- Best Cocktails: The Liquor Rooms. There's a feel of the speakeasy about this labyrinthine basement club beneath the Clarence Hotel. The cocktails are outstanding—watching the nimble bartenders at work serves as a reminder that mixology is as much an art as anything.
- Best Literary Credentials: Davy Byrnes. Given the impressive literary connections of this pub—James Joyce was a regular—it's no surprise that so many writers make a pilgrimage to the place when they're in town. Fans of Joyce's Ulysses will be delighted to learn that you can still order a gorgonzola sandwich, Leo Bloom's snack of choice.
- Best Old World Comfort: Brazen Head. This is a serious contender for the coveted title of "oldest pub in Ireland," having served the locals continually since at least 1661. Once a hangout for Irish revolutionaries, it's more famous today for live music—Van Morrison, Tom Jones, and Garth Brooks have all performed here.
- Best Traditional Music: The Cobblestone. This is as much a traditional music venue as a pub, such is the standard of the music. Free sessions are held in the front bar nightly.
- Best Artwork: Grogan's Castle Lounge. There's a friendly, chatty vibe at this satisfyingly old-fashioned place, considered one of Dublin's quintessential pubs. There's nothing modern about the dimly lit, atmospheric interior, save for the incongruous art collection on the walls. If you like a piece, there's a good chance it's for sale.
- Best Non-Guinness Pint: Porterhouse. This lovely pub in Temple Bar was the first in Dublin to sell only microbrewery beers. Most are produced by the Porterhouse's own mini chain, and the range is constantly updated.
- Best Snugs: Kehoe's. This lovely old pub is virtually sepia-toned, with its burnt-orange walls and acres of polished walnut. A particularly appealing feature are the original "snugs"—tiny private rooms, almost like booths.
- Best Chance of Political Intrigue: Doheny & Nesbitt. This pub's proximity to the political heart of the capital makes it a perennial hangout for politicos, lawyers, economists, and those who write about them—which can make for some spectacularly good eavesdropping. To admire the cozy interior, a midweek daytime visit is best; the place gets packed in the evenings.
- Most Satisfyingly Irish: The Long Hall. The gorgeous, polished walnut-and-brass interior of this Victorian pub is liable to elicit purrs of delight from thirsty patrons as soon as they walk in the door. Regulars have to fight for space alongside the tourist crowd, but it's more than worth squeezing in for a look at the place.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.