If you’re in search of the best pubs in Dingle, you’ve landed in the right place.
The lively little town of Dingle is home to a clatter of mighty pubs that offer the perfect space to chill after a day spent exploring.
From well known spots like Foxy John’s and Dick Mack’s, to often overlooked pubs like McCarthy’s and Curran’s, you’ve your pick of pubs to whittle away a night in.
In the guide below, we’re going to take you around the best pubs Dingle has to offer. So, dive on in!
My favourite pubs in Dingle
I’ve whittled away many a night in Dingle over the years and have spent more time in some of the towns pubs than I’d care to admit.
The first section of this guide tackles my favourite Dingle pubs, from the mighty Kennedy’s to the brilliant and very unique Foxy John’s.
1. Foxy John’s
If you’re in search of traditional pubs in Dingle, you’ll find few that can go toe-to-toe with the brilliant Foxy John’s. You’ll find Foxy John’s on the main street where it’s a mix between a pub and a hardware store.
When you ramble through the doors here the first thing that’ll catch your eye is the wall behind the bar, where you’ll find everything from a hammer and nails to rat poison on sale.
On the 3 or 4 occasions that I’ve been here, there was a trad music session playing away. The pints are creamy, the atmosphere is mighty and the setting is as unique as you’ll find in any of the Dingle pubs on offer.
Relate read: A Guide To Dingle’s Slea Head Drive (Includes Google Map With Each Stop Plotted Out).
2. Kennedy’s (one of the cosiest pubs in Dingle)
If you ramble through Dingle, you’ll find it hard to miss the colourful exterior of Kennedy’s – yep, it’s the big purple one.
However, don’t let the funky exterior fool you – this cosy spot couldn’t be more traditional on the inside.
Those that visit can expect a beautiful open fire, some quirky decor (like a big chest that’s used as a table) and a glorious old-world buzz.
There’s also an open door policy that welcomes in all kinds of travelling musicians (not just trad). Try this one, when you can – you’ll be glad you did!
Related read: 24 Of The Best Things To Do In Dingle At Any Time Of The Year (Hikes, Drives + Historical Sites).
3. Dick Mack’s
Next up is arguably the best known of the many Dingle pubs. Dick Mack’s has been keeping visitors to Dingle well-watered since 1899.
This is a brilliant pub that’s spread out across a pokey front bar and several other small rooms and a large beer garden.
If you can, try and nip in here early and get a seat/some standing space in the front bar. The seats just to the left as you come in the door (behind the wooden desk) are the best in the house.
From this spot, you can watch the comings and goings of those entering and leaving and you can have a gawk at the many artifacts that stand out proudly on the walls.
Related read: Our Dingle Accommodation Guide: 11 Hotels In Dingle That Make The Perfect Base For An Adventure
4. Curran’s Bar
I’d argue that Curran’s is one of the most overlooked pubs in Dingle and it’s up there with the best pubs in Kerry. This lovely little pub has been running since 1871.
Originally a general store (as was the case with many pubs in Ireland), you’ll still see shelves packed with hardware inside.
I can vouch for the Guinness in Curran’s being mighty. If you can, try and get in early and grab seats in the snug!
Stepping into Curran’s feels like stepping back in time, and I mean that in the best sense possible. The pub has a gorgeous, ‘untouched’ fell about it and the service, going off my last two visits, was warm and friendly.
5. McCarthy’s Bar
Next up is the oldest of the many pubs in Dingle, which is some feat! At over 150 years old, you won’t get much more traditional than McCarthy’s Bar.
McCarthy’s shut it’s doors in 2015 but it reopened two years later in 2017, to the delight of tourists and locals alike.
It was November 2018 (as far as I can remember) when we nipped in here on a rainy Saturday evening, soaked to the skin.
We managed to get 2 stools near next to the stove and we perched ourselves there for the next 4 hours (taking in what we were told was the nights ‘early’ trad session).
This is a brilliant, no-fuss spot that’ll make those of you in search of old-school Dingle pubs with a buckets of character very happy.
6. Bob Griffin’s
Bob Griffin’s is another of the few mighty Dingle pubs that tends to fly under the radar a bit. Griffin’s opened its doors in 1937 and then closed up shop around 20 years ago.
In 2019, after some very carful restoration, Griffin’s reopened, and it has been welcoming thirsty travellers since.
The interior of this pub is beautifully traditional, with cosy adjoining rooms where you can tuck yourself away for a few hours.
The pub also boasts a big aul beer garden with plenty of room for big groups to huddle around for a yap.
Dingle pubs with live music
There are several Dingle pubs that have racked up rave reviews over the years for their live music sessions.
In the section below, you’ll find some of the best pubs in Dingle for live music. Note: these tend to get busy, so get in before the music starts to grab a space to sit/stand.
1. O’Sullivan’s Courthouse Pub
During my most recent stay in Dingle, the lady running our B&B told us to ‘Head to O’Sullivan’s – it’s where the musicians from the other pubs head after their own sessions finish’.
We tipped down to see what it was all about. When we opened the door we were greeted with a blast of chatter and music.
After several lovely long hours spent nursing pints and chatting, I can tell you O’Sullivan’s lived up to the hype!
The music here tends to kick off around 9 each night aside from Sunday, when there’s an early session at 18:00. If you arrive in winter, you’ll find a roaring fire, a warm welcome and a serious pint of Guinness.
2. John Benny’s Pub
Next up is arguably one of the best pubs in Dingle for food – John Benny’s (it’s also a stone’s throw from some of the best restaurants in Dingle!).
Any of you that visited Dingle back in the day (before 2002) may remember that this pub used to be called Maire De Barra’s.
The pub was bought by John Benny Moriarty (who was raised on Dingle Main St) and renamed John Benny’s in the early 2000s
The hosts, John & Éilís, are well known traditional Irish musicians, and their pub is one of the towns finest venues for music, song and dance.
3. O’Flaherty’s Pub
Next up is another very traditional pub, and I mean traditional in every sense – O’Flaherty’s. This is one of several Dingle pubs where you’re guaranteed a decent bit of music.
When you step in the door, you’ll be greeted with a high ceiling and a beautiful flagstoned floor. You may also catch conversations yapped away in Irish.
This is a casual spot that’s the perfect setting for a pint after a long day of exploring. If you land in here on a quiet night when there’s a bit of music rocking away, you’re in for a treat.
4. Neligan’s Bar
There are few seats as fine on a cold winters night as the ones to the right and left of the stove in Neligan’s Bar.
This is one of several Dingle pubs that boasts live music seven nights a weeks and, from everything I’ve heard, they host some of the best sessions in town.
This is one of the newer pubs in Dingle and it’s racked up some rave reviews at the time of typing (4.7/5 from 140 on Google).
If you’ve every driven the Conor Pass, you’ll recognise Nelliefred’s as the first pub you encounter after making your descent into Dingle.
This place is a hive of activity at the weekends, with everything from live music to comedy taking place.
Although it doesn’t look like much from the outside, the inside of this pub packs a punch. There’s a traditional, old-world vibe to the inside and the service (based on a visit 2 years back) is brilliant.
If you’re on the lookout for the best pubs in Dingle to visit with a big group, look no further than Nelliefreds.
FAQs about the best pubs in Dingle
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what are the best pubs in Dingle for live music to which ones are the most traditional.
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 bars in Dingle?
Foxy John’s, Kennedy’s, Curran’s Bar, McCarthy’s Bar and O’Flaherty’s are 5 great trad pubs in Dingle.
What are the best pubs in Dingle for live music?
O’Sullivan’s, McCarthy’s Bar, O’Flaherty’s Neligan’s Bar and Nelliefreds are all good for live music sessions.
What Dingle pubs are best for groups?
Dick Mack’s is a good spot for groups as there’s a nice big outdoor area where you can stand around or, if it isn’t too busy, grab a seat at one of the long table.
Chris T Power
Saturday 29th of January 2022
A very well researched and informative piece. Although it did skip out a couple 😉
Friday 28th of January 2022
We also 'found' O'Sullivan's thanks to our B&B hostess/owner. Her first name was Helen. Same place maybe?
Friday 14th of February 2020
If you are in for a singsong night, stop into the Dingle Pub..usually have 2 groups playing on the weekend ????
Sunday 2nd of June 2019
Bailys corner in Tralee is a must