New York City has a lot to thank its Irish population for, but their contribution to the pub scene is arguably the most famous contribution to the city’s culture, dating back to the early 19th century. Some of the most authentic and historic Irish pubs NYC has to offer can be found within each borough, all of them providing guests with a distinct bar-going experience while celebrating Irish heritage. Be sure to hit these destinations when out and about on a bar crawl through the Big Apple.
Irish Haven, Sunset Park
A warm and austere pub six decades in the making, Irish Haven has continued to provide familiar community space for locals and new visitors alike. The classic wood-paneled interior compliments the no-frills beer and shot-centric drink menu, including $5 pints of Guinness. Irish Haven also features live music performances, karaoke and trivia nights, and so much more! It’s no secret why this classic pub made an appearance in Martin Scorsese’s film The Departed over a decade ago.
Hartley’s, Clinton Hill
This intimate and unsuspecting gem has garnered a reputation for being one of the best pubs not just in the entire city but in the country as well! The warmth and charm of this cozy find lies in the Irish hospitality that shines through in the food and drinks, not to mention the traditional Irish music playing every Monday at 8 pm. Hartley’s is the perfect place to get to know someone while enjoying an authentic Irish cocktail alongside some daily baked soda bread and Guinness beef stew.
An Béal Bocht Cafe, Fieldston
Irish-American creatives love to gather at this long-standing cafe! From live Irish music to poetry readings, comedy shows, an artist gallery, and theatre space, An Béal Bocht has it all. Visitors will be delighted at the vast selection of beers to peruse and the lengthy comfort food menu including staples like bangers and mash and Sheperd’s Pie. Don’t pass up the chance to take part in this cultured community space.
McSorley’s Old Ale House, East Village
McSorley’s Old Ale House is a true testament to the city’s historical love affair with genuine Irish pubs. Built sometime in the mid-19th century, this legendary establishment has been patronized by Presidents, artists, poets, authors, and all sorts of eclectic clientele throughout the decades. The pub has managed to retain its old-world aesthetic with timeless memorabilia gracing its walls and a simple drink choice between Light ale or Dark porter. McSorley’s does not accept reservations and only takes cash payments.
The Dead Rabbit, Financial District
Although a more recent addition to the Irish Pub scene, The Dead Rabbit has earned its status as a highly lauded and multi-award-winning bar situated right in the hustle and bustle of the city. The bar draws its name from an 1830s Irish gang that populated Lower Manhattan and has drawn in crowds searching for an upscale cocktail bar that provides the feel of an Irish Pub in Belfast. The Dead Rabbit sports three unique floors giving guests a chance to tailor their experience to their liking, truly an unrivaled spot to get a drink after work and unwind.
Donovan’s Pub, Woodside
The local Irish community can’t get enough of Donovan’s Pub! Good food at great prices, dark wood booths, a wood-paneled dining room with stained glass, and multiple fireplaces ensure an overall cozy ambiance and a highly satisfactory banquet experience. Whether it's grabbing a quick drink or celebrating a large occasion, Donovans is here to meet every guest’s needs.
Jack Jones, Astoria
Beer and burgers. What more could anyone ask for? Jack Jones ticks all the boxes in an ideal gastropub, serving the freshest food alongside premium beers, liquors, cocktails, and mocktails with the widest variety possible. Service is fast, friendly, and attentive which makes for a comfortable experience all around. Bottomless Brunch occurs every weekend and Jack Jones boasts consistent live events on their monthly schedule. Check out their website for more details.
Joyce’s Tavern, Eltingville
Eltingville Town’s pride and joy, this family-owned and operated establishment continues to serve its community through thick and thin. The Irish flair pairs well with a casual ambiance that’s perfect for relishing in that old tavern feel. Thursday nights are for Karaoke while live entertainment is featured on Fridays and Saturdays nights. The warm and knowledgeable staff will recommend premium beers and wine to guests that complement the fresh, seasonal fare that is offered depending on the time of year.