From ‘a smorgasbord of curiosities’ to ‘legendary trad sessions’, Lonely Planet announces list of the 20 best Irish pubs

THE world-renowned travel website Lonely Planet has published its list of the 20 best pubs in Ireland.

lonely planet has included watering spots across the island best known “for pints, music and the time of your life”.

The Gravediggers, Dublin

The Glasnevin institution ranks first, being specifically included in the prestigious list for its ‘excellent pint and Irish tapas’.

Run by the seventh generation of the Kavanagh family, the Gravediggers took their name from their proximity to Glasnevin Cemetery and the resulting temporary trade.


Friends enjoy a few pints at the bar of John Kavanagh’s Pub in Glasnevin, Dublin. Image by Mark Condren

Teach Hiúdaí Beag, Co Donegal

Nestled in the heart of the Gaeltacht, Irish is primarily spoken in Teach Hiúdaí Beag, famous for its ‘legendary’ trad sessions.

The hotel is just a 10 minute walk from Gaoth Dobhair’s most famous beaches. lonely planet said it was the ideal place to “wipe the cobwebs”.

De Barras Folk Club, Clonakilty, Co Cork

The travel website echoed Christy Moore, who compared De Barra’s to “Co Cork’s Carnegie Hall”.

Walking through the premises was said to be like ‘walking into a music history museum’, and taking time to explore ‘quaint’ Clonakilty was recommended.

The Moorings, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

“Gin cocktails with a sea view” The Moorings deserves its place.

The Dungarvan Pub has also been noted for its fish soup and outdoor courtyard bar, which is bounded by the ramparts of King John’s Castle, which were built in the 12th century.

O’Connell’s, Skryne, Co. Meath

Lonely Planet, made famous by Guinness’ iconic Christmas ad, says the famous pub — owned by the O’Connell family for 170 years — has changed very little over the generations. “It still boasts that it has no television and no internet.”

Dick Mack’s, Dingle, Co. Kerry

Founded in 1899, Dick Mack’s is one of Dingle’s destination pubs, having featured numerous times on RTÉ’s music programme Other voices.


Dick Mack’s Pub in Dingle, Co. Kerry

According to Lonely Planet, the pub offers a fine selection of drinks, a leather shop and twice-daily brewery tours.

Morrissey’s, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois

Social media users were encouraged to stop by Morrissey’s for an Instagram snap if nothing else, as the Abbeyleix waterhole “takes you back to the 1900s”.

“A hodgepodge of curiosities line the shelves above the pews and pot-bellied stove. It’s a wonderful place to soak up the atmosphere with a pint or a coffee,” said Lonely Planet.

Thomas Connolly, City of Sligo

Connolly’s has been recommended to fans of WB Yeats who want to ‘raise a glass to the great writer’.

The pub was shortlisted for its “famous pints of stout, regular live music and an ever-expanding range of over 200 premium Irish whiskeys and scotches”.

Mickey Finn’s Pub, County Wicklow

Mickey Finn’s was recognized for its spectacular Avoca Valley location and warm open fires.

The pub is located next to the Wicklow Brewery and offers pairing suggestions such as: B. Wicklow Black Stout Beef Pie paired with a Black 16.

JJ Hough’s Singing Pub, Banagher, County Offaly

250 year old JJ Houghs was taken in for her charm and the warm welcome of her owner. lonely planet said, “JJ’s also serves pizza and cocktails, and the espresso martinis are a special house, by all accounts.”

The Rusty Mackerel, County Donegal

The traditional Irish Pub at the foot of Sliabh Liag serves great drinks and seasonal food including the spicy mackerel fillet.

The Rusty Mackerel is also known for its live music sessions and guest accommodation.

66 Street, Dublin

lonely planet has described Street 66 as an “atmospheric LGBTQ+ bar with great music”.

It said the bar was a “safe place” to have coffee, an “invigorating drink” or even dance to “banging tunes” on Fridays and Saturdays.

Sunflower Public House, Belfast

Owned by Argentine born Pedro Donald. The Sunflower is described as “a no-nonsense, non-gimmick pub” that “bills itself as a basic corner pub.”

Tigh Neachtain, City of Galway

One of Galway’s most famous spots for people-watching, Neachtains has been recognized for its ‘live music sessions’.

lonely planet says, “If you sit inside, you may never leave.”

O’Loclainn’s Irish Whiskey Bar, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare

The travel website said O’Loclainn’s offers a “magic drop in a picturesque setting”.


Innkeeper Tom Mulligan of The Cobblestone Pub in Smithfield, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

With 500 bottles, visitors can also browse old labels and take a trip down memory lane.

Clarke & Sons, Drogheda, Co. Louth

Clarke & Sons’ cozy interiors are filled with “candle-lit nooks and crannies” and enhanced by “the pub’s aged dark wood”.

lonely planet said: “Guests can lose themselves amidst the music and candlelight”.

Blakes of the Hollow, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

game of Thrones Fans can snap a photo with the specially carved door at Blakes in Enniskillen.

The pub is also known for its Irish coffee, original snugs and live music.

The Cobblestones, Smithfield, Dublin

One of Dublin’s most iconic trad pubs, The Cobblestone is “not to be missed” according to the travel website, which also highlighted the high-profile campaign last year that prevented redevelopment.

Mother Macs, Limerick City

Visitors to Mother Macs have been warned that it “doesn’t serve food” but instead is worth the trip for its 150 Irish whiskeys, whiskey tasting events and craft beer.

The Duke of York, Belfast

A favorite for locals, lonely planet says: “On a cobbled lane in Belfast city centre, the Duke of York is known for its colorful flowers outside and its original mirrors and memorabilia inside.” From ‘a smorgasbord of curiosities’ to ‘legendary trad sessions’, Lonely Planet announces list of the 20 best Irish pubs

Fry Electronics Team

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