batchelors beans.

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The Bronx

The Dead Rabbit

The craic: At this history-rich grocery and grog, the first-floor taproom slings top-notch cocktails alongside straight spirits and bar bites like Scotch eggs ($11) and lamb shepard's pie ($17). Whether or not you're breaking bread, ask for a Pop-Inn ($10), a lightly hopped ale (Peekskill Simple Sour) spiked with flavored liqueurs (citrus, rhubarb, ginger). You can also throw back a dram of that old Irish standby, Jameson ($10). 

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Financial District

Donovan’s Pub

The craic: This worn Irish stalwart is lined with old-timers at the front bar. Sit inside the wood-paneled dining room with classic stained-glass windows to share Irish-American fare like open-face roast beef sandwiches ($12) and shepard's pie ($15), and wash it down with a pint of Smithwick's ($6), a malty and easy-sipping red ale. 

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Woodside

McSorley’s Old Ale House

Critics' pick

The craic: Establishd in 1854, this Irish institution is the oldest tavern in the city and remains steadfastly authentic: In true pub fashion, its wooden floors are doused in sawdust to sop up spills and dinner drippings, and barkeeps pour just two suds (McSorley's Dark Ale, McSorley's Light Ale) in a pair of eight-ounce mugs. Fill up on traditional Gaelic grub like the platter of sharp cheddar and zippy raw onion.

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East Village

Molly’s Pub and Shebeen

The craic: Thickly accented bartenders tend to off-the-clock Manhattanites at this rustic East Side retreat. Pastoral touches—a whitewashed facade, a sawdust-covered floor and Celtic crosses—make this tavern feel like it's been transplanted from the Irish countryside. Regulars swear by the stew ($18), a rib-sticking combination of lamb, carrots and potatoes, paired with a pint of Murphy's Stout ($7), a creamy swig brewed in County Cork using a 150-year-old recipe.

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Midtown

The Wicked Monk

The craic: There's quite literally a piece of ire in this jolly pub—in fact, there are several: When owner Michael Dorgan heard that a church in Cork, Ireland, was being demolished, he shipped over a few pieces (the wooden pews, pulpit, confessional, statues and stained-glass windows) to incorporate into his bar. The trimmings may skew sacred, but the older neighborhood crowd here is plenty rowdy—look for the faces of abiding regulars immortalized in the mural above the bar. The staff here takes its Guinness very seriously—if Dorgan spots incorrectly poured suds, he'll toss them down the drain without hesitation—so request a pint of the roasty stout with confidence.

Sean Ogs

The craic: You're never far from a lilting laugh or brogue at this lively spot, where more than half of the staff is Ireland-born. A seat at the sleek wooden bar best positions you to hear stories from the bartenders, but it's hard to resist a table next to the stone hearth. Hunker down with a mixed grill (Irish sausage, black and white puddings, a pork chop and eggs any style; $16).

Comments

9 comments
Robin B
Robin B

How about the pubs with the live music trad Celtic sessions like the Landmark (46th and 11th) on Monday or Dempsey's (2nd Ave between 3rd and 4th) on Tuesdays? I am an assistant organizer of the NY Celtic Music Meet up Group so join us - we go to hear live music in the best pubs once a month!

Sean O
Sean O

Sean Ogs Irish Pub located at 6002 Woodside Ave Woodside Queens NY.11377 

Phone 718 8993499. Email seanogs1998@hotmail.com

c d
c d

proofreading, please. and why have two with no address or contact information? annoying.

Pat
Pat

If you're looking for Irish, look north, towards the Bronx. This is where you'll find the proper irish joints, from The Rambling House, The Fireside, and The Coachman's Tavern on Katonah Ave; The Heritage, Rory Dolan's, Ned Devine's, and McKeon's on McLean Ave; and the Piper's Kilt, The Punch Bowl, and The Celtic Park Pub on and off of Broadway. This is where you'll find the Irish.

Elizabeth M
Elizabeth M

@Pat What neighborhoods are these? I am trying to get back to NYC after living in Brooklyn for 20 years. These sound like my kind of places! 

Helen Skelly
Helen Skelly

Sláinte to Beal Bocht the best bar in the Bronx. Have a great Paddys weekend.

Chris
Chris

The Monk moved to 3rd Ave between 95th and 96th streets in October. Better than ever.

LB
LB

Sláinte, not slinte.

Robert B
Robert B

@LB Do you also correct the folks in the Irish Bars you frequent LB?