DUBLIN IS A city of pubs. But within those pubs, there are good seats and bad seats.
So where are the best? Here’s our rundown of the finest specific places to plonk your a**e, in reverse order:
15. The snug in Slattery’s, Rathmines
The snug in the front of Slattery’s, frosted glass panels and all, is one of the city’s finest places to while away an afternoon. Or an evening. Settle in, line up a pint, and prepare to shake your head smugly at everyone who opens the door wondering if it’s free.
14. The indoor-ish smoking area, Cassidys, Westmoreland Street
Not the tables out on the street: too exposed to the Irish weather and the roaring of the passing 39A to Ongar. We’re talking the tables *just* inside the doorway: open to the air, but sheltered and quieter and with delightfully comfortable run-down seats. Sprawl in.
13. The window bar, Long Hall
Some of the city’s best seats for people-watching. Behind you, the Victorian interior of one of Dublin’s great pubs. In front of you, people walking sadly up George’s St with umbrellas while you nurse your pint in the warm. A delight.
12. The high-backed chairs in the corner of the Library Bar
The ultimate when you want to feel classy / pretend you’re in a period drama / bring your parents somewhere they’ll be impressed by. Also the chairs are incredibly comfortable, there’s almost always a fire, and there’s table service at regular pub prices. People in olden times sure knew what they were at.
11. Anywhere in the Gravity Bar
One of the capital’s best views, no question. Hitch up a stool to the window on a sunny day, and watch life happen beneath you.
10. The candlelit front tables in Anseo
On a winter’s night there are few places more comforting than the dark and grimy benches at the front of Anseo. Huddle in with a few friends, and don’t think about the seats down the back that smell of toilets.
9. Beside the stove outside Delaney’s
The smoking area of Delaney’s in Smithfield - a refuge for anyone trying to escape the D7 hipsters - has a stove with a sign that reads ‘MAD HOT’. Enough said.
8. The snug, Stag’s Head
The feeling of smugness when you open the door and it’s empty. Cannot be beaten. Also, this snug has literally no access to daylight which cuts down on pesky ‘Jeez, is it that time already?’ moments.
7. A velveteen banquette upstairs in the Lord Ed
Sometimes on a Friday or Saturday night, you just want somewhere you can sit down and have a conversation. In these cases the Lord Edward is your only man. Mount the narrow stairs and find a place on one of the strange bench-like seats in the low-ceilinged lounge. Sorted.
6. The outside area at Drury Buildings
A newish – but strong! – contender for Dublin’s finest smoking area. So nice, you wouldn’t even need to smoke to be out here. A rare outdoor oasis in the heart of the city centre.
5. Any window seat, Sophie’s, The Dean Hotel
Unsurpassable views across the Dublin rooftops from practically any of these seats. Yes, the drinks are expensive, but you’re paying for the scenery. Get comfortable and enjoy it.
4. The ‘dining room’, Mulligans of Poolbeg St
One of Dublin’s most unusual pub rooms: this back area with eight or ten seats around one large dining table. You need the right number of mates, but once you’re there, this tiny little world is your oyster. Close the doors and have at it.
3. At the band end of the bar in M Hughes
Tourists go to the Cobblestone to hear a session. Dubliners go to M Hughes, hidden between the fruit markets and the Luas line. The best seats for music are at the bar (for the height), as close as you can get to where the band sits. (Also the Guinness is great.)
2. Front snug, Toners
With its church-style pews and big windows, you get the full whack of sunlight while being hidden from the passers-by on Baggot Street. Sitting in this snug is a strangely intimate experience. Even if you’re there with a stranger.
1. On a stool outside Grogans
The quintessential Dublin summer experience: carrying a pile of stools out of Grogans on a sunny day, finding a free spot on Castle Market, and settling in with a couple of pints and a similar number of good friends. Sometimes the best seats are the ones you make yourself.