As I continued on with my search for traditional/authentic Irish pub and food (you can read my first Irish discovery here:, I discovered second interesting spot called Molly’s. They are “pub and shebeen” and was established in 1960, therefore, naturally the most traditional Irish bar in New York. I was very excited to see all the history and old structure at this place! The pub was rather small and unassuming. I liked the look of the exterior, it was very cute.

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As we stepped inside, it was darker than expected. Since it is set in between buildings, with exterior walls touching each other, there was no window.  The room was lit with Irish flag colored string lights, which was interesting, but I could not see or appreciate the old structure or the interior much. I could see that there was a large bar to the right, and booth seating to the left. They had lots of sawdust on the floor, and I heard there is a fireplace here, but I didn’t spot one in the dark.

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Since there was no booth left, the hostess took us to the table all the way back of the room. The back area was small, with just a few tables and chairs, and bathroom through a swinging saloon doors. The area was lit with strange red light, which made everything (including food) look red in a weird way. The wall was covered with old pictures, similar to the Dear Rabbit, but in less organized way.

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We ordered just main dishes without any appetizers since we were not super hungry. We ordered Molly’s Traditional Shepherd’s Pie ($19) and Irish Lamb Stew ($21). These are dinner prices, so a bit higher than lunch price by a couple of dollars. The Shepard’s Pie came with ground prime sirloin, vegetables, and mashed potato. It was not large portion, I would say regular size. The potato was creamy and the filling of meat and veggies were very tasty. I don’t think I can say it was the best Shepard’s Pie I have ever had, but it was nice, comforting, delicious, and pretty satisfying.

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The stew came with chunks of lamb, vegetables and potato. This one was much larger in size compared to the Shepard’s Pie. And they were not kidding when they said “chunks.” There were huge chunks of lamb, veggie and potatoes, mainly lamb and potatoes. After I cut them up to manageable sizes, the bowl was really full with all the goodness. The stew had really great flavor and lamb was nice and tender, soaked up all the yummy stew, really great. The potatoes and veggies were cooked just right, soft enough without losing its form completely. Very comforting food, warming you up from the inside.

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They were both filling and delicious, even though a bit on pricey side.  The stew surprisingly delicious, much more than expected. It is always great when you go in with a low or no expectation, then receiving something very delicious. Maybe we had too high of an expectation for the Shepard’s Pie… It was really good, but not as good as I wanted it to be. The service was nice and friendly. I wish if the space was better lit, with normal light colors, instead of that strange red colored light. I heard they have pretty good burgers here, maybe I will come back to try some burgers next time, during lunch or brunch hours so that I can really appreciate the historical building more from the inside.

Molly’s Pub and Shebeen – 287 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

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