Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

Seems odd to have excluded the pubs in the Temple Bar district, since that’s right in the heart of the action and featured lots of ITM when I was there some years back.

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Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

Temple bar is not in the heart of the action. It is just for tourists…the price of a pint there alone would tell you that

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

That list is definitely a good start alright. I’d have to add Grogans to the list. And maybe the Bernard shaw and whelans. There is also the foggy dew. Turks head and palace bar to tempt me…mmmmm pint

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

I’ve only been to Dublin the once, in 2006, and we couldn’t even get our noses inside O’Donoghues, it was so heaving. We had a good night in the Cobblestone and I got to play some tunes there, though the evening started with what was clearly a bunch of blokes who were going through the motions for an hour, getting paid, and, presumably, moving on. The highlight was a session in a pub whose name, lamentably, I can’t remember, to the north of the city centre. That session was organised by the wonderful Marion McEvoy, who made it possible for this somewhat diffident and green-behind-the-ears harmonica player to have a great time. Life ain’t always about celebrity pubs!

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

"Temple bar is not in the heart of the action. It is just for tourists…the price of a pint there alone would tell you that"

Don’t know what you base that on. I played a wonderful session there and didn’t pay squat for pints, as the house provided them. This was The Oliver St. John Gogarty’s. And geographically, it is in walking distance of everything one would fancy in Dublin. But then, I was just a tourist.

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Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

@Ailin

I’d say he’s basing it on being from Dublin. As am I. I second his sentiment. TB is the sphincter of Dublin. Every city needs one, and it’s convenient to be able to avoid it all in the one go. Plus, it keeps the tourists from clogging up all the free space in the Cobbler! :)

If it’s Gogarty’s o’clock, it’s 10 past go home.

You can get the odd nice session in TB. Why bother on the off-chance, when any day of the week you’d be in walking distance of a choice of pretty-much-guaranteed quality tunes.

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

I was a tourist in Dublin when I was there. I found The Long Hall by accident. No session when I was there but a couple of great pints and craic with some regulars there.

I can’t remember the name of it but in a half drunken stupor, I ended up in a tiny little pub in Temple Bar. It was above another bar up a long narrow stair case. It was distinguished by having it’s own whiskey and two older guys playing some great tunes. One on concertina and the other had a whistle I think. Occasionally, the concertina player would bellow out a song and was generally quite good. I highly enjoyed that place but I can’t remember the name.

… ‘a tiny little pub in Temple Bar ‘

Sounds like the whiskey was more memorable than the whistler.

;)

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Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

The whiskey was really good and I was already holding down a pretty good buzz when I found the place.

I’m not even sure how I found myself in Temple Bar as I was staying in a hotel over by the Jameson distillery. That tour was awesome at 9:30 in the morning as there is nothing like drinking whiskey before breakfast but most of what I remember from that was the young lady running the tour was not very enthusiastic and she pronounced James Jameson as Jams Jammy son. Which amused me greatly. super cheesy and touristy though.

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

"I’d say he’s basing it on being from Dublin. As am I. I second his sentiment. TB is the sphincter of Dublin."

Hard to argue with a native. All I can say is that it was a good experience all the way around for me. And I might add that I felt like my partner and I were the only non-locals there. At least there was nothing about the place that screamed "tourist trap" - and I’ve been to my share. Could it be that things have changed? My visit was about twelve years ago.

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Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

We played tourist for one day in Dublin this May. We went to O’Donoghues for a very good evening meal but alas, no session. We’d been to O’Neill’s the night before so we were looking for ITM in a more comfortable location. We were sent to The Brazen Head and when we got there, the musicians were setting up and the tables in the center of the floor were being cleared and moved to make room. Thinking that not only would we be hearing ITM, it might have Irish dancing as well. Then the bartender told us: "We’re having something special. Country and Western!!!". We were advised to go the Cobblestone which we did and we enjoyed immensely the musicians and the patrons as well. My vote is for the Cobblestone. It’s going to be a while before I get back as it’s 4931 miles away!

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

When I lived in Dublin in the early 70s my favourite pubs near where I lived on Butterfield Avenue in Rathfarnham were Comans, on Rathgar crossroads and The Blue Light, just round the corner from where I lived.Comans was just up the road from the Orwell Lodge Hotel where I worked, handy for a couple of pints on your split shift. If I wanted to hear the tunes I went to O’Donohues, The Pembroke Inn, Slatteries on Capel Street, Mahers on Moore Street and also The Bernie Inn on the corner of Grafton and Nassau Streets. Happy Days. On my day off I’d hire out a boat at Bulloch harbour and go fishing in Dublin Bay. My brother-in-law who’s a Dub born and bred, and fluent Irish speaker wouldn’t set foot in Temple Bar. Neither would he set foot in the Arlington Hotel, nor in Johnny Foxes. All for tourists he sez! I like all the touristy places! Had a pint in the Brazen Head a few weeks ago and next time in Dublin I’m heading for the Cobblestone, where I’m hoping to sing a verse or two!

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

Hi Steve Shaw, might it have been the Brian Boru in Phibsborough where you met Marion McEvoy? Marion’s brilliant, from a large musical (& theatrical) family including her sister the singer/songwriter Eleanor McEvoy. I believe the session in the Brian Boru is regular and might be worth a visit for travelling tradheads looking for a tune it’s listed in the session listings on this site. I’ve yet to get to it myself…

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

Ah, the ever-present locals v tourists thing.

I work at Disneyland. People save their money for years and come from all over the world, millions of them. Many locals, people who live within walking distance, have never been, won’t be caught dead there… "it’s just for the tourists" they say.

I’d wager if a bar is perceived by locals as being a tourist place they’d not go there no matter how good it was, the quality of the place being beside the point. Oddly it’s the outsiders who can take things at face value; they have no built-in prejudices.

That being said, here around Disneyland the restaurants get worse the closer you get to where all the tourists’ hotels are. You have to get off the beaten path to find great food. (Is it really true, or just our local prejudice?)

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

"I’d say he’s basing it on being from Dublin. As am I. I second his sentiment. TB is the sphincter of Dublin."
I’ll third (turd?) that sentiment. I’m not originally from Dublin but have been living here for almost 6 years now so at this point I know where to go and where to avoid. Temple Bar in general is a truly awful place and you will not find many locals frequenting the pubs there.

That’s a pretty decent list of pubs worth visiting, and I’ve been to all of them on numerous occasions. A note to anyone unfamiliar with Dublin - there is more than one pub called O’Donoghue’s. The one on Merrion Row (near St. Stephen’s Green) is the one with the music-related history, and not the O’Donoghue’s on Suffolk St. near the tourist office. The Merrion Row pub gets absolutely crammed and very noisy.

The Cobblestone in Smithfield is your best bet to catch some really great tunes on any night of the week, and Hughes’s beside the Four Courts Luas stop is great on the nights when they have music. On the other side of town, the upstairs bar in Devitts has cracking sessions on Friday/Saturday nights.

For pubs with character, I’d also add Walsh’s in Stoneybatter (walking distance from Smithfield). It doesn’t have trad sessions but it’s a great little local spot for a pint or four. Grogan’s on South William St. is curiously absent from that list, as is Mulligan’s on Poolbeg St. Any of the Porterhouse pubs are worth a visit too for anyone who likes a good range of beers to chose from.

Sin É has a good range of beers/ales, does surprisingly nice and cheap pizza and has interesting open mic events, but it’s so infested with hipsters that I fear becoming pretentious just by being in such close proximity to them.

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

I remembered! It was the Palace Bar on Fleet Street. Awesome whiskey bar. Don’t ask me how I ended up there, I was staying in Smithfield. Apparently I like to walk.

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

I went to a nice little session in The Palace once - just myself, a flute player and a guitarist (who was also a very classy mandolin player, as it turned out). I don’t remember how exactly I found out about it, but I had seen the flute player earlier that day playing in a pub on Temple Bar. I had the impression that they did not often get visiting musicians there, but they were very welcoming.

(Don’t tell anyone about it.)

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

A serious issue with Templebar - aside from the other reasons is simply the price - a pint of beer there is over 8 quid.

Dice bar by smith field is a decent spot left off the list - no trad but always goud vibe there - though it gets silly busy at the weekends.

The millennium bar further down toward park-gate street had trad a couple nights a week when I last lived in Dublin - a nice local bar for local people.

Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

8 quid? Seems alot for 1 pint.

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Re: Top ten pubs in Dublin? What say ye?

Haven’t spent a ton of time in Dublin, but I can say with a good degree of certainty that the Cobblestone is the best pub there, simply because I’m not sure how much could be improved on. Tom Mulligan’s a great guy, the music is of a high quality, the place has a nice look and feel to it, the people are generally friendly and welcoming, and they’ve got a good few Irish craft beers available. One of the best places I’ve been in in the country.

Have to go now, can’t have anyone here in Cork know I said something nice about the Dubs!