Despite what you read online, not all pubs in Temple Bar are tourist traps.
OK, some pubs in the Temple Bar district charge an arm and a leg for a pint, but others, like the Foggy Dew and The Palace, are brilliant pubs loved by locals and tourists alike.
There’s also plenty of tourists favourites, like The Temple Bar and Oliver St. John Gogarty’s… one of which allegedly pours the most expensive pint in the city…
In the guide below, you’ll find a clatter of mighty Temple Bar pubs that often get missed by visiting tourists along with some of the ‘old favourites’.
Our favourite pubs in Temple Bar
The first section of this guide is packed with what we think are the best pubs in Temple Bar – these are places that we’ve been coming back to over and over again.
Below, you’ll find the very old (and very beautiful) Palace Bar and the lively Auld Dub to the Foggy Dew and more.
1. The Palace Bar
Romantically described by novelist and poet Patrick Kavanagh as the “most wonderful temple of art”, The Palace Bar on Fleet Street is certainly one the prettiest pubs in Temple Bar.
It’s also one of the oldest pubs in Dublin! With its ostentatious adornment of flowers and carved wood facade, you can’t help but be impressed before even setting foot inside!
Dating back to 1823, its high walls are strewn with paintings of famous local figures and it also houses one of the city’s finest whiskey bars – the ‘Whiskey Palace’.
It’s also been a popular gossip and pints spot with journalists over the years as the offices of The Irish Times are located only a few minutes away.
2. The Foggy Dew
With an evocative name inspired by an old Irish ballad, The Foggy Dew is a cracking old Victorian pub with a penchant for great live music.
Dating back to 1901 and located on Fownes Street Upper, its hallowed walls feature DJs keeping the party going on Saturday nights, while on Sundays the mood is much more relaxed with regular folk sessions giving out a totally different vibe.
Also, when you’re inside take a closer look at the walls and check out their impressive collection of rock memorabilia – there’s everything from signed photos to gold disc records by legendary acts.
Related read: Check out our guide to 13 of the best restaurants in Temple Bar (from cheap and tasty spots to swanky restaurants)
3. The Auld Dubliner
If you’re looking for Temple Bar pubs that host lively music sessions, look no further than The Auld Dub. Located in the heart of Temple Bar, The Auld Dubliner is a buzzy spot where you could spend an entire day in.
The excellent menu offers favourites like Irish stew while at lunchtime during the week the pub serves coddle, the traditional Dublin dish of boiled streaky bacon, sausages and potatoes.
Before you enter, go around behind the pub on Fleet Street and check out the colourful painted mural. This is one of the most popular pubs in Dublin with live music for good reason.
4. Porterhouse Temple Bar
Opened in 1996 as Ireland’s first pub brewery, Porterhouse Temple Bar could arguably be seen as something of a trailblazer for the plethora of craft beer bars that now seem to be in every city.
It’s fair to say these guys have been taking their beer seriously for longer than most! This is also one of a few pubs in Temple Bar where you’ll get a decent feed!
Showing that a messy evening in Temple Bar doesn’t just need to be about how much Guinness you can put away, Porterhouse on Parliament St offers a wide range of handcrafted beers that are brewed in small batches for a better taste.
Temple Bar pubs that are popular with tourists
There are heaps (literally!) of pubs in Temple Bar that tourists flock to, regardless of the prices they charge and despite how packed they get.
I’m talking, of course, about the very popular Temple Bar pub, Oliver St. John Gogarty’s, The Quays and the Old Storehouse Bar, to name but a few.
1. The Temple Bar
Yes it’s the tourist pub and yes the prices here can be sky-high, but can you really say you’ve been to Temple Bar if you haven’t had a pint at its namesake pub?
Despite its popularity with tourists, the Temple Bar dates all the way back to 1840 and you can’t knock anywhere that offers over 450 different types of rare whiskey (the largest collection in Ireland). It’s also got a pretty cool bronze statue of James Joyce.
Step through the famous red doors, get yourself a Guinness and embrace the atmosphere (don’t feel obliged to buy a t-shirt, however).
Related read: Check out our guide to 14 of the best hotels in Temple Bar (from boutique hotels to apartments that cater for groups)
2. Oliver St. John Gogarty
While the name is something of a mouthful to say, the Oliver St. John Gogarty’s name pales in comparison to its elaborate exterior.
Decked out with an elaborate green facade with a ton of enormous flags hanging above, it’s certainly one of the most prominent pubs in Temple Bar.
Taking its name from the Irish poet, author and politician Oliver St. John Gogarty, it’s a handsome place inside and outside that contains an award-winning Irish restaurant upstairs.
This is one of the most popular of the many Temple Bar pubs amongst visiting tourists, mainly due to it’s beautiful exterior and its outdoor seating area.
3. The Quays Bar
One of Temple Bar’s liveliest pubs, this is the sort of place that visitors come to experience trad music sessions and, to be fair, Quays Bar delivers it in spades.
With loads of live music on and a buzzing atmosphere from early to late, the Quays has a gorgeous, tiled exterior that’ll catch your eye from afar.
Located deep in the heart of Temple Bar, they also have a fully licensed restaurant that specialises in traditional Irish dishes like Irish Stew, Famous Wicklow Lamb Shank, Dublin Coddle, Cottage Pie and Slow Cooked Beef and Guinness Stew.
Along with traditional dishes, they also serve tender steaks and a wide range of seafood and vegetarian options.
4. The Norseman
With a history going all the way back to 1696 (the year it was licensed), The Norseman claims to be the oldest of the many Temple Bar pubs and they say there’s actually been a watering hole here since the 1500s!
That’s only 500 years or so after when the Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Dublin, is said to have started its life in the city.
As well as a great choice of craft beers, this is a pub that also takes its whiskey very seriously and they serve everything here from rare bourbons to Japanese single malts. And if you’re looking for a feed there are extensive (and hearty!) lunch and dinner menus to peruse.
5. Merchant’s Arch
Overlooking the historic Ha’penny Bridge on Dublin’s south side, the Merchant’s Arch is in a cracking location as it’s only moments from Temple Bar but far away enough to avoid the noise when it’s at its rowdiest. The view across the Liffey is gorgeous too.
While there’s only been a pub here since 2010, the listed building dates back to 1821 when it was once a Merchant Guild Hall and is now one of only two 19th-century Guild Halls still standing in Dublin.
Inside it’s all Victorian elegance and includes quirks such as a huge model airplane hanging from the upstairs ceiling and a stunning stone spiral staircase.
6. The Old Storehouse Bar and Restaurant
Though it’s now one of the busiest tourist pubs in Temple Bar, The Old Storehouse has had a pretty interesting life. As the name suggests, it was once an actual storehouse and the building itself is over 100 years old.
After being converted into a rock bar in the 90s, many famous bands played some of their earliest gigs here (The Cranberries, to name one). Perhaps more interestingly, Radiohead played their first European gig here!
Spread across 3 different bars inside to fit any mood, it’s always busy at The Old Storehouse and some of Ireland’s finest trad musicians regularly play here.
Nightclubs in Temple bar
If the Temple Bar pubs don’t tickle you’re fancy, you’re in luck – the area is home to several Dublin nightclubs that are popular amongst visiting tourists.
There’s a handful of late bars / nightclubs in Temple Bar that have been around for a fair while. You’ll find the best of them below.
1. Bad Bob’s
Spread out across five floors, there’s truly something for everyone at Bad Bob’s! Located on Essex Street East, it’s definitely a place to consider for the weekend.
While its five floors cater for many tastes, the party is always ready to start and if you want a dedicated nightclub area then head straight up to the second floor.
You’ll have live musicians during the week and then on Fridays and Saturdays the DJ’s arrive and the entire building turns into a giant nightclub! Just so you know what to expect, everything gets louder and livelier after 6:30 pm.
2. Turk’s Head
With four bars over three floors and a total capacity for 1,400 people, Turk’s Head rivals Bad Bob’s for size and attention. It’s also got a pretty unique interior compared to the rest of Temple Bar, as its Spanish mosaics and elaborate chandeliers on the ceiling will testify.
Located on Parliament Street, they serve food until 9.30 pm and then Turk’s Head transforms into a busy late-night venue, with DJs playing and live music until 2.30 am. They also offer a range of expertly prepared cocktails from €10.
Give your Guinness a dark neon glow at this lively spot on Fleet Street. With over 410m² of floor space and a heated outdoor terrace, there’s tons of room at Buskers to enjoy a dance as the evening gets ever livelier.
But for as rowdy as it gets here, they take their drinks seriously and boast award-winning cocktails as well as Temple Bar’s largest gin selection! And you can enjoy a taste of those gins, then you can expand your knowledge booking onto one of their exclusive gin masterclasses.
FAQs about the best Temple Bar pubs
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘How many bars are there in Temple Bar?’ (there’s over 15, anyway) to ‘Who owns Temple Bar Pub Dublin?’ (Tom Cleary).
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 Temple Bar (non-touristy ones)?
In my opinion, the best non-touristy Temple Bar pubs are the Palace, the Auld Dub and the Foggy Dew.
What are the most famous pubs in Temple Bar?
The most famous of the many Temple Bar pubs are The Temple Bar, The Quays, Gogarty’s and the Old Storehouse Bar.