A locals' guide to Dublin's pubs
For great value
This winter, John Geraghty founded Publin, a site that lists more than 200 of Dublin’s cheapest pubs. Previously Geraghty ran pub-walking tours aimed at backpackers. Despite O'Reilly's unexpected location under the Tara Street tram station, Geraghty's favourite pub is a pleasant, open space tucked under 170-year-old arched ceilings, with a non-traditional, neo-gothic decor. “It's not in the guidebooks, and you're a whole lot more likely to get talking to Irish people than elsewhere,” Geraghty said. Students, bankers and local office workers gather at the pub, making it a prime place to rub shoulders with locals.
Ready to drink like a Dubliner? Follow these tips to fit in with the locals when you are down the pub.
Do not tip the bartender
Would you tip another professional, such as a doctor or a barrister, for services rendered? That said, after buying a few pints, it is polite to buy the bartender a round. Live musicians may also be paid in pints.
Say ‘cheers’ like a local
To wish your fellow bar-goers well, a key word to memorise is the Gaelic equivalent of “health”: Sláinte! (pronounced SLAN-chə!)
There is nothing ‘authentic’ about drinking too much
Most Irish people go to pubs to socialise, not to get hammered, despite the country’s reputation for riotous bibulousness. The standard serving size is an imperial pint, or roughly 20 US fluid ounces, so if you prefer something smaller, ask for “a glass”. Alternatives to alcoholic beverages include sparkling water brands like Ballygowan, the low-alcoholic beer Kaliber (made by Guinness) and mixers like soda water and lime.
Do not expect to catch the game
In general, Ireland is passionate about rugby and Gaelic football, another rugby-like game. Sports fans expecting to watch traditional football, or soccer, will often be disappointed. Also many of the most traditional pubs ban televisions altogether.