In honor of St. Patrick’s Day – my favorite holiday – I am rounding up 12 of my favorite places to have a Guinness in its home, Dublin, Ireland! Full disclosure, I am not from Dublin or even Ireland. That being said, I have been several times and I consider myself a Guinness connoisseur. Do be sure to visit some of these pubs if you are lucky enough to find yourself in Dublin!
1. John Kavanaugh The Gravediggers. 1 Prospect Square, Glasnevin, Dublin.
Go for: Paying homage to Bourdain, lunch, a great pint in a really old school setting, before or after a visit to Glasnevin Cemetery and/or the Botanical Gardens.
John Kavanaugh’s is a family-run pub located next to Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery. Kavanaugh’s is about a 45 minute walk outside of central Dublin, and it was made famous by an appearance on Bourdain’s The Layover. Kavanaugh’s has two sides with separate entrances – one a bit more modern with a kitchen and the other just a really old school bar serving only drinks. Check out both sides if you have time. We enjoyed lunch and then a Guinness on the other side.
2. The Long Hall: 51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin.
Go for: Photographs, Irish whiskey and Guinness, very Victorian interior.
Also visited by Bourdain in The Layover, The Long Hall may be my very favorite pub in Dublin. It’s gorgeous, and really long. The name does not lie. Decked out in Victorian design with red carpet, The Long Bar serves only drinks and can get incredibly crowded. Arrive early for a seat. The Long Hall is convenient for tourists because its located just off Grafton Street, so expect a lot of tourists and not many locals. The Long Hall has an excellent selection of whiskey, in addition to pouring a mean pint.
3. The Duke: 9 Duke Street, Dublin.
Go for: A meal with your drink, lots of seating and tables, central location.
The Duke is another old historic bar – open since 1822 – located near Trinity College on Dublin’s Literary Trail. Like The Long Bar, The Duke is gorgeous and seeped in history. One interesting bit about The Duke that sets it apart from other Dublin pubs is that it serves food until 7 PM – rare! We dined here before having a pint on the first stop of our literary pub crawl. While a small menu, the food was traditional Irish pub fare and quite good.
4. The Old Stand: 37 Exchequer St, Dublin 2.
Go for: Instagrams at the photographable bar, a very decent pint of Guinness.
Another stop on the Literary Trail, The Old Stand is probably the most gorgeous of all the pubs we visited in Dublin. The Old Stand is smaller than some other pubs, but it has a lovely area surrounding a gorgeous, old-timey bar. We were lucky enough to find a seat right at the bar (that being said, it was a Sunday night…). Go early if you want your own seat.
5. The Stag’s Head: 1 Dame Ct, Dublin.
Go for: A meal, a good pint of Guinness, touristy fun, Instagrammable exterior.
The Stag’s Head is another old-school pub in central Dublin. Like The Duke, The Stag’s Head serves food! We ate excellent toasties at The Stag’s Head for lunch. The pints and Irish Coffee were quite good. Since The Stag’s Head is in central Dublin, expect a lot of tourists rather than locals. As of February 2022, there was decent outdoor seating.
6. Kehoes. 9 Anne St S, Dublin.
Go for: Old school, no-nonsense pub, great Guinness, central location, conversation with your party.
Kehoes is yet another old-school Irish pub, operating since 1803, yet even more bare bones and no nonsense than the others mentioned. Located just off Grafton Street, Kehoes actually had some locals when we visited in February 2022. While it was a Monday in off-season, we were able to get a seat right at the bar during the day. I imagine that it gets busier at night and during busy season.
7. Piper’s Corner: 05-106 Marlborough St, North City, Dublin.
Go for: A more modern Irish pub, soccer (yes, there are TVs), craft beer, in addition to Guinness, music when its not Covid.
Located on the opposite side of the Liffey from most of Dublin’s tourist sites, Piper’s Corner was a new discovery for Dan and me, and we only visited it because it is located across the street from our hotel, the Moxy Dublin City (near the Spire). I was skeptical because the exterior looks like a modern music hall, but we went in one evening for a quick pint. We were pleasantly surprised, as the interior is old school, simple Dublin pub. Only drinks, no food, and their pint of Guinness was possibly the best we had our entire trip. Piper’s Corner boasts music 7 nights a week, but it was quiet on our visit (probably due to Covid – curfews, etc. were lifted shortly before our visit). Lots of locals were here on a Saturday night.
8. The Church: Junction of Mary St. and, Jervis St, Dublin.
Go for: A stunning setting, traditional Irish music, a pub/dining experience.
The Church is actually a gorgeous church turned bar and restaurant not too far from Dublin’s Spire. Arthur Guinness was married here in the 1700s! The bottom floor of The Church is the bar, while the upstairs is a sit down restaurant, with views to the first floor. The Church offers traditional music and dancing certain nights of the week, which can be seen from both floors, and reservations for dinner are certainly recommended. The food was good. Expect lots of tourists. Ample outdoor seating in February 2022, but the outdoors does not have views to the music.
9. Oliver St. John Gogarty: 18-21 Anglesea St, Temple Bar, Dublin.
Go For: Touristy Irish fun, Irish music, a good party, no locals, a bit of a rowdy crowd on busy nights.
I could not give a list of my favorite Dublin pubs without mentioning Oliver St. Gogarty’s. This was the first pub Dan and I ever went to in Ireland, and we really love it, despite it being totally, totally touristy. Gogarty’s is the big yellow building in the heart of Temple Bar. You will not find any locals here, but Gogarty’s throws a pretty good time. One can count on Gogarty’s for live, Irish(ish) music (the earlier, the more Irish), pints of Guinness, Magners, and Kilkenny, as well as a slew of others, and lots of loud fun. It gets crowded, so go early if you want a seat/a calm pint.
10. The Palace: 21 Fleet St, Temple Bar, Dublin.
Go for: Traditional pub on Fleet Street in Temple Bar, a solid pint of Guinness, photographs.
The Palace is one of only a few old school bars in Temple Bar. Dan and I ended up here when we just could not bring ourselves to go into one of Temple Bar’s very touristy spots. I ended up being the only woman in the bar and we were the only 2 under 50, but it was great fun! Like some of the other pubs mentioned on this list, The Palace is old school and only serves drinks and conversation. It’s also quite Instagrammable, from the inside and out. The cover photo was taken at The Palace.
BONUS. Stoutie at the Guinness Storehouse and its Gravity Bar: St. James’s Gate, Dublin.
Go For: Everything Guinness, and the coolest pint of Guinness you will ever have.
While not a true pub, I cannot mention Dublin’s pubs without discussing the Stoutie at the Guinness Storehouse! The Stoutie is exactly what it sounds like, a selfie of you on the stout of a Guinness that you can drink! This is a new concept offered at the Guinness Storehouse. You must buy it in connection with a ticket to the Storehouse, but it comes with the Stoutie and an additional pint at the Storehouse’s Gravity Bar, which is yet another truly great pub in Ireland! Don’t miss the adorable Guinness tables and stools at the Stoutie bar!
NOTES ON VISITING DUBLIN PUBS
A few notes on visiting Dublin’s pubs…. First, most pubs, especially the more traditional ones, do not serve food. It’s strictly a drinking facility. I’ve noted some that do. Second, unlike bars and “pubs” in the US, Dublin’s pubs don’t have televisions playing sports. Again, it’s strictly a drinking facility. Third, seating is not terribly comfortable, if you can find it, and reservations are not a thing. Get in and find a seat if you are lucky. Go early in the day if this is important to you. Fourth, not all pubs have live music; those that do will advertise it. Fifth, almost all pubs have a full bar, serving many things besides Guinness. Whiskey and Magners cider are particularly popular, but most have a full bar.