It wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without a pint or two.
Rocky Sullivan's, co-owned by musician Chris Byrne and TV producer Patrick Farrelly, is well-known for its reading series and its music, which ranges from Irish hip-hop to traditional. Leading up to St. Patrick's, Byrne's hip-hop band, Seanchai and the Unity Squad plays on Friday. On the 17th, expect huge crowds. (212-725-3871; 129 Lexington Avenue)
Puck Fair. They start partying well before Paddy's Day; On Sunday, the 13th Colum McCannhosts a literary brunch, and there's live music in the evening; Tuesday night, there's an Irish whiskey tasting. On the day, get there early; the place gets busy -- fast. (298 Lafayette St; 212-431-1200)
The Knitting Factory. Not an Irish bar, but there's plenty on tap. Beginning on Friday, with the Fenians and an Irish Spoken Word performance, all the way through Black 47 on St. Patrick's Day itself. (74 Leonard Street; 212-219-3132)
Swift's Hibernian Lounge is the older sibling of Puck Fair, a comfortable place for an after-work drink. The colorful mural celebrates the pub's namesake, the satirist Dean Swift, and the talk is appropriately Celtic. Live traditional music in the run-up to St. Patrick's. (34 East 4th Street; 212-260-3600)
SOB's. SOB's goes green for St. Patrick's with Seanchai & The Unity Squad's Irish hip hop. (200 Varick Street; 212-243-4940
Marty O'Brien's. Wednesday night, the Pat McGuire band plays; Thursday, St. Patrick's Day itself, "it's mayhem in here," according to a bartender. (1696 Second Avenue; 212-722-3889 )
McCormack's is a sports bar with an Irish accent. The bartenders are friendly and the bar is lively. Good pub grub--and more elaborate meals, too. (365 Third Avenue; 212-683-0911)
Dublin House is one of the last of the old-fashioned Irish bars. There's nothing fancy, mind you. No music, no readings, no frills, no food. Just cheap drinks and good talk from the regulars. (225 west 79th Street; 212-874-9528)
Paddy Reilly's is one of the city's best-known venues for Irish music and leading up to St. Patrick's, there's a full card. There's live music every night; Sunday afternoon, there's a bluegrass session. Wednesday night, the Celtic rock band Trigger plays at 10 p.m.; Random Folk, a traditional Irish band, plays starting at 1:00 on Paddy's afternoon; from 10:00 p.m. till 2:00 in the morning, the celtic rock band The Itinerants takes over. (519 Second Avenue; 212-686-1210)
Lunasa. Burgers, wings, fish and chips, pannini, and salads make up the basic bar menu, and there are specialty cocktails. St. Patrick's night there will be a DJ at this non-traditional Irish bar. (126 First Avenue; 212-228-8580)
McSorley's. It's been around for 150 years, and had its picture painted by the likes of John Sloan. For drinks, you've got two choices -- light or dark ale. The menu offers standbys like burgers, sandwiches, and chili. Don't expect any flashy trimmings; what you get is solid conversation and a relaxed vibe. (15 East Seventh Street; 212-473-9148)
Eamonn's. On St. Patrick's Day, bagpipers and a DJ take over this Brooklyn Heights bastion of Irish America. (174 Montague Street; 718-596-4969)
The Brazen Head draws a lively young crowd, and for St. Patrick's Day it offers live traditional music in the evening and pints of Guinness for $3.75 apiece. (228 Atlantic Avenue 718-488-0430)
The Salty Dog.Bay Ridge's Irish hangout offers the Pat McGuire Band at 7 p.m. St. Patrick's Day. (7509 Third Avenue; 718-238-0030)
Rory Dolan's. Technically, this bar is in Yonkers, but it's got a huge following among the Woodlawn Irish. Patrick's night, there will be traditional Irish music, and pipers all day long (890 McLean Avenue; 914-776-2924)
The Ramblin' House. A cousin of Rory Dolan's, it, too, has a loyal following. In the run-up to St. Patrick's Day, there are live bands Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. (4292 Katonah Avenue; 718-798-4510)
The Irish Rover has a faithful following. The bartenders and staff are welcoming and the drinks are strong. There will be a special DJ on the 17th. (37-18 28th Avenue, Astoria. 718-278-9372).
Maggie Mae's. The McCabes play Wednesday, March 16. (41-15 Queens Boulevard, Sunnyside; 718-433-3067 )
The Breffni. Another of Queens' popular Irish hangouts: expect a crowd. (43-45 40th Street, Sunnyside; 718-729-9803)
On Tap at the Irish Bars
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