New York's Best Pubs Below 14th Street | Grandlife
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New York's Best Pubs Below 14th Street

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New York City is packed with Irish pubs. Some are divey and serve classic pub grub like beer-battered fish and chips. Others are borderline swanky and require reservations on weekends. But don’t waste your time Googling all of the city’s options. We believe the majority of the best pubs are located below 14th Street, including a historic watering hole whose sawdust-strewn floors have been walked across by presidents and musicians. Whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day or just another pint-drinking night out on the town, these are the downtown pubs worth checking out. 

McSorley’s Old Ale House

McSorley’s Old Ale House is an old-school joint that will remind you why you love New York. It also happens to be NYC’s oldest continuously operated saloon, and it’s still great after 170-plus years. Not much has changed: the floors are still sprinkled with sawdust, the walls are still curio-covered, and the drink menu is still limited to the choice of a light or dark beer. This always-packed East Village watering hole has welcomed everyone from Abraham Lincoln and John Lennon to E. E. Cummings and magician Harry Houdini, whose pair of handcuffs still hang from the ale house’s rafters. Have a cup of chili or a hot dog, and don’t forget to bring cash because America’s oldest Irish bar—and arguably NYC’s best pub—doesn’t take cards.  

15 E 7th St

St. Dymphnas

Come to this laidback, candlelit East Village haunt (est. 1994) for pints and classic pub fare like beer-battered fish and chips and fried chicken sandwiches. Perfectly placed across from Tompkins Square Park, St. Dymphnas offers plenty of seating and a spacious outdoor patio replete with a pool table. Into playing games? Stop by for “Evil Trivia” on Tuesdays at 7:30. Note that when DJs play until 4 AM on weekends, this brick-walled dive feels more like a heaving, Gen Z-filled disco ball-lit club.  

117 Avenue A; T. (646) 776-4865

The Dead Rabbit 

This semi-swanky Irish pub is spread across three floors in a 19th-century townhouse on Water Street where each floor offers something different. Looking for bottled punch, a pint of beer, and lively vibes? Head to The Taproom on the ground floor, where the floors are strewn with sawdust and patrons can enjoy a live Irish seisiún every Sunday. If fancy tipples and a Golden Age-inspired atmosphere are more your thing, go upstairs and perch at The Parlor’s bar. Then there’s the moodily lit The Occasional Room, which combines the best of both worlds and can be rented out for private events. Meanwhile, the food (Scotch eggs; oysters; bangers and mash) is available on all floors. Don’t dare make an Irish goodbye before trying their excellent whiskey-spiked Irish coffee.

30 Walker St; T. (917) 540-5228

Ulysses

This ever-lively tavern is tucked away on a cobblestone street near the South Street Seaport. Opened in 2003, Ulysses is a popular after-work hangout for those in the mood for pints of Guinness and quality pub grub, like Guinness-battered fish and chips and Shepherd’s pie. If you’re coming for brunch, the Irish Breakfast (two eggs any style, black and white pudding, Irish bacon, sausage, baked beans, and grilled tomato) is the obvious must-order. And if live rock or folk music is your thing, swing by any night of the week. 

58 Stone St; T. (212) 482-0400

Iggy’s Keltic Lounge

If you prefer your pubs to have a boozy dive bar feel, head to the Lower East Side to Iggy’s Keltic Lounge, whose bright red exterior that faces Ludlow Street is unmissable. Inside the pint-sized, grungy dive, multicolor string lights illuminate the otherwise dim-lit bar, and the graffiti-covered bathroom is popular for late-night selfies. Here, the music’s always good, the drinks are reasonably priced, and the vibes are just right. In other words, it’s a great spot to start or end your night on the LES. 

132 Ludlow St; T. (212) 529-2731

Puffy’s Tavern 

Pair your pint with mouthwatering-inducing Italian sandwiches stuffed with prosciutto, soppressata, and fresh mozzarella at this homey Tribeca corner pub. The sandwiches are sourced from the famed Italian specialty sandwich shop, Alidoro, and their fun names include DeNiro, Donatella, and Pavarotti. You can also enjoy decently-priced beers on tap and a game of darts at this locals’ favorite. We promise waking up with a puffy face due to the sandwiches’ high sodium intake and one too many beers will be worth it. 

81 Hudson St; T. (212) 227-3912

Walker’s

It’s impossible not to love this impossibly charming, unpretentious Tribeca institution, which is outfitted with tin ceilings, flat-screen televisions, and a dark wooden bar. Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, Walker’s extensive menu offers everything from cheeseburgers and mac and cheese to steak au poivre and linguine with shrimp scampi. Plus, there’s a slew of beers on tap. Tip: once you’re ready to switch things up, take a three-minute stroll to Roxy Bar inside The Roxy Hotel for craft cocktails and glamorous vibes. 

16 N Moore St; T. (212) 941-0142

WORDS Alex Catarinella 

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The Roxy Hotel New York

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New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600 https://www.roxyhotelnyc.com
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