You know that saying, “Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day?” Even though we’re Jewish, we’re totally taking it as permission to eat our weight in fish and chips and corned beef and cabbage this year, and go pint for pint with some of the most hardened binge drinkers in town.
Of course, if you plan to raise a glass (or three) of green-tinged Guinness this St. Patrick’s Day, it helps to know exactly why you’re celebrating. The holiday commemorates Ireland’s premier patron saint, St. Patrick, who was famously credited with driving all the snakes out of Ireland. It falls on March 17th each year, which is both St. Patrick’s religious feast day, as well as the anniversary of his death in the fifth century.
Oh yeah, and St. Patrick’s Day also the perfect opportunity to take a reprieve from the restrictions of Lent, by eating, drinking, parading, and partying, clad in all-green garb and funny plastic top hats covered with shamrocks. And you know what the best part is? St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, which means we get to be Irish all weekend long. Erin Go Bragh… Ireland Forever!
It’s hard to miss this Cobble Hill bar. Painted a vibrant emerald green, it definitely sticks out amongst all the staid, seasonal American restaurants on Smith Street. The menu is just as irreverent, featuring fun to eat fare like fresh cut chips with bacon and gravy, and hangover cure-alls like a full Irish breakfast with black and white pudding, grilled tomato, and Batchelors baked beans. Add in a pint of Guinness and a pair of Irish fiddlers, and the Ceol experience is everything you’d want on St. Patrick’s Day. Ceol, ol agus Craic (good music, good drink, and good fun!)191 Smith St, (347) 643-9911
This sham-rocking Williamsburg bar and concert hall has three straight days of St. Patrick’s-friendly festivities planned, with all-Irish food, beer, whiskey specials, and live music. The fun comes to a head on St. Patrick's Day Sunday starting at 11am, with a full day of prize giveaways, bagpipes and special guests. Stick around for a music marathon starting at 4pm, with performances by Zach Jones, The Molters and Sky Captains of Industry, followed by an 8pm lineup including The Nightmare River Band and MK Groove Orchestra. Best part is, admission is absolutely free!184-186 Bedford Ave, (718) 218-9737
Now that this Prohibition-era dive bar has settled into its new digs in the South Slope, there’s no better time to pay a visit than St. Patrick’s Day. There’s a party planned for the 16th, featuring sets from the Celtic Folk band, Highland Shatners, and a St. Paddy’s Day Party too, showcasing the Irish Jazz outfit, Jaime Nancy and the Blue Boys. Feeling peckish? There’ll be corned beef sandwiches on rye available for only $5, all weekend long.627 5th Ave, (718) 768-0131
The Bell House
You can expect to find drunken, slobbery dudes pounding green Guinness just about anywhere on St. Patrick’s Day, so why not spend the evening at The Bell House in Gowanus, surrounded by sassy ladies in pasties? $20 buys admission to St. Patrick’s Day for Sinners on Sunday, featuring an all-redheads edition of Wasabassco Burlesque. Settle back with a Jameson and check out Foxy Vermouth, Gal Friday, Madame Rosebud and Nasty Canasta, doing their adults-only interpretation of the Irish jig. 149 7th St, (718) 643-6510
Connie O’s Pub
Forget fussy cocktails or twee microbrews…the taps flow with Bud at this 80-year-old Greenpoint dive. It’s where regulars hold court on their allotted stools along the bar, and begin day drinking as soon as the doors open at 11. Kind of the ultimate spot to spend St. Paddy’s, if you ask us, far from the hard-partying, shamrock wearing, green martini drinking crowds. 158 Norman Ave, (718) 578-7959
The Wicked Monk
Designed to look like a Gothic Irish monastery, this Bay Ridge pub boasts a gleaming bar of handcrafted wood and stained glass, shipped from a circa-1987 chapel in County Cork, Ireland. So it only seems right to order up a Guinness, Curious Traveler Shandy, or Killians Irish Red, St. Patrick’s Day or no. The regular food menu is similarly holiday appropriate, featuring dishes like corned beef and cabbage spring rolls, potato leek soup, shepherd’s pie, Gaelic steak, Dublin crabcakes, and Bailey’s chicken satay.9510 3rd Ave, (347) 497-5152
Thankfully, Sandy hasn’t put a damper on our ability to spend St. Paddy’s Day at the sprawling, Red Hook favorite, Rocky Sullivan’s. They’ve been planning for their pre-St. Patrick’s Day party all year, so we can only imagine what’s in store for Sunday. Either way, we think we’ll get an early start on the festivities by stopping in for a serious Irish breakfast, including bacon, sausage, black and white pudding, fried tomato, scrambled eggs and toast.34 Van Dyke St, (718) 246-8050
Brooklyn restaurateurs will take any excuse to plan a tasting menu, so expect cut-above fish and chips fare at Williamsburg’s Miller’s Tavern. Chef Jason Bebermen is offering a four-courses for $45 on St. Patrick’s Day, which starts with homemade Irish soda bread with whipped brown butter, and ends with sticky toffee pudding. For apps and entrees, choose between potato leek soup with fried oysters, or creamy barley with aged beef fat, and smoked trout with confit potato and horseradish, or corned beef with roasted cabbage and a Jameson glaze.2 Hope St, (347) 335-0330