Trendy Bars, Dublin
I've written about the original Porterhouse in another tip, and I would whole-heartedly recommend it.
The same company has taken on an ex art-deco style garage and built an excellent and acheingly 'in' bar out in Glasnevin. This is well off the beaten pub circuit, but take the time - you will be rewarded with the same superb beer, nicely put together decor and a chance to leave 99 per-cent of tourists supping away in Temple bar, thinking they are 'meeting the Irish'.
Cocoon Bar which is owned by former Formula 1 driver Eddie Irvin.The bar is very trendy with lots of people watching going on and the latest fashion for both men and women. It once was the in place to go and been seen but apparently its full of Chav's. You really need to go yourself to check it out. Live DJ at the weekends. Nice to have something to eat during the day, the food is delicious.
Dress Code: No trainers or runners allowed. Dress code is very strict.
Went with KB & our new found friend the 'Mad Songwriter', to the Dice Bar. We loved this little bar, although we had a bit of a trapse through a not so cheerful area (I was subjected to racial abuse, by some not-so-cool strangers) to get there. (Tip, don't go looking for a cash-point/off licence in that area, have ready cash with you).
The Dice bar (owned by Huey from Fun Lovin' Criminals) was suitably dark ('run yer finger around the glass if you want to see if it's clean in dark bars' we were advised he he ), rather New York in style and played some fantastic music. This bar has the atmosphere a bar should have in my humble opinion, (ie that of a bar, rather than a community center). The décor of the pub is coloured in the dark black and reds of an East Village Bar in Manhattan. With the eclectic music mix and laid back feel, I wish I had this bar around the corner from me at home.
Dice bar people tend to be a cool, chilled out bunch, 20s & 30s age group, but it is the combination of the customers, the music, the decor and the staff, that make this bar fun to be in.
Beers are all on tap.
Highly recommended before progressing to The Voodoo Lounge
(Pic is of B B & New Found Friend - one Mr Egan - Songwriter, Playwrite, Film-maker, Band Manager and Personality Extraordinaire).
Dress Code: Anything goes!
Irelevant Tip - if you wear a hat in summer, expect comments of 'expecting snow' from total strangers ; )
A new stylish bar and restaurant. Ba Mizo has a super restaurant serving seafood try the chowder and crab sandwiches. They also have a la carte menu. When your sitting down for a pint or food, take a look under the table and you will see (through glass panes set in the floor of course) the river poddle - a tributary of the river liffey, flowing underneath you.
Dress Code: Very trendy no trainers or wet gear. Bouncers on the door as in most pubs in Dublin and they can be a law onto their own.
Samsara is a trendy superpub situated on Dawson Street just around the corner from Grafton Street and St Stephens Green. Samsara is the cafe/bar of the La Stampa hotel and continues the hotel's exotic, Oriental style. Samsara has an upstairs bar and balcony where you can check out the crowd below on a weekend night. A DJ provides the music and plays an eclectic mix of dance, ambient and rock music. The clientele of the bar are made of Dublin's most fashionable and trendiest thirtysomethings and is filled with media types and well-known faces.
After a major redo, Café-en-Seine still is one of the poshest places in town to go for a drink - and what a grand place it is!
The vast size and the beautiful decorations evoke the charm of an old-fashioned railway station mixed with belle-époque Parisian grandeur. It's the perfect place for an afternoon coffee or school-night pint. During the weekend the place is filled to the brim with posey types who don't seem to mind the high drink prices. And high they are: the last time I was there a pint of lager set me back EUR5.40, which is on average EUR1.20 more expensive than anywhere else in town!
Dress Code: The bouncer's attitude is somewhat annoying, so dress up to avoid disappointments. The bar staff tends to serve to suits first as they tip best, so be prepared for that too!
... then these are the pubs for you!! All on the Southsoide, strangely enough....
Café en Seine - Dawson St : If you havent got any designer stitches, do not even dream of darkening the doors of this La-Di-Da pub! (I've done it, and I was just too embarrased to stay for more than one drink in my combats & Oktoberfest 98 tshirt) It's lovely inside, but a pity about the clientele! Full of pretentious wankers.
Cocoon - Duke Lane, off Duke St : Full of good-lookers but clientele are too wary of using facial muscles to talk or laugh in case it cracks their make-up or Botox. Guys tend to be more predatory. It's a nice pub, but a shame about the snotty clientele.
SamSara - Dawson St : Gets the creme de la creme of Dublins rich & beautiful. Plenty of C-list celebrities pop in. I actually like it here, they do the most fabulous Toberlone creme cocktail :)
Lillies Bordello - off Grafton St. Again, don't even try unless you are either very rich, or drop-dead gorgeous. Explains why I haven't darkened its doors!! :)
The Octagon Bar, The Clarence Hotel, Temple Bar : Yep, it's the hotel U2 owns. It's a small room full of beautiful scantily clad ladies and predatory lounge lizards.
Dress Code: I dont why, but they're actually very easy to get into, I've never been stopped going in, even though I'm no designer-babe. Maybe it's because I'm blonde :) Carry ID if you plan on going to Lilys, Renards or somewhere equally swanky. Otherwise speak nicely, dont wear trainers or combats and you should be ok. Jeans are generally acceptable once you've got the right label.
For the likes of Lillies Bordello & Renards, it ya know loike rilly rilly helps if you're a stoned air-headed model or boy-band member, roysh?!
The Ocean Bar oozes coolness. It's something of a place you could find in harbor towns like Rotterdam or Hamburg. Just on the hip docklands of Dublin and underneath a new apartment complex the sleek interior and the all-glass surroundings are a welcome change to the more closed-up pubs.
The food is good, if a bit pricey, but the pints are affordable. So in a nutshell: it's new, it's hip, it's trendy, it's off the beaten track.
Dress Code: The usual; casual without the bleached jeans, tracksuits and runners.
A small busy wine bar. I've never been much of a fan of wine bars in Ireland but I enjoyed the atmosphere in here. And the wine :-) And as you look out the window you can see a mural/photograph of Da Vinci's Last Supper posed for by a multiracial, multi-gender crowd of people. It should keep the conspiracy theorists interested for a while spotting the differences between this and the original. I've never read the Da Vinci Code so I just liked it for its novelty value.
Dress Code: Don't think there's a dress code
What used to be O'Dwyer's for years has recently be re-opened after what seemed to be a neverending refurbishing. But after 2 years, it was worth the wait. The drab tackiness has gone and presto! a new Café-en-Seine-style bar has appeared on the east side of town. This is a spanking new place, so it might take a while before it kicks off completely, but as with all places belonging to the Capital Bars group, there won't be a shortage of clientele in the long run!
The interior is lavish. A bit bling-bling but the couches and comfy chairs are divine and the layout is very spacious and open. The smokers are catered for with a beautiful and large back terrace.
Dress Code: Do the usual: people in Dublin make an effort to go out, so dress casual, but don't wear anything too sporty.
The Metropolitan is relatively new on the Dublin pub scene and as it's located on the very fashionable Eden Quay, I'm sure it'll be a bit of an "in" place for a while. The looks of it are a bit loungy, with bright tiles and dark wood. The couches and seats are comfy and drinks aren't more expensive than anywhere else in the city.
Quite a nice and relaxed place for an early evening drink, although the music gets louder as the venue becomes clubby after midnight. To my knowledge. the bar stays open till late every night, so that's a plus!
Dress Code: A tad dressy, but in no way pretentious.
There are lots of trendy bars in the Rathmines area of the city. This area is about 20 mins walk from the city centre or take the Luas - 5 mins walk. Go by bus- any of the 15 buses or 14.
Traditionally full of the younger set Rathmines has something for everyone. If you want to disco afterwards TramCo is a lively spot.
Ever wonder where in Dublin you could find the right mix between a young, trendy crowd and a pub-like atmosphere? Have no fear, Season's is here! Located conveniently in Dublin's posh D4 area, the frequent visitors needn't far to travel to spend their euro's here. It might feel a bit too yuppie-like for some, but it certainly has a more continental feel than most pubs in the city.
Dress Code: This is one for of more salubrious hang-out joints, so dress accordingly.
As with so many places in Dublin, this is NOT a cafe. It's a three storey bar with good to middling music. Molto trendy but not a bad place to go for a chat actually. The Guinness isn't great, but the people are uncommonly friendly. many differrent sections to suit your taste. Stand crammed by the bar, chill farther back in the lounge, go upstairs and mingle with the beautiful people but despite first impressions it does seem eerily a place where you can actually relax and bring a few people for a good night.
Dress Code: tight enough, but nothing draconian. Try and make at least a meagre effort to look smart.