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Get To Know Dalkey's Locals at One of its Famous Watering Holes



Dalkey is a busy and vibrant seaside town that was originally founded as a viking settlement  and became an important port during the mid 14th century. Nowadays it is famed for its many bars, picturesque setting and famous residents which have included many famous writers and musicians. When you’re not enjoying the walks around the seafront and up Killiney Hill there are plenty of water holes in which to quench your thirst. These vary from some of the older establishments that can boast licensing for generations of Dalkey residents. These include The Club, The King’s Inn, The Queen’s and McDonagh’s. Newer installations on the main street that have begun to cater for those looking to enjoy a few glasses of wine include The Tramyard with its lovely verandah and local markets and the Dalkey Dispensary which doubles as a restaurant and comedy club. New pub the Magpie Inn is dedicated to great pub grub and craft beers and The Vico remains one of Dalke’s only enduring late night venues. If you’ve taken a walk up towards the top of Killiney Hill then why not catch a game and quench your thirst at The Druid’s Chair on the Killiney Hill Road - you’ll have earned it.


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Established in 1745, The Queen's has been licensed since 1787 making it one of Dublin's oldest inns. Nowadays it has been lovingly restored as a bar and restaurant in the heart of Dalkey. Not only is this is large and airy pub with plenty of seating for groups, it is also a gastropub which features its very own Steak Room where meat lovers can cook their own steaks on the stone. The bar menu itself is also extensive featuring great fish and chips and a variety of other main courses and bar snacks. With live music often on offer and The Vico suite to accompany it for late night drinks this is an all-round winner.

Recommended for Dalkey's Best Pubs because: As Dalkey's only bar-restaurant-club establishment The Queen's has it all.

Emily's expert tip: The Queen's is good for a group as it has ample indoor and outdoor seating.

Read more about The Queen's Bar & Restaurant →




The King's Inn is another classic Irish pub that adorns the stretch of main street and has all the tropes of a standard Dalkey pub: warm and cosy with plenty of wood fixtures and a welcoming atmosphere that's very popular with the locals. Children are welcome to enter as long as they're well behaved and food is served during the day. The King's Inn is also a popular spot for events when some of the local Dalkey festivals are on such as the Book Festival and the Lobster Festival. Keep an eye out for events in the King's Inn during these times.

Recommended for Dalkey's Best Pubs because: This is one of the vintage pubs on Dalkey's main street and deserves honorable mention.

Emily's expert tip: Kids are welcome here during the day.

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Finnegan's is the local Dalkey pub that was favoured by Bono and the Obamas on their recent trip to Ireland. When it's good enough for the president of American, it's good enough for you. Finnegan's is a lovely, old-style Irish pub with al fresco seating outside for the summer months and high ceilings on the inside with a menu that highlights some of the great fish and seafood associated with Dalkey. Finnegan's also has a 'whiskey corner' with some rare and interesting offerings including Midleton Rare - one of the most exclusive whiskeys ever produced in Ireland. A real treat for whiskey lovers and those who like to eat in the sun.

Recommended for Dalkey's Best Pubs because: Finnegan's is a warm and inviting pub with very helpful and friendly staff.

Emily's expert tip: If you're parking nearby to Finnegan's be sure to check the details carefully - this is a hotspot for clamping.

Read more about Finnegan's →


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Located in the centre of Dalkey's weekend markets, The Tramyard is a unique space. As you walk down the cobbled avenue, lined with beach style wendy-houses that are filled with local artist's work at the weekends, The Tramyard is a mixture of awnings and decking that make you feel as though you should be sitting by the sea itself. During the week this is a café for scones and tea but on the weekends you'll get wine and craft beers with live music from local artists to serenade you. For summer evenings this is the perfect place to kick back and take in the local scenery.

Recommended for Dalkey's Best Pubs because: The lovely veranda and magical lighting make this the perfect place to spend a summer's evening.

Emily's expert tip: Head down at the weekend to get barbecue foods to go with your drinks.

Read more about The Tramyard →




Established in 1840, The Club is one of Dalkey's stalwart drinking establishments. A cosy interior includes fireplaces and snugs, perfect for relaxed socialising over a pint. The carvery lunches here are a particular special, with rich and comforting items like roast rib of beef with horseradish sauce or crown of turkey with cranberry sauce. The dinner menu is equally as filling with plenty of smaller bar snacks on offer too. If you've had a long walk along the coast and want to mix with locals and visitors in relaxing surroundings then the club is just the place to indulge yourself.

Recommended for Dalkey's Best Pubs because: A local institution with a long and fascinating history dating back to famine times.

Emily's expert tip: Check out the news on The Club's website to see upcoming local events

Read more about The Club →




Located right near the brow of Killiney Hill, The Druid's Chair is a family-run pub that provides the perfect stop off point after a long walk around the surrounding environs. A classic, quaint pub you can have a hearty pub lunch or simply a good pint in its cosy interior. This is a slight detour from the bustling main street in Dalkey but represents another local watering hole that has survived over many years. The Druid's Chair itself is a nearby stone formation that apparently provided a meeting place for the druids of old. For more modern times however, this pub also has Wifi available in-house if you need to plot your next route.

Recommended for Dalkey's Best Pubs because: A local pub in a unique and slightly isolated spot, this is a great stop off point on a hike.

Emily's expert tip: If you're a football lover this is the perfect pub to catch a game in.

Read more about The Druid's Chair →




While Dalkey is best known for its traditional pubs, The Magpie appears to have jumped on the craft beer and brunching bandwagon to create a contemporary pub with plenty to offer. With drinks from Scottish brewers BrewDog and Trouble Brewing, an Irish group with plenty of interesting beers there is more than just a well-poured pint of Guinness on offer. When it comes to food, the menu could be described as 'Irish with a twist' and features some interesting brunch and dinner options. If you're staying nearby you might find yourself in The Magpie more than once during your trip.

Recommended for Dalkey's Best Pubs because: A modern pub that's trying to do something a little more upmarket.

Emily's expert tip: Try their Morroccan lamb burger, it won't disappoint.

Read more about The Magpie Inn →




McDonagh's is another Dalkey pub that is fusing the old with the new and features a lot of live music that is often packed to the brim at weekends. The old pub structure is still intact with plenty of space for the locals to enjoy a pint, meanwhile the newly renovated area provides a stage for local musicians to play to a younger crowd who often flock here at the end of the week. When the sun is shining the beer gardens at both the front and rear of McDonagh's make it a real stand out pub for summer revelry.

Recommended for Dalkey's Best Pubs because: A vibrant and exciting pub that keeps the excitement in live music.

Emily's expert tip: If you're looking for a free party venue during your stay McDonagh's are happy to give you a venue and entertainment at no cost.

Read more about McDonagh's →




The Vico has long been known as Dalkey's only 'club' and has taken pride of place as one of the only after hours bars that can extend long into the night. Attached to classic pub and restaurant The Queen's, The Vico operates as both a function room for late night parties and a late bar with dance floor that frequently plays host to some of Dalkey's younger locals. If you've spent your evening roaming around the strip in Dalkey The Vico is often, somewhat inevitably where you'll end up before bedtime. If you can't resist a dance then this is no bad thing.

Recommended for Dalkey's Best Pubs because: As Dalkey's only 'club' The Vico has a pretty unique position in the town.

Emily's expert tip: If you're looking to rent a venue, The Vico Suite can hold up to 150 people.

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It may be more of a restaurant and wine bar than a pub, but the Dalkey Dispensary is a lovely place to knock back a few and get your dinner as well. Bookcases line one side of this charming bistro while bottles of wine stare back at you from the other. The weekend also provides live music nights to accompany your glass of vino and parties and events are also catered for if you're coming with a group. This is a really lovely place to start or spend your evening in a lovely, old building with a great ambiance to boot.

Recommended for Dalkey's Best Pubs because: One of the newer establishments on Dalkey's mainstreet, the Dispensary is building a great local reputation.

Emily's expert tip: If you're a comedy fan then check out the Dalkey Dispensary comedy club featuring local comedians.

Read more about Dalkey Dispensary →


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Meet Emily Carson

Emily grew up in Dublin, and studied French and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. During her university years, she lived in both Scotland and France, but traveled around Europe...  More About Emily

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