1. The Porterhouse
Let’s start with the beer on offer at this Brewery pub – from session beer Porterhouse Red to the 7% Brain Blasta, the selection here is unrivalled. That’s without even touching on the hundreds of bottled beers from around the world. The lunch and evening menus are first class (including a brilliant Irish Stew) and there’s live music most nights. There’s also good news for all the London-ites out there because they opened a sister-pub in Covent Garden in 2011. This watering hole in Dublin is the best place to be night or day, it stays open until 2.00am as, brings home international awards and keeps the indie flag flying high on the pub circuit.
Maybe it’s the fact that they serve what is unquestionably the best pint of Guinness you will get anywhere in the world. Maybe it’s the friendliness and professionalism of the staff. Maybe it’s the big tables in the back room, where you will be powerless to resist chatting away to some brand spanking new friends. Maybe it’s all of these things, but needless to say, Mulligans is special. You’ll find this one on Poolbeg Street.
This is the former haunt of Brendan Behan and Paddy Kavanagh, among other literary giants. Better stillis also just off Grafton Street making it an ideal place to seek solace after spending too much on the retail strip. There is an excellent upstairs area ideal for parties, book launches and leaving dos, but whatever the occasion it’s impossible to stop people drifting along to the intimate bar downstairs. The literary connections make you feel like you’re doing something cultural, the toasted sandwiches are superb and if you need a little heavy metal disco to finish your day off, you can nip across the road to Bruxelles!
4. The Palace
In at number three we have a venue that was described in The Observer newspaper back in 1998 as: “an almost perfect pub” It serves what must be among the top 3 pints of Guinness in town, it’s part of 템플 바 and a popular hang out for journalists, and writer types – not too different from the Groucho Club over in London. You can usually grab a table here at lunchtime, the menu is tasty and inexpensive, and if The Palace were anywhere other than Dublin it might well be the best hang out in town.
5. Davy Byrnes
Go on a Saturday and spend all afternoon here! They show all the latest scores during the football season at this pub – mentioned more than once in the novel Ulysses by James Joyce, although you’d never know it from the modern décor. Davy Byrnes attracts an amazing crowd of locals, tourists and everyone in between. You’ll find it just off Grafton Street, serving up first-rate food and a great atmosphere for meeting, and chatting with, eccentrics!
Like most pubs to make the Dublin’s top ten pubs list, this choice makes a point of being free from piped in music. There’s a bell to call for pints and the upstairs bar is probably the finest room in Dublin, in which to sit down with a nice drink. At the risk of sounding cliché, the craic here is always good. There’s also a piano and usually someone attempting to play it, so instead of listening to Pop pumped out through a jukebox, you’re more likely to get crowds of people singing The Fields of Athenry. It can get crowded but Keoghs enriches any visit to Dublin.
7. The Long Hall
The Long Hall is well worthy of a place on our Dublin’s top ten pubs list for three reasons – the superb bar staff, the cracking Guinness and the mirrors. This is in fact a pub of mirrors – large, small, distorted, clean and dirty. It’s a popular place for an after-work session and a good antidote to the more trendy – pose and be seen posing pubs – across town. It’s also an ideal stopping off point if you’re heading to Whelan’s or The Village to see a band.
8. Messrs Maguire
This is a new pub serving real beer! Yes that’s right – a new trend in Dublin is brewing wonderful real ales on the premises and Messrs Maguire (along with The Porterhouse) is leading the way. The Rusty Ale is delicious, smooth, tasty and infinitely more-ish. The Haus lager is equally wonderful and they don’t serve Guinness – something of a rarity in Dublin! The food here ranges from generous bar snacks to full-blown restaurant meals and the view over O’Connell Bridge is fabulous. Attracting a young-ish but discerning crowd and likely to be mobbed at the weekends – Messrs Maguire is an excellent addition to Dublin’s pub circuit.
This is a personal favourite and the only north-side pub to make the Dublin’s Top ten pubs list. It’s an oasis and the only place where you are guaranteed a seat, along with quick service on a weekend. It looks like it was transported from the 1950s, the Guinness is exquisite and the bar is cosy. Expect a lively and eclectic bunch of drinkers, actors and all sorts, not to mention Fintan the barman who could easily be the best barman in Dublin. His standards of service are second to none and he’s a laugh too. If you fancy a pint and a ponder, or a quiet chat head for this place.
10. The Brazen Head Pub
This is the oldest pub in Dublin and a must for every pub-lover. It’s also the only one in Dublin with a courtyard and one of the only pubs in central Dublin where you can drink outside if the sun’s shining. With warm fires and welcoming staff this is also an excellent spot to try out on a chilly winter’s eve. The Guinness here is among the best you’ll find and the food is basic but substantial. The Brazen Head is divided into several rooms, some big and some small, but all with a great atmosphere. It attracts a mixed clientele – a characteristic of all the best pubs in Dublin, so expect young trendy-ites, city workers, tourists, tea drinkers, locals, country-folk and even priests! You’ll find everyone there getting on with the business in hand – that being having a pint and putting the world to rights.
Pubcrawl in Dublin
Let’s get real and find a great Pubcrawl in Dublin, right? Well that’s pretty easy.. there’s pubcrawls every night. The pubcrawl is a great way to meet people! A night you won’t remember with people you will never forget!
We go to the best bars and the biggest clubs in the city.
Includes free Guiness + free shots + free club entry
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WHERE: THE MERCANTILE 28 DAME STREET