Discover some the best pubs and bars in the city of Cork 

By Ciara McDonnell

No visit to Cork is complete without a trip to one of the city’s historical watering holes. Here are our picks for some of the best pubs and bars to visit in the city.

A warm welcome

During the winter months, you might hanker after a more traditional pub, and those exist in their plenty. Tucked down Mutton Lane just off Patrick Street in Cork is The Mutton Lane Inn. Warm, cosy and flaunting candles stuck in wine bottles for added ambience, you’ll get a great pint and a warm welcome here.

Family-run pub
Pint of beer in a pub

The Castle Inn on Main Street fancies itself as a country pub in a city centre location. Run by the third-generation O’Donovan family, you’ll find a wonderful snug, and ever-crackling fire and a no-music policy.

Live music

The Corner House on Coburg Street is Cork’s home of traditional music. This family-run pub is the home of the Murphy’s Folk Club and is currently the home of Lee Delta Blues Club. You’ll find music here at any time of the day or night, as well as decent-priced drinks and super-friendly staff.

Traditional Irish pubs

Opened in 1957 on Cork’s Cornmarket Street, Dennehy’s Bar is one of the last remaining traditional Irish pubs in the city. Time appears to have stood still in this gorgeous pub, where the staff remember what you drink and someone always has a story to tell.

Also worth a visit is the award-winning micro-brewery and brew pub, Rising Sons, which creates small-batch beers and gin. This independent and family-owned brewery is housed in the former Guy & Co building in the historic Old Town in Cork city centre.

Drinks with a twist

With some of the country’s most lauded mixologists, the city has become a mecca for drinks with a twist. Cask on MacCurtain Street is housed in an old antique shop nestled in the city’s Victorian quarter and its dim lighting and gorgeous food complements its extensive drinks menu beautifully. Their seasonal cocktail menu changes every three months, using locally-foraged ingredients to inform their choice. Think Connemara whiskey with fig leaf and rose hip syrup and you’ve got the right idea.


Espresso martini

With a cocktail menu that includes all the favourites like espresso martinis and mojitos, Edison on Washington Street includes a fantastic variety of unusual drinks that make this bar more a destination than a drop by. Consider the dark and stormy iced lolly pop or the peanut Manhattan when choosing your beverage of choice. Alcohol is not the only preference in this super hipster joint – they have a good range of non-alcoholic cocktails too.

Quirky venues

Arthur Mayne’s on Pembroke Street lives in a 120-year-old pharmacy-turned-bar. Full of quirky antique medicine bottles and retro beauty products, the bar is worth visiting for memorabilia alone, but luckily for you it has a huge range of incredible cocktails to boot. They have a ‘secret’ cocktail bar upstairs where you can avail of a list of drinks created with artisan ingredients. Visit here, and you’ll feel like you’ve hit the jackpot.

Buzzing night out

Pouring cocktails

The Secret Garden on Hanover Street is a fantastic option for a buzzing night out. Located on Hanover Street and next door to Havana Browns nightclub, it attracts a younger crowd to its fairytale-themed venue. The Hidden Attic upstairs is decorated like the best grandparent’s sitting room and boasts a fantastic cocktail list, heavy on the booze.

Whatever your tipple, you’ll be spoilt for choice in the city of Cork.

Take a tour of The Secret Garden

Read more about County Cork

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Image credits: ©David Prahl/; Emma Smyth/Rising Sons Brewery/Cork Heritage Brewery Company; Dan Gold/Helena Yankovska/Sebastian Coman Photography/Unsplash

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