Photograph: Brett Carlsen
Photograph: Brett Carlsen

15 things to do in New York to celebrate St Patrick's Day and all things Irish in 2022

Whether you feel like dancing, dining, or joining the parade – here's how you can let out your Irish side

Written by Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner in association with Guinness.

Ireland may be an ocean away from New York City, but plenty of Irish culture exists across the five boroughs. In fact, New York boasts the most concentrated Irish population across America! While St. Patrick’s Day is the obvious occasion to seek out Irish venues and celebrate all things Irish, the city is packed with excellent Irish arts hubs, Irish classes to enroll in, Irish food, drink, performance and more. Here’s just a smattering of activities to enjoy in 2022 to celebrate all things Irish across New York City.

1. St Patrick’s Day Parade

This annual parade strutting up Fifth Avenue every March 17 is the oldest and the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world. Spectators of all ages line Midtown to catch a glimpse of the thousands of musicians, dancers, public officials, and more celebrants who pack the Avenue in verdant festivity.

This Long Island City-based cultural center serves as a hub for the Irish community in Queens and beyond, as well as an education center for anyone interested in Irish culture, both contemporary and historical. Programming includes Irish language lessons, fiddle classes, Irish film screenings, kids events, and much more.

Founded in 1972, this prominent Hell’s Kitchen creative institution is known for excellent productions in several disciplines. In-person and online classes are also offered in music, dance, Irish language, playwriting, and storytelling, for those aspiring to take on the Irish Arts’ Center’s new stage.

4. Pick up an Irish read at McNally Jackson Books

Not only does this independent bookstore boast an Irish name, but the New York-based literary institution organizes its titles by domesticity, meaning Irish books are easy to locate. Browse the latest from Sally Rooney and more novelists or pick up an Irish cookbook to whip up your own Irish food at home.

6. Tour St. Patrick’s Cathedral  

All visitors are welcome at this Neo-Gothic architectural masterpiece with a stately place on Fifth Avenue. Open daily, this active parish offers official tours, or you can just drop in to take a look and browse the gift shop. 

Irish cuisine extends beyond pub fare, and there’s plenty of excellent Irish food to taste across the city. Slurp up some soup with Irish brown bread at St. Dymphna’s or fest on corned beef and cabbage at Neary’s in Midtown.

Instead of “going out” or “grabbing a drink”, Irish folks “have a laugh” as their designated bar activity- and you can too! Pick your favorite local Irish pub, order a foamy pint of Guinness and laugh it out with some of your favorite people.

New York and coffee culture are inseparable, but nothing says business like Irish coffee. Decadent, rich, caffeinated, and alcoholic, Irish coffee is sweet enough to be a dessert, morning beverage, or much-needed afternoon pick me up. Grab one at The Dead Rabbit or another one of Time Out’s top recommended Irish Coffee purveyors.

10. Shop at ​​Mary Anne's Irish Design Shop

Go on an Irish shopping spree at this family-owned boutique, replete with gifts and items shipped directly from Ireland. Browse soft wool blankets, cardigans in all sizes, home decor, and more, all curated to bring the best of classic Irish style to The Bronx.

11. Hang out at the oldest Irish tavern in NYC

There’s never a dull night (or afternoon) at this East Village bar dating back to 1854. The ambiance at McSorley’s Ale House is convivial, the beer is free-flowing, and just like the olden days, the joint is cash-only. Come for the history, stay for the company.

12. Visit the Irish Hunger Memorial

Built in memory of the lives lost during the famine in Ireland in the mid-19th Century, this lush outdoor park is like a piece of Ireland plopped in Manhattan. Rocks sourced from all 32 of Ireland’s counties adorn the area. Come here to reflect and take in the greenery and learn a bit more about Irish history.

A venue truly unlike any other in the five boroughs, An Beal Bocht hosts both Irish and local music, poetry, comedy, theater, and art exhibits. The cafe is also home to the Bronx’s longest-running Trad session, every Sunday! Enjoy entertainment alongside Irish comfort food at this worthy destination.

15. Eat a green bagel for St. Patrick’s Day

An age-old New York tradition, bright green bagels come out of the city’s famous bagel boilers but once a year: St. Patrick’s Day. Head to your favorite bagel shop to browse their dyed selection or visit Ess-A-Bagel for their green bagels with Baileys Irish cream cheese. Or head downtown to Tompkins Square Bagel for a rainbow swipe of shmear atop your festive bread.

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