The planners of the St. Patrick’s Day parade continue their baffling insistence on banning LGBT groups from participating openly, but the bigoted policy has had at least one happy side effect: Since 2000, in response to the parade’s exclusionary practices, Sunnyside and Woodside have played host to St. Pat’s for All, an open-to-everyone procession that pays tribute to the communities’ Irish heritage while also embracing their present-day diversity. This year’s 15th anniversary parade is just around the corner on March 2. And in anticipation, we’ve put together an Irish pub crawl that follows the route (which starts at Skillman Ave and 47th Street and ends at Woodside Ave and 58th Street) that’s ideal for pre-gaming the festivities or exploring this area’s history any day of the year.
Start on Queens Boulevard with Molly Bloom’s (43-13 Queens Boulevard), where you can prepare a solid base for several pints with generous servings of battered cod and chips or a full Irish breakfast. Alternatively, stop in next door at The Gaslight (43-17 Queens Boulevard), a supremely laid-back spot that doesn’t serve food but allows patrons to bring in their own picnics.
Follow the parade route down Skillman Avenue to hit up The Dog and Duck (45-20 Skillman Avenue), a sit-down gastropub at the edge of Sunnyside Gardens. Go traditional with the Irish breakfast and bubble and squeak or opt for more gussied-up offerings like duck liver pate or Berkshire pork belly. The beer list skews continental, and there’s also a solid selection of wine and cocktails (go local and try the Queens gin fizz.)
Upon crossing over into Woodside, visit Donovan’s Pub (57-24 Roosevelt Avenue), housed in a Tudor-style building that wouldn’t be out of place in an Irish village. This spot has a juicy pub burger with thick-cut fries worthy of your attention, but don’t linger long, because a stroll further down Woodside Avenue will take you to Sean Og Tavern (60-02 Woodside Avenue) and the Cuckoo’s Nest (61-04 Woodside Avenue), both of which will keep you swimming in Guinness and Smithwick’s. The curry chips at Cuckoo’s Nest — a salty, crispy, creamy mess — are particularly inspired drunk food.
Wind things down at Saints & Sinners (59-21 Roosevelt Avenue), site of the post-parade party and home to a warming shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash. True to the spirit of the parade, it’s a lively, neighborly, and inclusive spot.