Best Pubs in Ireland – No 1 Munster

Ireland is famous for its pubs and there is a great range of places to visit. Some brewers and distilleries have been around for centuries; Guinness Brewery and the Jameson Experience in Dublin are among the best known. Many small artisan breweries and distilleries have opened up in the past 10 years. We have divided this list into sections based on the 4 provinces of Ireland – Munster, Leinster, Connaught and Ulster. 

This is not an exhaustive list but one to advise the weary traveller on the best pubs and towns. Please contact us if you have other suggestions.

Best Pubs in Munster   – Part 1 Best Pubs of Ireland

Munster in the south of Ireland is famous for its distilleries and breweries. The Irish pub has changed and been exported around the world, but the real deal is still to be found in still in many towns and villages in Ireland. You’ll find a warm welcome, good food and great music. Some pubs have a literary history, others are just great craic. Cork has a long-brewing and distilling tradition stretching back centuries with the water supply from the River Lee and other rivers and whiskey were some of the main exports from the port of Cork.

At the bottom of this blog we have listed the Distilleries, Breweries, Micr-Breweries and Cider Producers of Munster. We have divided Munster into the Following areas, so skip to the area you plan to visit

The oldest pub in Waterford








Best Pubs of Waterford, Tipperary and East Cork, Ireland.

Name Town Details
McCarthys Pub Fethard,Co Tipperary This is a grocery store, pub, restaurant and undertakers. Not far from Rock of Cashel (Link) and as this is prime racehorse training country the town has an Equine Museum. (Link). In the small town of Fethard, famous for its medieval stone walls, with beautiful wood panelled walls. This pub offers food as well as drink.
T & H Doolan’s Waterford Oldest pub in Waterford dating to 1400’sThis old pub has history in and on its walls with a lounge built over 800 years ago.
Jack Meade’s Pub Passage Cross,Check Point,Waterford 300 year old country pub of character with modern large beer garden in grounds. Down a lane’s 15 minutes drive from Waterford. Does food as well as drinks and music.
Wallis Pub Main Street,Midleton,Co Cork Pub of character with a wide range of spirits and beers. Lovely outdoor space at back of pub is great fun and this pub often has music on a stage at back of pub.
Jameson Distillery Midleton,Co Cork Don’t miss a tour of this the premium distillery in Ireland where all Jameson Whiskeys are distilled.
O’Mahony’s Watergrashill,Co.Cork Small Country pub with Great Food 15 minutes to Cork City. In a village off the M7 motorway is a pub with big garden, kids area and great food. Good range of drinks of course


MIdelton Distillery

Tours at Midleton Distillery

O Mahonys of Watergrasshill









Best Pubs of Cork City, Ireland.

Cork has  many great pubs with the few here being easy access to tourists

Name Town Details
Heineken Brewery Cork City Brewery Local drinks are Murphy’s and Beamish black stout. Take a glass of each and compare with the more bitter flavour of Guinness. Heineken bought the old Murphys Brewery, which is brewed onsite just north of the river Lee. No pub on site but make sure to taste this Cork stout and Beamish, both brewed in Cork
The Long Valley Winthrop Street,Cork City A Cork pub of tradition and character. The front snug used to be for the ladies who visited. This long narrow pub has a selection of local stouts and other drinks as well as filling sandwiches made to order during the day.
Cork Whiskey Tour Cork City Tour Guided Tour of Cork City pubs with selections of rare whiskeys.

Sin é Pub Coburg St, Cork Traditional Music Pub nightly in Cork city or the Corner House next door have live music playing most nights. Just over the bridge from Patrick Street ( main street).
The Shelbourne Bar McCurtain St,Cork City The place in Cork for a wide range of Whiskey’s with a selection second to none in Cork city
Franciscan Well Brewery North Mall,Cork Micro-brewery in Cork city with range of beers and stout- Rebel Red and Franciscan Wiesse beer and Shandon Stout. Lovely wood-fired Pizza as well.

Bertha’s Revenge Gin

Best Music Pub in Clonakilty








Best Pubs of West Cork Pubs, Ireland. 

Name Town Details
Cronin’s Pub Crosshaven,Co Cork In the seaside and sailing village south of Cork city this pub oozes character. Camden Fort Meagher nearby is well worth a visit. Great pub with a red haired barman who runs the Red Head festival. Sample tasty bar food or dine in their Mad Fish Restaurant.
The Grey Hound Pub Market Square, Kinsale,Co Cork In the Gourmet Food Capital of Ireland, this old world pub has been serving drinks since 1695. Small rooms and great character where you can try the Stouts- Murphy’s, Beamish and Guinness.
Blacks Distillery Brewery & Distillery,Kinsale,Co Cork Blacks Beers, Gin and Whiskey made in Kinsale. Tours by arrangement with ActivityDays
De Barra’s Pearse St, Clonakilty, West Cork On the Main Street of one of Ireland’s prettiest towns with bright flower baskets outside. Lots of pubs have character, but this pub is famous for music. Craft beers, stouts, simple soup & sandwiches. You never know who will be playing live music in the back room, with people sitting on old school benches.
Clonakilty Distillery Distillery, Clonakilty, Co Cork Tours can be booked for individuals and groups – ActivityDays
Bushes Bar Baltimore, Co Cork At top of the Pier in the coastal village of Baltimore is a square of pubs and cafes. Sandwiches, a meal or a quick drink before taking the ferry to Sherkin Island and Cape Clear depart from the pier. Great atmosphere and vies from the outside seating.

Hackett’s Bar, Schull








Best  Pubs in 3 Headlands, West Cork, Ireland.

Name Town Details
Levis Pub Ballydehob,West Cork A small pub on Main Street, an old-style shop and pub in one room.

Live Music with a variety of live music bands playing, or records for you to play

O Sullivans Pub Crookhaven,West Cork Overlooking the sea near Mizen Head eats outside on a warm day with views of the boats in the bay.

Best place in West Cork for an open crab, prawn or smoked salmon sandwich. Lovely pints and friendly owner, staff and family dog offer a warm welcome.

Photo of the pub at top of this article.

Ma Murphy’s Pub Bantry, Co Cork Old Fashioned pub, which looks like a grocery store in front.

A long narrow pub with music often playing in back room.

Good selection of craft beers, some on tap as well as a selection of Cork distilled Whiskeys and Gins.

McCarthys Pub The Square Castletownbere, West Cork. This pub in the fishing village of Castletownbere on the Beara Peninsula was Irish Pub of the Year 2016. The bar is full of stories and music 6 days a week and was on cover the book of ‘McCarthys Bar’ by Pete McCarthys.
O Neill’s Bar Allihies, Co Cork Colourful pub at the end of the Beara with music, pub food and music with views of the Atlantic – visit for the music and the pints.
Pubs of Co Cork

McCarthy’s Pub, Castletownbere,
Co Cork.






Best Pubs in Co Kerry, Ireland.


Name Town Details
Purple Heather Kenmare,

Co Kerry

Lovely pub with great food in Kenmare town which has many atmospheric pubs.
Celtic Whiskey Bar New Street,


Co Kerry

A pub, with a great range of whiskeys and a choice of Cocktails (whiskey of Course). Food served with the drinks
The Moorings Portmagee, Co Kerry The small village on the Skellig Ring, a great drive for cars. Boat trips around Skellig Rock depart from here.

Visit the pub whew Luke Skywalker ( Mark Hammil) learned to pull a pint of Guinness (Picture)

Scariff Pub Waterville, Co Kerry Pub on side of the road on the famous Ring of Kerry.

Busy lunchtime food trade, but very tasty. The view on a clear day of the Atlantic

Foxy John’s Main St, Dingle,

Co Kerry

Dingle town had 52 pubs at one stage, all owned by the women in the family while men went fishing.

The number of pubs is reduced slightly but there are lots of pubs in Dingle, including this grocery and pub in one room.

Dick Mack’s Green Street,

Dingle, Co Kerry

The Craic is just great in this old brewpub.

A traditional pub, with many rooms and snug with music (Picture)

Dingle Distillery Dingle,

Co Kerry

Award-winning producer of Whiskey and Gin on edge of Dingle town.

Open all year round with tours 12 pm, 2 pm and much more in summer.

Keane’s Pub William St, Listowel,

Co Kerry

A Traditional Pub owned by the Keane Family.

John B Keane was a playwright and storyteller.

Pub of great character has theatre shows and great pints. (Picture)

Dick Mac’s Pub, Dingle

Dongle Distillery Tours

Best Pubs in Limerick, Ireland.

Name Town Details
The Locke Bar Georges Quay, Limerick An award-winning gastro-pub on Limericks Quay.

Outdoor seating overlooking the river Shannon.

W J South This pub was used in the film Angela’s Ashes.
Glen Tavern Glentworth Street, Limerick This warm welcoming family pub off the main street of O’Connell Street in Limerick. Serves food from Breakfast to 10 pm at night.
Dolans Pub Limerick City Winner pub of the year 2018 with live traditional Music each night in Limerick Town.

Take a look at the Gig List (

The Creamery Bunratty, Co Clare This old Style pub and food served all day beside Bunratty Castle.
Flanagan’s Bar Main St, Lahinch,

Co Clare

Take a walk on the seashore, play a round of golf on this award-wining course, go surfing and visit the Cliffs of Moher late in the day, when all the crowds are gone. A Country pub by the sea, with a great range of whiskey and a friendly atmosphere.
McDermot’s Pub,PubMcGanns Pub,

Gus o Connors Pub

Doolan,Co Claire Traditional Music Every night in Doolin, Co Claire has a justified reputation for the quality of the music played in its pubs each night- impossible to choose one have named 3.

McHugh’s Pub, Limerick

The Literary pub of Listowel, Co Kerry








Best Pubs in Co Clare, Ireland.

Name Town Details
Vaughan’s Pub Liscannor, Co Clare On the route from Lahinch to Doolin great food especially ScallopDestination pub with 5-star seafood reputation & great seafood platters
Morrisey’s Doonbeg Village Country Pub with a Michelin Bib for food. Great food and drinks. Where the Trumps visited when went to Doonbeg. book (065) 905 5304
Walshes Pub Cree, Co Clare Old Irish pub, beside the church at a crossroads – great Irish Music. Sugan chairs, old fashioned pub with music sessions most nights.
McHug’s Bar Parnell St, Ennis, Co Clare Local Food ingredients beautifully served, especially Tapas. – can book 087 393 4545

Creamery Bar, Bunratty, Co Clare

Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare








Drink Produce of Munster, Ireland

Whiskeys Jameson Midleton Distillery

Dingle Distillery

West Cork Distillery

Skellig Six18 Distillery

West Cork Distillery

Waterford Distillery

Gin Berthas Revenge Gin Blackwater Gin Beara GIn
Other Spirits Kinsale Meade Longueville House Brandy Blacks Whiskey & Gin
Stout Murphy’s Stout, Cork Beamish Stout, Cork
Microbreweries Dungarvan Brewery,

Franciscan Well Brewery, Cork

9White Deer,

Western Herd Brewery

Blacks Brewery

Rising Sun Brewery,

Killarney Brewery Company

Torc Brewing

JJ Craft Brewing Limerick

Treaty City Brewery Limerick

Killarney Brewery Company

Cider Longuville House Ciders, Cork Stonewall Cider, Cork Longways Cider,Tipperary

Have we left out your favourite pub- let us know so we can add it to the list for visitors to Ireland on this link . We are working on similar lists for Connaught, Leinster, and Ulster.

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