We love our local pubs and restaurants but sometimes you can just get a craving for something new.
And what better time than the weekend to do some exploration and find your new favourite spot in Dublin.
Luckily, our beautiful city is full of amazing spots that prove you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.
If you’re looking for somewhere that makes you stop and go ‘wow, that’s cool’, look no further than this list.
1. The Barbers – Stoneybatter
Who hasn’t wanted to have a pint while getting a hot shave?
This bar-bers (heh) only opened in the last two weeks with an old-fashioned aesthetic evoking the 1940s, including a candy-striped awning, tile and brick walls and wood-panelling.
They have tons of craft beers on tap and “a serious amount of good gin and whiskeys.” You can also get a haircut, as there is an actual barbershop inside. Genius, eh?
The Barbers is kicking off a new Jazz Sunday and open-mic nights from February and has a serious musical pedigree, with Mundy and Paddy Casey playing on the opening night.
2. The Blind Pig – Near Grafton Street
The Blind Pig speakeasy has a website but doesn’t give its address. Once you’ve made a booking, they will send you details of how to find this Italian restaurant/cocktail bar, which is hidden in a basement behind a secret entrance.
Inside, you’ll find ragtime music playing, cocktail lists hidden in old books and dim lighting in the bunker-like room.
Plus, there is some seriously good pasta on offer.
3. Vintage Cocktail Club – Temple Bar
This bar has continually featured on our best cocktail lists. With a blank black door marking the entrance, you need to ring the doorbell in order to gain entry.
Inside, you’ll find chandeliers, Victorian ephemera, and a menu of over 60 cocktails grouped according to historical era.
They also do food and brunch at the weekends.
A staple of the Grafton Street area for the past few years, 37 Dawson Street stands out because of its eccentric décor, which channels a 1920s safari-funfair kind of vibe.
Every time you go in you’ll notice something new, whether it’s the massive bejewelled horse near the door, the huge robot at the end of the bar, or the wall of antique mirrors.
There is no specific cocktail menu. Instead, the bartenders will make you whatever you’d like, or could make you up a unique cocktail based on the flavours you like. They also do food and brunch.
5. Whiskey Bar – Market Bar, Fade Street
Hidden at the back of the Market Bar, is another bar. Behind a door lies Whiskey Bar, formerly Tod Hunter Pyms.
It’s a small, old-fashioned looking room filled with liquor for hard drinkers. Recommended for people looking for privacy.
Alternatively, check out their speakeasy cocktail bar, the Black Market Bar, up on the top floor.
6. The Hacienda Bar – Smithfield
Featured in the new RTÉ drama Striking Out, this pub doesn’t look like much from the outside. You need to ring the doorbell and answer a few questions before being let in.
Inside it looks like a cross between a Spanish country house and an old ship. It also has a pool table, darts, and an 80s playlist.
There are no set opening hours, you’ll only know if it’s in action if the yellow inner door is open.
7. The Liquor Rooms – Wellington Quay
The Liquor Rooms invite you in with a bright neon sign saying ‘Liquor’, down some stairs into what looks like a Victorian living room.
They have four separate rooms: the Black Rabbit, which looks like a burlesque circus; the boom room, complete with dancefloor and bandstand; a room which looks like the type of glittering gold bar you see in old movies; and the conservatory.
They have a huge cocktail menu, which isn’t bad value for money, and they also do food.
8. Library Bar – Central Hotel, Exchequer Street
Exactly what it says, this bar looks like an old library.
All of the seats are over-sized comfy chairs, it’s surrounded by glass covered shelves housing old tomes, and there’s a huge fire.
They serve food, a wide array of drinks, and afternoon tea.
9. Mary’s Bar and Hardware – Wicklow Street
Mary’s is an old-fashioned Irish bar, selling pints, fashioned and old-school sweets. They also sell hardware.
The pub is decorated with antiques and various bric-a-brac. And now, you can head downstairs and get yourself a delicious WOW burger.
10. The Bar With No Name – Fade Street
Find the wooden snail hanging over the door, then head up the stairs to what looks like a loft.
This is a really cool spot, with a smoking area covered with a stripy tent and fairy lights.
Popular for cocktails and brunch, it’s always buzzing at the weekends.
11. Bernard Shaw – South Richmond Street
With walls covered in graffiti, pool tables and pizza served out of the Big Blue Bus out back, the Bernard Shaw is one of the most popular hipsterrific pubs at the moment.
It transforms from a chilled coffee spot by day to a huge pub full of nooks and crannies at night. Perfect.