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The 10 best traditional pubs in Dublin, ranked

Our rundown of the ten best traditional pubs in Dublin, ranked in order of greatness.

The 10 best traditional pubs in Dublin, ranked.

Dublin is the capital of Ireland and the Number One spot where tourists will taste their first Guinness on Irish soil.

There is a vast range of nightlife in Dublin, but it is traditional bars that you must experience if you are in Dublin as they are famous worldwide!

Here is our rundown of the ten best traditional pubs in Dublin, ranked in order of greatness.

10. McDaid’s – a classic in the heart of Dublin city centre

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With a great city-centre location just off Grafton Street, McDaid’s ornate high ceiling is one of the first things you’ll notice as you walk in here (the more observant might notice the trapdoor behind the bar with steep stairs leading down into the cellars).

If you’re settling in for the evening, head up the narrow stairs to one of the upper levels.

Address: 3 Harry St, Dublin, D02 NC42, Ireland

9. L. Mulligan Grocer – the best traditional pub in Dublin with craft beer

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honestcooking.com

This is the place to go if you’re looking for a Mountain Man, a Crafty Hen or a Belgian Blonde. Don’t even think of trying to order a Guinness or a Budweiser here – it’s craft beer all the way, and these are some of the labels.

As the name suggests, L Mulligan Grocer pub in Stoneybatter once had a grocery shop in it and the rear section of the pub is now a superb restaurant serving Irish produce with a clever creative twist. Try the spiced potted crab or slow-roasted pork belly.

Address: 18 Stoneybatter, Arran Quay, Dublin 7, D07 KN77, Ireland

8. Toner’s – a favourite of WB Yeats

Credit: Instagram / @flock_fit

One of the oldest and best traditional pubs in Dublin, Toner’s on Baggot Street dates back to around 1818 and has an old wooden bar full of memorabilia and drawers which date back to its time as a grocery store.

One of the nicest features in the pub is the large ‘snug’ just inside the front window which has wooden benches and its own door. The poet WB Yeats is said to have liked drinking here.

Address: 139 Baggot Street Lower, Saint Peter’s, Dublin 2, Ireland

7. Johnny Fox’s Pub – one of best traditional pubs in Dublin outside the city centre

Credit: Johnnie Foxs Pub (Official FB Page)

Johnny Fox’s is quite a legendary pub to visit and really not that well known. This is one of those “off the beaten paths” pub experiences to whisper to your mates about. There is a catch though, as this addition to the list of best Dublin pubs is a good distance outside of the city centre!

Johnny Fox’s is famed as being the highest pub in Ireland, sitting on top of the Dublin mountains in Glencullen about a 25-minute drive from the city centre. Johnny Fox’s is a unique and atmospheric Irish pub, and is well known for its entertainment, and famous visitors such as U2 and the Coors.

Address: Glencullen, Co. Dublin, Ireland

6. The Cobblestone – for live traditional Irish music

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This is amazing for traditional Irish music. Although it’s not exactly in the city centre, it’s worth the trip if you get a bus or taxi. Traditional music is played in the front bar and creates a fantastic atmosphere. Be prepared for lots of foot-tapping and some thigh slapping!

Address: 77 King St N, Smithfield, Dublin, D07 TP22, Ireland

5. The Norseman – for good food and live music

Formerly Farringtons of Temple Bar which was known as one of the best traditional bars in Dublin, The Norseman is a lively pub located in the heart of party-central Temple Bar.

The staff regularly rotates the tasty brews on draught here and invite different breweries to do “tap takeovers,” where large sections of taps are devoted to one brewery.

So, always ask the barman for recommendations of what to drink on the night (craft beer tasting selections are available). There is usually live music on the ground floor, so don’t rule dancing out.

The Norseman is a great spot for craft beers and a good atmosphere and well worthy of a place on the list of 10 best traditional Irish bars in Dublin.

Address: 28E, Essex St E, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland

4. Palace Bar – a Temple Bar classic

Credit: Instagram / @hannahemiliamortsell

Another true Dublin pub just at the edge of the Temple Bar area, this is the sort of pub where you might meet a small selection of close friends, take a comfy chair in the backroom and enjoy a night of craic (the Irish word for “fun”) and witty conversation. Or, drop in for a starter drink on your way into Temple Bar.

Address: 21 Fleet St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland

3. O’Donoghue’s – a traditional Irish music pub

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A traditional Irish music session in this pub is a must if you are in Dublin! It is very busy and popular so make sure you go down at a reasonable time!

A selection of traditional musicians get together for a “session” each night, playing fiddles, tin whistles, bodhrans and uilleann pipes.

This is where famous Irish traditional band The Dubliners got its start and the members have come back to play here many times.

Address: 15 Merrion Row, Saint Peter’s, Dublin, Ireland

2. The Long Hall – one of Dublin’s most charming bars

Credit: Instagram / @thelonghalldublin

An original Dublin pub with a striking red and white exterior that has survived the complete reconstruction of the buildings around it during the Celtic Tiger boom.

It gets quite busy on weekends, so drop in for a quiet mid-week pint of Guinness to fully appreciate the classic wooden interior, mirrors and cozy décor.

Address: 51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2, D02 CP38, Ireland

1. The Brazen Head – the oldest pub in Dublin

Inside the Brazen Head (@jojoglobetrotter)

This pub dates back to the year 1198. The Brazen Head is claimed to be Dublin’s oldest pub and it’s still a lively spot, with live music every night.

The building was originally a coach house (it’s not known how much of the original remains) and walls are lined with old pictures, papers and ads from the past.

Famous names that supped a pint or two in the pub include James Joyce, Brendan Behan and Jonathan Swift. For food, tuck into beef and Guinness stew or a big bowl of steamed Irish mussels.

The Brazen Head may be the oldest but it is top of the list of the best traditional pubs in Dublin!

Address: 20 Lower Bridge St, Usher’s Quay, Dublin, D08 WC64, Ireland

Dive in and explore the city like a local.

Read our tips on where to go, what to do and what not to miss…

In compact Dublin, you can easily cover a lot of ground on your own

From nocturnal pub crawling (for educational purposes) to high-adrenaline outdoor activities to fun family-friendly pursuits, choices abound.

You might start with the capital’s supremo tourist attraction, the Guinness Storehouse. Most people do.

Prefer being under the watchful eye of a knowledgeable guide?

There are tons of tours – walking, traveling by bicycle or bus, amphibious vehicle or horse-drawn cart…or even by boat or kayak.

However you choose to get about, you can also experience the true spirit of traditional Irish culture and history through architecture, dance, storytelling, music, theatre, museums and galleries.

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