Dublin’s Coolest Beer Gardens

A sneak peek at how to stay cool in the capital this summer

By Niamh Byrne

Photos: Keith Brennan

With summer rolling in and with it the hot weather, I find myself thinking of a nice beer garden to sit in and soak up the sun with a nice cold drink. I’ve been to a fair few pubs and clubs, however, in my opinion beer gardens are the best for not only the Irish craic but also to catch up with some friends/ family in a nice environment. If you’re looking for a beer garden over the summer, here are a few of my favourites:


Toner’s pub, which is located on Baggot Street Lower, is one of Dublin City’s oldest pubs. It also boasts one of the city’s largest beer gardens. The clientele is generally mixed covering all ages which is always good, especially in the summer as it adds to the atmosphere! It also has an open rooftop which is great for soaking up the heat in the day, then when darkness falls lights dangle from the ceiling, lighting up
the beer garden and making it very beautiful to look at. An old establishment, this pub is known for a great pint of plain (that’s Guinness if you’re not from these shores).

Toners, Baggot Street Lower

Although the pub does not do music, as such, recently famous Irish singer Dermott Kennedy did an unexpected pop-up gig here which had hundreds of Irish fans flocking to see the artist. The gig was an impromptu one, even the staff didn’t know about it, and were a little surprised to say the least as hordes of music lovers descended on the premises! But they were delighted all the same, always happy to look after their customers – the very pleasant staff is another reason I enjoy going to this pub – and of course delighted to see a free concert!

The Living Room

Crossing the Liffey, the Living Room, located on Cathal Brugha Street, is a place where, if you ask anyone under 21, one is guaranteed a good night out! While obviously predominantly a younger crowd at night, the daytime sees a more even age spread.

The Living Room, Cathal Brugha Street

The Living Room shares its beer garden with Murrays and Fibbers as they’re all connecting pubs (so you get three for the price of one here!) and boasts a 40ft TV screen! It has an open rooftop to cater for the good days, and on those wet days (which as you may have noticed happens frequently in Dublin) an overhead canopy means you can still enjoy your pint in the beer garden. If you’re a sports fan it’s also a perfect spot to enjoy watching a match on the big screen, a facility afforded to both beer garden and indoors. There are also lots of drink options but one I like, especially on these balmy summer evenings, is the pitcher of strawberry daiquiri, which retails at only €26. A good option if you’re with friends as you can get up to four cocktails from it! Night time sees it turn into a dance venue with a dj who performs until 2:30 on the weekends for anyone wanting to stay out that little bit later.


Blackbird pub, situated in Rathmines (formerly the Rathmines Inn), is just a step away from the city centre. If you’re not sure how to get here, the 15 bus from O’Connell Street will bring you to Rathmines. This bar offers a pool table, board games and a beautiful beer garden. The pub has a relaxed vibe, with a kind of mixed decor thing going on that is very bohemian. It’s perfect for a date night, with the beer garden exuding a bubbly vibe that only adds to the atmosphere. The crowd is generally not restricted to any age bracket so everyone feels welcome. If you’re planning on coming to this pub I would suggest coming early to get a good spot as the tables fill up quite quickly.

Blackbird, Rathmines


Located in Harcourt Street, Diceys Gardens is a great option for cheap drinks. With different drink deals every day and some days bottles of beer for just €3, you can’t really go wrong coming here! With a RnB dj downstairs and a pop/house upstairs, you will in no time be bopping with the typically young crowd.
However, if it’s a bit manic at night ,during the daytime it can be more subdued. With a friendly crowd, including lots of tourists visiting Dublin, this bar is said to be a good spot for meeting new people.

Diceys, Harcourt St

The Grandstand pub and restaurant

The Grandstand, Ballsbridge

Last but not least, is the grandstand pub and restaurant. The beer garden here is not the biggest I’ve come across, but has a lovely feel to it and is surrounded by a beautiful view. So worth checking out. As this pub is located in the Clayton Hotel in Ballsbridge, you could easily miss it, but, fear not, it is open for non residents too. And for anyone looking for entertainment they put on live music at the weekends. I’d
recommend their cocktails if you’re thinking of coming here, just remember they change them regularly.

That’s just a sample of some of Dublin’s best beer gardens, I hope my choices have inspired you to try one this summer!

This article focused on city-centre based beer gardens but there are many excellent ones locally too, such has the recently refurbished beer garden in O’Reilly’s, Sandymount; also the Vintage, The Cobblers, Searsons, The 51, Sandymount Hotel, The Bath Pub, Beggars Bush, Smyths, and Slatterys to name but a few. So you can stay local and still relax in the summer over a nice cool beer.