Irish pubs in their most accurate and most authentic form are a dying breed, especially outside of Ireland itself. It is getting harder to find a genuinely Irish pub, as more westernised knock-offs continue to pop up all over the country. If you’re looking for a genuine, authentic Irish bar experience, whether you are in Ireland or not, some key things make an Irish bar authentic and great:
- Avoid lengthy bar lists; though craft beer and cocktails have their time and place, an Irish bar is not it. The beverage list at an authentic Irish bar should be short and not at all sweet. Guinness, cider and whiskey should make an appearance, but that’s about it. Save the craft beer for the gastropubs.
- Irish song and dance; the music you hear and enjoy should be Irish music that, ideally, is played live, while you enjoy your pub fare and drinks. If the songs you hear are the same as you hear on your top 40 radio station on your drive to work, you’ve made a wrong turn.
- The patrons should be lively; those around you should be friendly, as should the bar staff. Loudspeakers should be low enough to still chat with those around you, and in an actual Irish bar, talking with your neighbour and making new friends, is both encouraged and the norm.
- The fare; the food should not be chicken wings or ramen noodles, look for a menu that at least features some Irish food. This can include fish and chips, stew and any take on a lamb dish.
- The décor should be worn and homey; things like ikea karlstad sofa cover on big oversized couches, as well as worn wooden barstools, are vital indicators of a real Irish pub. If it hasn’t been around forever, it should at least look and feel that way. Look for bottles on display behind the bar, and long, dark grain wood bar tops.
- TV for sports; the television in an authentic Irish bar is almost always playing sports or racing for the lively patrons. This includes football predominately, but outside of Ireland, it could be the local sport of choice. The patrons who gather to watch, tend to be energetic, loud and a lot of fun to be around. It should feel like every match is the final match of the season.
- Mostly regular patrons; an Irish bar in its purest form has more local and regular patrons than it does tourists or foreigners. Many people know each other by their first name, including the bartender. The atmosphere is typically homey, and even if you are a tourist or visitor, you should feel right at home when you saunter in and grab a pint.