Kilkenny is a must visit when in Ireland. This medieval city is only a couple hours outside of Dublin and is a favourite among locals and tourists alike. Exploring the castle, seeing the historical buildings, and touring the Smithwicks Brewery are just a few of the things to do in Kilkenny, and while all are great I’d be lying if I didn’t say that a lot of Kilkenny’s charm lies in its pubs. Kilkenny has some pretty fantastic pubs. So, whether you are looking for a meal, a pint, or some live music, here are the best Kilkenny pubs.
The Best Kilkenny Pubs
Kyteler’s Inn is one of the most historic places in the city of Kilkenny, and a popular pub as well. On top of serving great food, pints, and offering live music, Kyteler’s Inn comes with a bit of a mystery. It is said that the original owner of Kyteler’s was a witch and that her spirit remains on the property, haunting the pub and those who dare visit it. If you want the full story, you’ll have to visit- but it will be worth it. Kyteler’s is one of the best Kilkenny pubs.
Matt the Millers
Matt the Millers is another classic Kilkenny pub and is a great pick for those looking to party. It was voted as Ireland’s Best Music Pub of the Year (2017) thanks to the rotating live music and DJs that play here. It’s popular for Irish Hen and Stag nights (bachelorette and bachelor parties for the North Americans) and promises a guaranteed good time.
In the mood for some craft beer? Then the Brewery Corner is your best bet when considering the best Kilkenny pubs. Brewery Corner has about 100 craft beers to choose from (a mix of on tap and bottled) and is also a great venue music. Whether you are looking for a meal, craft beer samplings, or just a different kind of pint while listening to live music, Brewery Corner is a great pick when it comes to Kilkenny pubs.
O’Gormans Pub/ Kilkenny House
I stumbled upon O’Gorman’s Pub when looking for a place to stay in Kilkenny. While the downstairs is a family run pub, upstairs serves as an Airbnb rental unit. And, of course, who wouldn’t want to stay above an old Irish pub? O’Gormans is far enough off the tourist trail that it seems to be more of a local spot than a tourist pick. Thursday nights there are live music sessions and the bar staff (and fellow patrons) are warm, friendly, and quick to strike up a conversation. So for those looking for a more local spot, then O’Gorman is one of the best Kilkenny pubs for you.
The Field is one of the most historic pubs in Kilkenny. It was established in 1620 and was once the Castle Tavern. Today, it’s a favourite gathering place for locals and tourists alike. The Field serves up great food and drink and offers live Irish music. Between the history and the atmosphere, it makes a great pick for those looking for authentic Kilkenny pubs.
Left Bank was once a branch of the Bank of Ireland but has been recently renovated into one of the more stylish Kilkenny pubs. The main bar is beautifully designed and there is a fully heated backyard area with its own bar and fireplace. Left Bank opened in 2009 and has won a number of awards including Best Bar in Ireland, Best Designed Bar, and Gastro Bar of the year. So if you’re looking for a more upscale Kilkenny pub, then Left bank is your best bet.
The Dylan Whisky Bar
Prefer a good whisky over a pint? No problem! The Dylan Whisky Bar has you covered. It’s an old Victorian style bar that specializes in- you guessed it-whisky. The Dylan houses a whisky library that contains nearly 200 different kinds of whisky. If that isn’t enticing enough, this Kilkenny pub has a warm turf fire, Bob Dylan memorabilia, and a cozy atmosphere. It’s a definite must-visit when it comes to Kilkenny pubs.
Without a doubt, Kilkenny has some of the best in Ireland and you’ll have a great time exploring them- just make sure to follow Irish pub etiquette.
If you’ve been to Kilkenny before, let me know what Kilkenny pubs you would add to this list!