St. Patrick's Day is coming up on March 17th, which means that whether or not we actually have Irish ancestry, we get to pretend to be Irish anyway. One of the best parts? Planning where to eat. We've looked back at our favorite pot pies, fish and chips, and corned beef—traditional Irish and otherwise—to tell you where to get the best.
Let's start off the day with a classic Irish breakfast, which typically consists of fried eggs, bacon, sausage, white pudding (sausage), black pudding (blood sausage), toast, and fried tomato. It's just what you need to fortify yourself for that Guinness later.
Shepherd's pie is classically made with lamb or mutton (since shepherds deal with sheep) but in America you're more likely to find a beef filling.
PJ Horgan's: The shepherd's pie at this Queens Irish pub has a buttery potato topping crisped under the broiler. Once you hit the beef filling, it's savory with just the right amount of rich brown sauce, peas and carrots.
Chicken Pot Pie
Molly's Pub: This classic Irish pub serves a great chicken pot pie, topped with golden puff pastry and delivered piping hot.
Tea & Sympathy: This dainty British tea shop boasts over 30 kinds of tea as well as classic British dishes, including one of our favorite chicken pot pies in New York.
The Green Table: This one comes packed with chicken and veggies and topped with an especially buttery crust.
PJ Horgan's: Here the crust is a wide dome over a creamy sauce with peas, potatoes, carrots, and large chunks of chicken breast.
Fish and Chips
For a primer on what fish and chips mean across the Atlantic, hit up this guide to our favorites. Here are the most St. Patrick's Day-friendly:
A Salt & Battery: This British chippery that serves our favorite fish and chips in the city.
ChipShop: This chippery is shortly behind A Salt & Battery, and they even serve plaice, a rare fish in New York but common in the UK.
Jones Wood Foundry: This Upper East Side pub prefers golden slabs of haddock with excellent chips.
Donovan's Pub: The classic Queens pub with a very respectable fish and chips.
Corned beef is more Irish-American fare than it is purely Irish, but that won't stop us from enjoying this salt-cured beef on its most popular day stateside, especially corned beef and cabbage, the Irish expat's version of back bacon and cabbage. We've also included some our favorite corned beef overall, which comes from Jewish delis as much as Irish pubs.
Second Avenue Deli: One of the city's best spots for corned beef.
Katz's Delicatessen: Short of the pastrami, corned beef is a must-order here.
Soda bread is a quick bread made with baking soda in lieu of yeast and studded with raisins and caraway seeds (mostly an American innovation). It's ideally served warm (it takes well to reheating) and is best slathered with butter.
Tom Cat Bakery: Without a retail location of its own, you can find Tom Cat Bakery's goods in the city at Murray's Cheese Shop, among other places. Tom Cat's soda bread is like a classic loaf of bread, with a light texture and crackly crust. Great plump raisins are embedded in the slightly sweet bread, with just the faintest hit of caraway.
More Irish Bites
Want more? Here's an assortment of more Irish goodies for you.
Ham and leek pie at the Dog and Duck: Try the Dog and Duck's creamy, ultra-rich ham and leek pie. Thick cream sauce blankets chunks of pink ham and leeks, and comes topped with a thin, two-layered crust.
Boxty at Chipper Truck: New York's only late-night Irish food truck serves up many Irish classics, but our favorite is their boxty, an Irish potato pancake, served with eggs and beans.