Top pubs in Dublin

A Toast to Dublin: Exploring the Top Pubs in the Irish Capital

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Dublin’s pub culture is the heart of the city’s social scene, where every day is a celebration of life, camaraderie, and, of course, fine ale. In this article, discover the top pubs in Dublin, like The Palace Bar, Neary’s, and Mulligan’s of Poolbeg Street, each offering a unique slice of Dublin’s vibrant pub culture, from live music to hearty Irish grub​. Whether searching for traditional Irish tunes, a cosy corner in the city centre, or a plate of hearty pub grub, Dublin’s top pubs offer an immersive experience into the city’s lively pub culture.

Discovering the Irish Charm: 5 Top Pubs in Dublin

Dublin is a city steeped in tradition, and nowhere is this more evident than in its pub culture. The top pubs in Dublin offer more than just a cold pint; they provide a doorway into the city’s rich history and vibrant social scene. Here are five exemplary pubs where the heart of Dublin beats strong:

1. The Palace BarNestled in the historic heart of Dublin, The Palace Bar offers a quintessential Dublin pub experience. Known for its classic Victorian decor and extensive whiskey selection, it’s a favourite among locals and tourists.

2. Neary’sThis UNESCO City of Literature Bar is a haven for art enthusiasts. With its close proximity to the Gaiety Theatre, Neary’s has been a cherished spot for the artistically inclined since 1871​​.

3. Mulligan’s of Poolbeg StreetA storied pub with a rich history, Mulligan’s is synonymous with classic Dublin charm. Renowned for its perfectly poured pints of Guinness, it’s a place where Dublin’s past and present meet over a glass of stout.

4. O’Donoghue’sWith live traditional Irish music and a hearty welcome, O’Donoghue’s is a hub of Dublin’s musical heritage. It’s where tunes and tales flow as freely as the beer.

5. The Brazen HeadAs Dublin’s oldest pub, dating back to 1198, The Brazen Head is a journey back in time. The historic walls echo with centuries of laughter and camaraderie, offering a genuine taste of Dublin’s pub culture.

The Brazen Head - Dublin
The Brazen Head – Dublin

Each of these pubs encapsulates a unique aspect of Dublin’s social scene, providing more than just a place to quench your thirst. As we venture deeper into the heart of Dublin, let’s explore the gems tucked away in the city centre, where the tradition of pub culture melds seamlessly with modern-day vibrancy. 

The Irish Heart: Best Pubs in Dublin’s City Centre

Immersing oneself in the heart of Dublin invariably involves stepping into one of its many esteemed pubs, where the city’s soul unfolds amidst a blend of historic charm and contemporary flair. Each pub in the city centre narrates a tale of Dublin’s illustrious past, its vibrant present, and its aspiring future. Here are some of the best pubs in Dublin city centre that capture the spirit of Dublin in their own unique ways:

1. The Long Hall: A timeless treasure on George’s Street, The Long Hall has been a beloved haunt for Dubliners since 1860. With its vintage decor and warm ambience, it’s a place where every corner tells a story​​.

2. Kehoe’s: Located on South Anne Street, Kehoe’s is a testament to Dublin’s rich heritage, offering a cosy country pub experience right in the city’s heart​.

3. Toners: Established in 1734, Toners on Baggot Street is where Dublin’s literary and social history comes alive. It boasts one of the best beer gardens in the city, a perfect blend of tradition and modernity​.

James Toner's - Dublin
James Toner’s – Dublin

4. The Stag’s Head: A quintessentially Dublin pub located at Dame Court, The Stag’s Head is where history and modern-day Dublin meet. Its lively atmosphere, especially in the summertime, makes it a city centre favourite​.

Each pub is a microcosm of Dublin, embodying a mix of traditional Irish culture and the contemporary social scene. As we meander through the city’s centre, we next tune into the rhythmic beats of Dublin’s live music scene, a hallmark of the city’s vibrant nightlife.

Fiddle My Guitar: Best Pubs in Dublin for Live Music

Dublin is not just a city. It’s an experience, especially for those who find their rhythm in the pluck of a fiddle or whistle of a flute. The heart of Dublin pulsates to the tune of live music that resonates through the walls of its time-honoured pubs. Dublin’s pubs are in a league of their own. Here are some of the best pubs in Dublin to sing some belters and Riverdance the night away:

1. The CobblestoneA cornerstone of Dublin’s live music scene, The Cobblestone in Smithfield is renowned for its traditional Irish music sessions, providing a heartfelt tribute to Dublin’s musical heritage.

2. O’Donoghue’sThis lively spot on Merrion Row is synonymous with live music, hosting spirited traditional Irish music sessions that celebrate the rich tapestry of Irish pub culture.

3. Johnny Fox’sNestled in the Dublin Mountains in Glencullen, Johnny Fox’s hosts the famous Hooley Show. This musical extravaganza has become a local legend over the years.

4. The Temple BarA hub of live music, The Temple Bar is a go-to spot for tourists and locals alike. It is known for its energetic atmosphere and a diverse line-up of live music performances.

The Temple Bar - Dublin
The Temple Bar – Dublin

5. Whelan’s Bar: Labelled as one of the best live music venues and bars, Whelan’s Bar is where contemporary tunes meet the traditional Irish spirit, providing a musical sanctuary in the heart of Dublin.

The musical notes floating through the Dublin air are more than sound; they are the city’s lyrical heartbeat, keeping the age-old traditions alive while embracing the new. As we transition from the musical to the culinary, our next stop is exploring where in Dublin one can satiate their appetite with the tastiest pub grub while perhaps enjoying a live band playing in the backdrop.

A Gastronomic Journey: The Best Pub Grub in Dublin

Dublin, a city with a rich historical backdrop, is not just known for its traditional pubs and live music but also for its hearty and comforting pub grub. For many, a visit to Dublin is only complete with diving into a plate of classic Irish stew or savouring the flavours of a well-cooked steak in a cosy pub setting. Let’s venture into some of the best pubs in Dublin where the grub is as renowned as the Guinness:

1. The Bull & Castle BarAn American-style bar and restaurant known for its dedication to crafting tender and marbled beef, located at 5-7 Lord Edward Street. A full bar complements every dish, making the experience wholesome.

2. The Old SpotNestled at 14 Bath Avenue, this gastropub comes highly recommended in the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs guide. It’s a place where fine dining meets rustic elegance, offering a variety of dishes from beef to seabass paired with a good old pint.

3. Peruke & Periwig: A stone’s throw away from St Stephen’s Green Park, this pub sets an old-world ambience with its vintage decor. The pub grub here is a delightful blend of traditional and modern flavours.

4. The Chop HouseKnown for sourcing the best possible beef, this award-winning gastropub at 2 Shelbourne Road offers a relaxed atmosphere with a menu that’s nothing short of a Michelin-starred attraction.

5. The Legal EagleA treasure trove of comfort food classics and new twists, located at 1-2 Chancery Place. From homemade crisps and pickled eggs to a traditional meat platter, the grub here is as comforting as it is delightful.

6. L. Mulligan. GrocerAway from the hustle and bustle, this pub at 18 Stoneybatter is where the basics are executed flawlessly. The evolving food menu offers a range of options, each promising a taste of Dublin’s culinary heritage.

As the adventure through Dublin’s pub grub scene concludes, a reflection on the journey reveals not just the city’s love for food but a tradition that brings people together over good food, good music, and good company, embodying the true spirit of Dublin. 


Dublin’s pub culture is a wholesome experience, encompassing much more than just a pint of beer. The top pubs in Dublin offer a blend of traditional and modern experiences, each unique yet tied together by the city’s undying love for good beer, live music, and hearty food. Dive into the heart of Dublin’s pub scene and discover the places where the city’s spirit is served chilled, accompanied by lively tunes and delicious grub.

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