In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, people around the world have raised a pint of Guinness, the Irish stout that has been brewed in Dublin since 1759. People who have fallen in love with Guinness often comment that a pint poured anywhere else isn’t the same as one poured in Dublin. While this is true, not all pints in Dublin are equal either. Here are 5 spots for a great pint of Guinness in Dublin on your next St. Patrick’s Day, or any day of the year when the craving strikes.
John Kehoe’s is a pub just off Grafton Street in the center of Dublin. On a sunny day, the sidewalk will be full of locals, many of them holding a perfectly poured (and settled) pint of Guinness. On a rainy day, the action will be indoors, right at the wood bar or tucked into one of the snugs (semi-private rooms). There is additional seating upstairs where you can find a spot on a crowded night. Expect to wait when you order a Guinness – the proper pour takes 119 seconds. Barmen here won’t be rushed.
9 South Anne Street, Dublin 2
If you happen to be walking along Merrion Row on a Sunday afternoon, traditional Irish music will lure you inside the ancient door of O’Donoghue’s. In addition to this Sunday afternoon tradition – why not stop in for a pint and listen to the music? – there is also live music here on most evenings. A group of musicians will have their corner of the pub and will play songs while nursing their own pints of Guinness. In addition to a perfect pour, O’Donoghue’s also has an outdoor space that is lovely on a warm night.
15 Merrion Row, Dublin 2.
A smaller, more intimate option is Toner’s of Baggot Street. This pub has just one highly coveted snug at the front, as well as other cozy areas for pulling up a worn wooden stool. The food menu is simple — just sandwiches, soups, and the like – but the Guinness is perfection. While other pubs are known for live music or an outdoor seating area, Toner’s is a classic, simple pub. This is the kind of place to linger over a pint of Guinness while enjoying good conversation, and then get sucked into ordering another.
139 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2.
So far all of my recommendations for perfect pints of Guinness have been in the city center. They are all easy to reach if you happen to be in the center of town for the St. Patrick’s Day parade or are doing some central sightseeing. Yet there are many pubs just beyond the center that offer great pours and a local atmosphere, too. At O’Brien’s, you won’t be surrounded by fellow foreigners. This is a lovely locals pub that perks up at night with live guitar. Grab a table – or try for the snug – and let that Guinness settle before taking the rich first sip.
Sussex Terrace, just across the Leeson Street Bridge, Dublin 2.
5. Kielys of Donnybrook
Another opportunity to get outside of the city center for a perfect pint is Kielys of Donnybrook. This pub is known for its rugby affiliation. A wide range of TVs will show live rugby matches to a captivated audience. Don’t be surprised if you hang around for a few hours after the match and the players start to arrive for a nightcap. At times, this pub can be on the rowdy side, but the pints are still great and the atmosphere convivial.
131 Stillorgan Road, Dublin 4
Who would have known that four ingredients – barley, hops, water, and yeast – would combine to create a recipe unchanged for over 250 years? On a windy night in Dublin, you can actually smell the brewing Guinness in the air.
Written by Jessica Colley for EuropeUpClose.com