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Home and Away

16 of the best Irish pubs outside of Ireland

Your home away from home.


OFTEN THE BEST thing about going abroad is getting away from the regular rough and tumble of the Irish pub scene and to explore some other types of establishments.

But sometimes when you’re away from home, it’s a great feeling to come across a proper Irish pub that reminds you of everything you feel you’re missing back home.

So, in no particular order, here are some of the finest around the world:

The Galways Arms, Toronto

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Well outside the city centre of Toronto lies its most traditional Irish pub. It shows all the GAA and has every drink from home you’ve ever dreamed of. This isn’t one of your fake Irish bars abroad, anyway, as this review points out:

I love the Galway Arms on the Queensway. Very homey, very Irish. Food is so-so, but who cares? The pours are generous, as is the spirit.

The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, New York

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Given it’s a cocktail bar, this might not fit into the stereotyped Irish abroad pub – and it’s all the better for it. It’s old school in its decor – embodying “the conviviality of Old New York and the Irish-American tradition” – and is always buzzing with people.

Daphne’s Pub, Livigno, Italy

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Situated in the Italian alps is this “Irish-inspired” bar, which is popular with the locals and the Irish in Northern Italy. Daphne’s consistently wins glowing praise online:

If you are in Livigno, this is the place to go. Great atmosphere, good beer and a warm welcome.

Après-ski doesn’t get any better craic.

Mulligan’s, Amsterdam

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Universally noted as Amsterdam’s best, most traditional Irish bar, Muligan’s is known for it selection of Irish beers and proper trad sessions. You won’t find a better taste of home in Amsterdam.

The Mercantile Hotel, Sydney

In a city of Irish pubs and Irish drinkers, The Mercantile stands out for its sheer longevity. It’s been around since 1915 and doesn’t show any sign of losing popularity with locals or Irish. As this Facebook review shows with its relentless positivity:

My favorite Irish bar in Sydney! Awesome bar with a great atmosphere and some amazing live bands. The location is pretty amazing too.

O’Neill’s, Madrid

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With an Irish owner, O’Neill’s is the go-to spot to find Irish sports events when you happen to be away from home. And isn’t that half the battle for some?

McGann’s, Boston

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In a city famous for Irish bars, McGann’s has a rightful claim to be the most authentic one in the whole city. Claiming that it’s “straight from Doolin, Ireland” on their website is a pretty decent start, anyway. The staff are Irish too:

Highly authentic with the bartenders themselves being Irish. Very cool and friendly people.

The Hideout, Toronto

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Not technically an Irish pub in the traditional sense, but it’s Irish owned and you notice it straight away with the drink selection and larger-than-expected Irish demographic milling around.

Paddy’s Irish pub, Cusco, Peru

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The highest Irish-owned pub in the world, Paddy’s is located in the Peruvian Andes. It maintains a great reputation amongst Irish that visit the area, and that’s surely the only litmus test you need to excel as an Irish pub abroad.

Auld Shillelagh, London

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Known for its top notch Guinness around London, the Shillelagh has a ridiculously lively inside area and a beer garden – which is always a bonus.

De Danú, Toulouse

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The famous bar set up by former Irish rugby player Trevor Brennan is well known as being the most traditional in Toulouse – and perhaps all of France. The walls are adorned with sports jerseys from around the world, and every Irish drink known to man is behind the bar. A must visit for Irish people travelling through the area.

The Ear Inn, New York

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The historic building itself is worth the visit, but the crowd and staff in this westside Manhattan pub have a great reputation as well.

The Lir, Berlin

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The food, cocktails and beer in The Lir in Berlin is known city-wide as the top Irish establishment. It wins rave reviews online as well, obviously:

Love going this superb Irish pub whenever were in Berlin. It has everything you would want in a pub. Great beers ,lovely food and gr .eat staff The decor is very nice and the speciallyatmospheree when the footy or rugby is on is electric.

Durty Nelly’s, San Francisco

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An Irish institution in San Francisco for the community both young and old. Durty Nelly’s is known by any Irish person who has passed through the city for its consistently good Irish-themed craic - if you make it out there.

The Plough and the Stars, Philadelphia

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The best thing about The Plough and the Stars is that you are pretty much guaranteed a bit of a crowd any night of the week – which is a rare enough thing in the pubs of Philly.

The Kilkenny, Buenos Aires

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To find a bar with any semblance of a connection to Ireland on the streets of Buenos Aires is quite a feat in itself. And then to discover it serves Guinness on draft as well is a much welcomed bonus. Perhaps not the most traditionally Irish experience you will come across abroad, but you are in Argentina so expectations have to be managed.

A hat-tip to the intrepid travellers of, and to this Reddit thread on the topic from last year for some great suggestions.. 

Where is the best Irish pub you have ever been to abroad? One that doesn’t tip into parody and does the nation proud? Let us know in the comments. 

More 18 of the greatest Irish pubs that tourists (mostly) don’t know about>

More 19 of Ireland’s most spectacular pubs to drink pints with a view>

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