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The Best Irish Pubs in Brooklyn

The following article was written by Lizz Riggs, editor of

The Best Irish Pubs in Brooklyn

St. Patrick’s Day is on the rise, which gets everyone feeling closer to their Irish roots and ready to pound some Guinness and and Magner’s in your best green outfit. Rather than hanging out with all of the tourists in town in Times Square and on Fifth Avenue, check out one of the Irish pubs in Brooklyn for great beer, low prices and people just like you who are ready to have a great time. What better place to spend this holiday, or any day that you’re feeling a little Irish, than an authentic Irish pub in New York City?

Irish Haven is a Sunset Park  pub that attracts a very entertaining crowd practically every night of the week. When you’re in Brooklyn craving a pint of Guinness, this is your spot, as they’ve got it, along with Magners and Smithwicks on tap for just $4. This place is just about as Irish as it gets, and if you settle down in a seat at the bar, you’re sure to hear an accent or two striking up a conversation beside you. They’ve got a jukebox, pool table and people keep coming all day and all night, making it feel like a bar that never sleeps, but in the best possible way. Scenes from The Departed were shot here, so if you run out of things to talk about with your barmates, bring that up and the bartenders will surely spare no details in the story. It’s an honest-to-goodness bar that rarely steers you wrong, but don’t order a cranberry juice without expecting a wisecrack.

Shayz Lounge in Greenpoint is laid back even though there’s always a good amount of people in here. Hang out on the patio, come watch a game or make some friends at the bar – this is a great neighborhood place to grab a beer, but bring some moula, because they don’t accept plastic. Take advantage of the happy hour specials from 3pm-9pm every night of the week with beers that come in around $3-$4 and lots of other great drinks, or the $5 beer/shot combos that are always available. People make fun of the name, but that doesn’t stop them from frequenting the place, and Shayz will be welcoming in the masses on St. Patrick’s Day.

Rocky Sullivan’s Red Hook is a Red Hook bar famous for their trivia! The first two places are go-to’s for a solid drink, and this place is actually a sit down and have a good meal. Not just typical pub grub either. They have a great selection of pizzas that people seem to enjoy the most, but they also have a section of authentic Irish classics like Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash and Beef & Guinness Stew. The friendly staff makes this a great place to hang out for a bit and drink all day, or pop in for a drink on your way to something else. Both out of towners and locals alike make new friends and create some solid memories in this place. On St. Patrick’s Day 2013, they’ll be hosting the Unrepentant St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on Saturday and drinking all day Sunday. It may not be the most convenient location, but it’s well worth the driver over, and even better when you happen to be in the Red Hook area already, should that ever happen.

Photo courtesy of Lizz Riggs,

Coel is Irish for “music,” and the owner of Coel Pub in Brooklyn, Loretta, hails from Dublin. As the name suggests, this is a place you can come to enjoy traditional Irish live music. The friendly bartenders make spending a few hours here enjoyable, and the prices won’t affect your bank account too much even if you end up spending the entire evening here. They’ve got great food on the menu, and while the burgers are a favorite, you can also get your hands on a decent plate of fish and chips. Coel doesn’t have an extensive beer selection, but they do have plenty of great options. They know to serve Magners with ice (the right way to serve it) and can give you a great pour of Guinness. You can’t beat these happy hour prices, like $4 drafts and $5 cocktails with $5-$6 food options. If you like soccer, like hanging out with locals and enjoy live music, you won’t be disappointed in spending an afternoon here.

Soccer Tavern
Ah, Brooklyn Chinatown. Soccer Tavern is an Irish pub in a sea of Chinese bars, but the clientele is just what you’d expect in the neighborhood. Rather than the thick Irish accents and outgoing personalities that greet you at many Irish pubs, expect a crowd of older Asian men who don’t speak much English. Everyone else is just here for an inexpensive drink and a game of darts. It’s down to earth and not super trendy. They keep things low key for the average joes, and seem to have a decent amount of regulars who you’ll run into time and time again.

Smith’s Tavern
If you’re looking for some cheap beer at a local watering hole, this is not a bad spot to get your buzz on. Enjoy the tunes on the jukebox, try your luck at a game of darts and mingle with the locals who make their way in starting (basically) in the morning. This didn’t used to be a place that you’d want to go despite how little the beer costs, but now that Brooklyn’s on the rise, so is Smith’s.