Top ten bars to drink with the locals in Dublin

In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty, I first laid my eyes on some very fine drinking establishments which would definitely be worth a visit for anyone who just happens to be in the neighbourhood. For this Smirnoff Start Pure City Guide we’re in, you guessed it, Dublin. And we’re exploring, you guessed it, the local pub scene. This ain’t no Paddy Wagon tour, folks. The following public houses are some of your best bets for meeting actual Irish people in actual Ireland, and not just a bunch of pish’d Australians.

We have enlisted the help of Dubliner James Joyce Simon Wilson and have even included a Dublin inspired cocktail recipe, more specifically ‘The Bay Leaf and Elderflower Vodka Collins’ (try saying that three times really rly fast, after three of them…). So, sláinte!

Hogans Bar

Address: 35-37 South Great Georges St, Dublin 2

Phone: (1) 677 5904

Opening Hours: Monday to Wednesday 12pm-11:30pm, Thursday 12pm-1am Friday and Saturday 12pm-2:30am, Sunday 12pm-11pm

Simon says: A city centre location frequented by locals and relocated souls alike. Country cousins and Dubliners all drink here regularly. Close to the hustle and bustle of the main shopping district (Grafton St etc), Hogans is always a safe bet for some atmosphere most nights of the week. Suitable for a few quiet pints and a catch up with friends (that then roll into a full on ‘session’!).

Bar with No Name ‘No Name Bar’

Address: 3 Fade Street, Dublin 2

Phone: (1) 764 5681

Opening Hours: Monday to Wednesday 1pm-11:30pm, Thursday 1pm-1am, Friday-Saturday 1pm-2:30am, Sunday 1pm-11:30pm

Simon says: Only identifiable by the giant wooden snail above the door and the presence of a doorman at the weekends, if you didn’t know where you were going you could miss No Name Bar. With the feel of a large civilised house party, No Name has lots of rooms and a decent outdoor space. Always buzzy at the weekends, a great place to start a night out.

Market Bar

Address: 14a Fade St, Dublin 2

Phone: (1) 613 9094


Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 12pm-11:30pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm-1:30am, Sunday 12pm-11pm

Simon says: In the same neighbourhood as Hogans, and just across the road from No Name Bar, is a cobbled courtyard that houses the entrance to Market Bar. Market Bar serves awesome Tapas at very reasonable prices, and is one of the few bars in Dublin to have a ‘no music policy’. You might not notice it as first but some point mid conversation you’ll prick your ears to listen for a DJ or playlist and realise there’s nothing there- the only sound is the dense din of conversation.


Address: Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, South William St, Dublin 2

Phone: (1) 633 4479


Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 12pm-12.30am, Friday and Saturday 12pm-3am, Sunday 12pm-1am

Simon says: Named for a play by GB Shaw, the ‘Pyg’ is nestled in the basement of the Powerscourt Town centre on the corner of St William and Coppinger Row. With a cool cutting edge to its music offering and funky wallpaper spotted with pink pigs, Pygmalion is a great spot for some cocktails or craft beers.

The Bernard Shaw

Address: 11-12 South Richmond Street, Dublin 2

Phone: (85) 712 8342



Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 8pm-12am, Friday 8pm-1am Saturday 4pm-1am, Sunday 4pm-12am

Simon says: The Shaw is more Melbourne than it is Dublin. To sum it up as the hipster mecca of the Dublin Bar/Pub/Club scene would be selling it short. Its just cool. The Bodytonic crew have been a force to be reckoned with in Dublin clubs for years and the jewel in their crown is The Shaw. Cool craft beers, wall to wall hipsters, sustainable echo friendly recycled food offering from the cafe, legendary Paddy’s day parties and Sunday sessions, the Shaw is a must visit when in town. Check out the ‘Big Blue Bus’ in the beer garden.


Address: 3 Harry St, Dublin, Co. Dublin 2
Phone: (1) 679 4395


Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 10:30am-11:30pm, Friday and Saturday 10:30am-12:30am, Sunday 12:30pm-11pm

Simon says: McDaids is tucked away just off Grafton St and is a fantastic ‘hole in the wall’ pub. Tiny seating area, an absolute mission to travel three flights of stairs to get to the gents toilet, but the Guinness is always good, the vibe relaxed and the chat quintessentially Dublin. If you’re traveling solo, sit at the counter and converse with the barkeep. McDaids is a solid ‘old man boozer’.

The Gingerman

Address: 40 Fenian St, Dublin 2, Ireland

Phone: (1) 676 6388

Opening Hours: Mon – Thurs: 11am-12.30am Fri – Sat: 11am-1.30am Sun: 5pm-11pm

Simon says: Frequented by alumni of Trinity College, the Gingerman is a safe bet for some good atmosphere, great service, and great pints. Always a busy spot on the weekends and for after work pints on Wednesday and Thursday for those so inclined.

Vintage Cocktail Club

Address: 15 Crown Alley Dublin 2, Ireland

Phone: (1) 675 3547



Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 6pm-3am

Simon says: All the chat I heard last time I was home was of the VCC, well not so much chat as whispers. You need to make a booking, you need to know the secret knock and the password, before you’re ushered up a dark staircase into a prohibition style speak easy. The cocktails are world class, thanks to award winning bartender Gareth Lambe; they’re easy on the eye and on the pallet, but not the wallet. Their food offering is on small plates and the overall feel is definitely something different for Dublin, although if you’ve been to PDT in NYC (please don’t tell in New York City) then you will get the idea. Check out the rooftop terrace.


Address: 129 Capel St, Dublin 1
Phone: (1) 874 6844



Simon says: Fantastic ‘local’ pub on the south side, close to the Aviva Stadium for anyone going to a concert or a rugby match. ‘Slatts’ is always wedged with people so if you like your personal space, best pick a different spot. Always good banter Thursday – Sunday. Slatts is a great pub, but not in an old man and trad music sort of a way.

Copper Face Jacks

Address: 29-30 Harcourt St, Dublin 1
Phone: (1) 475 8777



Simon says: No trip to Dublin is complete without a trip to ‘Coppers’. Every city has one -the ‘meat market, sweat box, busy 7 nights a week, guaranteed a big night, guaranteed a massive hangover’ night spot. Coppers is frequented by nurses, policemen, teachers, shift workers, accountants, and pretty much anyone and everyone of legal age. The door staff are strict, but pliable at the same time. If you’re a regular you get a the nod and “Howya” (Dublin speak for How are you?), if you’re an unfamiliar face you could be subject to more probing questions than a younger Bill Clinton. Always fun, always full, this place makes $400k a year on the coat room (at $2 a piece). It’s the busiest nightclub per square foot in all of Europe apparently.

Simon Wilson is a ‘Dublin born and Sydney based’ ginger. While trying
to avoid direct sunlight he also works on Taste of Sydney and Taste of
Melbourne; and as a result is always eating out. YES – he is one of
those annoying people who posts all his meals on Instagram. You can see
his last supper on @redrupert or @redrupe for those of a Twitter

Words by Simon Wilson
Title image by Claire Bracken