When it comes to creating great drinking experiences, us Irish are really great at it.
You'll find Irish pubs in every single country in the world serving up a mixture of great beer, Irish food and craic.
Dublin is no different and is packed full of great boozers – but today we wanted to focus on something a little different and wonderful... the dive bar.
If you look at the Wikipedia description you'd be forgiven for thinking dive bars are a bad thing...
Dive bar is a colloquial or informal American term for a disreputable bar or pub. Such bars may also be referred to as neighbourhood bars, where local residents gather to drink and socialise. Individual bars may be considered to be disreputable, sinister, of poor upkeep, or even a detriment to the community.
I think of them completely different. They're my favourite place for a night out. In some cases owners have even poured huge amounts of cash into interior designers to give that "dive" feel to them whereas others are more genuinely "dive" and ooze character. They're un-intimidating and welcoming.
We probably don't have enough dive bars in Dublin but of the ones we do have these are my top ten. As with all lists this is of course subjective and I'd love to hear your own favourites and suggestions in the comments...
10. The International Bar – Wicklow Street
Big focus on comedy so the perfect place to grab a beer and catch a gig. No pretences or airs and graces about the place and if you are lucky you'll catch a superstar trying out new material on a small audience before a tour.
9. Sin É – Ormond Quay
More of a nightclub than a bar but the perfect place on the list to have a few late beers in a chilled out vibe without all the pretences of a fancy late bar or nightclub.
The hard part is leaving early once you get into the dark rooms with the quality tunes.
8. Garage Bar – Essex Street
A real outlier in Temple Bar where the focus is usually on tourists and traditional music.
They've worked hard to give it a proper dive feel with sawdust, vintage arcade machines and great beers – really feels like the real deal though.
7. Xico – Baggot Street
Come here for Mexican food and great cocktails and dance the night away.
The lighting is dark, the music loud and the chances are you'll be leaving late.
Justin Bieber's favourite dive bar when in Dublin.
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6. Fibber McGee's – Parnell Street
Just off O'Connell Street and around for as long as anybody in the city can remember.
A focus on rock music and a crowd who just want to have pints with no fuss and in simple surroundings. A proper dive bar without all the bullshit.
5. Bernard Shaw – South Richmond Street
Really comes to life during summer months when people are chilling out the back beside the big blue bus eating pizza and sinking pints of cider. As hip a crowd as you'll find in the city.
4. Thomas House – Thomas Street
One of the most eclectic streets in Dublin and a bar that has managed to fit right in and attract a loyal following.
You'll get a mixture of great live music, DJs, quality beers on tap and by the bottle and a no bullshit crowd who just want to have a nice beer and chill out.
3. Frank Ryan's – Queen Street
You could make an evening out of visiting two of the best dive bars in the city as they are across the road from each other (Dice Bar at number one).
Cracking atmosphere, wonderful decor and great staff will make you stay here for hours on end.
2. Anseo – Camden Street
As apposed to some on the list that have had huge cash pumped into them to create that 'dive' feel Anseo is the real deal.
DJs, acts upstairs, great beers on tap and in bottles and a hip and chilled crowd make this a must visit.
1. Dice Bar – Queen Street
Feels like stepping into a New York bar and has always been one of the coolest spots in town.
Quality DJs, craft beers on tap before anybody knew what they were and seriously sound bar staff. Great at the weekends but also perfect for a chilled couple of beers during the week.