When visiting Dublin with a group of friends, a visit to a traditional pub is a must to really soak up the local culture. The city is in no shortage of great pubs serving top class pints of the black stuff and packets of Tayto crisps and, depending which one you visit, you can catch some traditional Irish music and entertainment performances too. Here’s a breakdown of our top 10 pubs in Dublin:
1. Johnny Foxes
Glencullen, Dublin Mountains, Co. Dublin
Johnny Fox’s is famously known as “Ireland’s Highest Pub” due to its mountainous location and is a must visit for fans of live Irish music. There’s food, live music and entertainment seven days a week at Johnny Fox’s. Attending a trad session in Johnny Fox’s will have you feeling like you’re at a good old-fashioned Irish house party.
2. The Cobblestone
77 North King Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7
A family owned pub run on family traditions and values – The Cobblestone pub has been passed down through generations with Irish music always remaining its main focus. You’re in for a treat whichever night you visit the pub – some of Ireland’s finest musicians, including the owner’s brother, the renowned uilleann piper Néillidh, lead traditional Irish music sessions in the bar seven days a week.
3. The Brazen Head
20 Bridge Street Lower, Dublin 8
Established in 1198, The Brazen Head is Ireland’s oldest pub. The historic pub is also a haven for musicians – The Dubliners, Van Morrison and Tom Jones have all played at The Brazen Head over the years. Nowadays, there’s live bands and solo performers playing every night and on Sunday afternoons there’s karaoke sessions where guests are invited to sing onstage with back up from a live band.
15 Merrion Row, Dublin 2
O’Donoghue’s pub is where the infamous Dubliners band made their big break. Musician Christy Moore has also been known to entertain the punters at this Dublin pub. There’s live entertainment every night and a large outdoor beer garden that fills up very quickly come 5.30pm when workers flock to the establishment. On weekends O’Donoghue’s is a favourite among rugby fans and promises an electric atmosphere.
5. The Hairy Lemon
Stephen Street Lower, Dublin 2
This famous Dublin pub was the chosen filming location for the 1991 award-winning film ‘The Commitments’. Completely unpretentious, the Hairy Lemon is adorned with wacky memorabilia from over the years and even has a suspended sitting room on the ceiling. As well as serving drinks, the Hairy Lemon has a fully stocked traditional Irish food menu including staples like coddle, cottage pie and stew.
15 South William St, Dublin 2
Grogans pub is the perfect combination of traditional and contemporary. Serving craft beer, cocktails and all-important pint of Guinness, the walls at Grogans display sculptures and artwork by Irish and international artists making it a colourful location for some drinks. The pub is famous for its toasties made from Irish cheddar and deli-style ham. Guests of the pub range from local workers, lone paper readers, tourists and everyone in between.
9 South Ann Street, Dublin 2
This award-winning traditional Irish pub is a hidden gem in the heart of Dublin’s city centre. Established in 1803, the decor at Kehoe’s remains true to its Victorian heritage. Visitors can step back in time and take a seat in one of the many snugs while enjoying a drink. Drop by on a Monday evening to catch a comedy show from one of Ireland’s budding comedians.
8. No Name
3 Fade Street, Dublin 2
Known by locals as ‘the bar with no name’, this city pub serves great pints and delicious cocktails from its multi-storey location. Their terrace is fitted with heated and a retractable cover making it suitable for all types of weather. Brunch is served on weekends and if you’re after a party there’s live DJs every Friday and Saturday from 10pm til late.
75 Dame St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Home to the largest collection of Guinness memorabilia outside the brewery itself, Brogan’s bar is the place to grab a drink before or after a show in the Olympia Theatre next door or to watch the match. The Dublin team have been known to visit Brogans after big games in Croke Park and it’s no wonder as the pub is owned by the uncle of the famous players Alan and Bernard Brogan. Punters are sure of a warm welcome and a bit of craic at Brogan’s.
6 Stoneybatter, Arran Quay, Dublin 7
Winner of ‘Ireland’s Pub of the Year 2018’, Walsh’s is one of Dublin’s most loved pubs. Both snug and lowkey, you’ll find live entertainment most nights at the pub in the form of spoken word and trad music. Here, guests are treated to a free cheese board on Tuesday nights – it’s no wonder Walsh’s is Ireland’s favourite pub! Serving both traditional and craft beers, wines, and spirits, guests can get comfy in one of the pub’s snugs while they absorb that hip Stoneybatter atmosphere.
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