A Guide 11 Of The Best Pubs In Letterkenny (Old School, Music Pubs + Modern Bars)

best pubs in letterkenny ireland
Photos via Facebook

If you’re in search of the best pubs in Letterkenny, you’ve landed in the right place.

Letterkenny is a fine little town for a ‘refreshment’, and there’s plenty of choice when it comes to characterful pubs.

Many pubs in Letterkenny can be found in the centre of the town, nicely placed for a post-adventure pint after you’ve tackled some of the best things to do in Letterkenny!

Other related Letterkenny guides

The best pubs in Letterkenny

letterkenny bars

The title for “oldest pub in Letterkenny” goes to the Central Bar – just imagine how many pints have been sipped in front of the fire over the last 200 years or so!

Whether you’re looking for a good meal, friendly conversation or traditional music with your pint, we have something for everyone in this roundup of best pubs in Letterkenny. Sláinte!

1. McGinley’s Bar

McGinley’s Bar letterkenny
Photos via Google Maps

This old-style pub with its smoky open turf fire is one of the longest established in Letterkenny when it comes to musical entertainment.

Located on Lower Main Street, McGinley’s Bar offers live music from local bands from Wednesdays through Saturdays with two floors for customers to hang out in different areas and enjoy the craic.

Local beers are complemented by international pints, and the double decker bus serving artisan pizzas is perfect for family nights out. On cold nights warm up with one of their Winter Spiced Old Fashioned cocktails or a Coconut Punch Hot Chocolate. 

2. Orchard Inn (one of our favourite pubs in Letterkenny)

Orchard Inn
Photos via on Facebook

If you’re in the mood for some great bar food, look no further than the Orchard Inn which is on High Road near Donegal County Museum.

The excellent bar menu is surprisingly well priced, whether you’re ordering for a quick bite or planning a party event in the function Room.

Friendly staff make everyone feel at home and the quality food that comes out of this gastropub kitchen is second to none. If you want a bite of lunch in the fresh air, the outdoor tables are very pleasant on a fine day. 

4. The Central Bar

The Central Bar letterkenny
Photos via The Central Bar on Facebook

Our next public house is the oldest of the many pubs in Letterkenny – I’m talking, of course, about the brilliant Central Bar.

Oozing charm and character, Letterkenny’s oldest pub, the Central Bar, has ample seating, a welcoming blaze in the fireplace and plenty of traditional music sessions for entertainment from Mondays to Thursdays.

In summer, the Beer Garden is a great place to dine on pizzas, burgers and tasty grub, all served from the newly constructed Stove and Stone Street open air kitchen.

Great atmosphere in the Nightclub No 58 and for sports fans, all matches are shown on newly fitted UHD 4K screens. You can almost believe you’re pitch-side cheering with your mates!

5. McCafferty’s Bar

McCafferty’s Bar
Photos via McCafferty’s Bar

Located on Lower Main Street in the heart of the action in Letterkenny, McCafferty’s sets the bar high when it comes to atmosphere.

Immaculately kept, with smiling bar staff, you immediately wonder why you haven’t dropped in before.

One of a chain of traditional Irish bars operated by the Boyle family, the Letterkenny operation opened in 2018 and immediately found approval with the locals.

Three floors include Nellie Rua’s Cocktail, Gin and Whiskey Bar on the ground floor, Sonny McSwine’s sports bar on the top floor and a live music hub 7 nights a week on the middle floor. Need we say more?

6. Brewery Bar and Restaurant

Brewery Bar and Restaurant letterkenny
Photos via Brewery Bar and Restaurant on Facebook

The Brewery Bar and Restaurant with its old world ambience and incredible collection of local memorabilia is a must-see for any visitor to Letterkenny.

Located on Market Square, it’s hard to miss the blue and white facade. It has a brasserie-style eating area for leisurely lunches and a full-blown restaurant upstairs for evening meals.

With a full bar and wine list, every possible taste is catered for, from fancy cocktails to premium Irish whiskeys. Live music and sports on the big screen ensure that the good times flow as freely as the ale. 

7. The Cottage Bar

The Cottage Bar
Photo via Google Maps

Another legendary watering hole on Upper Main Street, the Cottage Bar is a traditional pub with a roaring open fire.

There’s plenty of local ephemera dangling from the beams and adding to the ambience, from teacups to cooking pans.

The traditional bar is held up by an array of loyal locals and it’s just the place to enjoy a Guinness or two. Forget flashy interiors and rock music; this is a place to seek out quiet contemplation and gentle conversation over a slow-pulled pint. 

8. Glencar Inn

Glencar Inn
Photo via Google Maps

For a night out on the town in Letterkenny, try the Glencar Inn. Recently refurbished it has a lively lounge bar with great nightly entertainment while the Ballyhoe Bar is designed for a bit o’banter over a quiet pint.

There’s reasonably priced bar food too if you feel a mite peckish. This pub is definitely one for sports fans with darts, quizzes and charity functions.

It’s also the home of the Arsenal Supporters Club, Donegal Branch, so don your club colours (red and white) and you’ll fit right in!

9. The Wolfe Tone (one of our favourite music pubs in Letterkenny)

The Wolfe Tone letterkenny
Photo via The Wolfe Tone on Facebook

If you’re in search of pubs in Letterkenny that do some decent live music, take not of the next spot on our list.

Located on Lower Main Street, the Wolfe Tone Bar is a huge establishment known for its music and live gigs.

It takes its name from Theobald Wolfe Tone, a local hero during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 who was captured on Main Street.

The pub was named in his honour, appropriately occupying the former Garda barracks building. Full of Irish history it has its own unique character with a friendly bar and foot-tapping Irish music most nights.

10. Oasis Bar

Oasis Bar
Photos via Oasis Bar on Facebook

Known for its strawberry daiquiris, the Oasis Bar has a plush interior and is always busy, which says it all.

It has a well stocked bar and the staff are very friendly and helpful. Tasty food, burgers and steaks are served up in generous hungry-man portions.

Located on Port Road, it’s ranked as one of the best pub restaurants in Letterkenny. Make sure to leave room for the Cheesecake of the Day!

11. Sister Sara’s

Sister Sara’s
Photo via Google Maps

Finally, Sister Sara’s is a sleek and sophisticated bar situated a little out of town on Port Road. It offers three floors of fun, whether you want a quiet drink with your mates or are in full party mood.

There’s a great atmosphere, stylish “art bar”, sports TVs, juke box, good music and a dance space. It does a great lunch menu, Lite Bites from 4-9pm (think loaded fries, wings and chicken dippers) and the Sunday Lunch is a must.

The best pubs in Letterkenny: Where have we missed and FAQs

I’m sure that we’ve unintentionally missed out on some brilliant pubs in Letterkenny in the guide below. If you have a place to recommend, let us know in the comments section below.

Over the years, we’ve had many an email from people visiting the area and asking for advice on the best pubs in Letterkenny to nip into in I’ve answered the most FAQ below.

What are the best music pubs in Letterkenny?

  • McGinley’s Bar
  • The Central Bar
  • McCafferty’s Bar
  • The Wolfe Tone

Are there any nightclubs in Letterkenny?

  • PULSE VENUE
  • Voodoo Venue

Gillian Birch is a travel writer and published author. She has travelled the world and uses her personal journals and memories to write about her many travel experiences, particularly those that involved adventures in Ireland.

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