Craic, ceoil and banter! There's nothing quite like an authentic Irish pub and these are officially the best!
Add these great Irish pubs around the country to your bucket list for the next time you're traveling in Ireland.
Visitors coming to Ireland look forward to the wonderfully green countryside, the depth of the country's ancient history and of course the Irish welcome and a bit of "craic" (fun) and ceoil (music). Nowhere will you find this in greater supply than in one of Ireland's 7,000+ pubs.
Of course, because Irish pubs are in such abundance and can pay off for travelers to do their research and Lonely Planet, with the help of two trusty locals, have recently published a list of "20 of the best pubs in Ireland for pints, music and the time of your life". We like the sound of that.
Let's see what you make of their top ten choices.
Kavanaghs, aka The Gravediggers, Dublin
This Dublin gem has been around since 1833. John Kavanagh opened a bar next to Glasnevin Cemetery that brought in mourners and serviced gravediggers who worked at the cemetery daily.
Now with minimal modernization, this oldy world pub, with no TVs in sight remains a refuge for Dubliners and tourists interested in good food and a pint.
Teach Hiúdaí Beag, County Donegal
Known for its trad sessions this pubs beginnings date back to 1961 when it started out as sibín (an unlicensed premises where alcohol was sold). The pub is located at the center of a Gaeltacht area and Gaelic is still used amongst the locals and visiting patrons. The pub also has strong ties to Irish artistry including literature and music. National and international musicians have graced the floors of Teach Hiudai Beag.
De Barra's Folk Club, Clonakilty, County Cork
The seaside town of Clonakilty is the scene of a real Cork gem in the form of De Barras Folk Club.
Flutes, fiddles, bodhráns, pipes and mandolins paint the walls of this famed venue and top performers like Jack L, Sharron Shanon and John Spillane are regular performers here.
"There’s Carnegie Hall, The Royal Albert, Sydney Opera House and then there’s De Barra's," declared Irish music legend Christy Moore!
The Moorings, Dungarvan, County Waterford
"Gin cocktails overlooking the sea," as the Lonely Planet put it!
This traditional maritime Irish pub has a warm and relaxing atmosphere, with a cosy bar area expanding into a modern nautically inspired lounge area that resembles the bow of a ship. This quirky nautical spot also comes with real salvage wreckage, good food and music every weekend.
O'Connell's, Skryne, County Meath
This one you'll know... from the famous Christmas Guinness advert. A gorgeous traditional pub O'Connell's has been in the same family for six generations since the 1850s. In post-Famine Ireland, O’Connell’s great-grandparents had moved to America when they were summoned back to Ireland to take over the running of the pub and the rest is history. Located on the Hill of Skryne, this old-fashioned pub is famous for its views as well as its tradition.
Dick Mack’s, Dingle, County Kerry
Probably Dingle’s most well-known pub. Named after the late leather-craftsman Richard MacDonnell (the current owner’s father), this family pub carries on a cobbler’s tradition, with a small leather shop still on the premises and an array of handcrafted leather boots, belts, and key fobs still on display. The walls are lined with family memorabilia, old pictures, and books.
The bar area is small and includes an old-fashioned snug. Outside there is a Hollywood-style pavement with star slabs showing the names of famous people who have visited such as Sean Connery, Robert Mitchum, and Julia Roberts, to name a few.
Morrissey's, Abbeyleix, County Laois
Step back in time at Morrissey's on the wide main street in the town of Abbeyleix. This pub with a great atmosphere opened as a grocery in 1775. In 1880 the then thatched one-story house was rebuilt as the lofty two-story premises we know today. True to the old tradition, television, cards and singing are not allowed. Love it!
Thomas Connolly, Sligo town
There has been a pub at this site since 1780. Connolly's storied past includes at least one visit from Charles Stewart Parnell plus Thomas Connolly himself becoming Mayor of Sligo in 1890. The pub now includes a whiskey bar with 160s different tipples, they also specialize in premium gin and craft beers. This west coast favorite also has regular live music.
Mickey Finns Pub, County Wicklow
Located in the stunning vale of Avoca in Wicklow is Mickey Finn's is a cozy, low-ceilinged pub with a warren of rooms each with welcoming open fires and potbellied stoves, as they say themselves. As if this wasn't enticing enough the old pub incorporates beers brewed at the next-door Wicklow Brewery and comes with pairing suggestions. As well as being a killed pub it's also located in one of the most beautiful spots in Ireland.
JJ Houghs Singing Pub, Banagher, County Offaly
A proper institution along the River Shannon this pub is a dark haven! Dating back 250 years, this pub, including thriving vines, has long been celebrated for its charm. While seriously quirky and quite the experience for most they also serve pizza, cocktails, and a pretty killed espresso martini.
The Rusty Mackerel, County Donegal
A traditional Irish bar at the foot of Sliabh Liag with great drinks and mouth-watering seasonal food. What's not to like.Live music sessions that run late into the night and cozy rooms upstairs. This is a one-stop-shop for a holiday in Donegal!
Do you have an all-time favorite Irish pub that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments section below.
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H/T: Lonely Planet.