Whether you are heading to Dublin for a weekend getaway or exploring this ancient city for longer you will of course want to explore some of the best Pubs in Dublin. Dublin, and Ireland at large, are known for leprechauns, four-leaf clovers and PUBS. If you lucky enough you maybe there for St. Patricks Day which is probably the most Irish thing you can ever do, and of course its best celebrated…in a PUB. I think you start to get the picture here.
Did you know Dublin has exactly 666 licensed pubs. Seems extra wicked now right!
So after my recent visit, and being shown around by two enthusiastic locals, I decided to put together a list of the best pubs in Dublin. Obviously this list has no formal criteria, but tries to bring together a variety of different pub cultures from the old timey with flower boxes to modern with glass and famous DJs. You could even try do them all in one day, a pint at each perhaps? Either way, here you go, the best pubs in Dublin – as curated by a local. It is presented in no particular order. Enjoy!
Hogans Pub Address: 35-37 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
One of the most popular bars in Dublin. It is a spacious bar with upstairs room and a large selection of beer presented in a typical Victorian surroundings. Its popular with locals, especially students, and has a very ‘unpretentious’ vibe. You can sit back here and watch a game or on the 3 days a year its sunny in Dublin – enjoy the sun with its outdoor seating.
Sophies Bar Address: 33 Harcourt St, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2, Ireland
A glasshouse restaurant, come nightclub, where the weather is their wallpaper. The vibe changes significantly from a laid-back sunrise through a buzzing sunset. Fine dining Italian during the day but at night when the lights go out it turns into one of the hippest spots in Dublin. Trendy D sets, slightly pricey drinks and a ‘seen-and-be-seen’ scene. It also has one of the best views in Dublin and a party till the sunrise mentality – especially on a Saturday night when it is very gay-friendly!
The Deans Address: 33 Harcourt St, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2, Ireland
One of the least traditional on the list – A boutique hotel whose lobby turns into a pumping hipster bar. Pints and cocktails flow thick and fast, conversation is the name of the game here. A guest DJ is on decks during the weekend to serve up soundtracks so obscure you will feel just like one of the in crowd. No your average Dublin, but this is where the young and beautiful congregate these days. Times are changing and so are the best local pubs in Dublin!
The Stags Head Address: 1 Dame Ct, Dublin 2, Ireland
A gorgeous Victorian pub with wrought-iron chandeliers, old barrels, ceiling-high mirrors and enough history to fill a library. This is probably Dublin’s best preserved Victorian pub – and everything here is of authentic Victorian origin. Finding it is akin to discovering a rare treasure as it is concealed through a narrow passageway but when you enter a world of old culture and values wash over you. A perfect place to chat and mingle, let the Irish fawn over a tourist and of course – Try a pint of the famous Guinness.
Quentin Tarrantino was once refused a pint from the Stag’s Head. He tried to pull the ‘Do you know who I am?’ card, but was rebuffed by the staff because it was after hours and one rule applies to all.
Fagans Address: 146 Drumcondra Rd Lower, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, Ireland
A fantastic local, with authentic flower-boxes and a menagerie of people who get one and off the number #16 outside. It has a carvery out back for those looking for a basic pub meal, otherwise there is a hum in the air as people chat the afternoon away. No music, no fuss – Just good bear in a beautiful old surrounding. Its located close to Croke Park if you are going to catch a game or a concert, and is the least likely to find a tourist here given its location – and so deserves its place on any Dublin Pub Guide. Be sure to strike up a conversation with your neighbour, its very friendly.
Dublin has one pub for every 1906 people (was 700 in 1924), most of whom cram in on Paddy’s day!
57 The Headline Address: 156-57 Clanbrassil Street Lower, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8, D08 HC79, Ireland
Another local pub with a nice vibe and almost guaranteed to be tourist free. Its first and foremost a craft Beer Bar with 24 Craft Beer taps and a huge range of Gin & tonic. They have a great taster for beers and of course, Irish Whisky. Not my thing but the guys behind the bar really know their stuff, and have an amazing attitude. The food here is also really good and quite cheap compared to other places on this list. Get ready to laugh and enjoy Irish hospitality.
Grograns Address: 15 South William Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
Grogans is a bit of an institution. A local pub in the heart of the city with all manner of characters coming and going. A sampling of Dublin’s citizen all in one place. It has a lively buzz and intensity of an authentic Dublin city pub, but this place really shines for its outdoor seating. Grab a pint and head to the curb – People watching is the name of the game here, and trust me you will see some incredible things. When it gets cold, Grogans is also one of the few bars left where your conversation needn’t compete with a wide screen TV or stereo. A varied clientele and good-humored, friendly staff you can be sure of a warm welcome every visit. Of course, if booze is not your thing why not use those hangover-less mornings to head out of town and try the traditional afternoon tea experience at the world-famous Ashford Castle!
The Exchequer Address: 3-5 Exchequer St, Dublin 2, Ireland
An award-winning gastro-pub with stylish interior that could not be missed on any Dublin Pubs guide! Head here to enjoy a nice meal and some respite from the rain. Its not as pricey as it should, but attracts a different type of crowd. A good place to meet a friend, have a family meal or go to watch the game in peace. No one will be annoyed if you talk during it here. Central location that doesn’t seem to know is fit out and food could demand a better price. Head here before they figure it out!
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Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles - they go a long way - and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your own path and don't forget to share your best inspiration stories with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...I'd love to hear from you!