As we approach St. Patrick’s Day, we realized we’ve discussed Irish churches, Irish heritage, Irish parade riots, and have written about cool East Village bars, East Village sports bars, historic bars, many posts on LGBT bars, and bars in general. But we have never done a post to highlight our favorite Irish bars. There is no shortage of both old and new Irish bars in the Village, and although St. Patrick’s Day might not be the best day to visit every bar on this list, they are all worth checking out.
1. McSorley’s Old Ale House, 15 East 7th Street – No Irish bars of NYC list would be complete without McSorleys, so let’s just cross this off our list first. Reputedly the city’s oldest continuously operating bar, the floor is covered in sawdust and you have two options to drink- light or dark beer (I prefer both). One of the last of the men-only pubs, it only allowed women after being forced to do so in 1970. Prior to this, their motto was “Good Ale, Raw Onions, and No Ladies“. Although ladies are now admitted, you can still order the raw onions.
2. Mary O’s, 32 Avenue A – Owner Mary O’Halloran hails from County Mayo opened Mary O’s in 2009. It has a modern decor with a menu feauturing quality Irish food such as Shepard’s Pie and other Dublin-style menu items. Stop in Thursday nights for traditional Irish music.
3. Galway Hooker, 133 7th Avenue South – Also opened in 2009, Galway Hooker features decor imported straight from Ireland. Yes, it has an American menu of burgers, sandwiches, and salads, with a millennial twist (avocado toast), but it offers a quality selection including its prized Midleton whiskey from County Cork.
4. Slainte, 304 Bowery – This NoHo pub features live Irish music every Tuesday night. A soccer and beer lover’s paradise, it boasts a huge draught beer selection of over 50 types of beer on tap and shows almost every soccer game you could want.
5. St. Dymphna’s, 118 St. Marks Place – Since 1994, this Irish bar has been serving up Irish classics like Shepards Pie and Irish breakfast along with classic American bar food. The bar is named after Dymphna, the daughter of a pagan king who is believed to have ruled a section of Ireland in the 7th century.
6. Mr. Dennehy’s, 63 Carmine Street – Mr. Dennehy’s is a neighborhood sports pub and restaurant with a large menu featuring quality Irish selections. Locals love it for its sidewalk cafe, dining room, and quiet backyard. This bar is so Irish it was featured in a Guinness commercial.
7. The Grafton, 126 1st Avenue – A soccer and rugby-lovers paradise, the Grafton on the corner of 1st Avenue and ST. Marks Place has a menu featuring Irish favorites.
8. Dorian Gray, 205 East 4th Street – Named for an Oscar Wilde novel, this pub was opened in 2012 by the great grand-nephew of Oscar Wilde. Its walls are covered by famous authors portraits and the bathroom is even wallpapered in a Paradise Lost theme. Don’t worry, you can still get a Guinness and Shepard’s Pie in this literary pub.
9. Swift Hibernian Lounge, 34 East 4th Street – This NoHo bar and neighborhood established in 1995 favorite offers a wide selection of craft brews, Irish whiskey, and single malt scotch. The bar was named for Jonathan Swift, the great Irish patriot and write. The bar is furnished with reclaimed church pews and a pulpit from Swift’s parish in Laracor, County Meath.