The Crowd(ded) Favorites of Dublin's Best Pubs

  • 01 of 10

    Dublin's Best Pubs? Here Are Some Favourites ...

    Dublin pubs - there is a surprising amount of variety, and these may be some of the best!
    ••• Dublin pubs - there is a surprising amount of variety, and these may be some of the best!. © Bernd Biege 2015

    Dublin is full of pubs - modern megapubs catering for a young crowd, cosy small corner pubs which have not been redecorated since 1916, pubs providing a venue for folk musicians and pubs that are no more than watering holes for the serious drinkers.

    Picking the best pubs is down to taste and expectations. But here is a list of the pubs I would deem well worth a visit when you are in Dublin and looking for a decent night out.

    But always remember that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and that the quality of a pub is very much dependent not only on the pub itself, but also on the expectations of the patron. So go, explore ... see the following pages (in purely alphabetical order) as a "starter guide", not as gospel.

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  • 02 of 10

    The Auld Dubliner

    The Auld Dubliner
    ••• The Auld Dubliner. © Bernd Biege 2015

    The Auld Dubliner

    Situated smack in the middle of the busy Temple Bar District, this pub is known for its bright mural (including a Jack Russell Terrier irreverently relieving himself in public, not an unknown thing to happen in the vicinity, not only with dogs), folk music, and crowds.

    The address alone ensures a steady stream of mostly young and sometimes very noisy crowds. You will never get bored here, but you'll not hear the music (or your own words) at peak times.

     

     

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  • 03 of 10

    The Brazen Head

    The Brazen Head
    ••• The Brazen Head. © Bernd Biege 2015

    The Brazen Head

    This pub was already mentioned in James Joyce's "Ulysses". And small wonder - the Brazen Head is one of Ireland's oldest pubs (the licence was issued in 1668, they poured a pint before that, and the original building is from the 12th century - though the present building is from the 1750s) and already was an institution a hundred or so years ago.

    Today, it is occasionally visited for the literary connection, but also because it is a Dublin landmark.

     

     

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  • 04 of 10

    Jameson's Bar

    Bar at the Old Jameson's Distillery
    ••• Bar at the Old Jameson's Distillery. © Bernd Biege 2015

    The Jameson's Bar

    Situated in old Smithfield Village, regenerated (and then slightly fallen off the cliff) in recent years, the Old Jameson Distillery is a tourist attraction. And the bar just right of the entrance is not a pub proper, admittedly.

    But the bar, which you can enter without paying for the tour, is worth a pit-stop for the thirsty. Because you get served excellent whiskey, delicious long drink, and even craft beer. Maybe to put a spring on your step when walking between the National Museums in Kildare Street and Collins Barracks.

     

     

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  • 05 of 10

    The Long Stone

    The Long Stone
    ••• The Long Stone. © Bernd Biege 2015

    The Long Stone

    To be found at the back of Pearse Street Garda Station, in a rather unexciting area of town, this pub is billed as Dublin's oldest Viking pub. Well, that might be stretching the bounds of truth a bit (the pub was established in 1754, when the Vikings had long been assimilated).

    But it certainly is decorated to fit the bill, incorporating Viking elements and even a statue of Norse god Balder (doubling as a fireplace). Popular and usually frequented by a mixed crowd.

     

     

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  • 06 of 10

    McDaid's

    McDaid's
    ••• McDaid's. © Bernd Biege 2015

    McDaid's

    This pub is very convenient for the city centre. Most people drop in for a drink only, but you should enjoy the "art deco" interior to truly appreciate McDaid's. Artistic connections are to be found in patrons past - Patrick Kavanagh used to drink here, so did (albeit in larger quantities and with greater frequency) Brendan Behan. The latter is rumoured to have modeled some of his characters on fellow drinkers in this pub - he would, wouldn't he?

    Today, McDaid's has a dark-ish interior, lots of original woodwork, and is a good place to have a quiet pint. Not quite as quiet as a morgue, though the building once was one.

     

     

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  • 07 of 10

    John Mulligan's

    John Mulligan's
    ••• John Mulligan's. © Bernd Biege 2015

    John Mulligan's

    Mulligan's has been pouring the pints since 1782 (though not at this location originally). The pub grew into one establishment out of separate houses and has some period interior. Its main claim to fame, however, is a perfect pint poured by experienced staff. And James Joyce on the list of its "regulars", as was most of the staff from the "Irish Press" (which folded in 1995). Mulligan's is also famous for its connection with legendary Kerry sports writer Con Houlihan a plaque in his honour was purchased by playwright John B. Keane.

     

     

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  • 08 of 10

    O'Donoghue's

    O'Donoghue's
    ••• O'Donoghue's. © Bernd Biege 2015

    O'Donoghue's

    The Big Daddy of Folk Music - O'Donoghue's in Merrion Row was the pub that launched the career of the "Dubliners", Ireland's seminal folk and ballad group. Thus making the O'Donoghue's the seminal pub for folk fans visiting Dublin.

    The pub can get crowded, especially during the tourist season, and when live music is on. Very near to the city centre, O'Donoghue's is surprisingly large ... and it needs to be, as the pub is on several tours, and will nearly always have a steady influx of visitors.

     

     

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  • 09 of 10

    The Porterhouse

    The Porterhouse
    ••• The Porterhouse. © Bernd Biege 2015

    The Porterhouse

    The Porterhouse, on the fringes of Temple Bar and just a stone's throw from Dublin castle and city hall, opened in 1996 as Dublin's first pub brewery. That cannot last long, Guinness-soaked publicans of the old guard proclaimed.

    But it did. And is as much a Dublin institution now as you can get in just twenty or so years. A popular pub to enjoy craft beer, or to let your hair down.

     

     

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  • 10 of 10

    Sweetman's

    Sweetman's
    ••• Sweetman's. © Bernd Biege 2015

    Sweetman's

    Formerly known as "Messrs Maguire", this huge pub sprawls over four floors and is boasting its own micro-brewery. The winning combination of pub, late-night bar, and restaurant is famed for its beers, as well as a place to meet people from near and far.

    Location might play a major role here - within sight of O'Connell Bridge, Sweetman's is as central as it gets.