There’s nothing particularly glamorous about meat-and-potatoes Irish fare, with its mountainous, gravy-soaked portions, and lusterless palette of brown, tan and white. Yet those homely qualities are precisely what makes it so appealing, and why St. Patrick’s Day (celebrated this Friday) proves a welcome vehicle to push it to the culinary forefront. So instead of fiddling with your camera phone, here’s where to use your instagramming hand to hoist a pint of Guinness and a hunk of soda bread instead.
Corned Beef and Cabbage at Mullanes: While you can order corned beef on rye every day of the year (ideally accompanied by a tray of loaded fries dubbed “Irish nachos”), the Fort Greene sports pub offers a traditional boiled dinner each and every St. Patrick’s Day, complete with cabbage, carrots and potatoes.
71 Lafayette Ave., Fort Greene
Soda Bread at Hartley’s: The snug Clinton Hill shebeen takes its food program seriously, baking crumbly loaves of soda bread daily to use in toasties of house-spiced beef, sharp Irish cheddar, and grilled onion (although you can certainly order it solo, slathered in sea salt and pure Irish butter).
14 Putnam Ave., Clinton Hill
Sausage Rolls at DUB Pies: Though technically a Kiwi joint, Dub’s snackable sausage rolls could just as soon be Irish. They feature sage and parsley-slathered pork bangers, coddled in coils of flaky pastry.
211 Prospect Park West, Windsor Terrace
Shepherd’s Pie at Five Leaves: Greenpoint’s perennially-thronged brunch spot is well worth a visit during dinnertime, too, when rustic bistro offerings include lamb shepherd’s pie, layered with honey-roasted root vegetables.
18 Bedford Ave., Greenpoint
Fish and Chips at Bon Chovie: Thankfully Irish bar-blessed Bay Ridge still has multiple destinations for fish and chips, now that Bon Chovie has decamped to Clinton Hill. As it stands, its currently the neighborhood’s go-to spot for corpulent cod filets cloaked in beer batter, and accompanied by dill and caper tartar, chipotle slaw, and Old Bay-speckled fries.
884 Fulton St., Clinton Hill
Irish Breakfast at The Wicked Monk: Dispensing Guinness and Killian’s until 4 in the morning doesn’t keep the Monk from throwing open its doors bright and early on the weekends—for Wake and Bakes (cold brewed coffee, Bailey’s and Kahlua), Irish oatmeal, corned beef hash, and egg sandwiches and a large, alcohol-absorbing breakfast: three eggs, Irish bacon, Irish breakfast sausage, Irish baked beans, black and white pudding, grilled tomato, and home fries.
9510 3rd Ave., Bay Ridge
Bangers and Mash at ChipShop: Fish and chips are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this fantasia of British eats. Options include steak and kidney pie, chicken curry and chips, treacle pudding with custard, and bangers and mash: Myers of Keswick sausages on a gravied bed of mashed potatoes.
129 Atlantic Ave., Cobble Hill
Pints at George and Jack’s Tap Room: From the team behind Skinny Dennis, Lucky Dog, and Rocka Rolla, there’s no better spot for Williamsburger’s to get their Guinness fix. Just be sure to stand a pint to the owner’s dog—he’s been known to take a nip now and then.
103 Berry St., Williamsburg