Get a true taste of Irish culture, head to a local Irish bar, enjoy live music and sip on one of the best Guinness’s you will ever taste. Discover what traditional pubs are hidden in Belfast.
Duke of York
A traditional Belfast bar crammed with original mirrors and memorabilia, cold beer, great Guinness and the largest selection of Irish whiskeys in Ireland. Catch live music Thursday-Sundays including traditional, acoustic and rock. (Snow Patrol first played there in 1998!). The extensive smoking area outside is festooned with award-winning flowers and street art.
Crown Liquor Saloon
The Crown Bar is one of the most famous pubs in Belfast. Known as the Crown Liquor Saloon, it was originally a Victorian gin palace in Great Victoria Street. Step in to discover a traditional pub of unique character, revered for its eclectic range of real ales and its heartily classic pub food, which are served, as they should be, with a generous measure of famous Irish hospitality. Dating back to 1826, it is now owned by the National Trust and has been sympathetically restored over the years.
The Dirty Onion
The Dirty Onion is Belfast’s oldest building with real Irish music and craic, seven nights a week. Dating back to 1780, the building was used as a bonded spirit warehouse from 1921. It was then known as STACK N, a reference to its position on the north side of Waring Street and still bears a giant red painted N on its brick faade. The distinctive external wooden structure is another original feature, which, following careful restoration, frames the venue’s beer garden to the front of the complex, with a new contemporary courtyard stretching out to Hill Street.
Having such a close relationship with the arts in Belfast, The John Hewitt has naturally progressed to becoming a popular venue for quality, live music. The bar being very much traditional in style and has lent itself to traditional music sessions almost without planning, and its name has been established as a venue for various styles of good, live music. The full house sign is seen regularly for gigs as diverse as Jazz, Ulster Scots Folk or Cajun which you can enjoy over a glass of locally brewed beer.
Whites Tavern & Gardens
Belfast’s first tavern license was granted in 1630 to the building where Whites now stands, making it the oldest of its kind in Belfast. The building has a great depth and history, from housing the Tavern as we know it, to a hotel and also many wine and spirit merchants. It is said that the Bateson family established the first wine and spirit store in Winecellar Entry. In 1868, the establishment known as The Oyster Rooms was born. Proprietor John Walker, a fish monger and spirit merchant by trade set up shop in Winecellar Entry. Now re-born with the history at heart, the tavern is a place to eat, socialise and enjoy live music. Open seven days a week, call in for Guinness how it should be!
From 1840 Fountain Lane’s name originated from the two fountains that were situated on Fountain Street, which distributed water from Mundy’s Well to the local community. From then on, the site was established as Fountain Street National School. Come 1901, the original Fountain Tavern was then established, and has been feeding and watering Belfast ever since. The bar survived until World War II when it was severely damaged during the famous Belfast blitz and therefore had to be demolished. In 1955 the premises was rebuilt and re-opened to the public. With a wealth of history as a tavern for the city, call in for good food, great drinks, local music, live sport.
Robinsons houses five bars in one. On the ground floor Saloon, you’ll find original memorabilia from the Titanic including the famous Philomena Doll recovered from the wreckage, while letters and postcards written onboard the iconic ship sit alongside first and second class china used on all White Star Liners. Steeped in Irish tradition and packed to the rafters with little bits of history, the back bar, Fibber Magees, is the genuine article. Pull up a stool by the open fire and enjoy tunes from traditional musicians, every night of the week.
The Morning Star
The Morning Star bar and restaurant is a must for anyone wanting to see a living museum piece of old Belfast. The Morning Star is easily identified by the superb Victorian sign hanging from a grandly exuberant iron bracket jutting out from the corner of the bar. Another great rarity is the Winged Lion of St Mark sitting proudly on the corner. The building is historically listed and can trace its history back to 1810, when it was mentioned in The Belfast Newsletter as being one of the terminals for the Belfast to Dublin Mail Coach. The downstairs bar has its original mahogany counter with its old terrazzo floor.
The Errigle Inn is known as one of Ireland’s most famous traditional pubs with a great history for excellent music and atmosphere. The Errigle Inn has a reputation for serving fabulous food, drink and entertainment. The Errigle Inn has a variety of over twenty different beers on tap that include not only the big names like Guinness, Heineken, Becks, Carlsberg and Coors, but also a variety of craft beers and a few great quality draughts which are a little harder to come by in Belfast, such as Blue Moon, Samuel Adams, Erdinger, Peroni and Asahi.