Ah Dublin, my home town, a place filled with lashings of creamy Guinness and the omnipresent craic. I’m often asked by friends who are visiting Dublin which are the best pubs/bars. This is highly subjective, and can lead to a heated debate among Dubliners, but some of my absolute favourites are below. Of course, there are hundreds of pubs in Dublin, so you’ll have no trouble finding one wherever you are! Be wary of Temple Bar though – there are some good pubs there, but if you’re not in the know you’ll end up in an overpriced tourist trap surrounded by other tourists. Read on for my top three!
One of my all time favourite pubs, bang in the centre of the action on the corner of South William Street and Castle Market. It’s an old school pub with friendly staff, always full, with plenty of characters propping up the bar. No matter how early you get there, someone else has always got there before you. The decor is old school, unchanged and unmodernised, with an eclectic selection of local art on the walls. Great Guinness, coffees and a decent selection of beers. Try the infamous toasted sandwiches (ask for the special) if you need a bit of ‘soakage’ as we say in Dublin. Great people watching at the outside tables. www.groganspub.ie
Cool Japanese style drinking den in a nice, dark basement on South Great George’s St. Perfect for hiding away in a corner and getting stuck into a few cocktails. Great selection of Japanese tapas, with the Izakaya burger particularly recommended. Decent cocktails, and a selection of Japanese beers, whiskies and sakes. There are also DJs every night. www.yamamori.ie
A bit out of the city centre, Dice Bar is worth the hike to Smithfield, a creative enclave of the city. Dark and grungy, Dice Bar is Berlin / NYC dive bar-esque. Huey from the Fun Lovin’ Criminals is (or was?) a part owner. Great music, mainly rock and rockabilly, and they have their own micro-brew, Revolution. Friendly staff and crowd. www.dicebar.com