12 NYC Irish Bars Worth Visiting Any Time of Year

nycgo.com staff

Hundreds of bars in New York City claim some sort of Irish tie, whether in name, lineage or spirit. The spots below stand out from the pack: these aren’t just for St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe it’s the well-poured Guinness, or the proprietor’s welcome, or the neighborhood feel. Some might call it the craic, which roughly translates from Gaelic to "fun." So whether you’re looking for an evening of folk music, a lively crowd or a mellow spot for conversation, check out our profiles for a place that will bring out the Irish in you.

An Beal Bocht Cafe
Not just a place for a quiet pint, it also functions as a community center that sponsors theater and art and holds events pretty much nightly.
Location: Kingsbridge, Bronx
Year established: 1991
Pint of Guinness: $7
Typical Irish food: Traditional Irish breakfast
Traditional Irish music: Always on Sundays, some Fridays
Craic factor: The name roughly translates to “the poor mouth” and comes from the title for a 1941 Flann O’Brien novel.

Blarney Stone
Its authenticity is beside the point; for inexpensive drinks and filling food, you can’t do much better.
Location: Lower Manhattan
Year established: 1968
Price of a Guinness: $7
Typical Irish food: “Dublin-style” fish and chips
Traditional Irish music? No
Craic factor: An Irish immigrant opened the first of NYC’s Blarney Stones back in 1952. This is one of only two that remain (the other is near Penn Station).

Cronin & Phelan’s
You’ll find a large, lively bar behind the red-brick facade.
Location: Astoria, Queens
Year established: 1902
Price of a Guinness: $6
Typical Irish food: Irish peas
Traditional Irish music? No
Craic factor: Some bartenders can create magic. For real.

Donovan's Pub. Photo: Joe Buglewicz

Donovan’s Pub
Located in a once predominantly Irish neighborhood, this characterful bar is the best-known remnant of the old days.
Location: Woodside, Queens
Year established: 1966
Price of a Guinness: $6
Typical Irish food: “Lil” shepherd’s pie
Traditional Irish music? No
Craic factor: The burger ($9.95), long said to be one of the best in town.

Irish Haven
This corner bunker, tucked in a polyglot Brooklyn neighborhood, attracts its share of longtime regulars.
Location: Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Year established: 1964
Price of a Guinness: $5
Typical Irish food: Shepherd’s pie, sometimes
Traditional Irish music? Occasional weekends
Craic factor: So, it did make this very short list. Not to brag or anything.

Joyce’s Tavern
A homey, modest spot, with a green-painted porch, serves as a neighborhood institution.
Location: Eltingville, Staten Island
Year established: 1966
Price of a Guinness: $7
Typical Irish food: Corned beef with cabbage and potatoes
Traditional Irish music? Check the calendar, though note Thursdays are dedicated to country.
Craic factor: The current owners were handpicked by the late founder, Bob Joyce, to take over, ensuring the family feel.

Kitty Kiernans
This nicely accoutered pub is one of a number of happening Irish joints near the southwestern tip of the borough.
Location: Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Year established: 1996
Price of a Guinness: $7
Traditional Irish music? Sometimes on weekends (and you never know who might show up at Thursday’s open mic).
Craic factor: Used as a filming location for Spike Lee’s underrated 25th Hour.


Lillie’s Victorian Establishment
The setting, with marble columns, stained glass and Victoriana scattered about, provides plenty of eye candy.
Location: Union Square, Manhattan
Year established: 2009
Price of a Guinness: $9
Typical Irish food: Curry fries, Irish style
Traditional Irish music: Saturdays, 3–6pm
Craic factor: Some of the decor, including the long (marble-topped) wooden bar, comes from an 1800s Northern Ireland estate.

Mary O's. Photo: Yesenia Gonzales

Mary O’s
A far cry from your typical pub, Mary O’s is modern and chic but the Irish feel is real.
Location: East Village, Manhattan
Year established: 2009
Price of a Guinness: $8
Typical Irish food: Chicken pot pie
Traditional Irish music? Thursdays at 8pm
Craic factor: The owner, Mary O’Halloran, hails from Ireland’s County Mayo.

Molly’s Shebeen
If the sawdust on the floor doesn’t make you smile, the long mahogany bar and brick fireplace should do the trick.
Location: Gramercy, Manhattan
Year established: 1960
Price of a Guinness: $8
Typical Irish food: Irish lamb stew
Traditional Irish music? No
Craic factor: With the exception of the Prohibition years, this space has been home to a watering hole since 1895.

Photo: Phil Kline

Rambling House
True to its name, it’s an expansive public house in a largely Irish area—but draws a good mix of residents.
Location: Woodlawn, Bronx
Year established: 2002
Price of a Guinness: $6
Typical Irish food: Gaelic Burger with Irish porter cheese and bacon
Traditional Irish music? Occasionally
Craic factor: There’s sequestered dart lanes, lots of sports on TV and a generally festive mood.

Tír Na Nóg
This Times Square spot is quite large, but the square bar at the center provides a focal point.
Location: Midtown West, Manhattan
Year established: 2010
Price of a Guinness: $8
Typical Irish food: Irish bangers and mash
Traditional Irish music: On occasion, though call ahead to check
Craic factor: The name comes from the term for the mythological land of eternal youth; perhaps the boat from Ireland’s Achill Island that hangs from the ceiling is meant to be the conveyance.