Not all Irish pubs in this city were created equal. Some of them are tourist traps, and some are always filled with former frat boys who are about beer away from wanting to fight you. If you absolutely must drink in an Irish pub in Midtown, try one of these. They’re the best of the worst, which makes them not bad (and actually kind of good).
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When you need a pub by Times Square, The Long Room is a not-terrible choice. Walk through the long, narrow part in front, and there’s a sitting area in back with some nice booths, a bookcase with possibly-fake books, and a flatscreen TV. It isn’t especially divey or rowdy here, so stop by when you want to keep it low-key and drink a beer. Watch a game, have some fries or some shepherd's pie, and put off your commute a little longer.
Maybe this is a little south of where you usually go, but if you’re looking for a not-tacky pub with a good beer selection and enough room for your 20-person team, make the trip to The Ginger Man. There are plenty of tables, a long bar, and a great seating area with a couch up front. Think of this as an Irish pub for real adults, and come here when you want something other than a Bud Light.
The Stag’s Head has a good selection of craft beers and an outdoor space for low-key drinking when the weather permits. They also have plenty of TVs and a decent brunch. Avoid all the other bars in Midtown East that are going to be packed with dudes who only ever wears suits or tank tops, and have a drink here. It’s a nice, cozy pub that isn’t cheesy or filled with people doing Jager bombs.
McGee’s isn’t cool, and maybe a Cajun chicken salad and a hummus plate aren’t exactly authentic Irish foods, but this is a civilized enough place to watch a game on TV, and they do serve bangers and mash. Come here if you want to wind down with a beer and don’t mind if the booth you’re sitting in has seen better days.
This is a cozy, no-nonsense pub where you can grab a drink with your friends and play some pool. There’s another Peter Dillon’s on 36th Street, but the one on 40th has more of a neighborhood vibe. On weekends, they do happy hour all day and night, and there’s karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays. If, for some reason, you don’t feel like taking shots of Cuervo and singing “The Boys Are Back in Town,” just stop by after work and have a beer.