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Ultimate Food Guide to: Dublin’s Best Pints

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, Pints 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.

Throughout the Ultimate Dublin Food Guide series, there have been some extremely competitive categories. But all pale in comparison with this feature while working out this list we had to go through three A4 pages. It was one of the only rounds that nearly every participant got involved in, and get involved they did. Sometimes giving us seven or eight pubs when we simply asked for five. Contributors who had previously clammed up at some questions could not be stopped with this category, such was their enthusiasm for the pints.

Plays, ballads and haikus could be written on the importance of pints to a Dubliner. So we will keep it short and borrow something that our contributor Eric Matthews told us during his interview, “a Dub and his pints is kind of like a French person and their baguette, we know where the best spots are, we love them and we are very religious about them”.

A clean glass has been selected, poured and left to settle petal. Into your gasping mouth let us dribble The Ultimate Food Guide to Dublin’s best pints*:

10. Walsh’s

Thick Pints

This spot in Stoneybatter always gets a mention when the conversation invariable turns to the best pint of plain in Dublin. Their Guinness is known to be good and thick, with a lot of care going into the running of the pipes. Rumours are that the family-run spot throws a good session too, which is best enjoyed beside the fireplace (if you can grab it). Walsh’s came through during the lockdown, serving pints (in actual pint glasses) door to door on a bike to the people of Dublin 7. No one liquid pony, Walsh’s also have a hatch out the front that serves coffee to passersby each morning. Walsh’s was high up on chef Holly Dalton’s list.

Location:

Dublin 7’s 6 Stoneybatter


Opening times:

Monday-Thursday 15.00-23.30
Friday-Saturday 15.00

For more information visit the Instagram.

9. O’Donoghue’s

The Musical Pint

If those wooden picture-filled corners could talk, they would have a lot to say, or sing rather because this spot on Merrion Row was beloved of some of the greats in Irish music. The Dubliners and Christy Moore were known to have spent many a night playing in this pub, a tradition that is still carried on today. A big spot for the after-work crowds, the narrow spot is filled with little corners and nooks for you to rest a pint and enjoy it in. The service is great too, only a nod across the bar is required for another round. Chef and owner of Lil Portie Nico Reynolds told us “I like in and around Merrion Row, I was in O’Donoghues recently and had a good pint of the glug there”.

Location:

Dublin 2’s 15 Merrion Row

Opening times:

For more information visit the Instagram.

8. The Glimmer Man

The Pint With Some Award-Winning Food

With a name that far precedes the crap 1996 Steven Seagal film about a surly detective and is actually a nod to gas supply inspectors whose job it was to detect the use of gas in restricted time periods during the Emergency. The name isn’t the only historic thing about the place, which is filled with an assiduous collection of antiques that hang from the ceilings, walls and anywhere else they can be stuck. It’s a big spot, with a distinct divide between the lounge and bar areas. Set on the main street of Stoneybatter it’s a stunning building, and according to the team it’s the tallest in the area, adding that the vibe in the place is “eclectic, friendly and a bit strange”. Any hungry pint drinker will find themselves in good stead with Vietnom out the back of the pub, with some of the best Asian street food in Dublin being sold out the back. Baker with Mo Namie Daniela Carnevali gave it her vote alongside chef and owner of Bahay Riggz Castillo who told us the spot has an “amazing atmosphere, great local crowd and mix of newer to the area heads. A great place to spend a Sunday, and amazing food from Vietnom to match. I’m a food man, so good food near where I get my pints is a must.”

Location:

Dublin 7’s 14 Stoneybatter

Opening times:

Thursday-Friday 17.00-22.00

Saturday 16.00-22.00

For more information visit the Instagram.

7. Anseo

A Pint With an Edge

Anseo isn’t your average pub, there’s something a little different about it that creates a distinction between it and your typical boozer. From the stunning red connect-four-esque window out the front, the DJ nights they have to the “word of the week” game which is always unpronounceable. Set on one of town’s busiest streets, Anseo is a bit of an oasis of calm and (sometimes) quiet. Riggz Castillo mentioned Anseo alongside Caitriona Devery who told us, “Anseo got the cocktails in, it was my favourite spot in Dublin. Great for a pint of stout, they also have a range of craft beers both Irish and continental. It’s a dark hideaway from the mayhem outside on Camden Street, and the best place to go for unexpected Sunday pints.”

Location:

18 Camden Street

Opening times:

Monday-Sunday 16.00-23.30

For more information visit the Instagram.

6. Toners

Old School Pints

Toners is one of the older pubs on the list, and probably in Dublin too since it was established in 1734. In that time a fair few literary greats have squeezed their way through the doors in search of a tipple, the likes of W.B. Yeats and Patrick Kavanagh. As for its pints, the bar has a sign up from August ’09 that’s credited to Rory Guinness a member of the notorious family and it reads “The Best Pint of Guinness in Dublin”. The team at Toners have one of the best beer gardens out the back, a go-to after-work spot for anyone working around. There’s also Cirillo’s next to it, where you can eat a pizza and enjoy your pint of plain. Enrico Fantasia and Dan Hannigan were both fans of Toners.

Location:

Dublin 2’s 139 Baggot Street Lower

Opening times:

Monday-Thursday 10.30-23.30

Friday-Saturday 10.20-12.30

Sunday 11.30-23.30

For more information visit the Instagram.

5. Stags Head

Animal Pints

Once called John Bull’s Hotel and Tavern, rumour has it that the Stags Head got its name through its proximity to a pub called The Stag’s Tail (now the Dame Tavern). The interior was fitted out with full victorian regalia during its refurbishment in 1890, which no doubt helped it’s on its merry way to being awarded one of the city’s best Traditional Irish pub in previous listicles. The spot lives up to its name and had many actual stags heads including depictions, through the medium of mosaic, stained glass and by customers own artistic hands. Eric Matthews was a fan alongside Enrico Fantasia who gave his spot to the Dame Court establishment his top place chosen for his love of “old school pubs”.

Location:

Dublin 2’s 1 Dame Court

Opening times:

13.00-23.00

For more information visit the Instagram.

4. Fallons

The Clean Pipes Pint

Another Grand Dame of the Dublin drinking scene, Fallons or to give it its full name John Fallons The Capstan Bar has been pouring pints of some form or another since the 1620s. For those lucky enough to snag a seat inside the bar, which is one of the intimate seating arrangements going in Dublin, they will think long and hard before leaving the seat. For everyone else that can handle the cold, there are outdoor seats (but the staff do make some heating arrangements with blankets and hot water bottles). Rumour has it that at Fallons they clean their own pints, which contribute to a crisp and smooth creamer. Riggz Castillo rated the glasses from Fallons alongside Paul McVeigh who told us he’s “itching to get back into the snug there for a Sunday session!”.

Location:

The Liberties’s 129 The Coombe

Opening times:

Wednesday-Sunday 16.00-23.30

For more information visit the Instagram.

3. Kehoes

The Have the Craic Pint

Few have walked by the crowds gathered outside Kehoes on South Anne Street and not felt the pull to order a pint and join them. Known for a good pint of the black stuff, the staff at Kehoes have been known to let the pint settle perfectly before handing it over. For Paul McVeigh, Kehoes provides “the best Guinness served by the best barmen in the city” while FM 104 presenter Crossy told us “anyone who knows me knows I do like a great pint… For me, Kehoes on South Anne Street is the place for me”.

Location:

Dublin 2’s 9 South Anne Street

Opening times:

Monday-Sunday 13.00-23.00

For more information visit the Instagram.

02 Grogans

The People’s Choice

2. Grogans

The Pint With a Toastie

It’s difficult to find a Dublin pub more iconic than Grogan’s. Their toasties accompanied by a pint, are one of the must-try combinations in the city. While the outside area has to be one of the best spots to watch the hubbub of South William Street from. Co-owner of Piglet Enrico Fantasia, Holly Dalton, 3FE proprietor Colin Harmon, Baste owner Andy Noonan said you have to go there for “for the buzz” while Eric Matthews said described the ham & cheese toastie accompanied by a Guinness to be “literally Dublin to me” he added, “Grogan’s is the best place to watch the world go by and have probably the best pint of Guinness- accept no substitutes”.

Location:

Dublin 2’s 15 South William Street

Opening times:

Monday-Saturday 10.30-23.30

Sunday 12.20-23.00

For more information visit the Instagram.

1. The Long Hall

The Best Pint in Dublin

Licensed since 1766 The Long Hall, holds a shrine to forgotten Dublin. It’s one of the most beautiful pub’s in Dublin’s pub lore, full of Victorian charm it even bears the symmetrical design unique to the century, alongside gold leaf enhancements, bevelled glass and hand wood carvings. Over the years playwrights, politicians and writers have frequented the place, amongst them Bruce Springsteen, and Phil Lynott who sat up at the bar and recorded the maudlin part of his video for Old Town in 1982 there. The Long Hall was unanimously voted the best pint of Guinness in Dublin, by the likes of Niall Sabongi, Crossy, Paul McVeigh, it topped Andy Noonan’s list for having “the best Guinness” alongside the co-owner of Brother Hubbard Garrett Fitzgerald who told us that he loves the “old school pub”.

Location:

Dublin 2’s 51 South Great George’s Street

Opening times:

Monday – Wednesday 12.30-23.00
Thursday 12.20-23.30
Friday-Saturday 12.30-00.30

For more information visit the Instagram.

Honourable mentions: Frank Ryan’s, The Bankers, Searsons, The Bailey, Becky Morgans, The Blue Light, Jimmy Rabbits, McGrattan’s, Birchalls, Peter’s Pub, Hartigan’s, Nealon’s, The Black Sheep, The Bald Eagle, Devitts, Mulligan’s and Donny & Nesbit.

*For clarity purposes, we would like to point out that by pints we mean pints of Guinness. You would think that would be obvious but you can never be sure with people on the internet.

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