Locals claim the Dingle Peninsula has more pubs per capita than any other town in Ireland and there is 6,000 years of history to go along with it. This mountainous finger of land which juts into the Atlantic Ocean has supported various tribes and populations. When one combines each site’s folklore and mythology, which have been passed orally from generation to generation through the Irish language, one can begin to understand how unique and complex is the history of this peninsula. We’ve counted down our 10 favorite places to drink a pint based on where the locals say to go and what places tourists enjoy the most!
- John Benny’s – Known for its food and traditional Irish music. Located opposite the pier in Dingle Town, John Benny Moriarty’s is a superb place to eat and be entertained. Your hosts, John & Éilís, are well known traditional Irish musicians, and their pub is one of the Peninsula’s finest venues for music, song and dance. John Benny’s serves food all day with a great selection of seafood and other dishes.
- Dick Mack’s – Oldest and most popular bar in Dingle. Dick Mack’s opened in 1899 and three generations later, is a wholly atmospheric experience in the heart of Dingle, County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland. Tea and sugar bins stamped with the MacDonnell family crest and motto ‘As you like it’ are relics from the early 1900s, when Tom Mac Donnell who was stationmaster at Tralee and Dingle Light Railway & Tramway opened the bar to provide light refreshments to its passengers.
- The Dingle Pub – This family-run pub is one of Dingle’s most popular venues with ballads and traditional music 7 nights per week from May – October and weekend nights during the winter months. The pub prides itself on offering a first class service in clean and comfortable surroundings.
- Foxy John’s Pub – Foxy John’s is half an Irish pub, and half a hardware store and bike hire at the top of Main Street in Dingle, Ireland. Today this seems bizarre and a little silly but ‘back in the day’ this was the norm. Many a man strolled up the road to Foxy’s to pick up a bag of nails and get hammered!
- The Marina Inn – A very spacious bar with a great atmosphere and traditional Irish music. The meal portions are very large and delicious. Friendly staff who welcome you when you enter the door. Tourists say they would definitely go back again and would also recommend this fine establishment to other friends.
- O’Sullivan’s Courthouse Pub – Owned and ran by Tommy O’Sullivan, a famous Irish musician and singer. This pub has to be my all-time favorite for traditional Irish music. Even on the quietest nights in Dingle, you’ll be nicely packed like penguins in a huddle of 50% locals and 50% visitors under the lowest roof in Dingle which adds to the atmosphere.
- The Mighty Session – The Mighty Session does exactly what it says on the tin! This pub is nice and open on the inside which means if you get the uncontrollable urge to dance there is plenty of space to fling yourself around without spilling everyone’s pints!
- O’Flaherty’s – Lively and informal, this traditional pub, with its flagstoned floor and high ceiling, is itself a notable part of Dingle’s tradition. Irish is spoken here and walls are decorated with pictures which illustrate the culture and history of the area. The pub has long attracted a strong local and visitor following for its regular music sessions at which the owner is one of the principal performers.
- Lord Baker’s Restaurant – This is believed to be the oldest pub in Dingle. In 1890, Tom Baker, who came from Gallaras, purchased this well-located premises, and in a short space of time he transformed it into a hive of activity, trading in wine and spirits, tea, flour, wool and general farm supplies, as well as catering for wedding receptions.
- Paídi Ó Sé’s Pub – This quaint pub situated in the heart of one of Ireland’s only Gaelic (Irish) speaking areas is a true icon of what Ireland is about. There is a great sense of tradition in the pub, not only from the point of view of sports, but also famous political figures, movie stars and other celebrities that have been to visit the pub. There is a true sense of peace in the area.
If you’re interested in sampling the best of what the Dingle pub scene has to offer, we’ve got several tours that stop off in the beautiful Kerry town. Our 5 day Kilkee to Kenmare tour spends 2 night in Dingle giving you plenty of time to sample all the pubs mentioned and select your favorite. Follow the link to find out more.