There’s something about a good pub that just makes people feel at home. Whether it’s the comfort of a leather bench, a warm fire or simply the comradery of fellow patrons, these bars and taverns are packed with character (and of course, lots of beer). Luckily, we live in an area rich in these kinds of establishments. But it’s important to know that not all of these drinking holes are created equal. Some may be so divey that you have to worry about clogged toilets, pools tables full of unruly balls and a jukebox that plays only gangsta rap.
But others are so unique, they’re worthy of a spot on any list of best bars in the USA. The Burren in New Hampshire is one such pub that checks all the boxes when it comes to Irish-pub standards: hearty Irish eats, proper pours of Guinness and plenty of Irish music. But there’s also Shinnick’s, a tavern in Syracuse that takes its Irish knickknacks pretty far—including the fact that the traffic light outside is green up top and red down bottom, a result of kids who broke it until city officials changed it.
Jeremy’s Ale House, a dive bar in Times Square, is another of these spots that’s worthy of a stop. Thrillist describes it as “a cozy little pub and tavern with a quaint atmosphere replete with wallpapered walls, framed newspaper clippings, antique chandeliers and a jukebox that plays an eclectic selection of tunes.” And the Standard Tap in Philadelphia, which was founded in 1854—making it one of the oldest Irish taverns in the city—is praised by both The Daily Meal and Thrillist for its old-school charm.