If you’re in search of the best pubs in Howth, you’ve landed in the right place!
The lively harbour town of Howth boasts a mix of old-school pubs that have stood the test of time to sleek, gastro-style bars.
In the guide below, you’ll discover the best pubs in Howth, from the very old Abbey Tavern to the very popular Summit Inn and more.
Our favourite pubs in Howth
The first section of our Howth pubs guide is wedged with our favourite pubs in the town, like McNeills, The Abbey Tavern and O’Connells.
As is the case with all of our Dublin pubs guides, these are places that one or more of The Irish Road Trip Team have been to over the years and have loved.
1. The Abbey Tavern
With its striking cream and blue exterior, the Abbey Tavern in Howth Village dates back to the 16th-century and walking inside – with its stone walls and ceiling beams – it’s easy to see some relics of its past!
Located in the heart of Howth Village and with the distant coast just about visible, this is one of the liveliest pubs in Howth and definitely one you’ll want to check out before leaving.
Unsurprisingly there’s a heavy dose of seafood on their enticing food menu, although there’s plenty of pub classics on there too (like beef and Guinness pie) if you’re not in the mood for fish.
2. McNeills of Howth
Sitting at the top end of Howth Village, McNeills is a handsome spot to escape to if you’ve had enough of the busy harbour.
Opened in 2016, their impressive kitchen serves a full menu of the freshest seafood and locally sourced meats, painstakingly prepared by their chefs to provide a unique taste of modern Irish cuisine.
There’s also a range of classic cocktails on the menu that are ideal for the long summer days. And as soon as the kitchens close, the music starts so you can enjoy yourself long into the night.
If you’re in search of cosy Howth pubs to retreat to, there’s a roaring fire here during the colder months and some lovely nooks to perch yourself in.
Related read: Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Howth (with something to tickle most tastebuds).
3. O’Connells Pub
Perfectly positioned to look out over the Harbour, O’Connell’s is in a fine spot if you’re looking for pubs in Howth where you can sip a pint with a view.
It’s also one of the first pubs you come across on your way back into town following the Howth Cliff Walk so we wouldn’t blame you for falling in here for a pint!
Food is served here all day from noon and, being in Howth of course, they offer a fine selection of seafood. And definitely don’t miss their seafood chowder (it goes down exceptionally well with a Guinness!).
O’Connell’s is one of several Howth pubs that hosts trad sessions on a Sunday. Just make sure to check the events section on their website in advance of stopping by.
Related read: Check out our guide to the best beaches in Howth (a guide with several warnings to take note of).
4. The Harbour Bar
With live music, live sport on TV and even an on-site microbrewery, there’s always something going on at the Harbour Bar. Clearly a pub of many talents!
While it will be known to many locals under its previous moniker of The Tavern, there’s actually been a pub on this site since the 1750s and thus is one of the oldest pubs in Dublin, let alone Howth.
Inside it’s all dark wood, small cosy areas to hide away, open fires and exposed brick. Basically, just as great in the winter as it is in the summer. And if you are more interested in craft beer than the black stuff, then this is the place to come.
Other popular Howth Pubs
Now that we have our favourite pubs in Howth out of the way, it’s time to see what else this scenic little corner of North Dublin has to offer.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from the popular Summit Inn to the cosy, although you wouldn’t know it from the name, Bloody Stream and more.
1. The Summit Inn
As its name suggests, The Summit Inn is indeed located at the summit of Howth Hill, a stone’s throw from the Summit car park where you’ll get some superb views.
A big stately pub that was built back in the 19th-century as a thatched cottage, it was once the highest stop on the old GNR Hill Of Howth Tramway which snaked its way from Sutton train station up the hill to the summit and then back down the hill to Howth station.
While the tram sadly no longer exists, the lovely pub it left behind serves a fine pint of Guinness and a load of hearty pub fare to help you on your way when you’re exploring the Howth Cliff Walk.
2. The Bloody Stream
With its ostentatious Mediterranean-style design, The Bloody Stream can be quite striking at first glance, especially on a fine summer’s day.
Its name, however, relates to something far less glamorous – the bloody results of a battle that took place here over 800 years ago.
Fair to say that these days it’s a much more welcoming place! With a warm and welcoming old-world interior, an open fireplace, classic signage and interesting bric-a-brac, it’s a unique spot for a few pints in Howth.
And don’t forget about their plush beer garden either, with plenty of tables and all sorts of nautical memorabilia.
3. Wrights Findlater Howth
With its row of flags and grandiose brick exterior looking out proudly over Howth Harbour, Wrights Findlater isn’t easy to miss.
It’s also home to one of the most overlooked rooftop bars in Dublin – the ‘Skybar’! But while this spot mostly functions as a fine dining restaurant, there’s a cosy bar on the ground floor where they’re perfectly happy to serve you a nice cold pint.
With elegant wooden furnishings and a plethora of old photographs on the walls, you’ll have no trouble settling in here. And if you do get hungry, you only need to head upstairs for some of Howth’s finest food!
FAQs about the best Howth pubs
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what are the best Howth pubs for live music to which are the best for food.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best old-school pubs in Howth?
In our opinion, the best pubs in Howth are the Abbey Tavern and McNeills (The Tophouse), however, O’Connell’s is also a great little spot.
What are the best Howth pubs for live music?
The Abbey Tavern is one of Dublin’s best-known music pubs, while McNeills hold traditional Irish music sessions every Wednesday (see their FB page for events).