The Irish pub is an international staple for expats and western travelers looking for familiarity when surrounded by a foreign context. From Bangkok, to New York, to Sao Paulo, anywhere you go, there’s an Irish pub awaiting you.
This is why it’s such a shame that when tourists show up to Dublin—the Mecca of Irish pubs—they immediately wander down to Temple Bar. Any Irish person will tell you: Temple Bar is a hellhole. Yes, it’s packed shoulder-to-shoulder with pubs, but the drinks are overly expensive, it’s jammed with tourists, and many of the watering holes are garish and tacky. Here are a list of great pubs where you can drink like you’re Irish and actually enjoy yourself.
The Cobblestone is located about 50 meters from the Jameson Distillery, and is an institution for live music. Starting in the early evening and going until close, The Cobblestone has a running open-mic policy, where just about anyone can play if they’re so inclined. While this may sound like you’d be greeted by a bunch of amateurs, nothing could be further from the truth—The Cobblestone is frequently packed with loads of talented musicians, jamming down on some Irish folk tunes. The beer is relatively cheap, and the crowd is laid back.
The Long Hall
The Long Hall can get crazy busy on the weekends, but that doesn’t mean that you should avoid it. With the floors shooting out at odd angles, and a bar that is made out of old disco balls, this charming pub is definitely worth a visit.
Bowe’s is a great bar for whiskey lovers; after all, they have over a hundred, from all around the world. Sunday night boasts an unplugged, traditional music set that you can enjoy while picking from a great selection of craft beer or enjoying some great bar snacks. Some locals would argue that Bowe’s has better Guinness than the Guinness Brewery itself.
The Woolshed is a sports bar, and a great place for locals and tourists to rub shoulders. They serve great food at a decent price, have a huge selection of beers and drinks, and show just about everything. As the NFL becomes more popular in Europe, it has gotten easier to find bars that show games, and the Woolshed is the best place in Dublin to catch NFL games. They even have a room on their second story that is devoted entirely to the NFL—decoration and all—and is serviced by its own bar and staff. The doors open at kickoff of the first game of the evening, and it’s generally packed by the end of the first quarter.
Standing as Dublin’s oldest microbrewery pub, the Porterhouse encompasses three stories of spartan, rustic, wooden décor. Boasting excellent pub food at very reasonable prices, be sure to try the Oyster Stout, made on premise with real oysters; while it may sound disgusting, it is really quite good. While The Porterhouse only sells its own brand of beer, it’s much better than anything mass produced you would get in Dublin.