The 15 Best Irish Pubs NYC Locals Won't Tell You About
Best Irish Pubs NYC Locals Won’t Tell You About
Whether you're in New York City on vacation or New York City on business, it goes without saying that the culture-engorged Irish clubs are a great place to explore. The City That Never Sleeps is home to wine bars in NYC Midtown and karaoke bars in NYC, plus so many more diverse places. The culture, atmosphere and food are so eclectic that people come far and wide to experience the infamous city. So, rather than having to frantically search for an Irish pub upon your arrival in the city, why not know where all of them are?
15 Best Irish Pubs in NYC
The good thing is you'll always find a good crowd at an Irish pub, and if you want to decompress, there are no better places in the world. So, here are some of the best Irish pubs you should be sure to check out in New York City.
1 | The Dead Rabbit | You've probably heard of The Dead Rabbit if you love craft beer. This Irish pub is located in the Financial District and is known for its extensive collection of beers from around the world. In 2016, it was voted the best bar in the world by Drinks International magazine.
The Dead Rabbit is owned by Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarrey, two brothers from Belfast who brought their family's traditional recipe for Irish whiskey to New York City. They opened the pub on Water Street in 2013 and haven't looked back since.
The atmosphere inside is lively and fun, making this an excellent pick for groups or date nights. It is decorated with tweed flap caps and Irish whiskey ads. The Dead Rabbit has an Irish pub feel that offers an extensive whiskey and scotch selection. They have a variety of beers on tap and over 200 kinds of whiskey, vodka and gin. It also has a menu of Irish specialties made from scratch daily.
WHERE: 30 Water St, New York, NY 10004 | WHO: 646-422-7906
2 | An Beal Bocht Cafe | This one knows what clubbing should look like. You’ve got to make a stop in it to confirm this statement. You'll find a cozy atmosphere here with plenty of booths and tables where you can sit with friends or family.
It is named after a famous novel written by Flann O’Brien. The name means “The Poor Mouth” in Gaelic. The An Béal Bocht Cafe has over 40 beers on tap, including Guinness, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny and Harp Lager, among others, as well as many other craft beers from around the world, including Belgium, England, Germany and Scotland.
The menu includes traditional Irish dishes, like bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips and corned beef and chips. Vegetarian options include warm salad greens with goat cheese or butternut squash ravioli with truffle butter sauce.
This bar also sets up the top position in the city with breathtaking live music performances. It hosts Irish and local music, as well as theater arts, comedy and poetry. There’s no cover charge, so you can enjoy your live entertainment without breaking the bank.
WHERE: 445 W 238th St, The Bronx, NY 10463 | WHO: 718-884-7127
3 | Donovan’s Pub | This popular bar and restaurant has been around since 1966 and has done an excellent job maintaining the tradition of great service and good times.
It is a great place to go for a casual meal or drink. They have an extensive menu with many Irish dishes, notably the traditional Irish brunch made of two eggs, an Irish sausage, white and black pudding and a strip of Irish bacon. The pub also put great enthusiasm into offering its customers the American favorites. Its burgers are well-known and loved. One of the burger specials is the 58 Burger packed with mushrooms, onions and peppers.
The atmosphere is very relaxed with a cozy traditional feel, with TVs playing sports and friendly staff taking orders. The best thing about Donovan’s Irish Pub is that it’s not too far from the city but still feels like you’re in Ireland.
WHERE: 57-24 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377 | WHO: 718-429-9339
4 | Peter McManus Cafe | Peter McManus Cafe is one of New York City’s best kept secrets. A hidden gem in Chelsea, this Irish cafe has been serving Guinness and other Irish brews since 1936, just after the prohibition period.
It is a no-frill joint with such a welcoming decor. There are framed photos on the walls, well-positioned phone booths and those ancient cash registers. The dark lighting, tablecloth-covered booths and the Tiffany-stained windows all combine to give it a desirable old-school Irish feel.
It serves a house ale on top of many other standard brews and a great selection of imported beers from all over Europe. The cafe also has a vast pool of classic American flares like delicious sandwiches and burgers.
It’s the quintessential neighborhood bar with old-world charm and good times. The bar has been featured in several movies, including “The Highlander” in 1986.
WHERE: 152 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011 | WHO: 917-261-5504
5 | Jackdaw | This pub is full of tradition and history, with its original oak bar dating back to 1874. Its name is inspired by the works of an ancient well-known Irish poet, W.B Yeats, “The Jackdaw.” You’ll notice some hints of this man in wall paintings, the photos on the wall, the thank you cards and the menu. The interior design is very simple, with a wooden bar counter and brick walls.
The bar crowd is mainly young and hipster-like, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it isn’t authentic. The staff here is friendly and knowledgeable about their beers. Here, you’ll have a wide selection of beers to choose from, including a variety of local craft brews, Irish gin and whiskeys, hand-crafted cocktails and, of course, Guinness. You also get to experience small bite options ranging from Irish sausages, bacon, Tayto crisps and cheese. There are also plenty of TV screens for watching sporting events.
WHERE: 213 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003 | WHO: 212-507-9333
6 | The Spaniard | This one is an example of Irish clubs’ sheer elegance. This gem is located next door to Gramercy Park Hotel and offers a little bit of everything: good food, fun drinks (try their signature cocktail called “The Spaniard”) and live music. A club in Kinsale, Ireland, goes by the same name, Spaniard, and this bar has its roots right in the mother country. It is an upscale pub with an elegant yet cozy atmosphere that serves up some delicious fare and excellent drinks like Guinness on tap. Going in, you walk into some really eye-catching maroon bar stools, vintage nautical paintings and stained-glass windows. You can tell this one is not one of those traditionally set bars.
It has an outdoor seating area that makes it perfect for people who love hanging out on the patio during the summer or enjoying the fresh air. The Spaniard also has an indoor bar where patrons can enjoy their drinks indoors during winter. Lunch specials are available on weekdays and brunch is served on weekends.
The eatery also features Irish music, dance performances and live bands playing energetic Irish folk music. The drinks served are at par with the upscale setting. If you want to try something different from these classic drinks, then you should try some of the restaurant’s signature cocktails, such as Irish coffee or Jameson’s hot chocolate drink with a shot of whiskey. The coffee is far from ordinary, as it’s a mashup of Counter Culture espresso, a bit of coconut-infused cream, demerara syrup and a whole bunch of other ingredients to make up a top-notch coffee.
WHERE: 190 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014 | WHO: 212-918-1986
7 | Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar | Paddy Reilly’s is a small bar with a big reputation, known for its great music and friendly staff. Nestled in Kips Bay, Paddy Reilly’s has been serving up pints since 1985 and has built a pretty solid reputation on its back. You’ve got to love this club’s friendly atmosphere and flock of legendary live music every night of the week, ranging from bluegrass jams and classic rock to Irish traditional music.
Initially, it was a Guinness exclusive bar and later welcomed other varieties due to demand. The famously friendly staff serves up Guinness on tap and a flare of other favorite beers, like Two Roads IPA. It also has a handful of the major American, Scottish and Irish whiskeys. The interior is decorated with memorabilia from Ireland, including old photographs and antique signs that decorate the walls. It is such an appealing place for those who want to relax after work or looking for a pre-movie pint given that Kips Bay AMC is just a few blocks away.
WHERE: 519 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10016 | WHO: 212-686-1210
8 | The Landmark Tavern | The Landmark Tavern opened in 1868 as a gathering place for Civil War veterans returning home from battle. The bar has remained untouched throughout its history, still boasting original wooden floors and tin ceilings that date back to the 1800s. The Landmark Tavern was also one of the first bars in America to offer beer on tap. It has a very traditional Irish feel but still manages to be modern and comfortable. The bar is quite large and can accommodate large groups and smaller parties. It is made from various woods that have been stained dark brown or black. It looks rustic and traditional but also gives off a warm feeling that makes people feel at home as soon as they walk in the door.
The seating area is also quite large and offers plenty of room for guests to sit comfortably without worrying about being too close or bumping into each other. The decor inside is also very old-fashioned with wooden tables and chairs, stained-glass windows and dark wood floors.
The tavern serves traditional Irish foods like shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash and fish and chips, as well as American classics like burgers, sandwiches, wraps and salads. There is also an extensive drink menu with everything from craft beer to wine and cocktails.
WHERE: 626 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036 | WHO: 212-247-2562
9 | Hartley’s | Hartley’s is one of the best Irish clubs in NYC. It’s a small, cozy pub full of history and charm. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Hartley’s is a great place to relax with friends or family. Hartley’s has been around for over 100 years, so it has a lot of history. The building used to be a stable in the early 1900s, but now it houses one of the best Irish bars in NYC.
This bar is casual, classy and intimate with super friendly bartenders creating a warm vibe for everyone. It has an exposed brick wall and dark wood bar, making it feel like an authentic Irish pub. Hartley’s also has a fantastic collection of vintage beer bottles that it uses to decorate the walls.
There are many great beers on tap at Hartley’s, including Guinness, Smithwick’s and Harp Lager. Don’t forget the delicious cocktails if you prefer something other than beer, such as a whiskey sour or an old-fashioned. The menu is limited, but Hartley’s offers an array of delicious sandwiches and appetizers.
WHERE: 14 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238 | WHO: 347-799-2877
10 | Molly’s | Molly's is an authentic Irish pub with plenty of character. The menu features traditional dishes like fish and chips and shepherd's pie, but don't miss out on Molly’s famous burger made with a blend of brisket and short rib served with sweet potato fries.
The club had to transition from being a grocery store to serving drinks. Peter O'Connell gave it its current name Molly Shebeen, from Molly’s Malone, after acquiring it in 1991. Shebeen means an illegal drinking spot.
If you're looking for someplace fun and lively where people are always ready to meet new friends or enjoy some great drinks after work, this is the place for you. You’ll fall in love with the club’s interior, from the wood-paneled ceiling to the sawdust-covered floor. It has some cozy booths with a burning fireplace to add the ambiance.
The pub has become a local favorite thanks to its authentic Irish atmosphere and friendly service. Molly’s offers live music, too, making it an ideal place to grab a pint after work or plan a night out with friends.
WHERE: 287 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010 | WHO: 212-889-3361
11 | McSorley’s Old Ale House | One of the oldest bars in New York City, McSorley’s has been around since 1854 and hasn’t changed much since then. It was initially founded by an Irish immigrant named John McSorley.
Today, it remains one of New York City's most iconic pubs, thanks to its authentic interior design and friendly staff members who are always willing to chat with visitors about local history or their experiences working there.
The bar is located in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. The pub offers a wide selection of beers, whiskeys and other spirits. If you want to enjoy an authentic Irish experience, this is your place.
Although it has changed hands several times over the years, McSorley’s has remained a beloved fixture on East 7th Street since its inception. The walls are covered with graffiti, old photos of celebrities who have visited over the years and vintage newspaper clippings. The pub takes great pride in maintaining authenticity, even going so far as brewing its beer for sale on the web.
WHERE: 15 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003 | WHO: 212-473-9148
12 | The Four-Faced Liar | The Four-Faced Liar is one of the most popular Irish pubs in New York City. Located on 7th Avenue, the downtown Irish pub is known for its joyous atmosphere. It got the name from the clock of St. Anne’s Church in Cork City, the birthplace of its owner Conor O’Sullivan. The bar has all the fun sessions you’d like to enjoy in an entertainment joint, with live music and poetry being a part of the club’s culture.
The Four-Faced Liar has a classic interior with mahogany tables, wooden floorboards and tin ceilings. It’s also a great place to go for a drink and some casual conversation. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, and the bartenders are very knowledgeable about the drinks they serve. There’s also an extensive beer selection on tap and a large selection of bottled beers to choose from.
The bar also has several whiskey selections and is known for having one of the best Irish whiskeys in New York City. If you like whiskey, this is a bar you should visit while in New York City.
WHERE: 165 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014 | WHO: 212-206-8959
13 | Ear Inn | The Ear Inn is another famous Irish pub in New York City that has been around for more than 200 years. You can enjoy some great food here, too, like steak sandwiches or a bowl of chili if you feel like something warm on a cold day.
It has a very old-school feel with dark wood paneling and hanging plants everywhere. The bartenders here are extremely friendly and helpful when ordering drinks, which is always nice when you’re not sure what you want. There’s also live music here most nights of the week, so check the Ear Inn’s website for upcoming events.
This historic tavern was initially built as a speakeasy during prohibition to serve alcohol to patrons who couldn't get served at other establishments because they were too young or didn't want to pay an excessive cover charge. Nowadays, the Ear Inn serves excellent food and drinks to everyone.
WHERE: 326 Spring St, New York, NY 10013 | WHO: 212-226-9060
14 | The Late Late Bar | The Late Late bar got its name from the Late Late Show, a long-running Irish TV show. It has been open since 2014, courtesy of James Morrissey, a nightlife promoter. He has worked to give the club that vintage look and feel from the Irish culture, placing a statue of the Virgin Mary and hanging up period wallpaper.
What sets this bar apart from others is its signature cocktails, such as its take on an Irish coffee or its house-made Bloody Mary topped with bacon crumbles. The bar also serves pints of Guinness over ice in goblets. The in-house foods are also a gem, starting with the cheese toasties and Tayto Crisp sandwiches.
This bar is famous for its late-night parties, which go on till dawn every day of the week. It has many different themed nights, including karaoke nights, live bands playing popular songs, comedy shows and much more.
WHERE: 159 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002 | WHO: 646-861-3342
15 | Swift Hibernian Lounge | Swift Hibernian Lounge offers an excellent atmosphere for watching sports and hanging out with friends over drinks. It has an extensive beer list, including local brews from New York breweries like Brooklyn Brewery and Smithwick. Danny McDonald and Mike Jewell founded this beautiful lounge. They wanted to create a place where people could come together over food and drinks while enjoying music.
The dangling chandeliers and wood-paneled walls give the pub an upscale old-school feel, making it quite a spot for enjoying the wide variety of drinks. It also has no shortage of bottled beer, drafts and even old-fashioned cocktails. The lounge has been around since 1995. It offers live traditional Irish music every Tuesday night.
WHERE: 34 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003 | WHO: 212-260-3600
Use Our Handy Map to Find Your Way Around!
One source said there are at least 120 Irish pubs in Manhattan.
Pearl River is often referred to as the most Irish town in New York. More than 54 percent of all of the town’s residents have an Irish ancestry.
The average price of a pint of Guinness in NYC is about $8.
You should plan on spending around $238 per day in New York City, including food and local transportation.
Officials say there are more than 2,100 establishments that primarily serve alcoholic beverages in the city.
Fraunces Tavern dates back to 1762 and is considered to be the oldest restaurant in the city.
Sawdust was commonly spread on the floors of pubs, cheap restaurants and butcher shops in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to soak up spilled drinks, blood guts and other bodily fluids.
Ordinary domestic beer prices range from $6 to $8 per 12 ounces, while finer beer costs between $8 and $12.
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Final Thoughts on The Best Irish Bars in NYC
NYC foodies are always on the hunt for the best food and drinks, and these Irish bars in the city definitely make the cut. From Irish pubs to jazz bars in NYC, New York City has a lot of nightlife, food, entertainment and drinks from all over the world to enjoy. For more information on amazing food, drinks, bars and restaurants in The Big Apple, visit our Westgate Resorts Travel Blog.
* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.
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