Where are the best places to enjoy an Irish tipple on Long Island? And how fast can we get there? If you’re in need of a spring mood-booster, look no further than this ode to the Irish.
First of all, I don’t care what you think: I am here to argue that a Nutty Irishman (hot coffee, Irish cream, hazelnut liqueur, Irish whiskey, and, hopefully, an absurd amount of Reddi Wip) is a really, really good drink. Is that my North-of-Boston blood speaking? Maybe. Even if you’re not into overtly sweet coffee drinks (the shame!), you can still appreciate this bar by the same name, Farmingdale’s homage to the Irish. Skip the wings and burgers—but only if you must—and go straight for the beer and liquor. There’s live Irish music, as well as a healthy appreciation for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, however far away the date actually is.
The Nutty Irishman, 323 Main Street, Farmingdale, (516) 293-9700, open Sunday through Thursday, 12 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m. to 4 a.m.
You won’t find much in the way of Irish imbibing on the North Fork, unfortunately, but Riverhead’s Digger’s Ales and Eats makes up for the dearth of options. Digger’s has over 100 beers available—a combination of on-tap and bottled offerings—so you’d be hard-pressed to find a bar with more sheer variety. Food is plentiful, too, with plenty available to soak up all that ale (pub fries with cheddar cheese sauce, bacon, gravy, and chili, anyone?). Dive in; the beer is cold.
Digger’s Ales and Eats, 58 W Main Street, Riverhead, (631) 369-3200, open Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 to 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday, 11:30 to 2 a.m.
Celebrate, um, Saturday (or Monday, or Tuesday, or whatever) with a long, hard look at Finnegans Wake, the book often touted as “the most difficult in the world.” I’m kidding, of course, but if there’s one thing the ghost of James Joyce and the population-at-large can agree on it’s that beer is good. With that in mind, take a trip to the James Joyce Irish Pub & Eatery, a massive space with a serpentine marble bar and wall murals of, well, James Joyce, of course. The space itself feels almost like a library, but you can eschew books for a well-poured pint of Guinness (or, if your palate prefers, any number of local specialty beers), although rumor has it that Finnegans Wake is an easier read after a beer or two.
James Joyce Irish Pub & Eatery, 49 South Ocean Avenue, Patchogue, (631) 562-4000, open daily, 11 to 4 a.m.
In Bohemia, Kelly’s Ale House has all the requisite elements of a great Irish bar: a comprehensive selection of on-tap beers, a dartboard, a beer-absorbing food menu, and live music. Every Tuesday is “Irish Night,” where patrons can enjoy select Irish food entrees for $12.95 and pints of Guinness for a mere $4. The pub also offers happy hour prices all day every day to active members of the military, police department, and fire department, as well as to Emergency Medical Technicians. Menu specials and civic appreciation notwithstanding, it’s a great place to honor the traditions of the Emerald Isle, regardless of the season.
Kelly’s Ale House, 4777 Sunrise Highway, Bohemia, (631) 567-6788, open daily 11 to 2 a.m.
This story was originally published in March 2020.