Dublin's Pubs, 3 lists of the best of....


Dublin has hundreds of pubs, so I have looked for the best lists that I can find, so here are 3 lists, List 1 from Lovin Dublin, 24 Best Dublin Pubs To Spend A Saturday Afternoon In Dublin,  List 2 from 'Ireland Before You Die'  The 10 best traditional pubs in Dublin, and List 3  from Keith @Irish Road Trip'  -   39 Best Pubs In Dublin: A Guide To The Finest Guinness, Snugs + Historic Dublin Pubs. The Links are there back to the original articles, most have pictures and locations.   If you want a tourist bar go to Temple Bar, not too many locals there, it is mainly for tourists and is over-priced, if you want a Dublin pub experience, here are the recommendations, 

 

List 1 - The 24 Best Dublin Pubs To Spend A Saturday Afternoon In Dublin  from Lovin Dublin by James Fenton, published 29 Nov 2019 

https://lovindublin.com/food/pubs/the-best-x-dublin-pubs-for-the-saturday-afternoon-sesh

  1. Mulligan's  -  Tucked away from the hustle and bustle on Poolbeg Street, this place has seen many a famous face pass through its doors. 
  2. The Long Hall  -  Moving over to George's Street and one of the city's most famous spots. The Guinness goes down well and the atmosphere is always great.
  3. Toners  -  Bask in the famous beer garden on a sunny day.
  4. Grogans  -  Hugely popular with the afternoon crowd. Don't leave without asking for a toasty.
  5. The Cobblestone  -  With regular trad sessions, the craic is always mighty in this Smithfield spot.
  6. The Bankers  -  A tiny little pub right in the heart of the city on Trinity Street.
  7. Kehoe's  -  One of Dublin's truly iconic pubs. You won't feel the time going by sitting in any of the numerous nooks and crannies.
  8. Jack Nealons  -  Show Capel Street some love with this gem of a place north of the Liffey.   
  9. No Name  -  Perfectly located on Fade Street for a day on the scoops in town.
  10. Brogans  -  Right next to The Olympia, you'll be hard pressed to find a bus that doesn't leave you near here.
  11. Devitts  -  Another spot famous for its Guinness, located on Camden Street.
  12. The Ginger Man  -  A grand spot to get lost in with a great beer garden upstairs.
  13. Cassidy's  -  Back to Camden Street. A great spot to catch up with mates over some lovely pints.
  14. Mother Reilly's  -  A bit of a stretch from town to get to this Rathmines spot but well worth the stroll.
  15. The Barge  -  This spot by the Grand Canal has achieved legendary status for the craic outside whenever the sun comes out.
  16. Walsh's  -  A lovely little Stoneybatter spot.
  17. The Gravediggers  -  Well worth the trek to Glasnevin for some of the finest Guinness in the city.
  18. The Palace Bar  -  Just on the outskirts of Temple Bar, this place just draws you in as you pass by.
  19. McGrattans  -  Found in Fitzwilliam Lane just off the so-called 'Baggot Mile', McGrattans can slip under the radar but once you go you'll want to come back.
  20. O'Donoghue's  -  Great Guinness, live trad and always a bouncing beer garden. One of Dublin's finest pubs.
  21. Hogans  -  Another great George's Street spot where throngs of people gather outside on sunny days.
  22. McDaids  -  Notable for its high ceiling and a favourite of Brendan Behan. Found on Harry Street near St. Stephen's Green.
  23. Doheny & Nesbitt  -  Baggot Street is one of the best drinking routes in the city, in no small part down to this gem. Great spot for watching matches.
  24. The Oak  -  Located on Parliament Street and a fine spot to spend the day.

 

List 2 - The 10 best traditional pubs in Dublin, ranked by Ireland Before You Die, post dated 30 March 2020.  

 

Here is IBYD rundown of the ten best traditional pubs in Dublin, ranked in order of greatness.

  1. McDaid’s – a classic in the heart of Dublin city centre, With a great city-centre location just off Grafton Street, McDaid’s ornate high ceiling is one of the first things you’ll notice as you walk in here (the more observant might notice the trapdoor behind the bar with steep stairs leading down into the cellars).  Address  3 Harry St, Dublin
  1. L. Mulligan Grocer – the best traditional pub in Dublin with craft beer. This is the place to go if you’re looking for a Mountain Man, a Crafty Hen or a Belgian Blonde. As the name suggests, L Mulligan Grocer pub in Stoneybatter once had a grocery shop in it and the rear section of the pub is now a superb restaurant serving Irish produce with a clever creative twist. Try the spiced potted crab or slow-roasted pork belly.  Address 18 Stoneybatter, Arran Quay, Dublin 7
  1. Toner’s – a favourite of WB Yeats. One of the oldest and best traditional pubs in Dublin, Toner’s on Baggot Street dates back to around 1818 and has an old wooden bar full of memorabilia. One of the nicest features in the pub is the large ‘snug’ just inside the front window which has wooden benches and its own door. The poet WB Yeats is said to have liked drinking here.  Address  139 Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2, I
  1. Johnny Fox’s Pub – one of best traditional pubs in Dublin outside the city centre.  Johnny Fox’s is quite a legendary pub to visit. This is one of those “off the beaten paths” pub experiences. There is a catch though, as this addition to the list of best Dublin pubs is a good distance outside of the city centre! Johnny Fox’s is famed as being the highest pub in Ireland, sitting on top of the Dublin mountains in Glencullen about a 25-minute drive from the city centre. Johnny Fox’s is a unique and atmospheric Irish Pub and is well known for its entertainment    Address  Glencullen, Co. Dublin, 
  1. The Cobblestone – for live traditional Irish music. This is amazing for traditional Irish music. Traditional music is played in the front bar and creates a fantastic atmosphere. Be prepared for lots of foot-tapping and some thigh slapping!  Address : 77 King St N, Smithfield, Dublin, 
  1. The Norseman – for good food and live music. Formerly Farringtons of Temple Bar which was known as one of the best traditional bars in Dublin, The Norseman is a lively pub located in the heart of party-central Temple Bar. Tasty brews on draught here, ask the barman for recommendations of what to drink on the night. There is usually live music. Address : 28E, Essex St E, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
  1. Palace Bar – a Temple Bar classic. Another true Dublin pub just at the edge of Temple Bar area, this is the sort of pub where you might meet a small selection of close friends, take a comfy chair in the backroom and enjoy a night of craic and witty conversation. Or, drop in for a starter drink on your way into Temple Bar.  Address : 21 Fleet St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
  1. O’Donoghue’s – a traditional Irish music pub. A traditional Irish music session in this pub is a must if you are in Dublin. A selection of traditional musicians get together for a “session” each night, playing fiddles, tin whistles, bodhrans and uilleann pipes. This is where famous Irish traditional band The Dubliners got its start and the members have come back to play here many times.  Address : 15 Merrion Row, Saint Peter’s, Dublin 
  1. The Long Hall – one of Dublin’s most charming bars. an original Dublin pub with a striking red and white exterior that has survived the complete reconstruction of the buildings around it during the Celtic Tiger boom. It gets quite busy on weekends, so drop in for a quiet mid-week pint of Guinness to fully appreciate the classic wooden interior, mirrors and cozy décor.  Address : 51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
  1. The Brazen Head – the oldest pub in Dublin. This pub dates back to the year 1198. The Brazen Head is claimed to be Dublin’s oldest pub and it’s still a lively spot, with live music every night. The building was originally a coach house and walls are lined with old pictures, papers and ads from the past. Famous names that supped a pint or two in the pub include James Joyce, Brendan Behan and Jonathan Swift. For food, tuck into beef and Guinness stew or a big bowl of steamed Irish mussels. The Brazen Head may be the oldest but it is top of the list of the best traditional pubs in Dublin!   Address : 20 Lower Bridge St, Usher’s Quay

 

 

List 3 -   39 Best Pubs In Dublin: A Guide To The Finest Guinness, Snugs + Historic Dublin Pubs   - List by Keith,  Irish Road Trip  

https://www.theirishroadtrip.com/best-pubs-in-dublin-with-history/

the best pubs in Dublin are the old, unique bars that have a heap of history tied to them (and that serve a fine pint). In the guide below, In the 'Irish Road Trip' guide, you’ll find the best Dublin pubs for history, Guinness and live music, the best snugs in Dublin. 

 The best bars in Dublin (that boast heaps of history)

The first section of our guide tackles Dublin pubs that boast bucket-loads of history. These spots are perfect for those of you visiting Dublin and looking to nurse a pint in a place that has a tale or two to tell.

Below, you’ll find some of the oldest pubs in Dublin along with a clatter or bars that saw their fair share of trouble and strife during the Easter Rising.

  1. The Confession Box - The first spot on our guide to the best pubs in Dublin. You’ll find it at 88 Marlborough Street on the ground floor of an old Georgian era building. Dating back to the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921), this pub has a quirky story behind where its name originated. During the conflict that took place during Ireland’s war for independence, the last know ex-communications from the Catholic Church in Ireland took place. Some of the rebels were known to drop in to receive Communion and Confession from sympathetic priests from the nearby Pro-Cathedral, thus earning the pub the nickname The Confession Box.
  2. The Oval Bar - the story behind Dublin’s Oval Bar is in the years that led up to 1916, the Oval became a haunt for members of the Irish Citizen Army and the Irish Volunteers. On Easter Monday 1916, the Irish Volunteers captured the General Post Office (GPO) and proclaimed the Irish Republic. On the Wednesday, the HMS Helga II sailed up the River Liffey and shelled Liberty Hall and the GPO. A blazing inferno engulfed the city centre, with many buildings, including the Oval, left destroyed. The pub’s owner, John Egan, set about rebuilding the pub and it was able to re-open its doors for business in 1922. Just in time for the civil war.
  3. Kehoes - another of the great Dublin pubs. You can’t beat this place on a late Saturday afternoon when you fancy watching a match with a finely poured pint. This pub boasts a rich literary history. First licensed in 1803, it stands in all its glory as a Victorian shrine, its interior decked out as it was after its 19th-century renovation. Kehoe’s was regularly visited by literary giants Kavanagh, Behan and Myles na gCopaleen. As if you need any other reason to drop by, Kehoe’s is widely regarded as being home to one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin.
  4. The Brazen Head - is officially the oldest pub in Dublin, dating back to 1198 when it started its life as an 11th-century coach house. While it’s unclear as to how much of the original coach house still remains, there’s a wealth of history within this busy little pub. The building that stands today dates back to the 1750s, and it was known to be used by the United Irishmen while they plotted against British Rule. Robert Emmet (an Irish nationalist and rebel leader) kept a room at the Brazen Head and it was here that he planned the 1803 rising. Those familiar with James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’, may recall the mentioning of the pub – ”you get a decent enough do at the Brazen Head for a bob”. Enjoy the live music that’s played each night.
  5. The Long Hall - is one of the best pubs in Dublin City centre. I’d gladly spend many a weekend afternoon perched in the corner near the window with a book and a pint. It’s cosy, beautiful and the service is nothing short of magnificent, which may be partly due to the fact that several of the pub’s long-standing barmen have been there for 35+ years. Licensed since 1766, the Long Hall is one of Dublin’s oldest and most visually impressive pubs. The interior, which dates from 1881, has the same Victorian-era vibe.
  6. Neary’s - this lovely little boozer has a long connection to acting and literary, thanks to its location. In 1871 the Gaiety Theatre opened. The stage door to the Gaiety is directly opposite the rear entrance to Neary’s. Nearly all of the Neary’s original features remain intact, such as the 4 gas lamps that are still in working condition. Interestingly enough, it’s said that these are some of the last working indoor gas lamps in Ireland. The Guinness is delicious.
  7. McDaid’s - was once played home to the Dublin City Morgue. Don’t let that put you off, according to the lads at Publin, when the Moravian Brethren took over the building they developed the practice of standing their corpses in a vertical position. Back in the day, poets Brendan Behan and Patrick Kavanagh were both known to frequent.This is a lovely spot for a sunny Saturday afternoon. Nab a seat outside and enjoy a pint while you watch the world wander by.
  8. Johnnie Fox’s - a historic pub as well as a tourist favourite, known and loved for it’s Hooley… which is some kind of dance. You’ll find Johnnie Fox’s in the Dublin mountains where it gives off the vibes of a 19th century rural Irish home. It was founded in 1798 and was frequented by Daniel O’Connell (the great Irish Liberator) when he lived nearby. Johnnie Fox’s has a long connection with Irish music and culture. In the early 1950s, Irish storytelling and music were recorded in Johnnie Fox’s for Sunday night radio. 
  9. Davy Byrne’s -  one of the more famous Dublin pubs, immortalised in James Joyce’s Ulysses.  Since then, Davey Byrne’s has become a pilgrimage point, of sorts, for Joyce fans across the world. Byrne’s was established in 1889 by, unsurprisingly enough, Davey Byrne. Before opening this pub, he managed another pub in the city known as the Scotch House.During Ireland’s war for independence, the pub was often visited by Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith. One of the rooms upstairs in the pub was actually used for meetings of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. If you plan on doing a Dublin literary pub crawl (organised or self-planned), you’ll find yourself in here at some stage.
  10. The Dropping Well - in Milltown owes its origins to the Great Famine of 1845 – 1849. The story goes that in 1847 starving people would live and gather along the banks of the River Dodder. Many of these people died next to it and the presence of disease-ridden bodies became a considerable issue. It was at this time that John Howe and his wife approached the government and applied for a liquor licence, offering to set up a community morgue on the banks of the river, and The Dropping Well Pub opened its doors in July of 1847.

 

The top pubs in Dublin for a mighty pint of Guinness

The second section of this guide to the best pubs in Dublin is dedicated to helping you discover a great pint of Guinness in the capital.

Below, you’ll find 12 pubs where you’re guaranteed to pick up a solid pint of Guinness. Most are old-school Dublin pubs that have stood the test of time.

 

The best bars in Dublin (that boast heaps of history)

The first section of our guide tackles Dublin pubs that boast bucket-loads of history. These spots are perfect for those of you visiting Dublin and looking to nurse a pint in a place that has a tale or two to tell.

Below, you’ll find some of the oldest pubs in Dublin along with a clatter or bars that saw their fair share of trouble and strife during the Easter Rising.

  1. The Confession Box - The first spot on our guide to the best pubs in Dublin. You’ll find it at 88 Marlborough Street on the ground floor of an old Georgian era building. Dating back to the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921), this pub has a quirky story behind where its name originated. During the conflict that took place during Ireland’s war for independence, the last know ex-communications from the Catholic Church in Ireland took place. Some of the rebels were known to drop in to receive Communion and Confession from sympathetic priests from the nearby Pro-Cathedral, thus earning the pub the nickname The Confession Box.
  2. The Oval Bar - the story behind Dublin’s Oval Bar is in the years that led up to 1916, the Oval became a haunt for members of the Irish Citizen Army and the Irish Volunteers. On Easter Monday 1916, the Irish Volunteers captured the General Post Office (GPO) and proclaimed the Irish Republic. On the Wednesday, the HMS Helga II sailed up the River Liffey and shelled Liberty Hall and the GPO. A blazing inferno engulfed the city centre, with many buildings, including the Oval, left destroyed. The pub’s owner, John Egan, set about rebuilding the pub and it was able to re-open its doors for business in 1922. Just in time for the civil war.
  3. Kehoes - another of the great Dublin pubs. You can’t beat this place on a late Saturday afternoon when you fancy watching a match with a finely poured pint. This pub boasts a rich literary history. First licensed in 1803, it stands in all its glory as a Victorian shrine, its interior decked out as it was after its 19th-century renovation. Kehoe’s was regularly visited by literary giants Kavanagh, Behan and Myles na gCopaleen. As if you need any other reason to drop by, Kehoe’s is widely regarded as being home to one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin.
  4. The Brazen Head - is officially the oldest pub in Dublin, dating back to 1198 when it started its life as an 11th-century coach house. While it’s unclear as to how much of the original coach house still remains, there’s a wealth of history within this busy little pub. The building that stands today dates back to the 1750s, and it was known to be used by the United Irishmen while they plotted against British Rule. Robert Emmet (an Irish nationalist and rebel leader) kept a room at the Brazen Head and it was here that he planned the 1803 rising. Those familiar with James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’, may recall the mentioning of the pub – ”you get a decent enough do at the Brazen Head for a bob”. Enjoy the live music that’s played each night.
  5. The Long Hall - is one of the best pubs in Dublin City centre. I’d gladly spend many a weekend afternoon perched in the corner near the window with a book and a pint. It’s cosy, beautiful and the service is nothing short of magnificent, which may be partly due to the fact that several of the pub’s long-standing barmen have been there for 35+ years. Licensed since 1766, the Long Hall is one of Dublin’s oldest and most visually impressive pubs. The interior, which dates from 1881, has the same Victorian-era vibe.
  6. Neary’s - this lovely little boozer has a long connection to acting and literary, thanks to its location. In 1871 the Gaiety Theatre opened. The stage door to the Gaiety is directly opposite the rear entrance to Neary’s. Nearly all of the Neary’s original features remain intact, such as the 4 gas lamps that are still in working condition. Interestingly enough, it’s said that these are some of the last working indoor gas lamps in Ireland. The Guinness is delicious.
  7. McDaid’s - was once played home to the Dublin City Morgue. Don’t let that put you off, according to the lads at Publin, when the Moravian Brethren took over the building they developed the practice of standing their corpses in a vertical position. Back in the day, poets Brendan Behan and Patrick Kavanagh were both known to frequent.This is a lovely spot for a sunny Saturday afternoon. Nab a seat outside and enjoy a pint while you watch the world wander by.
  8. Johnnie Fox’s - a historic pub as well as a tourist favourite, known and loved for it’s Hooley… which is some kind of dance. You’ll find Johnnie Fox’s in the Dublin mountains where it gives off the vibes of a 19th century rural Irish home. It was founded in 1798 and was frequented by Daniel O’Connell (the great Irish Liberator) when he lived nearby. Johnnie Fox’s has a long connection with Irish music and culture. In the early 1950s, Irish storytelling and music were recorded in Johnnie Fox’s for Sunday night radio. 
  9. Davy Byrne’s -  one of the more famous Dublin pubs, immortalised in James Joyce’s Ulysses.  Since then, Davey Byrne’s has become a pilgrimage point, of sorts, for Joyce fans across the world. Byrne’s was established in 1889 by, unsurprisingly enough, Davey Byrne. Before opening this pub, he managed another pub in the city known as the Scotch House.During Ireland’s war for independence, the pub was often visited by Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith. One of the rooms upstairs in the pub was actually used for meetings of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. If you plan on doing a Dublin literary pub crawl (organised or self-planned), you’ll find yourself in here at some stage.
  10. The Dropping Well - in Milltown owes its origins to the Great Famine of 1845 – 1849. The story goes that in 1847 starving people would live and gather along the banks of the River Dodder. Many of these people died next to it and the presence of disease-ridden bodies became a considerable issue. It was at this time that John Howe and his wife approached the government and applied for a liquor licence, offering to set up a community morgue on the banks of the river, and The Dropping Well Pub opened its doors in July of 1847.

 

The top pubs in Dublin for a mighty pint of Guinness

The second section of this guide to the best pubs in Dublin is dedicated to helping you discover a great pint of Guinness in the capital.

Below, you’ll find 12 pubs where you’re guaranteed to pick up a solid pint of Guinness. Most are old-school Dublin pubs that have stood the test of time.

  1. John Kavanagh’s (The Gravediggers) - Established in 1833, widely regarded as the greatest of all time when it comes to its drop of Guinness. The only thing that outshined the quality of the pint was the service – the barman chatted to us like we’d been drinking there for 50 years. Now, you’ll commonly hear this pub referred to as ‘The Gravediggers’. The pub picked up this nickname because it’s, quite literally, built into the wall of Glasnevin Cemetery

I’ve heard stories that gravediggers from Glasnevin used to knock on the back wall of the pub to request a pint. They’d then be served through the railings that link the pub and the graveyard, hence the name.

  1. The Palace Bar - is hands-down one of the best bars in Dublin. From the minute the lamp standing proudly outside greets your eyes, you know you’re in for something special. The Palace is an unspoiled Dublin pub that has retained all of its original Victorian glamour. In fact, the pub’s decor is exactly as it was 189 years ago. The pint here is top-notch as is the service. You could easily nip in here while waiting to meet a friend, nurse a pint, and admire the gorgeous interior and decor.
  2. Brogan’s - The history behind Brogan’s Bar is an interesting one. It was once home to the first gay bar in Dublin (known as ‘The Viking’). It wasn’t until 1990 that it switched owners and was named Brogans. I’ve been drinking here for a while now and can vouch for the Guinness as being excellent. This is a handy pub to nip into if you’re heading to a gig in the Olympia or if you’re looking for a no-nonsense Dublin pub with plenty of seating and a great pint.
  3. Ryan’s of Parkgate Street - another Dublin pub that’s well-known for the quality of its pint. It’s also another spot that still holds it’s original Victorian interior. You’ll find it a stone’s throw from the front gate of the Phoenix Park which makes it the perfect spot for a post-ramble-in-the-park pint and bite to eat. If you nip in here, keep an eye out for the original gas lamps, the gorgeous traditional snugs and the other ornate features.
  4. The Royal Oak - Our next pub takes us out to The Royal Oak, a hidden gem in Kilmainham, not far from the Gaol. This is another brilliant no-nonsense pub which, similar to Brogan’s, has a fairly bare decor with plenty of wood veneer. This is also one of a handful of Dublin pubs that’s dog-friendly. So if you’re out with the madra and it starts lashing down, you can both dry off with a fine pint.
  5. The Clock - on Thomas Street the pint here is A+. This Dublin pub is also linked to the Irish rebellion of 1803 – it’s said that it was a regular meeting spot for the United Irish men. I’ve heard stories that the smoking area in this place has a cage with a load of birds in it… it’s also said to be a decent spot to watch a match.
  6. Tom Kennedy’s - is a great little spot for a pre-Vicar-Street-pint. It’s a traditional Irish pub that has live music banging away each weekend.  This is one of those spots that I only discovered after following the likes of Dublin By Pub and the Guinness Advisor on Instagram. The pints from this place are heavily reputed to be some of the best in Dublin. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the food here, also. Whack it on your to-sink-a-pint-in list.
  7. Walsh’s of Stoneybatter - If you’re in search of an old-fashioned pub in Dublin that’s perfect for a catch-up with friends (there’s no loud music or TVs in here) give Walsh’s in Stoneybatter a crack. I’ve been in here a handful of times over the years – similar to the Gravediggers, both the pint and the service in this Dublin pub are insanely good. A lot of people miss out on Walsh’s, thinking that Stoneybatter is miles from the city centre, when in fact it’s only a half-hour ramble from O’Connell St. and only 15 minutes from Smithfield.
  8. The Lord Edward - this is another old-school Dublin pub that serves a delicious pint with a head so plump you could rest a coin on top of it. The interior is no-fuss and it seems to get a fairly local crowd. If you can, nab the seat to the left just inside the door – you’ll have a perfect viewing point to the busy street outside.
  9. Gaffney & Son - If you’ve never heard of Gaffney’s it’s a pub in Fairview and it’s up there with the best bars in Dublin for Guinness. Look at the head on the one I was presented with a few months back . If you’re planning on visiting, try and get in early and secure the seats just to the left of the door. You’ll squeeze about 8 people in here. 
  10. Grogan’s - is one of the more famous pubs in Dublin on our list and was established in 1899. I have a love/hate relationship with this place – when I manage to grab a seat inside, it’s the best pub on earth. When I walk inside and see that it’s packed to the rafters, I leave cursing it (mainly out of jealously of those that have secured a table). It can be near impossible to grab a seat inside Grogan’s if you don’t arrive in early. If you rock up in the summer months, the outdoor seating is great for people-watching with a pint. Grogan’s is another spot that makes you realise the difference professional bar staff make to your overall pub experience – the folks that man the bar here are warm, welcoming and pour a mighty pint to boot.
  11. Mulligans of Poolbeg Street - is a cherished public house for generation after generation of Dubliners. Known for its colourful history that spans over 200 years, it began its life as an unlicensed drinking venue until it began serving up pints legally in 1782. Over the years, Mulligan’s has hosted everyone from James Joyce to John F. Kennedy. The latter visited the premises when he was a journalist with the Hearst Newspaper. From its old-school decor that includes a grandfather clock that holds the ashes of an American tourist named Billy Brooks Carr, to the several reported ghost sightings, it’s definitely a unique little boozer, not best known for customer service.

 

The best snugs in Dublin

Ah, snugs – those cosy little nooks in pubs across Ireland that are often near impossible to grab to yourself. In this section, we’ll tackle the bars in Dublin where the best snugs can be found.

 

  1. Slattery’s - The first snug on the list is Slattery’s in Rathmines. This one boasts all the makings of a traditional snug – it’s private (fully enclosed) and also has a little door to the bar. There’s a proper old-school feel to this snug – expect worn old wooden panels and red leather seats galore. This one’s perfect for a group and can easily accommodate up to 9/10 people.
  2. Smyth’s - Next up is Smyth’s pub in Ranelagh. You’ll find this snug tucked away to the right of the front door. It’s cosy and the seats are plump and comfy. You’d be doing well to grab a seat in here – it’s been occupied ever time I’ve visited over the years. If you can’t get space in the snug, you’ll find plenty of other spots to plonk yourself for an hour or two.
  3. Searson’s  - on Baggot St. is home to a mighty snug. You’ll find it the second you ramble in the front right entrance, just on the left. Although this snug is fully enclosed, natural light spills in thanks to a finely placed window.  It also has a dedicated counter with a little bell.
  4. The Waterloo  - is the second Baggot St. pub to make this list. You’ll find the pubs original snug to the left as you enter. This is another one that benefits from a clatter of natural light. Although this snug has no door, it offers a more private setting than the other areas of the bar. The big panel window also makes it the perfect spot to people watch with a pint.
  5. Toners - Toners is up there with the best pubs in Dublin City Centre. And the weathered snug here will knock you sideways (if, like me, you’ve a weird obsession with this kind of thing).

This one’s fully enclosed, offers private access to the bar and has a heap of old-school memorabilia and decor to keep you amused while you sip.

  1. Doheny & Nesbitt - another one for Baggot St. Doheny & Nesbitts is home to three snugs, which increases your chance of nabbing one.  The one at the back of the pub is the best of the bunch. If you can wiggle your way in here, you’ll have an unbeatable setting for a night of chatter with friends.
  2. Kehoe’s - Kehoe’s is another excellent Dublin pub that boasts a heap of history, dating back to 1803 (which also makes it one of the oldest pubs in Dublin).  The snug here is another heavyweight, with a hatch and door to the bar, also. I go to Kehoe’s a lot, and I’ve never managed to grab a seat in this snug. But I’ll keep on trying.

 

The best bars in Dublin for live music

We get a lot of emails from people visiting Dublin that want to visit a pub that plays live music. Luckily, there’s no shortage of music pubs in Dublin, with some offering traditional music sessions 7 nights a week and many more boasting live music every weekend. Here are some to the best pubs in Dublin for live music.

  1. Darkey Kellys - is one of the bars in Dublin if you’re in search of a spot that offers live music 7 nights a week.  Sessions here tend to start in the late afternoon and go on until late. There’s also a packed roster of acts lined up to play each week.
  2. Devitts of Camden Street - is another spot where you’ll find tunes played 7 nights a week.  It’s also surrounded by a heap of different restaurants and cafes if you’re looking for a pick-me-up or a bite-to-eat before heading in for the music.
  3. Nancy Hands - You’ll find Nancy Hands on Dublin’s Parkgate Street, a stone’s throw from the Phoenix Park, and the Guinness Storehouse. The live trad sessions here only take place on a Saturday, but they’re said to be some of the best in the city. 
  4. The Merry Ploughboy - If you’re in search of a live music show, get yourself to the Merry Ploughboy in Rathfarnham – it’s the only pub in Ireland that’s owned and run by traditional Irish musicians. This pub is a little out of the way if you’re staying in the city, but there’s a shuttle bus organised for those attending the show. I was here recently and the food is class..
  5. The Stag’s Head - is a beautiful old Dublin pub that dates way back to 1780. The interior is what you’d expect from a Victorian-era pub (it was redesigned in 1895). You’ll find live music or comedy shows taking place in the pokey downstairs area of the Stag’s Head throughout the week.
  6. Peadar Kearney’s - on Dame Street is one of the best pubs in Dublin for non-traditional live music, in my opinion. If you can get in here early, try and nab the seats just inside the door or the ones to the left of the bar. I’ve yet to spend a night here where the musician (it tends to be one lad and a guitar) hasn’t been absolutely brilliant.
  7. The Cobblestone - in Smithfield has arguably the best slogan of any pub in the land. They describe themselves as ‘A drinking pub with a music problem’ (hit play above for a sample of a session). Trad music sessions take place at the Cobblestone on Mondays, from 19:00 until close, on Tuesdays to Fridays, from 17:00 until close and on Saturday and Sundays, from 14:00 until close.
  8. O’Donoghue’s - of Suffolk street is another one that’s up there with the best pubs in Dublin for live music (it’s played on the ground level). I’ve spent many a night here over the years and you tend to have, similar to Peadar Kearney’s, one lad up in the corner with a guitar. Add this spot to your Dublin pub crawl route.
  9. The Auld Dub - is one of the best pubs in Temple Bar. If you’ve never been inside, it’d be easy to assume that it’s a tourist trap, given the other pubs in its vicinity. However, the Auld Dub is a spot that’s known to have top-notch live music playing most nights of the week. I’ve been here a lot in the past two years – you tend to get a mix of contemporary music with trad, depending on who’s playing.

 

 


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