It was when I was hitting ‘publish’ on a guide to 39 of the best pubs in Dublin that I remembered that we published a guide to the best snugs in Dublin many years back.
It was originally a guide to Christmassy pubs in Dublin that boast snugs perfect for tucking yourself away in for an hour or four.
If you’re looking for a pub with a snug in the capital, you’ll find 11 brilliant ones below!
The best snugs in Dublin
Snugs are (usually) small private areas in pubs that are perfect for a bit of privacy. They were introduced in Ireland towards the end of the 1800s, in an attempt to make pubs more respectable places.
Snugs served a couple of purposes – the first, was to offer privacy for those in society who wished to enjoy a drink privately (think Guards and Priests).
Another purpose was that they provided women with a place to drink away from judgemental eyes. While it wasn’t illegal for women to drink in bars, public houses were still viewed as ‘male-only’.
Below, you’ll find a clatter of Dublin pubs with snugs along with some photos of what you can expect if you manage to nab a seat.
1. Bottlers Bank (Rathgar)
This traditional Irish snug has it all – door, hatch and the creamiest Guinness in Rathgar village! This pub closed for a bit back in 2018, but it appears to be back open for good.
Bottler’s Bank is also dog-friendly, so if you’re out for a ramble with the pooch and you fancy a pint, nip in here!
2. Slattery’s (Rathmines)
The snug in Slattery’s is mighty – it’s fully enclosed and also has its own door to the bar. It’s also pretty spacious, with room for around 10 people inside.
There’s a proper old-school feel to this snug, with its worn wood and red leather seats. The perfect spot to whittle away a rainy evening.
3. Blackbird (Rathmines)
You’ll find this snug just after you saunter through the main door of this spot in the middle of Rathmines. The snug here is fully enclosed and has faded windows along with ample space.
Although this snug would be a great setting for an evening with friends, the lads at Dublin Snugs say the privacy and romantic lighting make it the ideal date spot.
4. Smyth’s (Ranelagh)
To say this snug is in high demand would be a massive understatement! You’ll find it tucked in on the right of the front door, where it always tends to be filled with people!
If you do manged to cop a seat here, expect a cosy snug with decent seats that’s full of charm and character.
5. Searson’s (Baggot Street)
You’ll be greeted by this ornate snug the minute you enter, just to left. Although this one is fully enclosed, there’s natural light spilling into it from the window.
It’s called ‘Con’s Snug’ after the famous Irish writer Con Houlihan who used to frequent this very spot during his writing days. Traditional snug lovers, look no further.
6. The Waterloo (Baggot Street)
There are two snugs to choose from in the Waterloo on Baggot St. (the one to the left as you go in the door is the best!)
This snug features natural light from a full pane window that makes for people-watching perfection! Although there’s no door, this snug offers a private setting whie still allowing you to be immersed in the bar’s atmosphere.
7. Toners (Baggot Street)
Toners didn’t win Best Snug in Dublin 2010 for nothing – this traditional snug lives up to and exceeds every expectation.
It’s fully enclosed, offers private access to the bar, and is littered with old-school Irish memorabilia – what more could you want?!
8. Doheny & Nesbitts (Baggot Street)
With three snugs to choose from, the chances of grabbing a seat in a snug in Doheny & Nesbitt is pretty high.
If you can, opt for the snug that’s tucked away at the back. Boasting all of the criteria of a traditional Irish snug, you’ll need to tear yourself out of here at the end of the night.
9. PMacs (Stephens Green)
Despite not being beside the bar, PMacs boasts a solid, modern snug section. Situated at the back left of the bar, this fully enclosed snug has a cosy granny couch and is filled with natural light from a full pane window.
I’ve heard from a few people now that the Guinness from PMacs isn’t the best, so try at your own risk or grab something else!
10. Kehoe’s (South Anne Street)
The snug in Kehoe’s will take you back in time – expect a hatch, a bar door and an old wooden floor along with wooden panelling.
I’ve been to Kehoes a hundred times over the years and I’ve never managed to nab a seat in here. If you want to increase your chances of getting it to yourself, nip in midweek.
11. O’Neill’s (Suffolk Street)
Located just off the hustle & bustle of Grafton Street, this popular tourist pub boasts a decent snug. Partly enclosed and with its own bar area, this isn’t one for the snug traditionalists but rather good for a decent level of privacy. Come for a Guinness and stay for a full roast while you are at it ? Unbeknownst to us, this very snug turned out to be the one featured in our first post/logo – fate some would say! . . . Snug Rating – ⭐⭐⭐ #discoverdublin #dublintourist #lovindublin #guinness
Located just off the hustle & bustle of Grafton Street, this popular tourist pub boasts a decent snug.
Partly enclosed and with its own bar area, this isn’t one for the snug traditionalists, but it’s still pretty good and offers a decent level of privacy.
Have you visited any of the snugs above?
If you’ve been to any of the snugs above and loved them, let me know below. If you’ve visited and thought they were brutal, let me know too.