When it comes to pubs in Dublin, they're not always called pubs. Sometimes they're known as a ‘local’ – a place you regularly frequent, where you know the barman, where the barman knows your drink, where you know the regulars and where you might even have your own bar stool.
If you're in Dublin currently or planning on visiting Dublin soon and you want to experience an evening in one so-called local, you'll need to leave the city centre to visit one of these pubs in the suburbs.
There are many well-known pubs in the north side suburb of Malahide, but Gibney’s is arguably the best known. Packed during the summer months due to its beer garden, full for big sporting events and frequented by many a Malahide local, this pub has been run by the Gibney family since December 1937.
Deriving its name from its proximity to Ireland’s biggest graveyard, The Gravediggers is regularly cited as the best place for a pint of Guinness in the Irish capital. Another family pub, this one dates back to the 19th century.
Frequented on many an occasion by Bono (I once saw him there on a balmy June evening in 2012), Finnegan’s is one of Dalkey’s most traditional pubs. Visit at night, and you’ll mix with the locals, pop in during the afternoon, and you’ll encounter one or two tourists hoping for an encounter with the world’s most famous frontman. The perfect place to down a pint of stout, it’s good for lunch too.
Everybody’s favourite Dublin suburb (a lot of them anyway) is home to a plethora of bars and restaurants. These range from chic eateries to ‘old man pubs.' Like many pubs in Ireland, McSorley’s looks like a real ‘local’ but expands into a late night haunt the further you delve into the premises. If you do decide to explore this bar, try to do it at the weekend, but be prepared for big crowds.
Located just 15 minutes from Dublin city centre, the first thing to strike you in this pub is that it feels like it’s in a rural part of the country. There’s live blues on Sunday and Monday nights and traditional Irish music on Fridays…they even provide a free shuttle service to the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Found in the inner-city neighbourhood of Stoneybatter, L. Mulligan’s is frequented by the young professionals who’ve just moved into the area as well as its inhabitants who have been there for years. Others from around the city visit for two main reasons – gourmet food (it’s something of a gastropub) and craft beers (they’ve got many in stock).
Jack O’Rourke’s is a watering hole that has been frequented by the people of Dublin’s affluent Blackrock neighbourhood on the south side of the city since it opened its doors in the early 1800s. On the interior walls are pictures documenting the pub’s history, while it’s also home to a ‘snug’ – a small room within a pub that are synonymous with Dublin pubs.
If you want to see all walks of life in a pub, Kiely’s in Donnybrook on the south side of the city is where you’ll see them. This pub has been many a person’s local for years, while it also serves a busy office trade too due to those working in the area. But what this pub is probably best known for is as a place to go before or after an Ireland or Leinster rugby game in the neighbouring Bective Rangers Football Club – this pub is a rugby pub through and through.
Located on the north side of the city, the fishing village of Howth is one of the Irish capital’s most picturesque neighbourhoods. This is thanks to the piers, the fishing trawlers, the fish shops and the wild seals. In the thick of it all is The Bloody Stream, a pub frequented by tourists during the day and locals at night. It’s particularly famous for its seafood chowder. If you’re eating here make sure to try it.
Serving the people of Ashtown, Castleknock, Blanchardstown, Cabra and other neighbourhoods, The Hole in the Wall can be found on the edge of Europe’s largest urban green space, the Phoenix Park. Open since 1651; it’s one of Dublin’s oldest pubs. Today it’s run by the Quinn family (it has been for over 40 years) and has an accompanying wine shop if you want to have a nightcap back in your homestay after visiting.
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