Pub is actually short for public house – an establishment that is open to the public and serves alcoholic drinks – the most common of which being beer. They originated in the UK and Ireland. That is why all English or Irish themed drinking establishments all over the world are called pubs.
There is no doubt that Ireland is known for its pubs – as pubs are almost always associated with Ireland. There are a lot of Irish pubs opened throughout the globe, but nothing beats the originals. Here is a list of the ten best pubs in the world – all of them are found in Ireland of course!
The Long Stone
This pub is found at 10 Townsend Street, Dublin 2 – just minutes from the popular Temple Bar area. The Long Stone is actually a steyne – a pillar used by Norsemen to represent possession of the land.
Established in 1754, the family owned pub takes pride in their excellent customer service and their warm and relaxed ambience. The Celtic themed pub is decorated with Viking elements – be sure to check out the huge statue of the Viking god Balder (god of Light and Warmth) doubles as a fireplace.
The pub attracts a mixed crowd of different ages and tastes – no one will feel left out or out of place in this pub.
They offer a wide range of beers and spirits. They are open up until 2.30 in the morning on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights! Bar food is available all throughout the week.
They serve wines and cider, and of course, beer:
Draught: Guinness, Guinness Extra Cold, Smithwicks, Heineken, Carlsberg, Budweiser, Miller, Kilkenny, Coors Lite
Premium Draught: Erdinger – a warm and semi-spicy German beer brewed from wheat; Warsteiner – a Czech invented German pilsner style beer with a clean and crisp taste; Kronenbourg – a French beer that has a bitter taste and a flowery hop aroma.
Bottled: Heineken, Carlsberg, Budweiser, Miller, Becks, Becks Non-Alcoholic, Holsten, Coors Lite, Satzenbrau, Corona
Premium Bottled: Budvar, Erdinger, Andechser Dunkel, Schneider Weisse Original, Schneider Weisse Kristal, Grolsch, Tiger, Hofbrau, Kriek Boon
You can contact them The Long Stone at +353 (0) 1 6718102
This pub is found within sight of O’Connell Bridge in Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.
Messrs Maguire was actually named after the first establishment in that location – William Maguire and his sons set up business there as suppliers of hemp, flax and rope to the docking ships. Underneath that shop was the Corn Exchange Tavern, which served whiskey and porter to the sailors, passengers, dockworkers and merchants in and around the quay.
The modern day establishment brought the two shops together under one roof. But take note, Messrs Maguire is not just you ordinary pub – it’s a brewery, a cafe bar, a basement tavern, a functioning library, a semi-art exhibit (they have lots of contemporary Irish paintings on display) and a restaurant.
They have a full menu of Irish, continental and world cuisine – from steaks to burgers, pasta to salads and desserts. Be sure to have a taste of their stouts: the classic Dublin Dry and the export quality Extra Strong.
As for entertainment, they play traditional music on Mondays. Their weekends are all about sports – they have huge TV screens!
Late at night, the pub turns into a late bar – complete with DJ’s and a dance floor.
You can contact Messrs Maguire at +353 (0) 1 670 5777.
The pub is found in Grand Canal Street, Dublin.
It’s a really happening place – more of a party atmosphere than a relaxing traditional pub experience. On Friday nights, they have the usual DJ from Ibiza (one of the Spanish Balearic Islands found in the Mediterranean – known for its summer club parties frequented by tourists from all over the world).
The main pub is actually the first of many branches. To be exact, four other pubs are in existence, all under the same name. The pub operates in four other cities: Galway, Paris, Brussels and Boston.
John Mulligan’s Pub
The pub, also known as just plain Mulligan’s, is found in Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2.
Although the pub was established in 1932, the Mulligan name did not begin here but in a pub on Thomas Street beside the old Cornmarket way back in 1782. The Cusack brothers Con and Tommy from Cavan became the owners of Mulligans in 1932 when they got the place from their uncle Mick Smyth who had bought the house from John Mulligan himself.
The pub’s claim to fame was one of its regulars: James Joyce.
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish expatriate writer. He is considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He is best known for his landmark novel Ulysses (1922) and its successor Finnegans Wake (1939).
He published a collection of 15 short stories entitled Dubliners in 1914. It’s a semi-autobiographical work and some of the characters were actually other regulars of Mulligan’s. Pictured above is a plaque granting Mulligan’s The James Joyce Pub Award.
Mulligan’s is also known for the quality of its Guinness. The pub is known as the home of the pint because they are famous for pouring the so-called “perfect pint” – a technique that makes use of tilting the glass and letting the beer settle so as to fill the glass with more beer and less froth. Pictured on the left is an example of the perfect pint poured by a Mulligan’s server.
You can contact the pub John Mulligan’s Pub at +353 (0) 1 677 5582.
The pub is located just off Grafton Street at 3 Harry Street, Dublin 2.
The place is located near the city center, which makes it crowded at most times. It’s easily accessible and most of the patrons come and go just like that – good enough for a pint or two and a light snack. But make sure that when you visit you stay long enough to appreciate the pub’s famous “art deco” interior.
The pub is also known for some of its regulars: Patrick Kavanagh used to drink there – Kavanagh is an Irish poet who’s famous and controversial work “The Great Hunger” was once banned by the Minister for Justice due to its overt attack on the religious oppression of the Catholic Church on rural Ireland.
More famous than Kavanagh (and was also confirmed to be more a drinker) was Brendan Francis Behan – also an Irish poet who delved into short stories, novels and plays. Behan was also a committed Irish Republican and a member of the Irish Republican Army. He is the most famous Irish dramatists of the 20th century. Behan described himself as “a drinker with a writing problem” and said that “I only drink on two occasions – when I’m thirsty and when I’m not.”
You can contact McDaid’s at +353 (0) 1 679 4395
The pub is located at 1 Prospect Square, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.
Also known as Gravediggers, the pub is located beside the main gates of the massive Glasnevin Cemetery. Needless to say, most of their patrons before were the cemetery workmen from next door. The pub has preserved the look and feel from the day it was established – which was 1833. But the pub is no longer as gloomy – although some say ghosts frequent the place, too!
John Kavanagh’s lays claim to being the oldest family pub in Dublin – the current proprietor is Eugene Kavanagh who is already part of the 6th generation to take care of the business. The look of the pub is genuine Victorian.
Just like Mulligan’s they also have this reputation of serving one of the best pints in Dublin. Bar food is simple home made soups and sandwiches. Don’t expect to see TV or expect to hear any kind of music in the pub – nothing but good conversations!
You can contact Kavanagh’s Pub at +353 (0) 1 830 7978.
The Brazen Head
The pub is located at 20 Bridge Street, Dublin 8.
The pub claims to be Dublin’s oldest – having started pouring beer since 1198 (the building was built only in the mid 1700s), which means they have been serving way before licensing laws came into effect in 1635. nobody really disputes their claims as people are not there to hate – they are there to enjoy a good pint!
The Brazen Head is known to be one of the best for Dublin live music. The pub is divided into three parts – with the two larger ones hosting the live music. The smaller middle room is the original pub – complete with low-beamed ceiling and Victorian fireplaces.
Aside from being a pub, the place is also a restaurant – best known for quiet dining and the view of their cobbled stone courtyard. They serve traditional and contemporary dishes. Traditional includes their famous Beef and Guinness and Irish stews. They also have a selection of fresh seafood – salmon, mussels, cod and oysters to name a few.
The pub is located just five minutes walking distance from the Guinness Storehouse – where they brew the famous Irish original that everyone is serving!
You can contact The Brazen Head at +353 (0) 1 677 9549 or +353 (0) 1 679 5186
The Hole in the Wall
The pub is located at Blackhorse Avenue, Phoenix Park, Dublin 7.
The pub is not hard to find. It’s right next to the Phoenix Park – the pub and park walls are actually fused together. The pub is a combination of several old houses, which makes it the longest pub in all of Ireland.
The pub was named in honor of an age old tradition in the place – serving drinks through a hole in the wall of the Phoenix Park to members of the army garrison stationed in the area.
The pub is also known for their great food – especially since head chef Damien Grey of “The Restaurant” is behind the cooking. A new dining room was opened last year. Be sure to check out the house specialty: chicken breast with butternut squash, artichokes, shitake mushrooms, and beurre blanc. The place is much a restaurant as it is a pub. So be sure to check out both offerings as they are sure to satisfy.
They also have a newly opened wine shop – serving the extensive wine list offered in the restaurant.
You can contact The Hole in the Wall at +353 (0) 1 838 9491.
The Auld Dubliner
The pub is found at 24 / 25 Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
You won’t miss it. Aside from its location in the Temple Bar District, the pub is also know for the bright mural painted on its wall – an old Dublin docker with a big beer belly, a captain’s hat and a newspaper sticking out of his pocket and right beside him is a Jack Russell Terrier relieving himself on the wall. Behind them is a stained-glass window with the words The Auld Dubliner.
Much like the Long Stone, the pub is also a happening place – frequented mostly by the young and loud crowd. But on full nights it is filled with customers from different ages – all looking to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can come during the day for a more relaxing atmosphere.
They offer a tasty mix of traditional Irish dishes and contemporary food choices – from the age old Irish Lamb Stew and Coddle to Vegetarian Stir Fry and Crunchy Baguettes.
You can contact The Auld Dubliner at (+353) (0) 1 677 0527
The pub is located at 15 Merrion Row, Dublin.
The pub is considered a historically significant establishment and is the most famous of all the pubs in Ireland. The place was built in 1789 and was originally a grocery store. It began operating as a pub in 1934 after it was purchased by the O’Donoghue family.
The Pub is closely associated with Irish traditional music. It was the place where the popular Irish folk group The Dubliners began performing and started making a name for themselves. Other Irish musicians who have playes at O’Donoghue’s include Christy Moore, The Fureys, Seamus Ennis, Joe Heaney and Phil Lynott. Val Doonican of the Val Doonican Show also frequented the place. The photographs of these artists are lined in the walls of the pub. Take note of the portraits of the Dubliners: Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, Ciaran Bourke, John Sheahan and Barney McKenna as well as later members Eamonn Campbell and Sean Cannon – they hang to the right of the entrance near the spot where the nightly sessions are played.
In 1988, O’Donoghue’s was purchased by Oliver Barden – who allowed the pub to continue the musical traditions that has made it one of the most popular pubs in Dublin.
Live music is on seven nights a week. Musicians from all over Ireland come together in the pub to share their love of Irish traditional music. O’Donoghue’s is also a favorite meeting place on rugby weekend. They welcome fellow rugby lovers from countries England, Scotland, Wales, France, and Italy annually for the Six Nations Tournament. Be sure to visit the place during these times, too. Just make sure to book early for those days!
The place can get really crowded especially during the tourist season – especially when there is live music. The dimly lit and yet surprisingly large pub is actually part of several guided tours. Easily accessible from the pub is St. Stephen’s Green and the selection of fine restaurants all around. Then, there’s Grafton Street which is filled with shopping boutiques and establishments.
The guest rooms are complete with TV and refrigerator – available as Singles, Twins, and Doubles accommodation. Rates are as low as 60 euros per night.
You can contact O’Donoghue’s at +353 (0) 1 660 7194.