A bar and a pub are both places where people get together to drink alcoholic beverages and engage in revelry. We can't deny that revelry is pretty fantastic. Pubs in particular often have tradition behind their walls, as they were built as community gathering points in British villages. Community gatherings plus beer are a time tested formula, in America as much as across the pond.
Even though New York has upwards of 8.5 million people, the comradery of a pub environment is much appreciated. Plus, what kind of complaint could you have for a place that serves hefty pints, savory pub grub, and a constant dose of hospitality? We choose only the best pubs in New York to give you a feel for how good these places can be. Enjoy a glass of your favorite ale, a plate of fish and chips, and all the tall tales you can bear. Eat amongst some authentic monastery decor at the Wicked Monk and quench your Catholic guilt with pitches of quality beer or cider.
Although McSorley's Old Ale House is the oldest Irish tavern in New York City, all of our 10 Best pubs easily deliver the feel-good experience you're craving. Bottoms up.
Peter Dillon's Bar
With two popular Irish pubs in New York City, Peter Dillion's is part billiards guy's club and part Guinness heavy pub. Inexpensive drinks and rowdy people is not a combination for everyone, but it is a combination for many people, judging by the turnout on Sunday (P.S. This place is definitely on the Raiders team). No-frills ambience keeps the attention on the beer. Food? Not here, which makes it a great place to start or end your evening. If you decide to stay at this location, the management is pretty lenient at letting you order in. The 40th street location is conveniently located near Grand Central, making it a perfect pit stop before a long journey. (212-213-3998)
Foley's NY Pub and Restaurant
Although baseball is a minority sport in Ireland, many of us know that it has been a big part of America's history. Foley's NYC is a bar with divided interests that works: part Irish pub with well-spaced tables and a good recipe for fish & chips and a museum of baseball fan-dom. Diehard baseball lovers will swoon for the memorabilia strewn throughout the bar (including over 1000 signed balls), and the no-questions-asked baseball game on the flat screen televisions. On off season, they do give playtime to other sports. Drink draft beer, bottled beer, scotch or wine and nosh on food ranging from thin crust pizza to chicken pot pie. (212-290-0080)
An Beal Bocht Café
Ignore the word "Cafe" in An Beal Bocht, because at its heart, this is a good, quality, Irish pub. Step inside this traditional pub and you'll feel as though you've been swept off to the Emerald Isle – mahogany accents and bar, candles, and various pictures and mementos that share an "all things Irish" motif. An Beal Bocht serves several Irish draughts as well as a full pub menu, including delicious corned beef and cabbage. If you're lucky, the night you stop in will feature live folk music or maybe even a poetry reading – what better way to get a feel for the Bronx's inner Irish? (718-884-7127)
Known for traditional Irish eats with upscale twists, this bar calls out to those seeking to satisfy both hunger and thirst. St. Dymphna was believed to have ruled a section of Ireland in the 7th century. She is now the patron saint for the mentally ill. We won't talk about her untimely end (okay, we will: she was murdered by her father) but she does still have a Facebook page if you are interested in friending her. At her namesake bar, Guinness flows freely, and live folk music can be heard on weekends. A lovely garden behind the pub welcomes guests to sit outside and relax during warmer months. During cold weather, the hot mulled cider is a must. (212-254-6636)
The Dead Rabbit
Located in a brownstone from the 1800s, The Dead Rabbit has the charming vibe of old New York. It even looks a little like old Manhattan. Inside, there are photos on the ceiling (in case you want to reverse the effects of looking at your phone all day) as well as giant Irish paintings. They have won awards for their cocktail savvy and this is the rare pub that has drinks other than beer (although there is a sizeable list of that too and a namesake cask ale). Food is traditionally British, from scotch eggs to lamb shepherd's pie, and they nail each recipe. (646-422-7906)
The Irish American Pub
Often open until 4am, The Irish American Pub & Restaurant is dedicated to the good life, one pour at a time. With lots of seating available in rich dark woods, this neighborhood bar still appears delightfully cozy. Try the French Dip sandwich, which is Sliced Roast Beef, Sauteed Onions, Pepper Jack Cheese and Au Jus Dip. There is a large craft beer list for beer-vangelists. Occasionally there is karaoke and there is always a game room for those who like to be as far away from karaoke as possible. Go down the stairs hung with flags and you know you are in the right place. (646-414-6223)
The neighborhood that O'Hara's is located in took a hit after 9/11. They commemorate the strength that has been shown in rebuilding efforts and human spirit with a huge photo album with tributes, newspaper clippings and letters. You can request this book when you arrive, which proves how community-based O'Hara's truly is. Right by the 9/11 memorial, it is a great bar to duck into to grab a pint or two or go face first into a plate of shepherd's pie. Great selection of beer, cocktails and burgers. It is the perfect place to stop after a day of sightseeing, both for locals and tourists alike. (212-267-3032)
The Wicked Monk
The pulpit. Stained glass windows. Marble headstones representing the seven deadly sins. Do these sound like things that belong in a bar? Certainly not, but Irish pub The Wicked Monk makes it work, serving a cheeky side of Catholic guilt alongside dinner, brunch, lunch and of course, lots of beer. Big screen TVs are set to the major games, and sports fans' eyes are glued to them in between sips of frothy goodness. Live bands play regularly for foot stomping fun. Make sure to raise your pint to the gargoyle sitting next to you - and no, we aren't insulting your date. (347-497-5152)
Cock & Bull
If you can tell your friends that you will meet them at Cock and Bull NYC without tittering, then you are more adult than the rest of us. Influenced by gastropubs of Great Britain, there is more focus on the food than usual. Chicken pot pie is elevated with a richer filling and chunkier chicken. The chips that come with fish and chips are thick slabs of potato, standing in for the role of ten French fries. The atmosphere is lively and the drinks flow freely. They even play British background music, such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Coldplay and Adele. Heard of them? (212-819-1900)
McSorley's Old Ale House
An old, emerald standby with close to 150 years under its belt, this Irish bar offers only two distinct libations: McSorley's Light and McSorley's Dark. Try one of each for true homebrew diversification (two glasses are cheaper than the price of one in most New York pubs). There are old newspapers on the walls (remember those?), sawdust on the floor and hot mustard to go with your meal. 1860's paraphernalia is refreshing in a culture that calls songs from the early 2000s "old school." A younger, primarily male crowd regularly darkens the doors of this tried but true neighborhood haunt. (212-473-9148)
About Courtney Sunday
Courtney Sunday lived in Canterbury, England and Luzern, Switzerland before returning to Toronto in 2010. Yoga teaching and freelance writing became her full-time professions, as she learned the true meaning of the statement: "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."
Courtney now divides her time between Philadelphia and Toronto. She loves the cafe culture of both cities and the ever-expanding group of foodies. When not leading small yoga teacher trainings around the globe she explores her cities by foot: www.courtneysunday.com, @Omathomeyoga.
Read more about Courtney Sunday here.
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