Dublin: 9 °C Saturday 17 April, 2021

11 of the most beloved off licences serving Ireland today

It’s Good Friday tomorrow, and these guys are doing God’s work.

1. Lilac Wines, Fairview

Source: Lilac Wines

Their slogan is ‘We Sell Nice Stuff’. That would put them in this list pretty much by default, but guess what? Lilac have earned a good name up and down Philipsburgh Avenue by keeping to their word, booze-wise. (Also olives and cheese-wise, but look, whatever.)

2. Dicey Reilly’s, Ballyshannon

Source: Dicey Reillys

A Ballyshannon institution. Pub, microbrewery AND off-licence… it’s like they saw Holy Thursday coming.

3. The Wine Buff, Limerick

Source: The Wine Buff Limerick

A fine wine shop in an extremely classy Georgian bit of Limerick, run by a guy who (a) used to play rugby and (b) REALLY cares about wine. They have a branch in St-Emilion fer Chrissakes. Also: shout out for identifying what actually keeps us up at night.

4. Drink, Stoneybatter

Source: Drink Store

The emphatically-named Drink Store has been serving high-quality booze to the people of Stoneybatter since long before Stoneybatter was A Thing, and run by the same family since 1987. Very possibly the smallest off-licence on this list, but they make up for that by packing every inch of the place with bottles. Also, listed on Facebook as a ‘Fireworks Retailer’.

5. Fine Wines, Galway

Source: Fine Wines Off-Licence

An excellent selection at the Galway branch of the Fine Wines mini-chain, but it’s mainly here because it’s the closest offie to the Spanish Arch. Thus earning a place in the heart of many a true Galwegian.

6. Deveney’s, Rathmines

Source: Deveney's Rathmines

Deveney’s shopfront has been part of Rathmines for a century or so, and they’re still doing the business. Have been known to drop customers home if they buy too much to carry, and also deliver to thirsty students in nearby Trinity Hall. Sound lads basically.

7. Baggot Street Wines

Source: Baggot Street Wines

Used to be an Oddbins until the UK chain pulled out – at which point the staff got together and took over the place as an independent concern. It’s now home to one of the best selections in Dublin, plus you can take your wine downstairs to have with your food in Cavern.

8. The Wine Centre, Kilkenny

Source: The Wine Centre, John Street, Kilkenny

Wine, wine everywhere, and ALL OF IT TO DRINK. Also lots of beer.

9. Redmond’s of Ranelagh

Source: Redmonds Off-Licence Ranelagh

Another local landmark. Redmond’s were doing craft beer while the rest of us were still on the Heineken, and can be relied upon to point you in the direction for whatever it is you need of a Friday night.

10. La Touche Wines, Greystones

Source: La Touche Wines

A grand lot of wine, sure, but the real selling point here is that they have an IN-HOUSE WINE BAR where you can drink the stuff. See photo above for a lot of people doing exactly that, and yearn for summer.

11. Number 21, Cork

Source: Facebook

This mini-chain has shops in a few places around the south, but this is its Cork city branch on Coburg Street. Dead handy for local stalwarts Sin E and the Corner House, there’s a delightful assortment waiting for you inside.

We know, we know, we’ve missed your favourite. Where is it and why is it special? Let us know in the comments.

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More: The best off-licence sign in Ireland>

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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