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Finnegan's Wake
Photograph: Shutterstock

Where to drink near the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Here’s where to drink near the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, whether you want authentic Irish grub or are looking to party

By Emma Orlow and Time Out New York contributors
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Before you join the explosion of green Irish pride in midtown, wet your whistle with a drink near the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade spans dozens of blocks along the east side, which means there are plenty of Irish restaurants and pubs.  So find a spot at these nearby Irish pubs, grab a pint (or two) of a hearty stout or ale and get singing those Irish songs.

RECOMMENDED: See the full St. Patrick's Day in NYC guide

Drink near the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Finnegan's Wake
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Finnegan's Wake

Bars Pubs Lenox Hill

Tip your hat to the James Joyce portrait hanging on the wall and settle into this long-standing pub where you’re bound to hear true, authentic Irish accents serving up stiff drinks and the Emerald Isle’s favorite dishes. You never had to finish reading Finnegan’s Wake to appreciate the tasty shepherd's pie, corned beef and cabbage or the batter-dipped fried fish. This pub is a few avenues east of the route, but neighborhood regulars and fellow wanders might make it a bit of a challenge to find a seat if you wait until after the parade officially ends to make your voyage here.

Doc Watson's
Photograph: Courtesy Doc Watson's

2. Doc Watson’s

Restaurants Gastropubs Upper East Side

It’s no surprise that a bar that promotes itself as having the best pint of Guinness on the Upper East Side would have big things planned for the occasion. In honor of the holiday, Doc Watson’s is hosting live Irish bands all day and shilling Guinness as well as Magners Irish Ciders. If somehow the luck of the Irish pulls through and there’s warm weather, you might even get a spot in the outdoor seating area where you can chow down on corned beef and cabbage in the breeze. This family-friendly spot is a favorite of some members of the NYPD and FDNY and is just a stone’s throw north of the parade route, so you’ll be drinking and dining in no time. 

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3. Neary's

In business for more than five decade, this Irish restaurant on the Upper East Side continues to serve up charm amongst in its elegant all-red interiors. Dishes include Wild "Irish" salmon, broiled lamb chops with mint jelly and the Dublin Broil with mushroom gravy. 

4. The Wheeltapper Pub

Bars Sports Bars Midtown East

With two bars, a fireplace and a year-round patio, this Midtown East pub and restaurant is a favorite haunt of Irishmen and women in New York. The Irish potato skins are heavenly, oozing with Guinness porter cheddar, Irish bacon, crispy fried leeks and a dollop of sour cream. Still hungry? Chase it with an Irish sausage roll, served with decadent Jameson Whiskey dip.

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5th and Mad
Photograph: Courtesy 5th and Mad

5. 5th & MAD

Bars Gastropubs Midtown

Though this bi-level Irish gastro pub is a little south of the main action (about 15 blocks from the start of the parade), the party here promises “jigs, swigs and malarkey.” During the annual St. Patrick’s Day bash, Jameson, Guinness and green drinks abound as a DJ keeps the party going. If all that marching for the holiday—or just standing outside and cheering—has left you hungry, refuel with hearty bar food done well like burgers, sliders and wings.

The Perfect Pint
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/

6. The Perfect Pint

Bars Wine bars Midtown East

Regardless of which side of the sidewalk you choose to cheer on the parade, you can head a few blocks either west or east on 45th to find refuge in one of the multi-story locations of this bar where plenty of fellow revelers will be celebrating decked in green. Here there are 30 beers on tap—including plenty of Irish options like Smithwicks, Harp, Kilkenny Cream Ale and Guinness (original, blonde and nitro)–to lift up as you shout “Sláinte!” If you end up at the Perfect Pint West and you’re prepared to brave the cold, check out the unusual midtown pub bonus space: a rooftop deck.

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New York City day trip, Dec 6, 2008
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Flickr4Jazz

7. McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon

Restaurants American Midtown East

While the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is always a grand time, we admit standing around at 11am in the cold might not be everybody’s cup of tea. Luckily, McFadden's sweetens the deal with its annual pre-game Kegs & Eggs party. 

8. Tír na nÓg Times Square

Bars Pubs Hell's Kitchen

Though a bit west of the parade, Tír na nÓg’s two locations are the perfect places to stop for a meal or a pint if you’re coming into Manhattan via Penn Station or Port Authority. Unlike most midtown bars, this spot has plenty of authentic charm including antique books and decor crafted out of reclaimed woods and materials. 

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Paddy Maguire's Ale House
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Lisa G.

9. Paddy Maguire's Ale House

Bars Gramercy

Escape the crushing parade crowds by hopping on the subway and traveling down just a few subway stops to this Irish-owned watering hole near Union Square. Paddy Maguire’s not only has a perfect name for celebrating St. Patrick's Day, but it is also completely decked out for the holiday. Green lights, shamrocks and tinsel cover the bar, which serves 15 beers on tap. Don’t mind all the horse-racing photos and other equestrian memorabilia; the owner is a former jockey from Limerick.

Flatiron Hall
Photograph: Courtesy Flatiron Hall

10. Flatiron Hall

Bars Beer bars Flatiron

Another bar just a couple of subway stops south of the parade’s start, this place is where you want to go if you’re hoping to really wet your whistle after the parade with a couple (or several) drinks. In honor of St. Patrick’s day, this retro beer hall, which specializes in craft beers, has an open bar package for just $60 (beer and wine only). Talk about your lucky day.

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Stout NYC
Photograph: Courtesy Stout NYC

11. Stout NYC Grand Central

Restaurants Midtown

Located just steps away from Grand Central terminal, Stout NYC Grand Central is not just a bar or restaurant–it’s an authentic Irish experience. This East side of Manhattan pub offers guests an impressive selection of bottled beers and beers on tap. A haven for those seeking a comfortable place to escape the city bustle.

Spending St. Pat's Day at home?

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