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Eat and Drink

Top Irish pubs and restaurants in NYC: Dead Rabbit, Hartley’s, more

The Irish pub brings to mind overflowing pints of Guinness beer and perhaps some questionable shamrock-infused decorating choices. Don’t get us wrong: That does have its charm, but New York’s Irish food scene has much more to offer.

From traditional bar menus and draft beer watering holes, to elevated modern cuisine, all five boroughs put some plates on the table when it comes to Gaelic hospitality. Head to Molly’s Shebeen for some super traditional bites, out to Hartley’s in Brooklyn for locally sourced fare, or up to An Beal Bocht Cafe for a taste of Irish music and art.

Whatever your scene might be, these spots will have you feeling lucky.

Gastropub fare at The Dog and Duck

Once a predominantly Irish community, Sunnyside, Queens has
Photo Credit: The Dog and Duck

Once a predominantly Irish community, Sunnyside, Queens has more than its fair share of traditional pubs along Queens Boulevard and Skillman Avenue. In recent years, it's welcomed casual gastropubs serving bar food a cut above, like The Lowery Bar & Kitchen and The Dog and Duck. Stop in at the latter for typical plates (mussels and fries, roasted chicken) or Irish-inspired plates and sides (including shepherd's pie and colcannon, a traditional mix of mashed potatoes and cabbage). Craft beers run the gamut from local to European. You can even order a bottle of Crabbie's, a Scottish alcoholic ginger beer, while you're there. (45-20 Skillman Ave., Queens, 718-406-9048, thedogandduckny.com)

Traditional pub grub at Molly’s Shebeen

Sawdust-covered wooden floors, a fireplace and brick walls
Photo Credit: NYCRestaurant.com

Sawdust-covered wooden floors, a fireplace and brick walls exude a no-frills vibe at this Gramercy Park pub. Opened in 1960, Molly's Shebeen dates back to 1895 when it started out as a grocery. Epicurean purists will delight in menu options like Irish lamb stew (with chunks of meat, veggies and potatoes) and corned beef and cabbage. And there's no question about it: a pint of Guinness, or "the blonde in the black dress," is in order here. (287 Third Ave., Manhattan, 212-889-3361, mollyshebeen.com)

Daily dinner specials at Le Chéile

The name of this Irish outpost with views
Photo Credit: Le Chéile

The name of this Irish outpost with views of the George Washington Bridge comes from untranslatable Gaelic, roughly meaning "together." The Washington Heights area was once home to a large Irish community, the remnants of which are still alive and well at Le Chéile. Daily dinner specials add to a menu of burgers, salads, traditional Irish fare and typical American entrées, and the kitchen stays open until 1 a.m. Happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays keeps locals from ever going parched. (839 W. 181 St., Manhattan, 212-740-3111, lecheilenyc.com)

Victorian ambience and brunch at Lillie's

If you step off the bustling streets of
Photo Credit: Lillie’s

If you step off the bustling streets of modern Manhattan into Lillie's, you'll think you've been transported to a Victorian gin palace. Named for Lillie Langtry, a British actress and socialite of the 19th century, Lillie's Victorian Establishment's locations in midtown and near Union Square Park sport décor accents shipped across the Atlantic from a Victorian mansion in Northern Ireland. Stop in on a Saturday or Sunday for $17 brunch complete with a boozy drink of your choice or unwind on a weeknight with a dram of whiskey or scotch or a pint of beer. (13 E. 17 St. and 249 W. 49th St., Manhattan, lilliesnyc.com)

New American cuisine and Irish cottages at Tír Na Nóg

This Irish pub serving your typical bar apps
Photo Credit: Tír Na Nóg

This Irish pub serving your typical bar apps and New American entrées has two midtown locations, but we recommend the Times Square one. It's part-sports bar, part-Irish Epcot: the original Tír Na Nóg boasts 16 TVs for watching both kinds of football in the company of stained glass windows and a recreation of an ah fulacht fiadh, a cooking pit used by the ancient Irish. Coming with a large party? Book one of the spaces decorated like an Old World cottage or a church chapel, and order as many pitchers of draft beers and plates of ale-battered fish and chips as it takes to make you think you're on the other side of the Atlantic. (315 W. 39th St. and 254 W. 31st St., Manhattan, tirnanognyc.com)

Freshly baked Irish soda bread at Hartley’s

At the forefront of Clinton Hill's food scene
Photo Credit: Hartley's

At the forefront of Clinton Hill's food scene renaissance stands this homey Irish café. The locally sourced menu is small and focused. Fare includes: Irish soda bread (a.k.a, the Irish scone) baked daily; small bites like local radishes with Irish butter and sea salt; heartier entrees like the grass-fed beef, roast vegetable and Guinness stew; and surprising sides (for example, red cabbage salad with golden beets, herbs and yogurt). To drink you have your pick of wine, craft beers on draft and cocktails. Stop in for live Irish music every Monday night at 8:30. (Hartley's, 14 Putnam Ave., 347-799-2877, hartleysnyc.com)

Award-winning cocktails at Dead Rabbit

Tuck yourself into this downtown hideaway -- literally.
Photo Credit: Dead Rabbit

Tuck yourself into this downtown hideaway -- literally. The first-floor taproom at Dead Rabbit is a cozy space nestled onto a small street just steps from the East River. Founded by two Irishmen who wanted to mix the time-tested Irish pub with contemporary charm, Dead Rabbit has received much buzz for its innovative cocktail offerings. (It was named the World's Best Bar in 2016.) Take your time perusing the drinks menu, presented in comic book format, and order a plate of beer-battered cod chips, complete with mushy peas and tartar sauce. Come on Sundays after 6 p.m., and you'll be treated to a traditional Irish jam session, or seisiún. (30 Water St., Manhattan, 646-422-7906, deadrabbitnyc.com)

Mac 'n' cheese and monastery décor at The Wicked Monk

You won't regret taking a long ride on
Photo Credit: The Wicked Monk

You won't regret taking a long ride on the R train to visit this kitschy Bay Ridge bar, designed to look like an Gothic Irish monastery. The wood and stained glass windows inside were actually shipped all the way from a monastery chapel in Cork, Ireland, dating back to the late 19th century. There's a whole grab-bag of cuisines represented on the menu, but our eyes are drawn to the four mac-and-cheese options (including Philly cheese steak and lobster). If you're looking for something more traditional, try the bangers (grilled Irish sausages) and mash (pictured) or the Guinness-braised short ribs. (9510 Third Ave., Brooklyn, 347-497-5152, wickedmonk.com)

Irish coffee at Joyce’s Tavern

Staten Island's food scene may be known for
Photo Credit: Joyce’s Tavern

Staten Island's food scene may be known for its pizza and pasta offerings, but there is an Irish element in the mix. Joyce's Tavern is a local Eltingville institution where neighbors gather to mingle, listen to live music and sip the signature drink. (That's an Irish coffee topped with housemade whipped cream and a drizzle of green creme de menthe.) On St. Paddy's Day proper, owners, the O'Toole family, are hosting a party with Irish music and a full Irish menu. That includes some unusual reuben egg rolls and the pub's famous corned beef platter. (3823 Richmond Ave., Staten Island, 718-948-0220, joycestavern.com)

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