I remember it so well. March 16th, 2020 when the craic was put on hold for the foreseeable future. Finally, Paddy’s Day (not Patty’s Day) is back with a bang and for me, after Dublin, New York City is the best place to celebrate it! If you’re heading to NYC for St Patrick’s Day weekend, we hope this list of Irish-themed things to do and places to eat / drink will come in handy.
Also, if you’re looking for some restaurant recommendations that aren’t Irish, definitely check out our New York restaurant recommendations here.
Things To Do
Visit The Tenement Museum
Located in the Lower East Side, the Tenement Museum offers guided tours of two tenement buildings on Orchard Street. The coolest thing is that people actually lived in these buildings, and they have some sections of the homes recreated to look like it did back in the day. We loved it, but when we went, there was only one tour available – Hard Times: 1880, which recalled the lives of a family German immigrants that lived above a saloon they owned and ran.
Only recently they restarted their tour of an Irish immigrant’s tenement home – At Home in 1869, which we’re delighted about. We’ll definitely be going back!
Visit The Irish Hunger Memorial
The Irish Hunger Memorial is a lovely little park close to the World Trade Center. It was built in order to raise awareness of the famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1852 (when more than one-and-a-half million people died). Famine statistics, quotes and poems are displayed on the surrounding wall, and inside the garden, there are more than 60 types of flowers from Ireland, a recreated 19th-century Irish cottage and rocks from all of the country’s 32 counties.
It’s free to enter, and it’s definitely worth doing, especially on a nice day.
Visit Annie Moore on Ellis Island
Anna “Annie” Moore, aged 17 from Cork, was the first immigrant to the United States to pass through federal immigrant inspection at the Ellis Island station in New York Harbor. They’ve a memorial inside the Ellis Island museum dedicated to Annie.
This isn’t the only reason to visit Ellis Island though as here are loads of other exhibitions and displays. Oh and of course, you’ll get to see the Statue of Liberty on you’re way there! Get your tickets here.
Go See The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade
You can’t go to New York City for St. Paddy’s Day and not go see the parade! The NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the oldest and biggest in the world. This year, it starts at 11:00 AM, and the route goes up 5th Ave beginning at East 44th Street and ending at East 79th Street. See here for more information.
Visit An Irish Pub
There are so many Irish pubs in New York City, and although we haven’t been to all of them (yet 😉), we’ve definitely been to a few good ones. These are some of our favourites.
The Mean Fiddler
One of New York’s most famous Irish bars, The Mean Fiddler is where you go if you’re craving some chips with McDonnells Curry Sauce, a Shepard’s Pie or an Irish Fry (well, an interpretation of one anyway!).
They’ve also got live trad music, karaoke and the black stuff pours nicely too 😉 Definitely worth hitting this place up for a night out when you’re here. Here’s their menu.
The Dead Rabbit
If The Mean Fiddler is one of New York’s most famous Irish bars, then The Dead Rabbit is probably New York’s most famous Irish bar and in fact, it’s one of the most famous bars in the whole world!
Known for its cocktails and creamy pints, The Dead Rabbit was founded by two lads from Belfast, and is housed in a brick building built in 1828. It gets its name from an Irish gang that used to knock around the neighbourhood back in the day (Gangs of New York was also inspired by the gangs of this time period).
We’ve only had the breakfast and curry so far, and both were delicious. If not for the food, it’s definitely worth a visit just to see the place. The Dead Rabbit is the closest thing to a traditional Irish pub that I’ve seen in New York and it’s the best pint of Guinness I’ve had so far! Check out there menu here.
Located around the corner from The Dead Rabbit, Fraunces Tavern has been an operating tavern since 1762; there’s a museum on the second and third floors that we’ve yet to check out, but it’s definitely on our list.
We’ve had everything on the menu at this stage, and we haven’t been disappointed once. The Beef Pie is our favourite by far. Menu here.
McSorley’s Old Ale House
Visiting McSorley’s Old Ale House is like going back in time. It’s New York City’s oldest Irish saloon, with authentic saloon doors, sawdust on the floor and a wide selection of ales (not!). McSorley’s serves light or dark ale only! We’ve only had the light ale so far, and it’s not bad, plus you get two pints for $6 (which adds up to about 1 pint total after the foam settles). Last thing, they only cash.
I know it sounds like a lot of hoops to jump through, but it’s actually a bit of craic.
If you don’t feel up to doing anything on this list, then I’m sure you’ll find something here. And guess what? They’re all free!
Thanks so much for reading. If you end up doing anything on this list, let us know below. Also, be sure to tag us on social media 😉.