As I mentioned in my article “Valhalla on the Liffey,” the plan for my first visit to Dublin was to tour as many of the city’s historic pubs as I possibly could. The idea was to eat some dinner before heading out on our “crawl”. But as the article says, I never crawled any further than my barstool at the Brazen Head. However, before dinner I did manage a couple of quick stops at two of Dublin’s most famous watering holes.
The first boasts perhaps the most beautiful exterior of any pub in Dublin, O’Neill’s on Suffolk Street. While the license dates back centuries, the present day pub was built in the first half of the 20th Century. However, you can see the kind of influence this place has had on Irish pubs in the United States. How many spots in the U.S. have been influenced by this place?
The other pub I managed to get in a quick visit to, and had all intentions of going back later in the evening, was the Stag’s Head on Dame Court. You will have a hard time finding anything written about Dublin that does not mention this place. It is a bonafide Dublin institution.
The Stag’s Head sneaks up on you, being tucked away on a street that can easily be mistaken for an alley. But make no mistake, when it comes to Dublin’s taverns this is the cathedral. It’s has a majestic interior, but still manages to keep the kind of warm atmosphere one quickly recognizes in all of Dublin’s great pubs. I didn’t manage to take any photos of the interior of the Stag’s Head, so I guess you will just have to hop over the pond and check it out for yourself. Believe me, it’s worth the trip.
by Dave McBride