Dublin city guide
This month, join us in Dublin.
Monday 23 March 2020
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The Island of Ireland
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Pubs and bars
P.Mac’s (30 Stephen Street Lower, D02 XY61)
This is one of my favourite spots for a beer in Dublin, if not the world. Amazing beer, great music, a huge selection of board games, and delicious food. The atmosphere is fantastic as well - especially if you go in the evening when they’ve lit the candelabras and the lights are dim - and the seating is a mix of large tables, booths, and nooks and crannies.
The Beer Market (13 High St, The Liberties, D08 K092)
This spot is slightly out of the city centre, but close to Dublinia (the fun Viking and Medieval museum), and is worth the trip even if you’re not close by. Owned by Galway Bay Brewery, Beer Market always has some of the most unique beer lists in Dublin, with an impeccable selection of Irish craft beer. Plus, the vibe is super chilled-out, and the food is great - BOGOF wings on a Wednesday, anyone?
Underdog (75 Dame St, Temple Bar)
With an exciting list of Irish and international beers, Underdog is a favourite among locals because of its friendly, knowledgeable staff, and locally-sourced cheese and charcuterie boards. It’s a hidden gem (literally - you might miss it if you’re not paying attention!) full of charm, and with between 15-20 beers on draft at any given time, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Mulligan’s (8 Poolbeg St, DO2TK71)
For one of the best pints of Guinness of your life, head here. Mulligan’s is a long, rustic, cosy bar dating back to the late 18th century (making it one of the oldest drinking establishments in the city). It has welcomed dockers, journalists, writers, and actors alike over the years, so it’s a cherished piece of Dublin history too. Be prepared to wait at the bar for your pint though. It’s poured as it should be - slowly and in stages, with care and respect for the black stuff.
Porterhouse (16-18 Parliament St, Temple Bar, D02 VR94)
Opened in 1996, Dublin’s first brewpub Porterhouse prides itself on not serving mainstream beers, an ethos which has carried it through successfully to the present. Its the kind of pub you want to spend an evening in - classic pub food, good beers, and live music seven nights a week! There are three Porterhouse pubs in Dublin - Porterhouse Temple Bar, Porterhouse Central, and Dingle Whiskey Bar - and all are worth a visit.
JW Sweetman (1-2 Burgh Quay, D02 F243)
The beautiful 19th Century building which houses this microbrewery and gastropub used to be a tavern on one side, and a flax, hemp and rope manufacturer on the other, which then was turned into the meeting space for Dublin Library Society (swoon). Nowadays though, it’s a popular pub which brews its own beer, and a hotspot for traditional Irish food. It hosts regular live music nights, DJs and pub quizzes, and the Brewmaster food and beer pairing menu is a must-try. To be honest, it’s worth visiting just for the rich history of the building, especially if you’re a literature nerd like me!
Hope Beer (Unit 1 Howth Junction Business Park, Kilbarrack Road, Kilbarrack, D05 H2K2)
Set up in 2015 by three 50-something year old school friends and beer aficionados Jeanne, Des and Wim, Hope Beer is an award-winning craft brewery in North Dublin. It is successfully brewing up a fantastic mix of traditional beers, and beers with a more modern twist - its core range includes the likes of a session IPA, wheat beer, lager and pale ale, and its limited edition back catalogue features a tropical sour, imperial stout, and oatmeal IPA. Tasty!
Stone Barrel Brewing Company (Emerald House, Bluebell Avenue,, Bluebell Industrial Estate, D12 NPF9)
Stone Barrel was set up in 2013 by a couple of friends who wanted to turn their home brewing hobby into a commercial venture. Brewing a small selection of core beers and lots of experimental, hop-forward single batch brews, it’s safe to say Stone Barrel has made a good name for itself, since it’s now widely stocked across the nation. It also has a collaborative brewing project with fellow Dublin-based brewery Third Circle, appropriately called Third Barrel Brewing.
Four Provinces Brew Co (Ravensdale Dr, Kimmage)
Four Provinces, based in Kimmage, about half an hour’s drive out of Dublin, has a wonderful focus on Irish language and Gaelic culture. This is shown through its branding, the ingredients that go into its beers, and even the fact that the staff at its pub The Four Provinces are bilingual. With a small but perfectly formed selection of traditional Irish beers - copper ale/bitter, robust porter, lager, and IPA - this is a brewery to keep your eyes on in the near future.
Urban Brewing / Stack A Restaurant (Vault C, CHQ Building, Custom House Quay)
With its own brews and a selection of O’Hara’s beers in the taproom upstairs, and a beautiful restaurant set within hundred-years-old vaults downstairs, this is a Dublin spot you do not want to miss. Perfect for an intimate meal, or for group dining, Stack A serves up either tapas-style dishes or a fine-dining menu, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks - some of the finest wines, beer flights from upstairs, or even rum, whisky, Irish whiskey, gin or vodka flights. It’s one of the most unique places I’ve ever dined in, and I would fly back to Dublin just to go here again.
The Vintage Kitchen (7 Poolbeg St, D02 NX03 )
Classic Irish food in a quirky, charming little venue, where you can also BYOB - this is the dream. There’s also a ‘70s vinyl player, so you can even BYO vinyl if you’re so inclined, too! The food is delicious and the menu is ever-changing, since the chefs personally choose the ingredients from local markets and producers in the area. It’s a small space and is always packed, so book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Craft Restaurant (208 Harold’s Cross Rd, Terenure, D06 A4P0)
Minimalist, stripped-back decor, and a minimalist, stripped-back menu - Craft Restaurant really lets both its atmosphere and its food shine. It has been a hotspot for Dubliners since it opened in 2016, and it didn’t take long to earn itself a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2017. Go here for a lazy weekend brunch, or for their more upscale, finely-curated seasonal dinner menu.
Chimac (76 Aungier St, Dublin 2, D02 XR70)
Korean fried chicken. Korean. Fried. Chicken. Need I say more? The name comes from combining “chi”, short for “chikin,” plus “mac” from “maekju,” Korean for beer, and thank god this Seoul obsession has made its way to Dublin.
What to do in Dublin
Play some retro videogames
Nerds, assemble! Token has over 40 machines, 3 bars, an extensive high-end junk food menu (including lots of vegan and veggie options), and a list of exciting cocktails. Head here with your mates to play arcade games or pinball, or take your date for a fun alternative to dinner & a movie.
Visit the home of Guinness
Let’s face it, you can’t possibly write a city guide to Dublin without including the Guinness Storehouse - even if it is for a craft beer-focused magazine. Having done the tour myself a couple of times, I can assure you it’s worth it. There’s loads of interactive exhibits which will interest those who know a lot about beer and brewing already, those who have limited knowledge, and even those who don’t really like beer at all - for instance, the branding and marketing display is particularly fun and engaging, and the view over the city from the top floor is unbeatable. Just don’t go on a Saturday when it’s packed, as you will struggle to take it all in!
Get your fix of literary history
The relatively new Museum of Literature Ireland is practically a mecca for literature lovers - it’s an impressive collaboration between the National Library of Ireland and University College Dublin. Dublin is up there with some of the most important cities in the history of modern literature, and the MoLI does a great job of showcasing both living and deceased writers - so it’s not just all James Joyce, although he does feature heavily! It’s also right by Iveagh Gardens, which is very beautiful and peaceful.
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