Clearly the relevance to listing the top Irish pubs now is St. Patty’s Day, but the great thing about an Irish Pub is that there’s no wrong time to visit one. Maybe it’s the friendly atmosphere, the casualty of drinking or just the Irish ideal that a mug of Guinness is always acceptable, but we here in NYC sure do like them. If you’re not one to do the parades or the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl sort of thing, then head on over to one of these classic Irish staples for a mug of green beer and a guaranteed good time, whether it’s mid-afternoon on St. Patty’s day or any old Saturday night. Sláinte!
McSorley’s Old Ale House
15 E 7th Street
New York, NY 10003
Established in 1854, McSorley’s has bragging rights that no other bar in Manhattan can boast: it is the longest running saloon in New York City. Besides being the oldest, it is considered by many to be one of the best and that’s the best of all the city’s saloons, not just the Irish ones. The pub’s website boasts that everyone from Abe Lincoln to John Lennon has passed through the doors of this NYC staple – a pretty unique trait if we do say so. However, perhaps the most unique aspect of this 150-year-old pub is it’s legendary ale, which is served either “light” or “dark” to any thirsty visitor. This isn’t the sort of place to order a martini or a mojito, so if you’re not craving a frosty pint of ale, you might want to go elsewhere. The beer is so well-known that it is bottled and sold in stores both around New York and out of state, but it tastes best in this rustic old saloon surrounded by some old friends or some soon-to-be new ones.
1490 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10021
Coming to this Upper East Side hangout is not at all like your average trip to the doc’s. This doc serves authentic Irish beers as well as tasty, reasonably priced bar food, which is why the pub draws a steady following of neighborhood New Yorkers of all ages. There is nothing pretentious, or super amazing about this place; it’s just your average run-of-the-mill Irish pub, which is why it’s held its ground (and it’s following) in the midst of pricy hotel bars popping up around town. Doc’s recently renovated their basement pool-table room into a lounge, which may seem a bit out of place for an Irish pub, but after a car bomb or two, it’s an ideal addition to the space. If you’re looking for an average, neighborhood Irish bar, that’s been around for a while (although not as long as McSorley’s) this place is definitely worth a try.
133 W 33rd Street
New York, NY 10001
The best part about Stout is the vast amount of space, complete with three floors, 36 wide-screen TVs and s 60-foot bar spanning the length of the main floor. The bar is great for all sorts of drinking gatherings, particularly for viewing sporting events or pre-drinking for a Knicks game (as Madison Square Garden is just a couple blocks away). Most Irish pubs will be packed on St. Paddy’s day, this one included, but at least the large space (including the private upstairs rooms which can be rented for large parties) caters to a big group of rowdy day-drinkers. The bar boasts a whopping 200 beers on tap and our favorite Irish and non-Irish noshes, including pizzas and burgers or shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash.
287 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10010
It’s been called “New York’s Finest Irish Pub,” “The Most Authentic Irish Bar in the City” and “The Best Pub Worth Waiting in Line For,” so if that’s not enough to earn this place a spot on our list of top Irish pubs in NYC, then perhaps some other features are. The place has served up delicious and foamy pints of Guinness since its opening in 1960, but is also known for its hamburgers and Shepherd’s pie. The cozy feel of this neighborhood Irish pub is emphasized by the log-burning fireplace and the sawdust sprinkled on the floor. For a place to grab a drink with friends, spend a rowdy Saturday evening, or even house your St. Patrick’s day-drinking antics, Molly’s is a NYC staple that cannot be left off this list.
The Quays Pub
45-02 30th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11103
The developing neighborhood of Astoria is known to harbor a few of the city’s best kept secrets: a magnificent beer garden, some delicious Greek diners and a huge Irish community, which means some of the most authentic Irish pubs in New York. The best of the bunch is known as The Quays, with a friendly staff of Irish bartenders and extremely cheap drinks (every third one is free). Whether there’s a live band performing, a Guitar Hero contest, or just some wannabe DJ manning the jukebox, the vibe is always cozy and friendly – just the right compromise between an upscale bar and a dive.