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20th Dec 2016

The Definitive Ranking Of All 26 Pubs On The Camden Mile, From Worst To Best


Right, so this might cause a few arguments.

But we decided that it was time to finally tackle one of the burning questions of this city – what’s the best spot on The Camden Mile, which runs from the corner of Dame Street and South Great George’s St down to the canal at Portobello?

So we took a vote across the Lovin Dublin team, and here are the results – all 27 pubs on this stretch, ranked from worst to best.

26. Karma Stone

7 points out of 30

This was last known as Shine, and before that it was the Cornerstone – at which point it was a decent student haunt. Now, though, it offers very little to be impressed about, and props up our list with a measly seven points.


25. Capitol

12 points out of 30

Another one that seemed the height of sophistication back when we were students – and the two-for-one cocktails, which never seemed to get you even mildly tipsy, were a worthy lure.


24. Flannery’s

13 points out of 30

To be fair, it did well to not finish last. It’s the small wins, guys…


Flannery’s is the pub equivalent of a safety blanket

23 = Palace

14 points out of 30



22 = Bleeding Horse

14 points out of 30

Perhaps a surprising name to find down this end of the list, but much like any place that offers you the opportunity to pull your own pints, this place is devoid of charm and too big for its own good.


21. The Portobello

15 points out of 30

A nice place to nip in for a drink when cans on the canal lose their appeal and The Barge is too packed. Has a tendency to feel a bit dead even at busy times, though.


20 = The Swan

16 points out of 30

To be fair, this place has seriously upped its game over recent years – and has actually become something of a hipster hotspot, having previously been filed under the ‘Enter With Caution’ category. A lot done, more to do.


19 = JJ Smyths

16 points out of 30

Decent spot for music. Otherwise unremarkable – and in fact, quite easy to forget about.


18. Ryan’s

17 points out of 30

Does anyone actually go here when they’re not having a quiet pint before or after a gig in Whelan’s?

ryans 1

17 = Devitt’s

18 points out of 30

The one you always get mixed up with Ryan’s, this is a solid spot to watch a match – but otherwise, not a place you’d stay for more than just the one.


16 = Hogans

18 points out of 30

A pub for those who like to nod along politely – the acoustics are awful, it’s constantly thronged, and so you’ll be doing well to hear anyone talk.


15. Camden Exchange

19 points out of 30

A new addition that isn’t quite sure whether it’s a pub or a restaurant. Great food, but perhaps not a place to go for drinks otherwise.


14. The George

20 points out of 30

Panti may have taken over as the most prominent and talked-about gay bar in the capital, but this was the original article, and still draws some pretty huge crowds.


13. The Globe

20 points out of 30

Like Hogan’s, but just… better.


12. Soder and Ko

20 points out of 30

Scandin-Asian food aside, this has proved a worthy replacement on the site where The Dragon once flew.


11. Market Bar

21 points out of 30

Another venue renowned primarily for its food – and another venue renowned for God-awful acoustics, for that matter – but still an ample, spacious and surprisingly warm venue to pop in for a pint after work.

Not on the Camden Mile, per sé, but an honorary member for the purposes of this piece (see note below).


10. Fade Street Social

21 points out of 30

Those cocktails… oh man.


9. Opium

21 points out of 30

See above.


8 = O’Connells

22 points out of 30

You may not even know this place by name – but it’s around halfway between the Shaw and the canal, and does a mean toastie. Like, a seriously mean toastie.

Let’s all have a toastie.


8 = Whelan’s

22 points out of 30

Of course. Forget about the fact it’s one of the best places to go dancing in the city centre, but the front bar is an absolutely solid place to go for a pre-dinner drink. Those tunes. That roaring fire.

whelans 1

6. No Name

23 points out of 30

It’s loud, it’s packed, it’s long past the point where you can call it a ‘secret’ bar with a straight face – but we love it anyway.


5 = Cassidy’s

24 points out of 30

Forget Ryan’s, forget Devitt’s, forget pretty much everywhere – this is the place to go on the Camden Mile for a quiet pint, and escape from the madness all around you.

cassidys 1

5 = Anseo

24 points out of 30

It always feels full, but there’s always a seat to be had – and there’s never a queue at the bar. Add in the trendy dive decor that doesn’t feel contrived, and you’ve got yourself a very special spot indeed.


3. Against The Grain

25 points out of 30

Just scrapes in ahead of Anseo, and would probably finish higher again if not for the unfortunate ‘police searchlight’ lighting that really doesn’t flatter anyone.

One of the first pubs to bring craft beer to the Dublin masses, this is an excellent place to go with a large group – and there’s a pool table.


2. The Bernard Shaw

27 points out of 30

Before you roll your eyes at ‘the hipsters’, it’s important to remember that this place absolutely changed every perception we had of what a pub ‘should be’ when it opened a decade ago.

Sure, the clientele can feel like a parody of itself at times – but it’s creative, ever-changing, boasts great tunes and the best outdoor area in the city.


1. Long Hall

28 points out of 30

The king. Not just the best pub on the Camden Mile, but arguably the best in the city – and one that sits easily with the best in the world.



  • There are a few quasi-restaurant spots in here. To decide whether or not to include these spots, we asked the question: ‘Would you go in here just for a drink?’ Hence Soder and Ko, but no 777.
  • We asked six members of the Lovin Dublin team – Aidan Coughlan, Marie Madden, Sean Kenehan, Ed O’Riordan, Anna Nolan and Graham Kinsella – to rank each pub out of five. These scores were added to provide the totals you see above.
  • A few places on Fade Street made the list, whereas places on Stephen Street (Hairy Lemon, P Macs) and Exchequer Street (Library Bar, Fallon and Byrne) didn’t. This was because we considered this to be a little enclave off George’s St – while the others were connected more to the Grafton/South William Quarters.
  • Yes, we just invented the ‘South William Quarter’. It’s a thing now. Deal.