Countless bars in New York City these days calls themselves an “Irish pub,” but most of them are phonies with no real history behind them.
With St. Patrick’s Day taking place this weekend, we thought we’d share with you some of the best true Irish bars to celebrate the heritage. Sunday, March 17, may be the most hectic day of the year to visit these spots, but they’re great bars to check out all year long if you’re looking to put down a couple of pints.
1. An Beal Bocht Cafe
Where: 445 West 238th Street (Graystone Avenue), Bronx
An Beal Bocht Cafe has only been open since 1991, but they’ve quickly become a staple. The space hosts live performances for both Irish and local music, as well as poetry, comedy, theater, and art exhibits. An Beal Bocht is Gaelic for “the Poor Mouth,” and in honor if its name, they also created the Poor Mouth Theatre Company!
2. Donovan’s Irish Pub
Where: 57-24 Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside
Donovan’s takes you outside of Manhattan to the neighborhood of Bayside, Queens. One of the big pulls here is the live traditional Irish music. Bayside still has a pretty Irish dempographic, so it fits right in.
Where: 15 East 7th Street, East Village
Let’s start with the most obvious. McSorley’s is often argued as one of the most authentic Irish bars in the city. In fact, it claims it is New York’s oldest bar, founded in the mid 19th century. It has a long history in the East Village, dating back to days when women weren’t even allowed to enter the bar! Crazy, right? Thankfully everyone can grab a pint there today.
4. Molly’s Shebeen
Where: 287 3rd Avenue, Gramercy
Molly’s has changed its name many times over the years, but has always had a true Irish spirit at heart. They call themselves the “most traditional Irish bar in New York.”
5. Paddy Maguire’s
Where: 237 3rd Avenue, Gramercy
The owner of this pub, Patrick Maguire, used to be a jockey in Limerick, Ireland. If that’s not true Irish roots, nothing is. With open pool tables and sports always on the television, it’s a great hang out to watch a game or two and drink some Guinness.
6. Paddy Reilly’s
Where: 519 2nd Avenue, Kips Bay
Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar was open in 1986 by Steve Duggan of County Cavan. His commitment to making sure the pub was authentically Irish went as far as importing the bar’s flooring directly from Ireland! If you’re looking for a great no-frills bar to enjoy some live music and drinks, this is your place.
Featured image source: Facebook / McSorely’s Old Ale House
Also published on Medium.