Top pubs in Cork City

Top 5 Pubs in Cork that you need to visit!

As a true Corkonian myself, I have had my fair share of nights out and pub experiences in Cork. I can almost guarantee that the pubs that I am about to list in this blog will never disappoint. There is a number of pubs that I could speak about, for various different reasons. However, I’m going to narrow it down to just 5, and wow, that will be tough.

The Shelbourne Bar

Now, my love for this pub has definitely come from my father. This is his number 1 favourite pub and for many different reasons. First things first, I have never come across more pleasant staff in my life. They are the friendliest group of people I have ever met in hospitality. The bar staff become your friends within 10 minutes of being in the pub! The Shelbourne Bar is an Award-Winning Irish Whiskey pub in Cork City nestled in the heart of Cork's famed Victorian Quarter, with nearly 400 Irish whiskeys for you to enjoy in a beautiful surrounding. This pub is perfect for people who want traditional, comfortable surroundings. The inside of the pub has darkened wood interior and cabinets filled with Irish whiskey. The walls are filled with photographs and memories. The Shelbourne bar gives us everything!

Tom Barry’s Bar

Tom Barry’s bar is located on Barracks Street, Cork City. This bar is yet another traditional style pub with a beautiful beer garden. The best thing about this bar, for me, is its wood fired pizza oven that sits out in the beer garden. WOW, this pizza is ten out of ten. The bar has fires blaring both inside and outside, making it a cosy spot even in the winter. Tom Barry's is one of Cork's oldest and most historic pubs. Bought by the Dineen family in the 1960s, it was previously known as The Caheragh Bar. The Dineen’s grandson, Tom Barry took over the pub in 1984 and built it into what it is now. The beer garden is a complete sun trap. It is the perfect location for those sunny days, with a delicious pint in hand!

Sin É

This super cool Irish pub has an Irish name, Sin E translates to “that’s it”. This long-established bar has a reputation for its traditional Irish music that is played 7 nights a week! It’s another great Irish pub in Cork City. The pub dates way back to 1889, it has seen many a good night down through the years. Visitors have the option of partying downstairs or relaxing upstairs, which has a cosy and intimate ‘living-room’ feel. The pub has a vast selection of craft beer and high-quality liquor, and the friendly staff are always there to provide you with whatever you need. It’s no surprise the Sin É is on this list. You can experience the craic the traditional Irish feel, music and good craic no matter the day of the week!

The Franciscan Well

I’ve been dying to talk about this pub, its so deserving of a place on this list! This bar has so much to offer. It has a brewery on attached and offers, amazing pizzas, cocktails and tasty craft beers. Corks Fran Well Brewery and pub is one of Ireland’s longest established and best respected craft breweries. The pub has one of the best beer gardens in Cork City. It is heated, covered and so comfortable. The beer garden itself is full of history. In my opinion, the pubs atmosphere is very unique, with a mix of its historical setting and its diverse crowd of visitors. Everyone is welcome in this pub. There is a very warm and welcoming atmosphere in the Fran Well, from the staff to the visitors. If you are ever in Cork, you most definitely can’t leave without visiting this Brew Pub

An Bodhran

An Bodhran may be a tiny pub in the heart of the city. However, its big and great atmosphere makes it one of the best pubs in the city. The bar is located on Oliver Plunkett Street and is known for its non-stop music. It is the home of Irish musicians Rory Gallagher and Phil Lynott. The pub itself is filled with musical pictures and memorabilia. It really is the perfect Irish pub. Its drinks menu does not disappoint either with a wide selection of beers, cocktails, whiskeys and much more. The atmosphere in this pub cannot be missed, it is definitely worth stopping here for a pint!

Well, there you go, my top picks! This may not be everyone’s choice but if you are looking for some great drinks, traditional music and a unique atmosphere, pop into one of these pubs. You won’t regret it!

 Lauren x


Don't forget, here at Cowfield we can illustrate ANY pub. Just drop us an email on with a picture of the pub you would like illustrated. The perfect reminder of all the great memories made in your favourite pub!

Check out the range of pubs we have already illustrated here!


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