8 Traditional Irish Dishes & Where to Find ‘Em in NYC on St. Paddy's Day

The green shirt-wearing, fake Irish accent-speaking, bar-crowding, pint-pounding day we all know and love has almost arrived.

March 17th marks the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, and though it’s not an official public holiday here, the city will host a little parade routed along Fifth Avenue.

Just kidding, NYC has the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the country!

It’s a fun day, but you’ll need some sustenance to pair with all your green beer, Guinness, and Jameson consumption. 

So, throw on your “Kiss me I’m Irish” T-Shirt and shamrock socks, and head out to get some Irish grub.

1. Irish Breakfast


Irish Breakfasts are hearty affairs with staples like eggs, potatoes, veggies, rashers (Irish bacon, similar to Canadian bacon), Irish sausage, black pudding (sausage made from stuff like blood, meat and oatmeal) and white pudding (same as black pudding, but no blood).

St. Dymphna’s Bar & Restaurant (118 St. Marks Place) offers both a Full Irish Breakfast and a Full Irish Veggie Breakfast. (Of course heading to a bar in the East Village on St. Patty’s day may be a dicey move, let alone one named for the patron saint of mental disorders).

2. Shepherd’s Pie


Chances are if you’ve spent much time in pubs, you’ve came across Shepherd’s Pie on a menu at some point. It’s a meat pie usually made with lamb or beef mixed with vegetables like carrots and onions and topped with mashed potatoes.

Molly’s Shebeen (287 Third Avenue), a popular pub in Gramercy, is known for their Shepherd’s Pie, made with ground prime beef. In Ireland, shebeens are unlicensed spots (often of ill-repute) selling alcohol, meaning there are plenty of Irish beers on tap at Molly’s to go with your meal.

3. Boxty


Depending on where you are, they might be called kartoffelpuffer, latkes or just potato pancakes, but if you’re in Ireland, you better call ‘em boxties

Bailey Pub & Brasserie (52 William Street) in the FiDi is a classy joint serving up modern Irish food and craft beer. You can order boxties as a side here, and their Bailey Benedict comes with poached eggs served over the potato pancakes.

4. Irish Stew


Irish Stew is what you might expect: meat (usually lamb) and root vegetables mixed together and boiled to make a filling dish.

Passage Irish Bar & Kitchen (40-11 30th Avenue – Queens), the Astoria bar making waves with a fresh twist on Irish fare, creative cocktails and over 90 kinds of Irish whiskey, offers an Irish Stew made with Harp infused lamb, baby potatoes, pearl onions, carrots and celery.

5. Corned beef & Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage is more of a St. Patrick’s Day tradition in America than it is on the Emerald Isle. The dish became popular with Irish immigrants here, where beef is more plentiful.

Today if you ask about Irish food in NYC, one name pop ups over and over again: Butcher Block (43-46 Forty-First Street – Queens). The Sunnsyide market is in a historically heavily Irish area, and sells otherwise hard-to-find Irish food products.

Some Irish treats include Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and Boost chocolate bars, Tayto crisps in flavors like Cheese and Onion and Smoky Bacon, and Club Rock Shandy soft drinks (an orange and lemon-flavored beverage. They also have a deli where you can order Corned Beef & Cabbage.

6. Soda Bread


Soda Bread is another popular St. Patty’s Day treat. It’s a quick bread that uses baking soda rather than yeast, and it often has raisins in it.

Amy’s Bread (various locations) makes a whole wheat twist on the classic with caraway seeds and currants.

7. Bangers & Mash


Sausages (bangers), mashed potatoes and gravy make up this yummy dish that have some English influence.

Landmark Tavern (626 Eleventh Avenue), an Irish tavern in Hell’s Kitchen opened in 1868, serves theirs with caramelized onions and peas.

8. Fish & Chips


Picking up a brown paper bag filled with greasy fat French fries and fried cod is just what you do in Ireland after a day filled with drinking and merriment.

The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog (30 Water Street), a cool throwback cocktail and food destination in the FiDi named for the Five Points ruffians of Gangs of New York fame serves their Fish & Chips with a side of mushy peas. 

The best bar in the world may be a bit too bourgie, though, to throw your chips in a brown bag, for the stumble journey home.

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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