Craic Dealers: The Best Irish Bars In Town

Any excuse to get on the Irish Coffees before midday

Shake your shamrocks over to these legit Irish bars for a taste of the Emerald Isle. Warning: you might need the luck of the Irish when the morning rolls around...

The Sun Tavern

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This boozer can be found in Bethnal Green, but its heart can 100% be found in Ireland. Here they celebrate Irish whiskey 365 days a year, but it's the poitin you wanna come here for. They've got the largest collection of Ireland's original moonshine than any other bar in London, and if you're keen for a lesson on the stuff, get involved with one of their epic masterclasses exploring the clear Gaelic spirit's illicit past.

441 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 0AN

Wanna know more about The Sun Tavern? Read our low-down over here!


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Go big or go Homeboy. If you choose the latter prepare to embrace the craic at these meccas of laid-back modern Irish hospitality. Irish duo Aaron Wall and Ciarán Smith are the homeboys behind these epic bars (you'll find one in Islington, and another in Battersea), AKA two of the nicest lads you'll find in the biz. Come for the craic, stay for their Irish Coffees. They make theirs with their very own Irish Coffee Bitters. And if you're looking for the best damn pint of Guinness outside of Ireland, the lads are confident this is where you'll find it. We're not gonna weigh in on that debate, but we will say their live music line-up makes everything taste even better.

Homeboy Bar Islington, 108 Essex Rd, Islington, London N1 8LX  |  Homeboy Bar Embassy Gardens, Unit 6, Embassy Gardens, Nine Elms, SW11 7

Read our reviews of both bars here and here

The Tipperary

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Given that The Tipperary has been an Irish pub since the turn of the 18th century, there's a good chance that this is London's oldest Irish pub. And if that is true, that probably also means that this is the first pub to have ever served Guinness in the English capital. What a claim. Walk in and you'll feel like you've been transported straight across the Irish Sea, with vintage Jameson signage scattered across the walls and an incessant Irish soundtrack that can get even the grumpiest of punter's toes tapping. 

The Tipperary, 66 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1HT

The Toucan

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This Soho institution is pretty miniature and usually overflowing onto the streets, but that's fine with us, 'cos the party is usually on the curb. Do try and get inside though. Hours seem to disappear in this place and you'll be grateful for the seat. We like to pull up one of the Guinness barstools (yeah, they're actually the shape of a pint of Guinness) at the bar and hit the bar snacks or settle down at one of the little tables. Jimi Hendrix once played here, so if it’s good enough for him, it’s definitely good enough for you.

19 Carlisle St, London W1D 3BY

Gibney's at Daffodil Mulligan 

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Shoreditch might feel like quite a distance from Ireland's north coast seaside town of Malahide, where you'll find the original Gibney’s pub, but once you're in this basement bar below Daffodil Mulligan, it won't feel that far at all. Gibney's is overflowing with the same charm, atmosphere and Irish hospitality you'll find at the Dublin-adjacent original. Down here there's always a party in full swing, whether you're here for a quiet pint of Guinness or not.

70 City Rd, London EC1Y 2BJ

Blythe Hill Tavern

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From the outside, this South East London street corner boozer might not look like it's up to much, but this is a little Irish diamond in the rough. Another pub that claims to offer "the best drop of Guinness this side of Dublin", it brings a line-up of traditional Irish music every Thursday evening and service with a side of friendly banter all week long. The Irish owner has peppered the place with plenty of keepsakes from home, and when the green team are doing their thing on the rugby pitch, you can expect it'll take priority on the screens that line the walls. Hit them up on a Friday and you can get your feed from the Van Dough Pizza Truck outside, and come summer, their booze garden is the place you wanna be to while away an afternoon with a cold one.

Blythe Hill Tavern, 319 Stanstead Road, Catford SE23 1JB

Howl At The Moon

Like the best of our cousins over the Irish Sea, this Hoxton pub doesn't take itself too seriously. It's got the same laid-back and lively, up-for-a-laugh vibe you'd find in a Temple Bar pub, and chilled beers on draft. Yeah, there's plenty of Guinness, but they're not shy when it comes to cracking out some wicked cocktails, too. Whatever you order, it'll wash down one of their legendary Sunday roasts like nobody's business. Booking is pretty much always essential (unless you're a fan of disappointment) so take this as your sign to rally your crew and organise a visit.

178 Hoxton St, London N1 5LH