The Dublin Guide: Where to Drink

Olivia Leaves | Dublin Guide: Where to Drink

Where should you go for a drink in Dublin?

You’re in Dublin for the weekend. You’ve heard the Irish are really friendly and the drinks are great craic (fun!), but where do you find them? Hint: Not the brightly lit bar at the back of your hotel.

Here’s a list of great places to drink in Dublin no matter what you’re looking for.

For the Hipster Crowd: The Bernard Shaw


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This is where the cool kids hang out, or so I’ve been told. This bar looks small from the front, in fact I’ve walked by it many a time without realising, but it winds through tiny hallways, out the back to a massive covered smoking area, and has a pizza restaurant built in to a blue bus that’s open all week. A lot of Dublin’s young, international tech staffers can be found here with their jeans cuffed to the ankle.

For a Classic Pint: O’Donoghues or Doheny & Nesbitt


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There are those times when you want to sit in a pub and feel what it feels like. You know, like you’re Irish and you’ve been sitting in the same pub for years, being Irish and loving it. Or maybe you just want a good pint at an okay price. Either way, here you go! Irish pubs for you to enjoy.

For the Long Cocktail List: Vintage Cocktail Club


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This one opened to quite a buzz a few years ago! It’s now a mainstay on the cocktail circuit. Along a side street in busy Temple Bar, you’ll find a boring black door marked ‘VCC.’ Go in there! There is a top floor smoking area and free-for-all seating, but the tables you want are the ones you have to book. Go there for some nibbles and drinks, or just make a booking for cocktails and work your way through the most comprehensive list of concoctions you’ll ever see.

For the Restaurant that Becomes a Bar: NoLita


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NoLita has the food, the cocktails, and a bit of dancing if you’re there late enough on a weekend. The dinner tables turn in to good people watching spots if you can camp out long enough. The bar where the waiters collected your dinner wine is suddenly heaving with young things dressed to the nines ordering drinks called Mob Mistress and Mulberry Street Art. It’s a great place if you’d like to be out for the night, but not out at a club. It’s also very central, so it will be easy for you to find your way home.

For a Really Good Guinness: The Stag’s Head


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I bring most people here when they visit me Dublin. Despite the staff t-shirts saying that it’s “the best tourist bar in Dublin,” I always find it full of locals. This is one of those really old pubs that will make you feel like you’re in the quiet heart of Ireland, even though you’re smack in the centre of cosmopolitan Dublin.

For the Stunning Views: Sophie’s


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Sophie’s restaurant is on a lot of my lists. It sits at the top of The Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street, has great food and a beautiful view from every side. If you’re in to your Irish celebs or rugby players, Sophie’s is the place to go star spotting.

For a Bit of Dancing: The Black Door
There are many places to go dancing in Dublin, and everyone will love and hate each place depending on their own experiences. The Black Door stays open quite late (at least 4am) and kicks off their nights (well before 4am) with someone playing a gorgeous grand piano. Don’t get me wrong, the DJ takes over eventually and the night ends up an inevitable mess, but it’s great fun if you’re up for it! (It’s so much fun, in fact, that there are no good photos available in my collection or on Instagram for me to share with you. You’ll have to see it to believe it!)

And, a word of advice, if any locals tell you to try a bar called Coppers for “the shift,” like I once saw happen on the airport bus into town, know that it’s a trap.

If you’re visiting Dublin soon, why not check out these other Dublin guides?

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Olivia Leaves | The Dublin Guide - Where to Drink


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