In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, my second favorite holiday (after my Birthday), I am sharing three really lovely pubs that I visited in December in Kilkenny, Ireland. This was my second visit to Kilkenny, Ireland, and Kilkenny is home to many great pubs and restaurants. As such, there are certainly other great pubs in Kilkenny, but I enjoyed these three a lot!
TYNAN’S BRIDGE HOUSE BAR
Tynan’s Bridge House Bar was, by far, my favorite pub in Kilkenny, and ranks among my favorites of all time. Tynan’s is located right of the River Nore in the heart of Kilkenny. Tynan’s is a quintessential Irish pub that is filled with character and charm. The bartender gave us a very warm welcome despite it being 11 AM on Christmas weekend…. Like any real Irish pub, Tynan’s serves no food and there are no TVs in the bar. I enjoyed several Guinness here during my visit in December. Tynan’s is a must-visit for pub lovers in Kilkenny.
Kytelers Inn may be the most famous pub in Kilkenny. Located a very short walk from Kilkenny Castle on a main tourist thoroughfare, the Kytelers Inn building dates back to the 1300s and is associated with alleged “witch” Alice Kyteler. There are lots of stories surrounding Alice Kyteler, including that she poisoned husbands. You can learn all about it by stopping in. In any case, Kytelers Inn currently spans multiple floors and frequently hosts live music. It also serves food and anything you could want from a bar. The food was surprisingly good when I visited in December.
MATT THE MILLER’S
I first visited Matt the Miller’s over a decade ago, and it still looks the same and remains a classic Kilkenny pub. Located across the river from Tynan’s Bridge House Bar, Matt the Miller’s is a huge Irish pub with lots of space for guests. While large, Matt the Miller’s has lots of charm, such as old school wooden detail, and, unlike many other Irish pubs, Matt the Miller’s serves food! This trip, I enjoyed a Guinness and lunch at Matt the Miller’s. I had the “chicken burger”, which is basically a breaded chicken sandwich. The sandwich was very good and I was pleased with my choice. I would note that Matt the Miller’s is a bit of a partying pub than some others, so go during the day if that is not what you are searching for. Matt the Miller’s also frequently has live music.
While not a pub, I cannot mention pubs in Kilkenny and not mention Kilkenny beer. Kilkenny beer is an Irish Cream Ale served with nitrogen (like Guinness). It originated in Kilkenny but is now owned by Diageo (who also owns Guinness). Be sure to try it in Kilkenny – its better here and Kilkenny beer is surprisingly difficult to find outside of Kilkenny. That being said, you can definitely find it at Oliver St. John Gogarty’s pub in Dublin. You can find Kilkenny beer at most pubs in Kilkenny, and it comes in the tasting flight if you do Smithwick’s Experience in Kilkenny, a 45 minute tour of Smithwick’s history (it used to tour the actual brewery, but no more).
If you liked this, check out my 10 favorite pubs in Dublin!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Tynan’s Bridge House Bar: 2 John’s Bridge, Gardens, Kilkenny, R95 WY88, Ireland. Open daily 10:30 – 11:00ish (yes, pubs close early in Ireland). Full bar on premises. Credit card accepted. Open on Christmas Eve and St. Stephen’s Day.
Kytelers Inn: St Kieran’s St, Gardens, Kilkenny, Ireland. Open daily 12:00 – 11:30. Can get crowded; popular with tour groups. Enjoyable even if you don’t drink. Open until mid-afternoon on December 24.
Matt the Miller’s: 1 John Street Lower, Collegepark, Kilkenny, R95 PY7D, Ireland. Open daily 11 – 11ish.
Smithwick’s Experience: 44 Parliament St, Gardens, Kilkenny, R95 VK54, Ireland. Open dailiy 11 – 5. I recommend buying tickets in advance.