The Best Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in NYC

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Women in a St Patrick's Day Parade
©Courtney Collison/Flickr, Creative Commons
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St. Patrick's Day Parade
Courtesy NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade
St. Patrick's Day Parade

It doesn’t matter where you’re from—on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone can claim to be at least a little bit Irish. The parade itself lays claim to being the oldest in the country (it was first held in 1762). So, grab a green beer and suit up in kelly green to watch bagpipers, marching bands and assorted revelers from near and far as they march up Fifth Avenue from 44th St. to 79th St. The parade starts at 11 am and typically ends by 5 pm.


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Molly's Shebeen
Courtesy Molly's Irish Pub and Restaurant Shebeen
Molly's Irish Pub and Restuarant Shebeen

First established in 1895, Molly’s is arguably the most traditional Irish bar in New York City, complete with sawdust on the floor and a log-burning fireplace. Renowned for its shepherd’s pie, killer burgers and steaks, be sure to wash it down with a pint (or three) from its mile-long English and Irish draft list, including Guinness, Harp, Smithwick's, Murphy's Stout and Murphy's Red, which are represented by two enormous taps. 

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McSorely's Ale House
©Manhattan Sideways
McSorely's Ale House

McSorley’s Old Ale House is another well-worn bar, established in 1854. Everyone from Teddy Roosevelt to John Lennon to Babe Ruth has passed through McSorley’s swinging doors. Enter the sawdust-strewn floors and prepare for a trip back through time. Perhaps the single greatest novelty of McSorley’s is that its remained steadfastly authentic by providing only two choices to its customers: McSorley’s Dark Ale and McSorley’s Light Ale. But at these prices, you’ll probably stop noticing.

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The Late Late Bar in NYC
(©The Mix Lab)
The Late Late Bar

Head to the Lower East Side for a more contemporary “Irish-inspired pub” experience at The Late Late situated on the famous Houston Street. The bar is named after “The Late Late Show,” a progressive talk show that ran afoul of Ireland’s Catholic Church, and it’s modeled after an upscale Irish residence from the 1960s. This cozy bar boasts velvet booths, throwback wallpaper, over 50 Irish whiskeys and 10 local beer taps hung over white ceramic Belfast sinks.

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Guiness at a counter at Tír Na NÓg in NYC
Courtesy Tír Na NÓg
Tír Na NÓg

Though a bit west of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Tír na nÓg’s two locations are the perfect places to stop for a meal or a pint if you’re coming into Manhattan via Penn Station or Port Authority. This spot has plenty of authentic charm including antique books and decor crafted out of reclaimed woods and materials. Both locations serve a fab Irish breakfast—which includes Irish sausages, bacon, eggs and black and white pudding—until 11 am. Enjoy live Irish music from noon to midnight on St. Patrick's Day at both locations. 


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St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue
Courtesy St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue

This exquisite cathedral on Fifth Avenue is open daily from 6:30 am to 8:45 pm. The Neo-Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral church is worth a visit, regardless of whether or not you're Catholic.

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The Palm Court
(Courtesy The Palm Court at The Plaza)
The Palm Court in the Plaza Hotel

This year, the elegant and historic Plaza Hotel is getting in on the Irish festivities, hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Afternoon Tea and Cocktail menu, along with a live Irish music performance by harpist Erin Hill. Sweet and savory bites for the tea include mini-corned beef with Emerald cabbage, Irish smoked salmon and roualde of Irish rasher bacon, and the cocktail menu will offer such drinks as the Ahamrock Sour, and Guinness and a shot. 

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(Brogan and Braddock)
Dingle Gin and Tonic Seared Salmon at Mustang Harry’s

Mustang Harry's, always a great spot for some good pub fare before a game or concert at Madison Square Garden, is celebrating St. Pat’s this year with alcohol-infused dishes! Tantalizing items like Dingle Gin and Tonic Seared Salmon (above), Drunken Mussels and Irish Chips, and West Cork Whiskey Braised Beef and Colcannon Cottage Pie will leave you both satiated and darn happy!

By Farah Lopez

NYC boasts the largest St. Patrick's Day parade of its kind and, in this town, everything goes green (including beer and bagels) in celebration of the Emerald Isle tradition.

Not quite sure where to go or what to do for the 2018 celebrations? No worries. You won't need the luck of the Irish because we’ve got eight of the top events, bars and restaurants to visit that are steeped in Irish tradition and history (as well as great ale.) So Erin go Bragh!

Farah Lopez
About the author

Farah Lopez is the Marketing Editor and a French-Canadian transplant living in SoBro (South Bronx). Follow her food-o...