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Dublin’s Top 25 Pubs

Dublin’s Top 25 Pubs
Dublin’s Top 25 Pubs

It started, as most things often do, as a bit of craic. Apple Music ran a countdown of the Top 100 Albums on their Twitter. And I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be good craic to do that for pubs?

Fast forward a few days and DublinByPub has the attention of Dublin Pub Twitter, who are awaiting the revelation of the number one spot, and I’m getting distracted, as I make the dinner – mumbling the names of hostelries as pots boil over. Ignoring emails from my manager as I meticulously re-arranged a spreadsheet of 25 pub names. At night, I’m losing sleep. This was all just supposed to be a bit of craic.

Through the jigs and the reels, there’d be fake news purporting a certain English Chain as being number one, there’d be accusations of under-the-table payments, and umpteen tweets telling us that we were wrong. But overall it was good craic.

We mentioned afterwards that we could write this list daily for a month and come out with 31 different variations and that very much is the truth. We also did say that there are some glaring omissions (Sorry, The Swan – I’m not sure how we forgot you). But we just wanted to post the list here on the site, for a more comprehensive way to read it, going forward, as it fades into the volumes of the tweets of yore. And as an opportunity to maybe elaborate on some of our choices.

The List

Maybe not the institute it once was, but the Ska is still there and it’s still a good bet for a few loud pints.

The closest thing to a docker’s pub in modern Dublin. There is real community buzz about it. Great pints and decent staff who look after ya.

Supposedly the last place Matt Talbot ever had a drink, which makes his veneration all the more understandable.

Drinking here really feels like you’re just on the cusp of the city before the Suburbs begin. Feels as welcoming as your granny’s sitting room on a cold day.

Possibly the last original and undisturbed aul lad’s pub in the Marlborough Street District from years gone by. Racing and decent pints are always on offer.

The only pub that W.B. Yeats set foot in. The dry shite. Other luminaries of the Irish literature world were more fond of it. Has one of the greatest snugs in the city. Always serves an above-average pint, which makes the Baggot Street tax slightly more palatable.

Charlie Chawke’s best pub by a few furlongs. A great pub with proper 1916 heritage to duck into while traversing the city.

Has an open fire. Serves great pints. Puts on decent trad on the regular. Serves toasties. Hits all the right marks.

It’s The Long Hall. It’s good enough for Phillo, it’s good enough for Springsteen, it’s good enough for us.

It never ceases to astound me how close you can be to James’ Street and have such an un-James’ Street experience.

Can feel like a bit of a victim of its own success until you’re sat over that bright red carpet with a pint in one hand and a toastie in the other.

It feels like Bowe’s bucked the trend with regard to putting Irish Whiskey at the front and centre of their offering as a public house. Dublin needs more great whiskey pubs. I hear they do a good pint too.

Victoriana perfected. You’ll always leave there with an appreciation for the craftsmanship of years gone by and the proprietors who have taken such good care of it over the decades.  

Thousands of us marched the streets to make sure the gombeen men kept their hands off this place. A music pub through and through.

A pub you can judge by its cover. As beautiful inside as it is outside.

Similar to Grogan’s – it can feel to have become a victim of its own success when you’re battling at a three-deep bar. But once that sweet nectar hits your lips and you take in your surroundings, you’ll be glad of where you are.

One of Dublin’s most unique pubs. Feels alternative without trying to rub it in anyone’s face or be cool. We’d classify it as a rockabilly shop if we had to, but you could apply plenty of other classifications to it as well.

Piper’s is the perfect example of how new trad pubs can flourish if they’re managed correctly. It fills the gap left behind by the closure of M. Hughe’s and is a grand choice for us on the east of the city who don’t want to go all the way to Smithfield

A pub we’ve gotten to know over the last while when Capel Street was proving to be a bit too busy. Always cosy and always welcoming.

Patrick Kavanagh once called The Palace a most wonderful temple of art which was true then and is true now.

Possibly the only Dublin Pub to have a book written exclusively about it. I’m always saying that if Joyce was an American, you’d have to pay to get in the door of somewhere like Mulligan’s – where he drank, wrote and even set some of his writing.

It might not be the same experience as it was when grumpy Dave was at the helm, but it’s still one of the best in Dublin.

Longtime readers of the blog will know that The Lord Ed has always been top of most of our lists and it’s still much beloved, but we’ve found it to be opening a bit later than usual recently. Which has left us high and dry and has possibly been the reason for it to be only at number three.

People keep telling me to keep quiet about Cleary’s, but I’m always hopeful that the reputation of Amiens and Talbot Street will keep it from Lady Gentrification. It’s a proper pub and it serves the best pint of Guinness in the country as far as we’re concerned.

This seemed to be a bit of a controversial number one when it was revealed on Twitter. I gather that a portion of those reactions were from people who haven’t been into the pub in its current incarnation. It’s been under new ownership for the last year or two and the new owners refurbished it in keeping with its previous character. They also added some snugs. There’s always a good mix of characters in the pub and a bit of music on now and again as well. The pints are good, and there’s a good selection of the usual alongside some craft taps. The pub is a great example of how a new boozer doesn’t need to be gutted and reinvented with a load of gimmicks to succeed. And all of that is why we’ve found ourselves going back again and again lately.  

The Map

Dublin By Pub’s Top 25 Dublin Pubs – Google My Maps

A map of Dublin By Pub’s Top 25 Dublin Pubs

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