Regardless of whether you’re Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day can be one of the dopest party days of the year.
Whether you’re lining up for the parade, wearing a green t-shirt daring a passerby to kiss you or plotting out a pub crawl with your buddies, anyone can get in on the fun.
But in New York City, St. Paddy’s revelers can take over entire bars, so figuring out where to go can become somewhat of a challenge, and not just because almost everywhere is serving that infamous green beer.
Thank your lucky charms that we’ve already done the leg work to make sure you find the perfect spots to hit up when you’re painting the town shamrock green.
1. The Dead Rabbit (30 Water Street)
deadrabbitnyc It's Saturday. The hardest decision you have to make today is neat or on the rocks.
With awards such as “The Best Bar in America” and “America’s Most Ambitious Cocktails Bar,” it’s easy to see once you go why The Dead Rabbit is a great bar any day of the year, but it shines especially gold on St. Patrick’s Day.
Owners Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry hail from Belfast in Northern Ireland, so they do this holiday right. It’s also one of the few places that will pour you a perfect 20-ounce pint of Guinness with a smooth bubble-free head, unlike the 16-ounce ones usually served at other NYC establishments.
2. P.J. Clarke’s (915 3rd Avenue)
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First opened in 1884, P.J. Clarke’s has become a NYC legend. It hasn’t changed much even over a century later, from the vintage non-working payphone in the corner to the human leg bones adorned over the towering entryway as an Irish talisman of luck.
The brick saloon has played host to the likes of Frank Sinatra and Jackie Kennedy, who frequented it often. If you’re laying off the beer this year, put some hair on your chest with a chilled Jameson on the rocks or their beloved Bloody Mary, a concoction only described as “made our way.”
3. Sweet Afton (30-09 34th Avenue - Queens)
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A cozy pub with exposed brick and flickering tabletop candles, Sweet Afton is the kind of place that you want to come in, grab a pint and just chill at. Dim lighting, wooden tables and leather-backed banquettes only add to their intimate feel.
But they do know how to party here, with regular live music, exceptional bites and a mess load of eclectic beers on tap. This Astoria watering hole is also quite spacious so there’s plenty of room for all your empty pints of Murphy’s Irish Stout.
4. The Wicked Monk (9510 3rd Avenue - Brooklyn)
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Step into this stone-walled castle of a pub in Bay Ridge for an authentic Irish experience, from the food to the booze. Even the stained glass windows that line the walls were transported from Greenmount Monastery in Cork.
Very much a neighborhood bar, the bar backlight will be lit up bright green all night as you hunker down with the rest of the holiday revelers. By the time you’re done, you’ll feel like you took a day trip to Ireland. Or maybe that’s all the beer talking.,
5. St. Dymphna’s (118 St. Mark’s Place)
stdymphnas only Trendy hipster bike parking allowed.
Although it’s a safe distance away from the high energy of St. Mark’s main strip, St. Dymphna’s remains a tried and true spot for anyone looking for a genuine Irish pub experience on St. Patrick’s Day.
Decked out in St. Paddy’s Day décor, St. Dymphna’s is television-free and encourages patrons to interact and talk rather than stay glued to the tube. Grab a cold apple or pear Magners Cider, the name given to Bulmers Irish Cider everywhere else but Ireland.
6. The Mean Fiddler (266 West 47th Street)
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Although it's almost too close for comfort to Rockefeller Center and Times Square, The Mean Fiddler does a great job not being a tourist trap and brings a time-old feel that even native Irish visitors would be proud of.
They highly encourage the wild times with a weeklong Mardi Gras-esque St. Patrick's Day party, complete with the Pearl River Irish Dancers from Dublin and the 608 Irish Carpenters Union Bagpipers on the actual day. And yes, they have green beer, too.
7. Swift Hibernian Lounge (34 East 4th Street)
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Named after Irish patriot and writer Jonathan Swift, the bar's mantra is simply experiencing “the proper enjoyment of life,” a sentiment many on St. Patrick’s Day will be attempting to achieve.
Ready to help the wannabe Irish reach that level are their deceptively potent Water of Life, which combines Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey with lemon sherbet, and the “Arrr”-worthy Captain Gulliver, a swift kick of Bullmer’s Original Irish Whiskey, dry vermouth and Italian grapefruit soda.
8. Irish Haven (5721 4th Avenue - Brooklyn)
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A place that gives it all away with its name, Irish Haven is a honest-to-goodness Irish dive bar in the throes of Sunset Park. An animated party crowd awaits the thirsty travelers that come here, and even more so on the pub’s favorite holiday.
The boisterous spot comes with all the things you love about a dive bar: cheap drinks, a wooden bar top, mounted TVs and a pool table in the back. It’s also really hard to miss. Just look for the massive Irish and American flags waving wildly outside.[Feature Image Courtesy NewYork.com]