Our Local Guide to Dublin's Best Pubs
04 September 2019

Best Bars in Dublin

Best Bars in Dublin 

James Joyce once remarked that an interesting puzzle would be to attempt to cross Dublin without passing a pub. A software developer recently solved Joyce’s puzzle by using an algorithm and freshly developed mobile technology. Dublin has 666 registered pubs so trying to avoid them is not easy, but trying to find the best ones is no mean feat. There are a number of things to take into account when considering the best Dublin pub. You must consider the ambience which in Ireland is defined as “craic”, yes the pub must be good craic and the type of craic you are looking for. There is of course the quality of the pint, this in Dublin is a huge factor when selecting a pub. Finally, there is price, there are a small number of pubs in Dublin that charge extortionate prices for pints and unfortunately they are normally located in tourist hot-spots like Temple Bar. We have endeavoured to find the most reasonably priced drinks in Dublin City centre.

O'Donoghues Bar – Merrion Row

O’Donoghues is a classic Irish pub that would be right at home in the Connemara, but it is located in the heart of Dublin. It has long been one of the Best Bars in Dublin -  ask the Dubliners, this was their local back in the day. The bar is famous for serving one of the best pints of Guinness in the city as well as serving some classic Irish pub grub, including the classic toasted sandwich. But the best thing by far about O’Donoghues is the top quality traditional Irish music. When the musicians start, everyone is encouraged to join in with the singing and the craic is mighty. One slightly negative point about O’Donoghues is that it attracts the after-work office crowd on a Friday and it gets quite crowded which can make it a little difficult to hear the music on some occasions.

The Secret Bar/The Bar With No Name

The Secret Bar/The Bar With No Name  simply got its name because it was never really given a name when it first opened. A small sign with a snail on it and a doorman will let you know you are here. Upstairs you'll find a great venue and it isn't really a secret; it does get busy at weekends. Why is it one of Dublin's Best Bars? Super tunes and super cocktails (mojitos are the house speciality). What sets this apart from other bars is that it has the atmosphere of a house party with it's hip decor. 

J.W. Sweetman – Burgh Quay

J.W. Sweetman Despite Dublin being famous for pints of beer, craft beer bars are a relatively new phenomenon to the city with the first craft beer bar opening in 1996. However, in the last 5 years there has been a huge growth in popularity, with craft beer bars springing up all over the city. The best craft beer bar in Dublin is without doubt J.W. Sweetman which is just moments away from O’Connell Street. Sweetmans is the only pub in Dublin to have its own micro-brewery on the premises. If you are a fan of Ale and craft beer then this is a must on your to do list. 

Mary's Bar - Wexford Street

Mary's Bar is one of the newest bars in Dublin, and one that you could easily miss, but quickly became one of our best bars in Dublin. This is a slightly modern take on a traditional Irish pub where not only could you get a pint but also your Corn Flakes and a Hammer! The bar staff here are great fun which only adds to the buzzing atmosphere that makes this one of our favourites. They serve the regular beers that you would expect but also have a good selection of local craft beers. 

The Church - Mary Street

The Church on Mary's Street is notable for many things but what makes this stand out is that it is a converted Church. Its a bar, a restaurant and a late night venue and its not over priced. Plus it's only about 400m from Temple Bar. It's the type of place were you go for lunch and end up spending the rest of the day there - and that's not a bad thing, in fact it's why we consider this to be one of Dublin's Best Bars. They also have a great outdoor area, which gets busy on the summer days. 

Cobblestone Pub - Smithfield

The Cobblestone pub in Smithfield, which is famous for two things, the best live traditional Irish music in Ireland and a fantastic pint of Guinness, two things that make it one of the Best Bars in Dublin. It describes itself as "a drinking pub with a music problem" which is very accurate. The Cobblestone is located in the new bohemian and “arty” quarter of Dublin, Smithfield, but the Cobblestone is a very traditional Irish pub. A pint of Guinness will set you back a very reasonable €4.50 and it is one of the best pints of Guinness in Dublin.

Get Special Offers

Get our newsletter for special offers, events and more!