Guinness is Ireland’s most famous export and the world’s most famous beer. For those of you who have just arrived on Planet Earth from some distant galaxy, Guinness is a smooth, black stout (a type of beer) with a deliciously thick and creamy white head.
‘The Black Stuff’ is served all over the world and is extremely popular, not only in its home country of Ireland, but also in Britain, America, West Africa, and the Caribbean.
The Irish are passionate about Guinness. Any Irish pub that serves a ‘bad pint’ will be shunned and black-listed, while a pub that serves especially good Guinness will be revered.
Great Irish pubs are cathedrals of ‘craic’ – busy bastions of Gaelic friendliness, warmth, and shenanigans in which you are likely to meet all sorts of crazy characters and be regaled with endless wild stories!
Mulligans (Dublin, Ireland) Mulligan’s, or ‘The home of the pint’, is a quirky pub in central Dublin that is famous for its exquisite pints of Guinness. Throughout the 200 years, it’s been open, it has been the favorite hang-out of actors from the nearby Theatre Royal, newspaper workers from ‘The Irish Press’, as well as some of Ireland’s most iconic writers like James Joyce and Seamus Heaney. It’s also said to haunted!
Address: 8 Poolbeg St, Dublin 2, Ireland
Foxy John’s (Co. Kerry, Ireland) Dingle is a quaint little village on Ireland’s ravishingly beautiful south-western coast. The Atlantic Ocean crashes relentlessly into this tiny village day and night. Foxy John’s is an odd establishment on Dingle’s main street, almost within reach of the North Atlantic’s salty spray. Foxy John’s doubles as a pub and a hardware store. The interior is cozy (yet chaotic), the atmosphere is friendly, and most importantly, the pints of Guinness are sublime.
Address: Main St, Grove, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
The Toucan (Soho, London) We go across the Irish Sea for our next pub. Just off Soho Square in London’s West End district, The Toucan is a pokey two-floor Irish pub that is very serious about its Guinness. Irish ex-pats come from all over London for a few post-work pints in the early evening, when this place is very much ‘standing room only’. The Toucan is a proper Irish pub, serving proper Irish Guinness, right in the heart of London.
PJ O’Hare’s (Co. Louth, Ireland) Carlingford is a two-street fishing village on the far north-eastern coast of the Irish Republic, only a stone’s throw from the border of Northern Ireland. PJ’s is a Carlingford icon, and people travel from far and wide to sit in its cozy crannies, slurp salty and delicious Carlingford oysters and wash them down with cold, creamy pints of Guinness – “yum” is a gross understatement! Carlingford oysters and Guinness are surely served regularly in heaven!
The Washington Inn (Cork, Ireland) Ireland’s second biggest city, Cork, is actually not a big Guinness-drinking town. Corkonians are loyal and proud folk, and locally-brewed stouts Beamish and Murphy’s are more popular is this neck of the woods. However, visitors from other parts of Ireland and the world still need their Guinness, and a few pubs in the city cater to this market. The Washington Inn serves a great pint of Guinness – in fact, so good that some locals have been known to don a disguise and slip in for a discreet pint or two…the traitors!
Grogan’s (Dublin, Ireland) Grogans is a friendly and unpretentious local pub in the center of Dublin city. It is famous for its tasty cheddar cheese and ham toasties, which go perfectly with a cool, creamy pint or two of Guinness.
Address: 15 South William Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
O’Connell’s (Galway, Ireland) Ireland’s fourth largest city, Galway, sits on the rugged and wild west coast. It is a haven for artists, writers and creative types of all kinds. Its annual Arts Festival attracts people from around the world, some of whom never leave the city. They are too beguiled by its cobbled streets, magical atmosphere and mass of cozy little pubs serving hot, creamy seafood chowder, and cold, creamy pints of Guinness. O’Connell’s is one of these pubs. Prepare to be beguiled!
The John Hewitt (Belfast, Ireland) This lively pub in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast has regular live music – from jazz to traditional Irish – and an eclectic, merry crowd. Guinness is their biggest seller, and they serve rows upon rows of pristine pints to thirsty locals and tourists alike all day and night. Join the party!
Address: 51 Donegall St, Belfast BT1 2FH, UK
The Castle Bar (Co. Louth, Ireland) This neighborhood bar is situated smack-bang in the center of Dundalk, an unglamorous but somehow charming industrial town on Ireland’s east coast, midway between Dublin and Belfast. The Castle Bar is a lively haunt with constant live sports on TV, darts and pool matches rumbling away in the background, regular live music, a friendly clientele made up of locals and foreigners, and one of the thickest, creamiest, cleanest, most luscious pints of Guinness you’ll find anywhere in the world!
Swift Hibernian Lounge (New York, New York) If you are in New York City and you want a great pint of Guinness fear not, the city (which has always had a huge Irish population) has a wealth of great Irish pubs serving pints that would pass the taste test in any of the great old pubs of the Irish mainland! Swift Hibernian Lounge prides itself on its perfect pints of Guinness. It has a lovely, warm atmosphere, and a fantastic selection of Irish whiskeys, if you’re looking for something a little hot and smoky to go along with your creamy pint!
Address: 34 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003
So, that was our list of iconic Irish pubs that serve a perfect pint of Guinness. We hope you are feeling thirsty!
Whether you are perched on James Joyce’s old stool in Mulligan’s or guzzling Guinness and oysters in PJs – don’t forget to share your iconic Irish pub experiences on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #BUCKiTDREAM. Then, if you’re still thirsty, add these 9 Insane New York Bars or London’s Secret Cocktail Bars to your bucket list!