5 Places You Need to Eat Corned Beef & Cabbage on Long Island

May the road rise to meet you, and the wind always carry you straight to the best corned beef and cabbage Long Island has to offer.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Green beer is cool. Guinness is better. But nothing gets us in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day quite like corned beef and cabbage, the holiday’s official dish. And while this generous meal, which consists of seasoned and brined brisket that is slow cooked and served with equally slow cooked cabbage (and, often, a hefty helping of potatoes, though that remains a point of contention).

In the 19th century, when meat was considered a premium item, corned beef’s affordability made it popular among Irish immigrants. These days, the dish carries on thanks to tradition, nostalgia, and, of course, taste buds. Traditional corned beef is cured and cooked to the point that it is nearly fork-tender once served. If your mouth is watering just thinking about this, you will definitely want to read on for our ultimate guide to procuring really good corned beef and cabbage on Long Island.

Finn MacCool’s Irish Pub

A fire nearly felled MacCool’s a few years back, but, after a lengthy renovation, this Port Washington mainstay is back, with all the Irish foods and fun you most desire. Their corned beef and cabbage, served on the regular menu and, of course, on St. Patrick’s Day, too, comes with carrots and horseradish cream—and all for a paltry $16. If corned beef isn’t enough to satisfy your immense Irish appetite, order the Irish nachos to start, a take on the classic served atop (you guessed it!) potatoes.

Finn MacCool’s Irish Pub, 205 Main Street, Port Washington, (516) 944-3439, open Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Mary Carroll’s

In Babylon, this cozy, welcoming Irish pub pays homage to all things Irish, which means all of the traditional foods, from bangers and mash to shepherd’s pie. On the 17th of every month, the restaurant serves up corned beef and cabbage for eager traditionalists. What started as a beer garden 20 years ago, the brainchild of Irishman Conor Hartnett, has since developed into a popular restaurant, where the food offers the perfect complement to the beer.

Mary Carroll’s, 121 Deer Park Avenue, Babylon, (631) 587-6181, open daily 3 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Flanagan’s Pub

At Flanagan’s Pub, a double-sided fireplace creates the ultimate drinking (and eating) atmosphere: cozy, inviting, and warm. This Ronkonkoma pub is owned by Dave Crowe, who owns a sister property, Lily Flanagan’s, in Babylon. Flanagan’s pub features many Irish specialties, like fish and chips and shepherd’s pie, as well as fusion dishes, like the Irish dream roll (corned beef, cabbage, and mashed potatoes wrapped in an egg roll wrapper and deep-fried). But come—and stay—for the corned beef and cabbage, which makes a nightly appearance for under $20.

Flanagan’s Pub, 451 Hawkins Avenue, Lake Ronkonkoma, (631) 588-9843, open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 to 4 a.m., Sundays 12 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Irish Coffee Pub

For a more formal evening out (one that may not include, ahem, the green beer-drinking crowd), consider a trip to East Islip, where the Irish Coffee Pub has been slinging fine Irish cuisine for over 35 years. The space is also a wedding and event venue, so expect a touch of formality in the food—and the prices. Still, if you’re looking for authentic corned beef and cabbage in an elegant setting, Irish Coffee Pub is the place for you. Where else will you be able to close your St. Patrick’s Day corned beef dinner out with a selection of artisanal cheese and fruits?

Irish Coffee Pub, 131 Carleton Avenue, East Islip, (631) 277-0007, open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Rowdy Hall

Every year, this East Hampton classic offers a price-fixed St. Patrick’s Day meal for East Enders looking for a true taste of Eire. Meals are two-course, and include either an appetizer and main course or main course and dessert. Selections differ from year to year, but the corned beef and cabbage is always available in honor of the holiday. Expect a dessert made with Guinness, in honor of that other Irish tradition.

Rowdy Hall, 2732-10 Main Street, East Hampton, (631) 324-8555, open Sunday through Thursday, 12 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 12 to 11 p.m.

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Hannah Selinger

Hannah Selinger is a freelance food and wine writer and sommelier living in East Hampton. Her work has appeared in the such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and RawStory.com. She is the wine columnist for the Southampton Press.