9 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in New York City

McSorley's Old Ale House (c) Meryl Pearlstein
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Take It to the Skies

The Greens on the Rooftop (c) Meryl Pearlstein

The Greens on the Rooftop at Pier 17

Combine a view of the Manhattan skyline and Lady Liberty herself, the original green New York City monument, with a visit to the Seaport to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. At the aptly named Greens on the Rooftop at Pier 17, “go green” in a personal cabin where drinks and food will be served along with modern Irish music playing through the speakers inside. The cabin’s private TV screens will show scenic footage of the rolling hills of Ireland to transport you across the Pond. The menu serves up Ireland, too, with Shepherd’s Pie and Irish whiskey as well as Irish-spirited cocktails from Dante’s. 

Enjoy a Sweet Treat

St. Patrick’s TriColore cookies (c) EmilyChan

Leonelli Bakery

Spanning two important heritages in New York City, Michelin-starred chef Jonathan Benno’s Leonelli Bakery is offering gorgeous Irish-flag inspired Italian Rainbow Cookies in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. The cookies are made with house-made raspberry jam wedged between layers of white, green and orange almond cake. You can order in advance online in larger quantities, or purchase the colorful confections in-shop.

“Brooklyn Danny Boy” crumb cake courtesy Clarkson Avenue Crumb Cake

Clarkson Avenue Crumb Cake Company

Toast St. Patrick’s Day with a stout-flavored crumb cake from Clarkson Avenue Crumb Cake Company. One of the most delicious cakes I’ve had in recent times, the “Brooklyn Danny Boy” crumb cake is a holiday version of their Brooklyn recipe, available only in March. The base is a chocolate stout cake, piled high with Irish cream crumb topping, and demands to be eaten along with an Irish coffee (or a Guinness, if you prefer). Cakes are shipped free from their New York location. 

Lucky Charms cookie courtesy Chip City

Chip City

NYC’s Chip City has baked up a festive Irish cookie to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Stop by their locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens for a pack of colorful Lucky Charm cookies to please every leprechaun in the house. The Insta-perfect cereal cookies are filled with marshmallow fluff and topped with Lucky Charms. Order in advance online or pick them up in-person from March 15 – 20.  

Toast to Irish Eyes

McSorley’s Old Ale House (c) Meryl Pearlstein

McSorley’s Old Ale House

There’s little discussion when it comes to choosing the most classic (and intriguing) Irish bar in Manhattan. McSorley’s Old Ale House in the East Village has a storied history dating from 1854, surviving all kinds of controversy from not allowing entry to women (with no women’s restrooms for many, many years) to continuously operating during Prohibition and avoiding closure by offering a snack of saltines with mustard, onions and cheese. The original precursor to today’s “Cuomo chips,” the offbeat snack is still on the menu as are the pub’s two original libations. Order a lager or an ale, and there you have it — that’s McSorley’s in a nutshell. You had to wait to get in even before the pandemic – plan to wait a long time to celebrate now.

The Perfect Pub

Times Square has had its share of Irish pubs over the years, but The Perfect Pub stands out for its conviviality, outdoor balcony and its exceptionally wide range of beer and whiskeys. The food menu goes beyond standard Irish pub grub like bangers and mash, beef stew, Shepherd’s Pie and burgers adding a range of global choices. If it’s available, try the Irish Cream cheesecake. While it would be remiss of you not to order a perfectly poured Guinness here, the pub (and its sister namesake in Midtown) has a range of 30 international brews on tap. Show your love to Times Square and this special Irish day as you share a pint with someone who might have roots in the Emerald Isle and possibly someone you’ve met late-night at a pub in Dingle.

The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog

Founded by two talented Irish bartenders looking for a place to show off their cocktail wizardry, The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog in the Seaport District is more than a bar. It’s a place to dive into everything Irish with merchandise, beers, cocktails and great Irish food. The 19th-century setting is set up with dividers between tables to allow for safe, St. Patrick’s Day enjoyment. The décor will set the mood immediately – it’s classic Irish with green walls and wood ceilings and floors. Expect the usuals when it comes to lrish dishes from bangers and mash to fish and chips and Irish lamb stew.

The Late Late

If you’ve ever watched Irish TV, the name of The Late Late will be immediately familiar. Recognizing Ireland’s “Late Late Show,” the world’s oldest late-night talk show, The Late Late is a Lower East Side staple for drinks and food. Modeled after an Irish residence rather than a typical Irish pub and offering a menu of more than 100 Irish whiskeys, The Late Late brings Irish-ness into dishes like bangers and mash. Order a burger topped with a choice of Jameson habanero, malt mayo or Guinness barbecue sauce to help you soak up all that liquid goodness. 

The Galway Hooker

Be careful when you say you’re meeting up at the Hooker. Known to many as just that, The Galway Hooker is named for an Irish sailboat of the type typically found off the coast of Ireland in Galway Bay. A great spot to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the West Village watering hole also offers the usual Irish pub grub like chicken sandwiches and burgers, but with a side of kicky Jameson’s fries.

Donovan’s Pub

Welcoming Irish (and non-Irish) revelers to Woodside, Queens since 1966, Donovan’s Pub established a reputation early on for its notable burgers that were the perfect accompaniment to a pint of Guinness. Not a burger eater? No worries – there are plenty of sandwiches, steaks, and a very Irish Shepherd’s Pie to chow down on with your favorite brew. 

View of Statue of Liberty from The Greens (c) Meryl Pearlstein