If you’re in search of the best pubs in Rathmines, you’ve landed in the right place.
Redbrick Victorian buildings have stood the test of time and many of these pubs have been a family-run business for generations.
In the guide below, you’ll find the best old-school pubs in Rathmines along with some new spots that are worth a look, too.
Our favourite pubs in Rathmines
The first section of our guide is packed with what we think are the best pubs in Rathmines. These are places that one or more of The Irish Road Trip Team have visited and loved.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from the excellent Slattery’s and the cosy Rody Bolands, to Blackbird and more.
1. Martin B. Slattery
Acclaimed as one of the best traditional pubs in Dublin, Slattery’s is in the heart of historic Rathmines.
This popular Dublin 6 watering hole sits on the corner of Lower Rathmines and Wynnefield Road and is marked by its traditional burgundy and gold exterior.
Inside, little has changed in decades with a gleaming mahogany bar and cosy snugs. Upstairs, a second bar has hosted many a trad session over the years.
If you’re a fan of a great pint, Slattery’s is one of a couple of Rathmines pubs that does a Guinness you’d travel from far and wide to sip.
Tucked away on Mountpleasant Ave, Corrigans is worth seeking out if you like authentic old school pubs. Behind the authentic stained glass window, you’ll immediately feel at home in the lounge.
Sip a pint slowly at the bar (the Guinness here is excellent!) and listen to quiet conversation or pick a booth and enjoy yap with friends.
This is one of a few Rathmines pubs perfectly suited to a catch up with a group of 5 – 6, with several cosy corners to tuck yourselves away in for an evening.
Blackbird is one of the most popular pubs in Rathmines. It has a dark interior lit by antique lamps to provide an intimate glow.
Affordable food and a full range of craft beer and spirits are the cornerstone of this busy pub. You can also play pool, board games and listen to the Friday night playlist.
It’s a popular hangout for young professionals to meet up and chat at one of the communal tables. Grab a comfy chair and watch this slice of local life in Rathmines. Friendly and fun, it’s a top spot for a drink or two.
4. Rody Bolands
A bit of family history here. Rody Bolands was established in 1873 by the MacMahon family. However, they moved the pub to Rathmines in 1994 – furnishings, counter, the whole 9 yards, and they are now on show today as a fascinating mini museum.
There’s even a mural of Rody Boland himself. Now owned by the O’Meara’s, father and son, it still has that sense of history, old world charm and friendly buzz.
It’s moved with the times to include big screen TVs, cocktails, wines and food as well as a cold beer and there’s ample space for dancing to live music.
Other great Rathmines pubs (and ones a short walk away)
Now that we have our favourite Rathmines pubs out of the way, it’s time to see what else this corner of Dublin has to offer.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from Mother Reilly’s and the Harold House to The Dropping Well and more.
1. Mother Reilly’s
Still in Rathmines, Mother Reilly’s Bar and Restaurant has been managed by two generations of the Mahon family.
It was started by Eileen Mahon, nee Reilly and she had 11 children, so plenty of willing hands when she and husband Owen managed to buy these premises on Upper Rathmines Road.
Stone walls, a traditional bar with stool lined up and many hidden alcoves make this a fine place to end the day. Watch a match, sit in the heated beer garden and play darts or pool if you’re game.
With an emphasis on hearty food, Murphy’s of Rathmines prides itself as a top gastro pub with a lively atmosphere and cheery bar staff.
Serving food 7 days a week from noon, you can tuck into mouthwatering homemade burgers, Beef and Guinness Stew and a huge choice of well-priced Irish and international dishes.
Located in the heart of Rathmines Upper, the pub has a large bar area with authentic furnishings.
3. The Dropping Well
First licensed as a Community Morgue in the dark days of 1847, the Dropping Well is a historic pub and restaurant on the banks of the River Dodder in Milltown.
The old-fashioned surroundings of wood and eclectic memorabilia recreate a sense of turning back the clock in Boxer Maher’s public bar. There’s a roaring fire, sports TVs and trad music sessions on weekends.
In sharp contrast, the dining room and function rooms are light and elegant, making the most of the panoramic river views as you dine from the all day menu and a la carte favourites.
4. Peggy Kelly’s
This landmark red brick building is hard to miss and it has a pleasant beer garden for outdoor dining. Right next door is the D-Six off licence so it’s got everything covered.
The menu is simple with mainly burgers and sides but they do a grand Tom Collins cocktail and speciality coffees as well as craft beers, wine and spirits.
5. Harold House
Located just across the Emmet Bridge on Clanbrasil Street Upper, Harold House Pub is known as the temple of Beamish beer.
However, it’s also reputed to do some of the best Guinness in Dublin. Popular with an older generation of regulars, it’s just the place for a drink after a busy day exploring the area.
The classic decor has a sense of deja vu with tables, sofas and pub games. It’s just the place to go for a chat with friends – there’s no music, internet, DJ or flashing lights, just a great bar for friendly gatherings with smiling service.
FAQs about the best pubs in Rathmines
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What Rathmines pubs are best for a first date in Dublin?’ to ‘Which are the cheapest?’.
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 pubs in Rathmines (old-school spots)?
If you’re looking for traditional bars in Rathmines, Slatterys, Rody Bolands, Corrigans and Mother Reilly’s are great options.
What bars in Rathmines are good for a date?
When it comes to Rathmines pubs that suit a first date, Blackbird and Rody Bolands are two solid choices.
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.