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Ultimate Food Guide to: Dublin’s Best Cocktails

Words: Emily Mullen

After much racking of brains, trawling of the internet and broken down email threads we are proud to present, The Ultimate Dublin Food Guide, Cocktail edition! A guide that cuts through the mire of food and drink reviews made by every Tom, Dick and Harry, with opposable thumbs and access to 3G.

Let’s face it cocktails in this city ain’t cheap. With each passing year the numbers seem to creep up closer and closer to a round €20. That doesn’t mean that we don’t tap our bank cards with abandon just to get those buzzy drinks into our hands.


But there is another league of cocktails in this city that are crafted by actual mixologists (a term that needs to be reclaimed from the jaws of mockery) that wouldn’t go amiss in a scientific lab experiment. Drinks fashioned out of essences and tinctures, layers of liquids topped with smoke and foam. A sip of one of these will reframe your perception of what you thought you knew about cocktails, and they might make you question if those duck-cleaner blue drinks you were having before really constituted at all.

The answers have been measured, mixed and poured over ice. Into your gasping mouth let us dribble The Ultimate Food Guide to Dublin’s best cocktails:

10. 9 Below

The Exclusive Tipple

The people behind House, Xico and The Oak have a speakeasy spot in the basement of the Hibernian Club. The cocktails come in a range of random objects including a mini bath (see image above), a statuesque head and a basket, they all also come with reusable straws with great big icebergs. There’s a fun selection of cocktails on offer, with a decent amount of non-alcoholic cocktails included on the menu too. 9 Below was James Kavanagh’s top pick, the influencer and cookery book co-author is a big fan of the St Stephen’s Green establishment.

Location:

9 St Stephen’s Green (below the Hibernian Club)

Opening times:

Wednesday – Saturday, 17.00 – Late

For more information visit their Instagram.

9. The Blind Pig

Hidden Watering Hole

Hiding in plain sight, tucked underneath Suffolk Street, is The Blind Pig. The name was once used to describe a speakeasy back in the 1920s Prohibition era. This illicit aesthetic follows into the drinks menu, which has a classical feel to them. The Blind Pig was created by award-winning mixologist Paul Lambert the team also have Irish Bartender of the Year Cal Byrne behind the bar. Mister S co-owner Paul McVeigh rates The Blind Pig as a place with a good tipple on offer.

Location:

Dublin 2’s 18 Suffolk Street

Opening times:

Monday-Thursday 18.00-24.00
Friday-Saturday 17.00-23.30
Sunday 18.00-24.00

For more information visit the website.

8. The Sitting Room

The Mid-Centch Cocktail

Set in the upstairs of fine diner Delahunt, you can access the upstairs The Sitting Room through a wooden door to the side. The window of The Sitting Room has to be one of the best seats in the city, from the peace of a plush velvet chair you can watch the madness off the Camden Street corridor below. It’s got an award-winning list of cocktails, with a small menu that covers a lot of bases. There is a great emphasis on Irish spirits, with some international flavours thrown in for good measure. 3FE proprietor Colin Harmon is a big fan of The Sitting Room, telling us there’s “no competition”.

Location: Above Delahunt on 39 Camden Street Lower

Opening times:
Tuesday-Sunday 17.00-23.30

For more information visit the website.

7. Hang Dai

The Outlandish Cocktail

The measures at Hang Dai have been getting a fair bit of use over the last few weeks, between Hang Dai and their popup Hawker operating out of the Camden Street location. Especially since the team never do things by halves, making all the juices, syrups and tinctures for the drinks in-house. The menu is a mix of classic cocktails that have a Hang Dai twist to them, alongside some nostalgic hits like the Fat Frog and their Zombie which is limited to two-per-customer due to its potency. Andy Noonan was a big fan of Hang Dai, he told us that it’s “always my top spot”. While Caitriona Devery has called Hang Dai a “great late-night spot” her personal fave is the “Hang Dai sour with bourbon, pistachio syrup, ginger, yuzu, lemon and egg whites.”

Location: Dublin 2’s 20 Camden Street Lower

Opening times:
Monday-Friday 17.00-22.00
Saturday-Sunday 13.00-22.00

For more information visit the website.


6. Vintage Cocktail Club

The Old School Sup

Vintage Cocktail Club lives up to its name by specialising in vintage and forgotten cocktail recipes. Spread over three floors, the spot in Temple Bar is probably our biggest on the list. Holly Dalton and Dan Hannigan were both big fans of Vintage Cocktail Club.

Location: Temple Bar’s 15 Crown Alley

Opening times:
Monday-Tuesday 17.00-23.30
Wednesday-Friday 15.00-23.30
Saturday-Sunday 12.00-23.30

For more information visit the website.

5. Anti Social

The Good Craic Cocktail

One of the newest on the list, Anti Social was launched in January 2020, the Dublin 8 spot is also probably one of the most libation-filled locations on the list. Specialising in cocktail towers, which do just that, contain 3 litres of liquid. The team typically take an iconic cocktail or spirit and rework them to their own twisted preferences. Former head chef of Chapter One Eric Matthews and Dan Hannigan added Antisocial to their top 16 on Bebo.

Location: The Liberties’ 101 Francis Street

Opening times:
14.00-23.30

For more information visit the website.

4. The Bar With No Name

The Colourful Cocktail

Potentially one of the city’s most frustratingly named places, The Bar With No Name proclaims itself to its 2,977 Instagram followers be “Dublin’s Worst Kept Secret”. There’s a hefty list of signature cocktails on offer, known for their mojitos, their drink called the Violet Femmes is threatening to knock the minty drink off the top spot. Dan Hannigan was a fan, as was Eric Matthews who described the spot as a “Dublin institution” he added, “the cocktails aren’t the most complex but they just hit the spot – the likes of the basil smash on a hot day is lovely”.

Location:

Dublin 2’s 3 Fade Street

Opening times:

Monday-Friday 13.00-23.30
Saturday-Sunday 12.00-23.30

For more information visit the website.

3. 777

The Best Marg in the City

Think of 777 and one drink comes to mind, the classic Margarita. The team at 777 certainly lean into this notoriety, but they also have a decent cocktail menu that’s fairly heavy on the tequila, triple sec and mescal. The team have some strong non-a options too including their Agua Frescas. Holly Dalton was a fan alongside foodie and FM104 presenter Crossy who waxed lyrical about the place, telling us “when I think of cocktails I think of 777 and their margaritas… I don’t know what’s in them but Jesus they’re unreal! It’s a proper place to catch up with friends and go wild!”. Caitriona Devery described 777 as “the original place to hide away from it all and drink margaritas, which is probably my favourite thing to do. The food is excellent as well.”

Location:

Dublin 2’s 16 George’s Street

Opening times:

Monday 17.30-24.00
Tuesday-Wednesday 17.30-22.00
Thursday 17.30-23.00
Friday-Saturday 17.00-24.00
Sunday 14.00-24.00

For more information visit the website.

2. The Sidecar

The Clever Cocktail

Placed in a pretty exclusive location, The Sidecar is a pretty special experience. The 1930s style cocktail bar, even features Gatsby-Esque white-jacketed bartenders. Using top-drawer ingredients and fancy glassware it’s no surprise that The Sidecar has pocketed a couple of awards in its time. District Director Craig Connolly gave The Sidecar his top pick, James Kavanagh was a big fan and another man who knows a classy establishment when he sees one ex-Chapter One head chef Eric Matthews, found The Sidecar to be “the best cocktail bar in Dublin maybe even Ireland” he added that the service is impeccable, “they would give anybody in New York, London, Paris anywhere a run for their money in terms of service, style and their razor-sharp focus on flavours and combinations are amazing. The classics are done fantastically.”

Location:

In The Westbury Hotel off Balfes Street

Opening times:

Wednesday-Friday 15.00-23.00
Saturday-Sunday 12.00-23.00

For more information visit the website.

1. Peruke & Periwig

The Contributors Champion

Taking the number one spot in this competitive category is a pretty special watering hole. Peruke & Periwig have a healthy menu of unique and memorable cocktails that have been reimagined from established classics. The cocktails are classified on the menu in terms of musical tastes, which works surprisingly well. The menu is something that really appealed to Holly Dalton who told us, “any cocktail bar that crams its menu full of puns and music references is a winner in my books,” she added, “the menu here is extensive and expertly crafted. Not to mention the opulent decor and speakeasy atmosphere. Peruke and Periwig is everything you could want from a cocktail bar.” Dan Hannigan was also a massive fan of the place saying “it’s just such an amazing bar who do such creative and interactive cocktails which are very very delicious”. Meanwhile, the owner of Bahay Riggz Castillo and Paul McVeigh were all fans of the spot.

Location:

Dublin 2’s 31 Dawson Street

Opening times:

16.00-23.30

For more information visit the website.

Honourable mentions: Bar 1661, El Silencio, Dillinger’s, Drury Buildings, The Fourth Corner, Izakaya, Bonsai, Roe & Co, Xico, The Exchequer, The Hacienda, Bonobos, The Liquor Rooms and Las Tapas de Lola.

Feeling a little hungry after all that? Here’s the Ultimate Dublin Food Guide to Dublin’s Best Burgers