Quality Dublin elegance is brought to its full, lively yet languid fruition in Oscar’s Café Bar, where the rich splendour of the décor is matched only by the superbly textured food and smooth, creamy coffee. Classy furnishings and gentle conversation permeate the air, setting the atmosphere at a happy ease. The newly prospering Smithfield Square areas reflects the burst of interest in such venues, the once-subdued locality now alight with activity and verve.
The phrase ‘café of a day, bar of a night’ applies well to this joint. As well as an impressive breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, the superb ambiance of Oscar’s is home to a variety of regular evening entertainments. Multi-purpose; whether it’s a quick bacon sandwich of a morning, an early bird meal prior to heading off for a longer night in Dublin, meeting up with friends, or a romantic dinner date in one of the quieter corners, this bar delivers it all in a way that relaxes and sets guests at ease. The formula has worked so well that a second bar has already opened over in Christchurch.
There’s a little bit of everything nightlife at Dublin’s Dtwo – this wonderful venue has a sports bar full of TVs screening the day’s matches, a nightclub with dance floor, and a garden for when guests need to take a breather from all the revelry. The gorgeous cascades of colour that permeate the entire venue are perfectly accompanied by DJs who have the latest electronic dance playlists to keep the place bumping and grooving through the night. Professional security and experienced, knowledgeable bartenders keep the tasty cocktails flowing to the smiling appeal of patrons.
The glittering, multicoloured décor of the Dtwo brings the perfect ambiance, allowing patrons to dance the night away in an atmosphere sublimely paradisal. Drinks are cheap at the bar, while groups admitted can see about getting a bottle to share at a table of their own. Whether you prefer to immerse yourself in the party, or simply recline, relax and socialise in a quiet corner of the glitzy, leafy garden – the Dtwo nightclub will not disappoint. Given it’s a part of Dublin’s well-reputed Harcourt Hotel, you know you’re in great hands.
Located on Grafton Street, Lillie’s Bordello is arguably the most exclusive club in all of Ireland. A regular haunt of Dublin’s rich, famous and talented, Lillie’s unabashedly riffs on a theme of the Victorian brothel. Plush red seating and carpeting, paintings and statues pair up in a lavish decorative display. As conversation and joy powers on, a glittering round bar serves an impressive cocktail selection to a gentle, suave musical backing. In short: an encapsulation of great class and sociality.
Open seven days a week from eleven until late, Lillie’s is the place to go if you want to rub shoulders with many of Dublin’s beautiful people. The dress code for this nightclub is smart, formal but with a bit of raunchiness permitted. Members enjoy an exclusive area commonly frequented by many of the who’s who in the city, while an atmosphere of languid relaxation and soft laughter permeates the joint throughout the night.
The stunning selection of barrel aged whiskies makes The Dingle Whiskey Bar a place worthy of a visit. An encompassing selection of tipples from Scotland and Ireland populate this bar, with many keen on a quick dram of the tastiest matured whiskies stopping by. Inside, patrons sit within the cosily darkened, oak barrel laden interior which confers a serene atmosphere helping make this pub feel just that bit special. Special curved glasses are present to allow guests to motion the whiskey within, thereafter smelling the rich aromas and flavours unleashed from the delicious liquid.
The capable bar staff here helpfully offer whiskies based on the individual tastes and desires of customers; whether it be a tot of something sharp and tangy, or something soft, mellow and sweeter you can be sure you’ll be well-accommodated. A special, if pricey, treat may be had in the aged bottles whose flavours have since leaving the cask blended in a time honoured and oft-sublime manner. While this bar enjoys a laid back atmosphere, those after entertainment and raucousness need only hop next door to The Porterhouse Central for ample regalement.
A stay in the Fitzsimons Temple Bar is one you shan’t regret, with this accommodation bringing a bit of everything to the table. Lovely, clean and comfy rooms with views out upon the central Temple Bar location are paired with a classy restaurant, while those in Dublin to sample the legendary nightlife will appreciate the nightclub this venue also boasts. A heated rooftop terrace allows for marvellous views out upon the city centre, and is the perfect place to sip drinks on a summer’s day.
Surrounded by the best bars the city has to offer, plus many of its finest attractions, a stay in Fitzsimons Hotel will see you waste no time. Those running the hotel are knowledgeable and more than happy to advise you in getting round the city. Group bookings are welcome with triple and double rooms available, while offers on receiving a free full Irish breakfast appear regularly for the hotel.
When you head to Murray’s Bar, you’ll be enveloped in an atmosphere which recalls the glorious maritime and industrial yesteryear of Dublin. Something of a rite of passage for its atmosphere, often described as a step back in time by patrons, the pub has entertained guests and quenched thirsts for over a century since the original landlady – Grandma Murray – set the place up. Although so much of the old remains, the venue’s big screen telly and frequent live entertainments (inclusive of traditional Irish dancing) act more as a tasteful juxtaposition of the modern than an eclipse of heritage.
Describing its prices as ‘recession-busting’, Murray’s isn’t shy to offer some of the best value food and generous portions in all of Temple Bar. All sorts of burgers and pies, plus chargrilled chicken and beef, populate the menu while the more adventurous can try out some favourites originating from further afield, like Thai green curry. The drinks list is as expansive as you’d expect; Irish whiskies and beers are the strong suit, while wines and other spirits are likewise available.
Popping over to Peploe’s Wine Bistro for a meal might be one of the best decisions you make in Dublin, the restaurant being revered for its fabulous atmosphere and mouth-watering meals. A wall graced in a giant mural depicts hospitality – it is in the evening that the scene unfolding within the room begins to mimic the artwork. This wine bistro’s excels: French prestige bottles ranging to exclusive prices are complimented by less expensive options from around the continent.
The kitchen itself is charged with the task of pairing these supple beverages with the perfect food accompaniments. A particular favourite is the early bird menu, which sees very reasonably priced delights like roast Irish venison and duck’s leg with croquettes grace many a patron’s taste buds. The tour de force continues with real Irish sirloin steak, and desserts that include Peploe’s own special chocolate fondant. Presentation is impeccable, with components of each meal perched perfectly upon plates in a manner that impresses.
Those hunting for a memorable meal in Dublin won’t be dismayed by the Koh Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge, which lavishes the best of Thai cuisine upon every visitor. There’s a palpable fizz and cheer in the air for a good reason; the cocktails served at Koh have gained a reputation all their own for the sweet vibrancy with which they grace the palette, while those wanting wine or beer will likewise be pleased by the bar’s illustrious selection.
The Koh’s menu is diverse and tantalizing, the meals offered sourced unequivocally from Thailand’s pantheon of gourmet delights. The less daring will be pleased to find Asian favourites such as Peking duck and Thai green curry occupying prominent place, while the adventurous will find meals like Phad Kee Mua Nua – sliced beef with egg noodles and Oriental veggies – satisfying their desire for exotic tastes. Throughout the experience, the superior staff will see you waited on hand and foot as you relax in the snazzy, colourfully lit surrounds.
Dublin’s Merchant’s Arch Bar & Restaurant has an authentic, traditional air which keeps patrons coming year after year. Dark woods and a well-equipped bar, plus modern nods with its free WiFi and Sky Sports package, mean guests of any age find hospitality here. A formidable range of local beers, whiskies and other spirits are sold, while the menu is populated with creative takes on classics: crumbling, tender fish pie, beef and Guinness casserole, plus alongside traditional Irish stew,. A strong variety of burgers with toppings like blue cheese likewise feature.
Those working at the Merchant’s Arch have a reputation for swift service and great friendliness, while the venue’s live music and entertainment keep the atmosphere buzzing. Praise among guests for the skill of the musicians, whose deftness at both serenading and livening the crowd with their folk renditions, stands undoubted. With its supreme location right in Temple Bar, you’ll easy find your way home – or to the next bar!
The Parnell Heritage Bar & Grill melds a sublimely colourful and relaxing atmosphere with an emphasis on the sporting and rugby heritage of Ireland. With multiple TV screens and a lovely layout, this bar’s delightful sing along atmosphere lets people experience the best in Irish folk music and instrumentation with a modern edge. During the brisk Dublin springs and autumns, the heated rooftop terrace is popular for its lovely views right across Dublin city centre and the Liffey.
At a glance the menu appears to be traditional Irish fare; crisp country veg, plus a sound mixture of beef steak and seafood dishes and Parnell’s own sublime take on Irish stew. However closer inspection reveals adventurous and unique notes – the honey roasted duck for example. Those wanting a bit more of a continental edge will like the Mediterranean pasta dishes, while the bar itself offers Guinness and other ales that suit perfectly the range of tastes assembled by the chefs. Staff treat every customer with welcoming and friendliness, hence the popularity of this venue, nestled just north of the Liffey.