I feel like I let you all down last week with my lack of St. Patrick’s Day-themed posts. If you feel hurt, I truly apologize. So in hopes of making it up to you, here’s yet another Irish-style blog to get us back on track.

If you’ve never heard traditional Irish music before, I would say there is a piece of your soul missing. It’s haunting and beautiful and is such a rich part of Irish history. (I’ll save you the lesson, but music has been a predominant part of Irish storytelling for centuries.)

New York City is one of the largest enclaves of Irish emigrants in the world, so you would expect nothing short of fantastic Irish music. Here are my top picks for the best venues that host weekly Irish music “sessions,” as they are called.

1. Mona’s
E 14th Street and Avenue B
With limited signage out front, this dingy little dive bar is sometimes hard to spot. Those in the know, however, flock there on Monday nights for its modest, but no less authentic, session of music.

2. Swift Hibernian Lounge
East 4th Street between Lexington and Bowery
Since this pub is relatively close to NYU’s campus, it can get a somewhat young, loud crowd. But Tuesday nights around 9 p.m. things get a little bit quieter and a little more Irish in the bar’s back corner. (This is one of my favorite, favorite spots.)

3. 11th Street Bar
East 11th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B
Sunday nights are a little less depressing with this bar in town. In the front room a group of incredibly talented musicians congregate and get the audience to liven up before beginning the work week the next day.

4. Paddy Reilly’s
East 29th Street and Second Avenue
Probably the most well-known bar in NYC for Irish music, Paddy Reilly’s is a good, albeit touristy, option. The bar sits in Murray Hill, a somewhat douchey neighborhood, so you can guess what kind of crowd it attracts. Still, the music is top notch.

5. O’Neill’s Irish Bar
East 46th Street and Third Avenue
I’m going to be honest. I’ve never actually been to a session here, but this pub is right next to my office and they do a mean Irish menu at lunch. The owners are Irish, the bartenders are Irish and 75 percent of the customers are Irish, so I can only assume that the music would be equally authentic. Stop by here for the music on Saturdays and Sundays.

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