The best Irish restaurants in NYC

Irish restaurants shouldn't get overshadowed by Irish pubs—head to these spots for Guinness cheese, pub sausage and mash

Photograph: Courtesy Daniel Kreiger

Irish pubs get all the acclaim, but if you’re unfamiliar with their food beyond potatoes, these Irish restaurants will convert you. There’s more to the Emerald Isle’s cuisine than just mash, and the substantial population of the Irish in New York has given rise to everything from haute takes on traditional fare to warm and boozy Irish coffees to some of the best beer and juicy sausages this side of the Atlantic. And we promise: no green beer on this list.

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Best Irish restaurants in NYC

1

The Late Late

Designed to resemble a typical Irish 1960s residence, this Lower East Side spot also cures homesickness with dishes hardly seen outside Ireland. Don’t miss the traditional crisp sambo, a sandwich made with the quirky combination of Tayto cheese-and-onion potato chips, addictive Ballymaloe stout relish and cheddar cheese mayo on a chive brioche bun.

Lower East Side
2

The Wheeltapper Pub

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.

Midtown East
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3

Lillie’s

One of the most popular spots for Irish ex-pats to gather, this orante Union Square restaurant has a convivial air that makes everyone feel like a local. Order traditional Gaelic dishes such as Irish sausage, shephard's pie and chicken pot pie. Make sure to take a tipple at the antique carved-wood bar—it was imported from a Victorian mansion in Belfast.

Union Square
4

The Dead Rabbit

This Financial District watering hole may be better known for its numerous cocktail accolades, but it also has quite the loyal following for its Irish-American menus. The kitchen shines brightest at brunch, where the full Irish breakfast includes everything from rashers to bangers. That would be bacon and sausage, to the uninitiated, and yes, it’s all delicious.

Financial District
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5

Cronin and Phelan’s

This friendly and beloved Astoria spot always has an impressive list of daily specials, but be sure to try the many Irish standards on the permanent menu: Irish-style chicken curry isn’t a dish you’ll find many places. And don’t miss the lunch-only Irish toastie, made with Cheddar cheese, red onion, tomato and—of course—Irish bacon.

Astoria
6

Le Chéile

This Washington Heights spot’s name has no literal translation from Gaelic, but means something close to “together.” The sentiment is felt throughout the restaurant: Patrons’ scribbles on the paper tablecloths actually wind up displayed on the walls. Sample the Irish stew, made with tender beef and vegetables ladled over mashed potatoes, while enjoying a spectacular view of the George Washington Bridge on the side.

Washington Heights
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7

Molly’s Pub and Shebeen

The self-proclaimed most traditional Irish bar in New York (“shebeen” is Gaelic for an illegal drinking establishment), this Midtown watering hole has been serving patrons in one form or another since 1895. Many classic dishes are offered here, including a decadent chicken potpie, pub sausage and mashed potatoes, along with fish and chips made with fresh cod filets.

Gramercy
8

Landmark Tavern

Opened as an Irish saloon in 1868, this Hell’s Kitchen spot is one of the oldest operating restaurants in all of New York. Traditional Irish stick-to-your-ribs dishes are in abundance, like corned beef and cabbage served with white parsley sauce or Irish bangers and mash. For a more authentic experience, dine on a Monday night, when celebrated musician Don Meade holds court in the back room.

Hell's Kitchen
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9

Finnegans Wake

In direct contrast to the James Joyce book that it’s named after (a novel that has surely turned some English majors into geography majors), Finnegans Wake pub is easy to figure out. The laid-back bar is as much about eating as drinking, and the menu is as authentic as the Irish waitresses (many of who will answer your questions with “Oh, aye.”) The fried fish is batter-dipped and served with vinegar, the shepherd’s pie is spot-on, and corned beef and cabbage is a frequent special. A portrait of Joyce lords over the bar, as if assuring the neighborhood crowd, “Relax, drink, eat fried things.”

Lenox Hill
10

Rosie O’Grady’s

This midtown tavern is a spin-off of the original Rosie’s, which has been family owned and operated for over 30 years.

Midtown West
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Comments

1 comments
Paul J

How can this list of Irish restaurants in Manhattan leave out Neary's? Opened by Jimmy Neary in the late 1960s, it counts as its customers Hillary Clinton and Michael Bloomberg. Ted Kennedy and Hugh Carey were also regulars when they were alive. All of the staff is from Ireland; some of the female servers have worked there for 25-35 years.