It’s that time of year again when you kiss the Irish, pinch those that dare to leave the house without green, and drink up lots of green beer. St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us, and New York City is of course THE best place to party for the holiday. Ok, so it’s the best place to party for ANY holiday, but that’s especially true for St. Patrick’s Day.
How does a New Yorker do up St. Patrick’s Day right? Simple. Start off with the St. Patrick’s Parade. It’s the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world. The first one ever was on March 17, 1762. That’s 14 years before the Declaration of Independence was even signed! The parade route goes up Fifth Avenue at East 44th Street and ends at East 79th Street. It begins are 11am on March 17th, so get there early to make sure you get a good spot.
All that entertainment is sure to make you hungry. And there’s nothing better than indulging in hearty, comforting Irish food for St. Patrick’s Day. Warm up with coddle, cottage pie, Irish stew, or a gigantic corned beef sandwich. There are tons of places around the city that will be dishing out your old Irish favorites including Lillie’s, The Late Late, The Wheeltapper Pub, Molly’s Pub, and Landmark Tavern.
Once your belly is full, you’ll need to make sure you get to the one place in all of New York City that you MUST be seen at on St. Patrick’s Day – McSorley’s.
McSorley’s Old Ale House, or McSorley’s as everyone calls it, has bragging rights as New York City’s oldest saloon. This standing room only drinking institution has welcomed rowdy revelers for 163 years including famous faces like Abraham Lincoln and John Lennon. This historical place will be packed with patrons elbow-to-elbow but it’s a must-visit on St. Patrick’s Day in particular.
It’s a trip back through time that will totally connect you with the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, not to mention the spirits of those that frequented this place over the last two centuries. Until 1970, it was a place just for men. Today, it welcomes everyone of legal drinking age through its swinging doors for a swinging good time. Imbibing in a place that has more relics than a museum adorning the walls is a great way to start up conversations too. You’ll find Houdini’s handcuffs and a royal ton of artifacts from ages ago.
In this sawdust-floor-covered watering hole, you’ll have a choice of light or dark ale. They keep things simple because drinking and having fun really is just that simple. “Be good or be gone” is the motto here, though another common McSorley’s tagline is “We were here before you were born.” Bearing those two things in mind, it’s essential to make McSorley’s one of your stops on St. Patrick’s Day in New York for some true Irish luck.