Ellie is a Glasgow-based writer who loves to write about a variety of topics including travel, business, finance, DIY, beauty or fashion.
It’s that time of the year again: after Christmas, the upcoming months present themselves as a rather dark future. The bad weather, the number of night hours (which, thank god, have started to decrease in favour of daylight hours), and the return to a daily routine usually make for a good resolve to the post-holiday blues.
There are several ways of beating this feeling, one of the most fun being “making plans for future holidays”. So that’s more or less what I have been up to for the last few days, planning a getaway for February or maybe even March. Now, where should I go?
Dublin has been on my bucket list for a few years. Despite how close it is from Glasgow (it only takes one hour and 15 minutes), I’ve never really had the chance to visit the capital of Ireland. I said to myself, this is my chance to finally do it!
I’ve been told there’s nothing better than a good Irish beer, and even though I’m not a great fan of the golden drink, I reckon it wouldn’t be a real trip to Dublin if I didn’t try some of its best pubs. So here’s the list I’m going to use, consisting of some of the most popular bars in Dublin.
Situated on the Phibsboro Road, on the north of Dublin, McGowan’s of Phibsboro has recently celebrated its 70th anniversary: it opened its doors for the first time in 1949, and it has ever since been owned by the McGowans. This sports bar is well known in Dublin for its Singles Nights on the first Friday of the month and cheap drinks—what else is left to say? Oh, yeah; it serves some of the best cocktails in Dublin!
What’s better than a fancy dinner surrounded by spectacular views? Dublin’s best rooftop bar is possibly Sophie’s, with its 360-degree panoramic views over the city. This beautiful glasshouse restaurant and bar is set in the rooftop terrace of The Dean Hotel, serving food from breakfast till dinner. With an elegant menu consisting of locally sourced products, Sophie’s is definitely the place to go if you are feeling fancy. They’re open all year long, meaning that in winter you can still enjoy the views, the drinks and the food under the blankets provided by the staff.
If there is something people talk about when they think about BadBobs, it is the good music and great food; some of them may even tell you how great their Devil’s Blood Wings are, the spiciest chicken wings in Dublin. But there is so much more to BadBobs that makes it one of the favourite spaces for hire in Dublin: of its five floors, the first and the second have dedicated cocktail bars, whilst its rooftop terrace is as enjoyable in summer as in winter, as you will find yourself protected from the weather when you are in it. One of the best spots in Dublin to go dancing, if you ask me.
The Living Room
With Dublin’s largest beer garden and Europe’s largest outdoor screen, it is no wonder that The Living Room comes highly recommended, especially if you are looking for a place to watch the next football match. Located in the north of Dublin, it is kind of a hidden gem where you can enjoy the sun far from the crowds, as it’s not especially a favourite among the tourists, although a good place to engage with locals—they know all about the great deals The Living Room offers on drinks throughout the week.
Possibly one of the most classical-looking Irish pubs of this list, O’Donoghue’s represents all that a tourist can expect from an Irish pub. The traditional look with wooden tables, worktops and bar, completed by a series of black and white framed photos and a warm, dim light, make the perfect environment for the traditional music that is played here seven days a week. It’s literally by the side of the lovely St. Stephen’s Green and really close to the National Museums of Ireland (of archaeology and natural history) and the National Gallery of Ireland. The perfect spot to end a day of learning about Ireland, don’t you think?
The Workman's Club
This multi floor venue located in Temple Bar is an Award winning club that will make your night if you are up for live music, comedy stand-ups or karaoke. It’s a space where independent artists and musicians meet to give life to their creations in front of a dedicated audience. Occupying a 160-year-old building, this is a club with a huge personality that has seen big rock’n’roll figures throughout its 10 years of life (it opens its doors in 2010).
L. Mulligan. Grocer.
A cozy, traditional gastropub where you will find all kinds of crafted beers and whiskeys, perfectly matched with the dishes from the seasonal menu. It will surprise you the fact that they don’t sell Guiness, though: they focus more on rare beers from smaller breweries. Same goes for the food, as their brilliant menu consists of traditional Irish dishes, made by expert hands with locally sourced products. With a number of vegetarian options, this is a great place to enjoy a quieter evening tasting some of the best Irish gastronomy and most special beers you will find in Dublin.
What's Your Favourite Irish Pub in Dublin?
Do you know any other pub in Dublin that should appear in this list? The city is so big it's impossible to know them all, especially if you come as a tourist! Let me know what's your favourite pub in Dublin in the comments below so I can check it out in my next visit!
Liz Westwood from UK on February 03, 2020:
On a visit to Dublin many years ago I recall a few pints of Guinness in a bar at the Guinness experience overlooking Dublin. Some of our party didn't like it, so it was a shame to waste it. What amused me the most were the tourist party in the Ladies washing out their branded glasses to keep them as souvenirs. I must return and check out these bars.