Irish Pubs in New York: A Melodic Journey from Belfast to the Big Apple

Irish Pubs in New York: A Melodic Journey from Belfast to the Big Apple

Right in the middle of New York City's hustle, where yellow taxis navigate the endless skyscrapers and each subway ride holds a new story, there’s a warm, familiar place that feels just like Ireland.

At Cowfield Design in Belfast, we're proud of our craftsmanship and celebrate the Irish diaspora in New York. These pubs are more than just places to drink; they're sanctuaries where the aroma of shepherd’s pie and the sound of a fiddle turn strangers into friends. So come in, pull up a chair, and raise a glass with us. Here’s to good company and great stories—Sláinte!

Skerrie Ryans Bar

Skerrie Ryans Bar - Available on our Requested prints

The Shamrock’s Hearth: PJ O’Brien’s Irish Pub

Tucked away in the dynamic heart of Midtown Manhattan, PJ O’Brien’s stands as a beacon of Irish tradition amidst the urban rush. This pub is more than just a drinking spot; it’s a retreat that transports you straight to Ireland with its old-world charm. As you step inside, you're greeted by the warm glow of a roaring fireplace, the rich scent of polished dark wood, and the welcoming embrace of snug booths that invite you to settle in and stay awhile.

  • Signature Sips: At PJ O’Brien’s, every drink is served with a dash of familiarity. Whether it's a frothy pint of Guinness or a neat pour of Jameson, the bartenders treat you like an old friend, often remembering your name—and your favorite drink—by the time you're ready for a second round. It's this personal touch that turns a simple beverage into a signature experience.
  • Live Music: The true spirit of Ireland comes alive in PJ’s musical offerings. Regular sessions feature fiddles and bodhráns, with musicians weaving together melodies that could easily be heard in a village pub nestled in the Irish countryside. The music here isn’t just background noise; it’s a heartfelt tribute to Ireland’s cultural heritage, reminiscent of an evening spent overlooking the Cliffs of Moher.

Gaffney’s: Dublin Vibes in Astoria

Stepping into Gaffney’s in Astoria is like walking into a cozy pub in Dublin. With its low ceilings, the rich patina of worn leather seats, and a barkeep who greets you like an old friend, this place quickly feels like a second home.

  • Setting: Hidden away in Astoria, Gaffney’s offers a genuine slice of Dublin with its inviting ambiance. It’s a place where laughter fills the air, and everyone is part of the extended family. The warm lighting and rustic decor transport you straight to Ireland, providing an escape from the bustling streets of New York.
  • Whiskey Galore: For whiskey enthusiasts, Gaffney’s is a treasure trove. Their extensive collection ranges from the silky smoothness of Connemara to the rich, peaty flavors of Redbreast. Each whiskey on offer has its own tale, echoing the heritage and craftsmanship of Irish distillers. Take your time, explore, and let each sip bring you closer to the stories of Ireland.
  • Trad Sessions: On Thursday nights, Gaffney’s truly comes alive with the sound of traditional Irish music. The pub reverberates with the energetic strums, beats, and melodies of jigs and reels. It’s the perfect night to tap your feet, join in the dancing, and immerse yourself in the vibrant craic that makes these sessions unforgettable.

The Celtic Crossroads: McSorley’s Old Ale House

Step into McSorley’s Old Ale House, and you're stepping into a piece of New York history. Since opening its doors on East 7th Street in 1854, McSorley’s has become a veritable time capsule where the echoes of the past are almost tangible.

  • Time Capsule: The charm of McSorley’s is immediately apparent from the sawdust sprinkled on the floor to the ancient photos and memorabilia that crowd its walls, each telling its own story of bygone days. This place isn’t just a pub; it’s a living museum, a keeper of secrets from an older New York, preserved through time.
  • Two Choices: At McSorley’s, the menu is wonderfully straightforward – light or dark ale. These two options have quenched the thirst of patrons for over a century, with each pint served up with a slice of history. Don’t bother looking for a food menu; here, the focus is on good ale and great company.
  • Famous Patrons: The storied bar of McSorley’s has supported the elbows of some of the most iconic figures in history. Abraham Lincoln, John Lennon, and a host of famous writers have all found solace and inspiration within its wood-panelled walls, adding to the lore that makes McSorley’s a legendary gathering place.
Hairy Lemon

Hairy Lemon - Available on our Requested prints

The Whiskey Whisperer: St. Andrew's

Tucked away in Greenwich Village, St. Andrew’s is a hidden gem that quietly celebrates the rich whiskey traditions of Scotland and Ireland. This is not just a bar; it's a sanctuary for whiskey lovers, where each selection tells a tale, and every sip is like reading a poetic verse.

  • Greenwich Village Gem: In the heart of the bustling neighborhood, St. Andrew's feels like a secret whispered among friends. The bar’s whiskey collection is extensive and thoughtful—each bottle carefully selected to represent the best of its region. Here, whiskey is not just a drink but a narrative, with each label and vintage offering a new verse in a long and storied poem.
  • Quiet Conversations: St. Andrew’s is designed for intimacy and reflection. The soft glow of dim lights, shelves lined with leather-bound books, and plush seating create a timeless setting perfect for quiet conversations. It's a place to relax, reflect, and enjoy the company of someone special, surrounded by the warmth of wood and the subtle notes of fine whiskey.

The Rebel’s Refuge: The Dead Rabbit

Step into The Dead Rabbit and feel the pulse of revolutionary spirit mixed with modern mixology. Named after the notorious 19th-century Irish-American gang, this spot is more than just a pub—it's a cocktail haven where history meets innovation in every glass.

  • Revolutionary Vibes: Located in the heart of the city, The Dead Rabbit combines the intimate feel of a traditional Irish pub with the excitement of a cutting-edge cocktail bar. The decor reflects this blend of old and new, with elements that hark back to its namesake gang’s rebellious roots alongside sleek, contemporary touches.
  • Award-Winning Mixology: Known for its historically inspired cocktails, The Dead Rabbit has gained acclaim for its creative approach to mixology. The upstairs parlor, with its speakeasy vibe, is the perfect place to sip on unique concoctions that have earned the bar numerous accolades. Each drink is a nod to the past, crafted with precision and a modern twist.


Cowfield Design Connection: At Cowfield Design, we capture the essence of beloved Irish pubs in our unique prints. We invite you to request it or any other pub that holds a special place in your heart. Just let us know which pub you'd like to see illustrated, and we’ll create a custom print that brings its atmosphere and charm into your living space. Our custom pub prints are a fantastic way to keep your cherished memories of favourite locales alive and well in your home or office.

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