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The best Irish pubs outside Ireland

I’ve been an Irishman abroad for more than ten years now, and had already travelled a fair bit before leaving for Switzerland in February 2004. One big difference between being an Irish tourist and actually living overseas is that you tend to visit Irish pubs more often. It helps to keep the homesickness at bay and Irish pubs are usually one of the best places to meet (not just Irish) people, hear live music, etc.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve got a fair bit of experience of Irish pubs around Europe and a bit beyond. And I like to drink Guinness. Nowt wrong with that, eh?

Barack Obama with a pint of Guinness

My absolute favourite Irish pub outside Ireland is Mulligan’s of Amsterdam. Here’s how I described it in a post on my top Amsterdam spots after living there for a couple of years:

Live music and good Guinness in Mulligans – as an Irishman overseas I do sometimes get a hankering for a pint of the black stuff. The best pint in town is to be found in Mulligans Irish Music Bar. It’s just around the corner from Rembrantplein but it feels like you’re stepping into an oasis away from the neon and the tourists. Live music three or four nights a week, trad sessions on a Sunday, bar staff who take pride in their job, and TVs that are only switched on when there’s a match featuring an Irish team. Many’s the pub in Ireland could learn a thing or two. (Honourable mention to Molly’s where Matthew and the gang have taken good care of me over the two years.)

As it happens, Mulligan’s of Geneva has been my favourite Irish pub around these parts. I say “has been” because, sad to say, it’s not the pub it was. In its heyday it was the hub of expat life in Geneva; in fact I think it had probably already peaked in that sense when I first got here in 2004. Nonetheless, I’ve had many memorable nights there and I still like to drop in from time to time for old times’ sake. Otherwise, in terms of Irish pubs in Switzerland, the Café du Cerf in Neuchâtel and Paddy’s Pub in Ferney-Voltaire (alright, that one is technically in France) would be two others worth a visit.

The best pubs…according to reddit

What prompted this post is that it occurred to me earlier this week that the folks that hang out on the Ireland subreddit on might well be a useful source of knowledge and tips on this very topic. So I kicked off a discussion there that did indeed generate a fair few tips on Irish pubs outside Ireland. I thought it would be a good idea to gather the complete list together, in no particular order, so that I have a handy reference whenever I find myself in some far-flung place in need of a pint.


  • De Danú, Toulouse, France
  • Stapleton’s, Leuven, Belgium
  • The Celt, Los Alcázares, Murcia, Spain
  • The George Best Bar, Bled, Slovenia
  • St James and Flanagans, both in Lyon, France
  • Lir, Berlin
  • O’Connells, Stockholm
  • The Corkonian and Flanagan’s, both in Cologne
  • Fitzpatrick’s, Essen, Germany

North America

  • Johnnie Fox’s Irish Snug, at Granville and Nelson, Vancouver
  • McVeigh’s, (formerly the Windsor House), Toronto
  • The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, New York City
  • Kells, Portland, Oregon
  • Molly Maguire’s, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
  • Finn McCool’s, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Nine Fine Irishmen in New York, New York casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Gaelic Park in Chicago
  • The Druid, The Field and the Tam, all in Cambridge (outside Boston)
  • Black Rose, State Street, Boston
  • Raglan Road, Disneyland, Orlando
  • Tigin or Fado pubs in the USA

Rest of the World

  • Finnegan’s, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Tropical Murphy’s, Chaweng, Koh Samui, Thailand
  • Paddy’s, Cusco, Peru
  • Bobby Sands, Afghanistan

Now we just need somebody to create a wiki or a collaborate map for Irish pubs. Any volunteers…

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