As I sit behind my computer, I am still wishing I was at O'Donoghue's pub drinking a Bulmer's Berry Cider out of a giant glass. The atmosphere is fantastic and the bartenders here are not only good looking (yes I said it) but extremely nice and fun. Cheers to Patrick.
When you think of an Irish pub, this place should come to mind. You can feel the history when you walk in, especially since it's the sight of The Dubliners formation. They have great Irish music at 9:30 on Friday nights, starting at 4:30 on Saturdays and pretty much all day Sundays. Get there early because it gets PACKED. The inside is pretty small but they have a pretty large outdoor area.
I met a lovely Spanish girl, a guy from Canada and a local here so you never know who you're going to meet either. Drinks are about what you expect to pay in a city at a well-known pub. They also have the typical toasted ham and cheese sandwiches if you're hankering for a bite to eat (they can do just cheese for you non-meat eaters too).
I went here for the first time recently for a large going away party with friends. It was a Friday night, so the place was full. Even in the rain, the craic was good, and this was a place away from the main hustle of Grafton Street.
You can easily get to this pub by bus, luas, or car. There's great space for your own crowd or meeting up with a new crowd. Several bars throughout the pub and attentive service. The pours for Guiness were class all night, and that's always my deal breaker if I'll go back.
Prices were average to what most pubs in The City Centre charge. Cocktails standard as well. If you're a fan of Club Orange with your vodka like I am, then this place serves it up well.
I would go back here for the levels this pub has (room to move around and roam), the ample seating (cushion benches or bar stools and table with chairs), beer garden area, and polite while well trained staff. I also missed the music when I went, so I'd go back to check that out.
After a tour on the hoponhopoff bus being told that this is a historical pub where The Dubliners actually formed. Therefor, of course, we had to go there.
It was pretty early in the afternoon so there were plenty of seats. We ordered our pints and sat down in the inner room. It is rather dated - if you can say that about a pub without being told a pub SHOULD BE dated!
Well, OK. But it can be dated in a good and a bad way. This feels a bit run down. So it is not a favorite of mine.
Friendly staff as always at any pub in Dublin, that I've been to.
This was our attempt at visiting an authentic Irish pub with Irish music... and yep, we sure got it. O'Donoghues has a lot of history, because it's the place where the Dubliners formed their band. But honestly, weren't they from the Sixties? It's a little before my time. So although I've heard of them, I'm not really a mega-fan and didn't recognize all the people whose photos were up on the walls.
The place is a bit old and run down, but we did see a group of fiddlers, and my friend was even able to do a bit of Irish dancing. I tried Bulmers berry cider, which tastes just like punch! Yum!
This was the last stop in our Irish music tour. Yes, we took one! We were not disappointed! We were told that this was one of the last authentic Irish pubs in the area, not the commercialized tourist trap 'pubs' that Ireland is so known for. The space was small, steeped with history, you could tell by the aged wood that these walls had some stories to tell, it more of a living room type atmosphere, very cozy, the perfect atmosphere to grab and pint and relax. It was definitely different that I imagined the 'traditional' pub to be, of course the Americanized pub is not without a flat screen TV, which they could do without.
There was a small area where our tour guides pulled up some chairs and broke our their bodhrans and the clapping and boot stomping started. The place was great for the accoustic music and you could bond with the stranger next to you through the love of beer and great music!
I highly recommend stopping in here to catch a jam session if you are in the neighborhood!
Bono drinks here.
That should make it a no go spot of course, but not even Bono can wipe the history of this Dublin institution. My parents would frequently walk home as youths from sessions here, and everyone from Seamus Ennis to Ted Furey, Ronnie Drew to the great Joe Heaney was at home here.
All has changed, changed utterly however. It's moe suits and ties than trad sessions these days, but in this corner of the city such a story is not unusual. Historians, either professional or hobbyists, would do well to have a good look at the walls. Charles Haughey with The Dubliners, Pete Seeger in Dublin and posters for classic plays like Executed are found on the walls here. O'Donoghues is a museum.
Like Grogans, it's ham and cheese sambos or bust, but nobody is here for the food. The pint, on a quiet day, is beautiful. If you get a seat by the musicians corner at the front of the bar this is an unrivalled Dublin experience.
The punters have changed, the pub hasn't really. On a good night, with your mates in and Bono somewhere exotic and far away, it's a great spot.
It feels legendary. There's a vibe in this place that transforms it from an average pub to an institution. Three pints with a very good friend and one of his best mates made this even better. We laughed, and drank in the experience. Choose if you wish, see if you get it. I did.
This will always be a Dublin stop for me. Cheers, O'Donoghue's.
O'Donoghues's is pure blessed by it's just-about-edge-of-the-central business-district-proper location, as if it were any closer to Grafton St it would surely be overrun with tourists every minute of the day. This is because O'Donoghue's, as anyone who knows anything about trad music could tell you, is the birthplace and spiritual home of The Dubliners (if you don't know what I'm talking about, for the love of jaysus open up a new window and type 'Rocky Road to Dublin' into Youtube immediately and click on the first video that pops up).
Done? Good, now we'll have a bit of context for the discussion.
The heyday of the 1960s when Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew played O'Donoghue's may well be gone (as are Luke and Ronnie themselves, god rest them), but there are still trad sessions to be had in O'Donoghue's, and it's probably your best bet for a good session anywhere near the city centre.
Oh, and be sure not to confuse this O'Donoghues (on Merrion Row) with the other O'Donoghues, the one on nearby Suffolk St. They both have similar black and white facades, but that is the only the only thing they have in common, as the other O'Donoghue's is pure shite and pains should be taken to avoid it.
Since this is one of the favourite pubs of one of my Irish colleagues I went there with colleagues a few times. While I normally like staying "outside", close to the barrels and patio heater last time we found a lovely place in the "back room" - which was always full on previous visits of mine.
I did enjoy the atmosphere here as it is really cozy - a really nice Dublin pub.
What's not great is the drinks selection - they have the "standard" on draft and nothing more, no special beers at all, not even other Irish beers. What's also not great is the bathrooms, one of my colleagues called it one of these "elbow bathrooms", because you want to touch stuff there only with your elbows. And that's exactly to the point of it.
I did see a trad session going on in the front when I was leaving, so it's good for that as well. The crowd seems easy-going, mostly Irish, a bit of a break from all that tourist stuff in the city centre/Temple Bar.
So overall - I like it, with these two pain points mentioned (beer and bathrooms).
Just stopped in the other day to get out of the rain(wink). It's a nice enough pub, decent Guinness, though I had the ear bent off me by a lonely barfly.
Lonely barfly's are a good indicator of a pub's quality. They're attracted to places where it's easy to slip into conversation with complete strangers, effectively, they're the flip side to a good convivial pub. It also shows that the staff are reasonably tolerable kind-hearted people, because anyone who puts up with lonely barfly's on a regular basis must have the patience of a saint.
They also sell t-shirts. Something the barman was nearly embarrassed to admit in front of the barfly and I.
Nice pints of porter..check
Good outdoor area and nice vibe..check
A place to listen to a session..unfortunately not as the tourists take over. They arrive just before the first note is struck, cameras and back-packs slung loosely over their shoulders and stand directly in front of the musicians (many of them do not even buy a drink). They then proceed to chat loudly amougst themselves drowning out the music audibly and visually (see above back-pack comment)
There is no PA system used in O'Donohueswhich is the way it should be, however, not being able to hear the music nevermind see the musicians means that only the "lucky" few latecomers actually see or hear anything...pity really but it is afterall a tourist trap.
Overall a great pub but from a trad point of view..."its with O'leary in the grave"
I love it when you go to places with one idea but then you come out with another. I thought that O'Donoghue's would be a gimmicky city centre pub filled with either tourists or annoying shoppers, but it isn't. At least, it hasn't been the three times that I've been here.
Most people who come to this pub are pleasantly surprised. My friend Simon summed up the experience when he exclaimed: "This place is actually good!"
When you come in, you're confronted with a dark wooden crowded pub. If you want some space and tranquility, head on upstairs. For some reason the upstairs is never too busy (perhaps because there's no bar and people are too lazy to go up and down the stairs for drinks).
The whole pub is built like a country cottage and customers feel cozy and rested after drinking here.
Drank here on vacation from the states.
I love the 3 bars in 1. My fav was the middle indoor/outdoor portion. I enjoyed a nice Lucky Strike and chatted up some locals.
Too bad I had just missed the music session which ends around 11:30 - Overall good times!!
This pub hasn't changed since the 60's in terms of decor and atmosphere and that is a real good thing. Sure some of punters are from that era too!
O'Donoghue's Bar is one of those rare places that is not to be missed for tourists but also for locals too. There is music here throughout the day and it is always busy during the day as well as night.
This place is small but packs a lot of punch, check out the photographs on the wall, it seems as much a museum as a pub!
Best smoking area on the city!!!! A genuinely great pub, a bit grotty, great staff.
One overlooked point so far when it comes to O'Donoghue's is this, although you will probably hear some trad music, the crowd are pretty much as untraditionally Irish as it comes.
This is not Aran sweater land, this is suited and booted business executive territory. There'll always be lots and lots of people in white-collared shirts and suspenders, guffawing over that pink newspaper they like and drinking like they're still on the SCT. Yet, somehow this doesn't in any way detract from the fun of the place, it still feels like a ride on the Wurlitzer, mildly exhilarating in a comforting way and it seems to bring friends together (without the help of G-forces in this case.)
It's gotta be one of my favourite pubs in town. The atmosphere is bright and lively, the smoking area is big and has seats, the Guinness is awesome and it's a great place to spend a day.
This was the definitive pub experience for us. Small, cozy. with years of stains, abuse, and memories on the walls. The bartenders were friendly, the drinks decently priced, and the seating areas comfortable enough. We spent a good part of the afternoon there over Easter week one day, out of the cold, and enjoyed it thoroughly. There was a hen party going on and aside from the rear door needing a new latch we could ask for nothing more. There was even a very good impromptu trad session going on up front and football on tv... we are sold!
When you walk into a bar and there's 20+ pints of the black stuff on the counter you know it has to be a great pint and Oh boy it is.
Original traditional Irish bar as you walk(more like squeeze) through and then there is a HUGE smoking area which seems to be an alleyway.
There is a newer section on the right of this but nothing beats the low stools and craic/atmosphere of the original pub.
Have been here a few times, usually at the weekend and has always been busy. So central and great place to pop into or even spend the night (if you're lucky enough to get a stool) before the club.
Excellent authetic Irish pub. Great atmosphere and fantastic Guinness. Does get very crowded, but they can always squeeze you in.
First of all, how did it ever go from being O'Donoghue's Pub to O'Donoghue's Bar?
For me this was a trip back to the land of my youth. In the late sixties I was to be found here just about every night, first as a listener then as a bodhran player. I hesitate to write musician. Percussionist I suppose. It was far more than a music venue though. Everyone knew everyone and even with the inevitable rows (never a fight) we were very tight knit.
Fast forward 43 years. I shyly bring in my bodhran (not the same one as then) and order a pint. "What of" said the barman and I just looked at him and he knew. I inquired about the session and was told 9:30. In the old days you needed to be in there by 7 if you wanted a seat. The guy beside me looked at the bodhran and the auld chat started. Of course none of my old pals were there (at least half of them are dead) but there were plenty who knew them and knew all the stories and I had a good time.Finally the music started. I had a rare old time. I half expected Paddy O'Donaghue to emerge and hush people who talked during a song. Problem was I had to catch a train back to my sister's where I was staying so it was just an hour. It got to time to go and, for the first time, I looked behind me and found that it had grown from a humble three musicians to about twenty. On a Monday night no less.
I will be back a time or two or three and when I head back to Antioch will wish I could bring the place with me.
I asked an intoxicated Irish man in Malahide about the best pubs in Dublin. He told me to head to Baggot Street; very wise man. We had a great time at O'Donaghue's! Place was packed on a THURSDAY night. Great live music and excellent service. It was almost like the bartender could sense that I was about to come back to the bar to order another Guinness, he was always there ready with another pint, good man. Didn't realize how big the place really was until about halfway through my stay here when I walked outside and saw that there was an entire other bar area right next door. No music there though, but nice chill atmosphere and easy bar access. Can't wait to go back.
Great spot. Good drink, great entertainment, overall good craic. Can't really go wrong here.
Best pub in town! The craic is mighty!
This is the legendary bar for Irish music. It is almost close enough to the tourist district to be overrun, but remains far enough away to still feel Irish. My fiancee still claims she saw the Dubliners (or was it the The Pogues or Flogging Molly?) when she visited years ago. Totally worth a visit, especially if you have an afternoon flight the next morning.
O'Donoghue's is a reasonable, traditional looking, smallish pub. It's known for traditional music and gets ridiculously busy when there's a session on. Try and squeeze your way through to the back, where there's more seats. The drinks are cheap enough but the last few times I've been there it's been long, long waits for service at the bar, and then all elbows and backs trying to find a place to stand, and frankly not worth the hassle. If you want trad music away from the Temple Bar tourist traps then check this one out. But I'll have my pint at Doheny & Nesbitt thanks.
One of the best pints of plain in town...theres that many people on Guinness that on a busy night its just constant pouring...sweet as a proverbial nut!
If you want something more authentically Dublin than Temple Bar, take yourself to this historic and fascinating watering hole, and enjoy getting immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of the place. There's usually a scrum around the Irish musicians playing in the front section, but keep squeezing your way through to the back lounge and you'll probably end up seated or standing next to a friendly face. If you keep going there's an extensive semi-outdoors smoking area than always ends up as an overspill when the crowds arrive.
The Guinness is just about as good as it gets here, and take advantage of the side hatch when re-ordering to avoid the standing-room only situation in front of the long bar.
Very international crowd, popular with American and Europeans alike, this can be one of the best nights out in Dublin if you don't mind who you sit next to. I ended up chatting to a table full of Finnish social workers, a Horse Dealer from out of town and the bar owner on my first visit, and subsequent nights have not disappointed.
And apparently, it is true that Bruce Springsteen played here one night after a gig.
Fightin just to hear some music... 99 percent of the people just talkin and listening to their own voices...
I'm a huge fan of O'Donoghue's. While it's famous for its live Irish music and legendary clientèle over the years, I love it 'cause it has a laid back charm that is missing from a lot of other Irish pubs. It's split into three different sections - the main bar, the side bar that opens on weekend nights only and the beer garden, which sits in the middle of the two. It's this beer garden that I generally hang out in as it always has a lively, friendly atmosphere and there are plenty of heaters to make it feel like you could still be inside. Although I was there recently for an Ireland versus Italy soccer match and we stayed in the side bar as we got seats right in front of the TV!
If you're in luck you will spot a celebrity in O'Donoghue's from time to time. A friend of mine saw Justin Timberlake in there a few years ago - he had two enormous bouncers with him and was definitely not in the mood to fraternise with the locals. The same can't be said for Colin Farrell, who I spotted in there one Friday evening a couple of Christmasses ago. He had no security with him and, as a result, nobody took a blind bit of notice of him as he whiled away a couple of hours with his friends. He simply blended in with the crowd - he even went to the bar on his own to get in a round! - and he didn't mind posing for pictures with the odd fan who did approach him.
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