Pints, music, craic: Lonely Planet reveals its list of the 20 best pubs in Ireland
Food & Drink

Pints, music, craic: Lonely Planet reveals its list of the 20 best pubs in Ireland

Leading travel guide Lonely Planet has released its list of the 20 best pubs in Ireland, where readers can "enjoy creamy pints, find the cosiest snugs and experience the friendliest of welcomes."

The list was whittled down from more than 7,000 pubs, with several pubs from Dublin, Galway and Belfast making this list. Others on this list can be found in Cork, Waterford, Meath, Kerry, Laois, Sligo, Wicklow, Offaly, Clare, Louth, Fermanagh and Limerick.

Check out the list below:

The Gravediggers, Dublin

Known for: An excellent pint and Irish tapas.

Key quote: "Anthony Bourdain called this place "a little piece of heaven" and said in 2007: "I have all my happiest moments in Irish bars like this."


Teach Hiúdaí Beag, County Donegal

Known for: Traditional sessions every Monday and Friday night.

Key quote: "Musicians travel from far to Teach Hiúdaí Beag in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht, where Irish is the main language spoken. The weekly traditional music sessions are legendary, and you can book to stay overnight in the guesthouse upstairs."

De Barra's Folk Club, Clonakilty, County Cork

Known for: Being 'the Carnegie Hall' of Cork.

Key quote: "Walking into De Barra's Folk Club in Clonakilty is like walking into a musical history museum. The venue has played host to every Irish folk musician you can think of from the legendary Christy Moore (who coined the Carnegie comparison) to Damien Dempsey."

The Moorings, Dungarvan, County Waterford

Known for: Gin cocktails overlooking the sea.

Key quote: "The Moorings in Dungarvan is a slice of heaven on a sunny day. Right on the harbor, it's the perfect spot to reward yourself if you have cycled the nearby Waterford greenway."

O'Connell's, Skryne, County Meath

Known for: Being the pub featured in Guinness's Christmas advertisement.

Key quote: "The pub has been in the O’ Connell family for 170 years and very little has changed in the generations, it still boasts of having no TV and no internet."



Dick Mack’s, Dingle, County Kerry

Known for: The newly opened and very popular brewhouse.

Key quote: "This is a fascinating dual-function pub with its fine selection of drinks laid out on one half of the bar and a leather shop on the other. 

Morrissey's, Abbeyleix, County Laois

Known for: Transporting you back in time to the 1900s.

Key quote: "A hotchpotch of oddities lines the shelves above the pew seats and pot-belly stove. It's a wonderful place to soak up the atmosphere with a pint or a coffee."

Thomas Connolly, Sligo town

Known for: An extensive whiskey list.

Key quote: "A stop-off at Thomas Connolly is highly recommended; it’s best known for the warm welcome, famous pints of stout, regular live music and an ever-growing range of over 200 premium Irish whiskeys and scotch."



Mickey Finns Pub, County Wicklow

Known for: Being in 'the heart of the garden of Ireland'.

Key quote: "The bar incorporates beers brewed at the next door Wicklow Brewery and comes with pairing suggestions, such as Wicklow Black Stout beef pie paired with a Black 16, or the artisan 8oz burger with maple-smoked bacon and Helles Lager chutney accompanied by a Hopknut Pale Ale.

JJ Houghs Singing Pub, Banagher, County Offaly

Known for: A great stopping off point for boating on the River Shannon.

Key quote: "Descriptions of the place range from 'quirky', 'idiosyncratic' to ' individualistic' so you know a unique experience is in store."

The Rusty Mackerel, County Donegal

Known for: Serving fresh fish caught at night and delivered to their door every morning.

Key quote: "The renowned traditional Irish bar at the foot of Sliabh Liag serves up great drinks and mouth-watering seasonal food, if the spicy fillet of mackerel is on the menu, look no further.


Street 66, Dublin

Known for: An atmospheric LGBTQ+ bar with great music.

Key quote: "A safe space to have coffee, an invigorating drink or even a dance on Fridays and Saturdays to some banging tunes, the atmosphere is inviting and can be cozy too depending on the time of day."

Sunflower Public House, Belfast

Known for: A cultural hub with plenty of history.

Key quote: "This simple pub is instantly recognisable from its relic of 1980s Belfast, a security cage and though no longer in use, it has persevered as part of its social history."

Tigh Neachtain, Galway city

Known for: Unforgettable music sessions

Key quote:"Squeeze inside for their live music sessions or head there early to nab a place outside in their sunny drinks area. If you can get a seat inside, you might never leave."



O'Loclainn's Irish Whiskey Bar, Ballyvaughan, County Clare

Known for: Margaret’s incredible whiskey knowledge.

Key quote: "With more than 500 bottles on display (these are not on sale) visitors can look at labels and bottles and how they have changed through the decades.

Clarkes Bar, Drogheda, County Louth

Known for: Escaping to candlelit nooks and crannies.

Key quote: "The atmosphere here is enhanced by the pub’s aged dark wood and patrons can lose themselves amidst the music and candlelight.

Blakes of the Hollow, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

Known for: Game of Thrones carved door.

Key quote: "Sit back with an expertly poured pint (or Irish coffee — the ones here are perfection) or tap your feet at one of their live music sessions. For fans of the epic high-fantasy show, a photo with the carved Game of Thrones door is a must."

The Cobblestone, Smithfield, Dublin

Known for: Calling itself a 'drinking pub with a music problem'.

Key quote: "From organized sessions, to simply turning up with your instrument and hopping into the fray, a night out here is not to be missed. The Cobblestone is so well respected and loved that there was a massive campaign in 2021 in a bid to save it from developers."

Mother Macs, Limerick City

Known for: Its large range of refreshing craft beers.

Key quote: "It doesn't serve food but you are not coming here to eat. They have 150 Irish whiskeys (you read that right) and whiskey tasting events that can be booked online with co-owner Mike."

The Duke of York, Belfast

Known for: A pint in the sun.

Key quote: "Tucked down a cobbled lane in Belfast city center is the Duke of York, known for its colorful flowers outside and original mirrors and memorabilia inside.