Top 10 Dublin Pubs

Some of my haunts are in here but The Vaults? What the fook!

From The Guardian:

  1. Central Hotel Library Bar

Three words: Dublin’s best-kept secret. I shouldn’t even be telling you about it, but dammit, I must. Entered via the hotel lobby below, the first thing you notice about the Library Bar is the way your voice instinctively lowers. There’s just something about the lush couches, lavish armchairs and dog-eared old books that demands it. First floor views of South George’s Street gratify as would a private booth at an opera. Table service, the occasional pianist and a sophisticated but informal clientele (there isn’t a Ralph Lauren shirt in sight) complete the package. Arrive early for the couches.

1-5 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
+353 (0)1 679 7302;

  1. Anseo

Alternative, funky and resolutely unpretentious, Anseo has emerged from former incarnations as Circus and Con’s Pub to finally nail that elusive Camden Street vibe. The surrounding Village Quarter has been slow to gentrify, but that’s no bad thing the mix of fruit and veg vendors, charity shops, funky cafes and surreal dereliction has more character than Temple Bar and the docklands combined. Music skips from funk to groove and Afro-beat, with a mix of arty types and locals kicking back in unapologetically downbeat surroundings. Sweaty, sincere and seriously social, Anseo has adrenaline and authenticity.

18 Camden St Lower, Dublin 2
+353 (0)1 475 1321

  1. The Vaults

Integrating several vaults dating from 1846, this atmospheric bar seems tailor-made for dangerous liaisons, secret handshakes and clandestine trysts. There’s just something about those low ceilings and flinty niches that drips with intrigue. The Vaults does scale as well as intimacy, however. On weekdays, sharp food menus attract the suits, as one might expect from its proximity to the International Finance Services Centre (IFSC). But come Saturday nights, Mr Hyde emerges with a vengeance in the guise of Dublin’s biggest R&B club. Just 10 minutes from O’Connell Street, these slick cellars create an easy and evocative mix of eras. The rest is up to you.

Read the full content

Harbourmaster Place, IFSC, Dublin 1
+353 (0)1 605 4700;

  1. The Stag’s Head

The Stag’s Head, like many dyed-in-the-wool Dublin pubs, suffers from multiple personality disorder. Centred round a Connemara marble surface and watched over by the eponymous stuffed beast, the main bar is a vessel of Victoriana. The old smoking lounge is a lovely lunch spot. Upstairs is by turns bookish, rowdy and random; and the less said about the basement the better. Patrons include a mix of Trinity students, brokers from the nearby Stock Exchange and miscellaneous blow-ins. All are equal at the Stag’s, however. It’s even rumoured that Quentin Tarantino, trying to get an after-hours tipple, was once refused for pulling rank.

1 Dame Court, Dublin 2
+353 (0)1 679 3701

  1. Dice Bar

Huey from band the Fun Lovin’ Criminals’ is an investor so the Dice Bar’s gritty New York City feel isn’t surprising. Blacker-than-black with a kiss of red, the funky DJs, robust beers (many from a local microbrewery) and a clientele spanning boho, metal and carpetbaggers from the D7 area of town provides a unique overall feel as if the East Village and Smithfield met in a tattoo parlour. The location adds brio on one occasion while this author was imbibing, a local kid cycled his bike through the premises. Nobody batted an eyelid. That’s the Dice Bar: sexy, salt-of-the-earth and then some.

Queen Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7
+353 (0)1 872 8622

  1. The Cellar Bar

Imagine a cross between the Bat Cave and the vaults of Cognac. The result is the Cellar Bar, a sleek sidekick to the uber-discerning Merrion Hotel. A subterranean honeycomb dotted with private alcoves, the bar serves over 75 labels by the glass. Originally the Duke of Wellington’s scullery, today its cool granite, table service and tasteful panelling (subtly incorporating wine crates) attracts politicos, legal eagles and well-heeled all-comers. It’s very expensive, but a slick menu, oodles of atmosphere and the Merrion’s A-list cachet will coax that cash forthwith.

Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
+353 (0)1 603 0600;

  1. The Ferryman

In days of yore, boats transferring workers to factories and shipping yards south of the Liffey docked at the Ferryman’s doorstep. Today, workers shuttling in from the opposite direction the booming IFSC quarter are decidedly white collar; a change mirrored in this waterfront stalwart’s clientele. Encompassing the ground floor of two Georgian buildings, nostalgic ads and monochromes are overcooked, but grit continues to out-muscle the encroaching glamour. Tar-stained ceilings and no-nonsense service keep the docker heritage firmly in mind. And that’s exactly as you’d wish.

35 Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin 2
+353 (0)1 671 7053;

  1. The Long Hall

Thank God the Long Hall is a listed building. As neighbouring blocks succumb to development frenzy, this 40s special doggedly remains the genuine article. Enter, and your eye is drawn along the bar to a lounge full of punters rather than “clientele”, if you know what I mean. Lanterns, muskets, odd prints of downtrodden London and the fact that Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott shot a video here add to the randomness of it all. An antique clock forms the arch between bar and lounge, and the carpet looks like its taken more abuse than Shane McGowan. This class of faded grandeur just can’t be bought.

51 South Great George Street, Dublin 2
+353 (0)1 475 1590

  1. The Sackville Lounge

There’s a delicious awkwardness to be had when a first-timer pokes his head into the Sackville. Small, unassuming and strangely addictive, this is the kind of place you can wander into for a pre-cinema pint, get talking to a guy who keeps his belongings in a plastic bag, and emerge at 1am feeling like you are actually in a movie. Peppered with actors, affable barmen and cosy warmth, all that’s missing is Oliver Reed slumped in the corner. The toilets are among the oldest in the city too, which makes seeing a man about a dog a lifetime experience. One of Dublin’s hidden wonders.

Sackville Place, Dublin 1
+353 (0)1 874 5222

  1. Crawdaddy

Interior designer Andrew Martin’s eureka moment lay in stripping these vaults back to let the stone speak for itself. Filling the space with eclectic furniture from the 60s, 70s and contemporary decades, the resulting aesthetic is strangely beautiful for a bar. Formerly know as the Lobby, Crawdaddy interlinks with a music venue next door and the Pod nightclub. On big nights all three open simultaneously. The crowd is gig-driven and the courtyard is perfect for al fresco jars and ciggies.

Old Harcourt Station, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2
+353 (0)1 661 0700

Pol O’Conghaile is the author of the new Bar Secrets Dublin cards from the Deck of Secrets Series (4.99).

Post edited by: Bandage, at: 2007/08/07 19:18

Couple of worthy inclusions there - particularly the Sackville Lounge which is a cracking place altogether and the jacks take some beating. Stag’s Head and The Long Hall are decent as well.

Surprised at no Mulligan’s (though I’m losing interest sometimes) and there are a couple of odd ones - especially the Vaults. Also as they’re picking sort of institutions I think Kehoe’s deserves a shout for it’s Friday evening suntrap.

Tht list is cat in my opinion, Anseo and the Stag’s Head are about the only two that belong there.

Some of the other boozers that deserve a mention:

McDaid’s, Harry Street.

Mulligans; as the rock has already mentioned.

O’Neill’s, Pearse Street (best pint of guinness in town).

The Bachelor Inn, Bachelors Walk.

Ned’s, Townsend Street (open 7am, Monday to Friday)

The Oak and Thomas Reid’s, Dame Street.

Noctor’s, Sherriff Street (bring ur gun)

Fibbers, Nah I’m only joking I wouldn’t vomit in it!!

TP Smith’s, Jervis Street.

Harbourmaster, IFSC (Someday I shall rob those old wine bottles)

and last but not least: COPPPPPPPERRRRRRSSSSSSSS!!!

Sorry there. The Sackville Lounge is actually a top notch Public House aswell!

Post edited by: BenShermin, at: 2007/08/07 22:38

I forgot to mention Frasers in the list of notable absentees. Quality boozer.

Thomas Reads/The Oak has to be on that list for me. I go there at least one night a week, every week. In the past 6-8 months I’ve only missed maybe 6 weeks or so. Best spot for music in Dublin, way better than Doyles, Whelans and the likes.

Bachelors Inn is a class spot, the regulars won’t take any messing off blow ins but if you act resepctivley to their pub you are welcomed as one of there own.


Haven’t been in many of those places. Due to the inclusion of the Vaults I seriously wonder as to the mental state of the reviewer so will take them with a pinch of salt.

I love McDaids. Great pint and sound barmen. A man’s pub. Mulligans as well for the same reason. I don’t like Kehoes. I am beginning to hate the Harbourmaster. I was only in the Long Hall once and was drinking shots so can’t remember much of it. I like Whelans as well. But that’s about it. Sorry O’Donoghue’s on Baggot Street. And the Two Sisters in Terenure. Dropping Well in Milltown is a nice pub too I must say.

I heard so much about this Sackville Lounge place but I’ve never been there. May I suggest some Friday (or whatever) night pints there for thefreekick?

The stags head is absolute shit since fitgeralds got their grubby hands on it.
theres a fuckin telly in it for a start !!

as for reads/the oak- holy jaysis spot the rednecks !

the vaults is another soulless kip full of 20 somethin knobends in cheap suits who think theyre gordon gecko.

the long hall is a grand spot and people in the know have known about the library bar in the central for ages .

the fact no-one on here knows it is justification enough.

pubs in dublin are useless these days .go knacker drinking instead.

I was enthralled by the Sackville. The walk down the tunnel to the jacks is like walking out of the tunnel in the Guiseppe Meazza or somewhere. The carpet in the bar is smashing also. I took a few freekickers there after the Ireland-Wales game in Croke Park and they spent the whole time making fun of the place. Then again one of them is Jugs who doesn’t really have a clue.

How anybody can regard the Harbourmaster as a decent pub is beyond me. I like Whelan’s, McDaid’s and still like Kehoe’s despite being barred from there last Christmas - one of the best places to drink outside on a summer’s evening.

As for places to avoid, Cassidy’s on Westmoreland Street - formerly The Westmoreland - after the disgraceful behaviour of the barman during the freekick christmas party last December. It still riles me.

Nice to see a poor mention for Cassidy’s. I was talking to someone else a few weeks ago who was thrown out of there for alleged “sectarian behaviour.” Does that guy have a chip on his shoulder or what?

The Library is decent but it’s worthless if you can’t get a good seat. Nothing worse than a group of 5 and 1 guy has to stand while 4 sit on luxury armchairs.

Good to see Frazer’s get a mention there.

Last March myself and rocko were there for the Celtic-Rangers early kick-off and there was hundreds of Celtic supporters in there. Then the game ends and most of them fook off upstairs to hear the live rebel band and are replaced by about 50 or 60 Italians piling in and going mental for the Milan derby. When that game was over about 20 Germans came in for Werder Bremen-Bayern Munich. It truly is a cosmopolitan football bar with a Celtic heart!

After the Dublin-Meath replay recently we went down from the boozers near Croke Park to Fraser’s to see the last day of La Liga and couldn’t even get upstairs with the hundreds of Spaniards crammed in up there.

Some Celtic European nights in there have been legendary. A wonderful place altogether.

Post edited by: Bandage, at: 2007/08/08 18:20

therock67 wrote:

Nothing worse than a group of 5 and 1 guy has to stand while 4 sit on luxury armchairs.

Well said

therock67 wrote:

Does that guy have a chip on his shoulder or what?

I think he’s just a Rangers fan.

Has anyone here been back to Cassidys since that infamous Christmas party?

Post edited by: Flano, at: 2007/08/09 18:37

I heard so much about this Sackville Lounge place but I’ve never been there. May I suggest some Friday (or whatever) night pints there for thefreekick?

Hint’s to the hints, hint’s hint’s!!!

Post edited by: BenShermin, at: 2007/08/09 19:29

Bizarre. I just got finished sending an email with that exact phrase:

Hints to the hints, hints hints

I just did a bit of research on the Sackville Lounge there, looks like a great old spot.

Ideal place for some TFK pints.

Yeah the Sackville should be the venue for our next drinks session anyway. Need to find a cause for it now.

An excuse for a gargling session? How about a celebration of drink?

How’s about we celebrate the fact that ball-ox is gone??

Hugh the Jew has also disappeared.

I think Hugh left around the same time Bin Ridin Bin Laden left. Think they might have been mates. Hugh was a good guy though.