Top 10 Galway Whiskey Bars
This family run pub is cosy location to sample a few of this country’s best tipples. Garavan’s is a stop on our Whiskey Trail of Galway. In a building dating back to the 16th century, Garavan’s has been trading on William St since the 1930s. The interior has changed very little since the 1950s and once functioned as a “spirit grocer”, selling both drinks and groceries! Drop in to discover Irish, Scotch, and Bourbon Whisk(e)ys, plus Garavan’s also makes the best Irish Coffee in Galway in our opinion, served in a bespoke Garavan’s glass!
Conveniently located in Galway’s Eyre Square, Garvey’s Inn is an excellent venue to catch up with old friends, make new friends, or simple enjoy a quiet dram. We love this venue so much we even wrote a separate blog about the venue itself here! Garvey’s dominates the Eyre square skyline with its Guinness Clock and a bar has existed on this location since the mid-1800s! A great selection of Irish whiskey is on offer and the friendly staff will ensure you find the right one for you. Our American friends will also be delighted to learn that Garvey’s televises American Football, both college and professional.
O’Connell’s is located on the East side of Eyre Square and with its central location and beautiful shop front, it is indeed a popular watering hole in Galway. Boasting one of the best beer gardens in Ireland, this is one of our favourite spots for a dram or two! Even in the depths of winter, part of O’Connell’s beer garden is covered and heated, and even features a mock Irish street with cute traditional shop fronts. If you’re still feeling the cold, grab yourself a drop of the uisce beatha of which there is plenty!
‘On Pookawn’ for those of you not familiar with our native tongue, this pub is located on Forster St just off Eyre Square. The venue was extended in 2004 following a change in ownership and now plays host to live traditional music sessions on a regular basis on several stages. We like to drop in here regularly on our Whiskey Trail. An Púcán has several snugs to disappear into to sample some Irish whiskeys, of which there are over 200 on offer! An Púcán has also teamed up with Teeling Whiskey and produced their own unique blend, a good enough reason to visit this great pub on its own. We suggest pairing some whiskey with the Galway Bay Oysters available inside!
Located on Galway’s High Street one could easily walk past this amazing pub and not realise it’s a pub at all! The window displays Zippo lighters and Swiss Army knives amongst other curiosities. Step inside to discover a wonderfully cosy pub that also once functioned as general grocers and a fishing tackle shop. You can still get your hands on some tackle inside. Freeneys boasts an amazing whiskey collection, and during the week you’ll find the pace inside is nice and slow. A perfect spot for a bit of mid-week whiskey tasting in a warm and welcoming environment.
Located in the Latin Quarter of Galway, Sonny Molloys boasts five bars spread over two floors so you won’t be long waiting to be served. The pub also has a late bar license seven nights a week so you can drop in and grab a night cap before 2am! One of our favourite bars to frequent during those long summer days with seating located outside the pub on Galway’s bustling High Street. The name of the venue is a loving reference to the draper business which once existed on the location and the proprietor of said business. The venue hosts the best of the so-called Irish whiskey renaissance; we recommend grabbing a seat outside and sipping on a nice dram while watching the world go by!
Firstly, make sure you have your pronunciation correct: “Dawl” Bar, also the name of Ireland’s parliament. After opening its doors in 2008, this pub has already become beloved venue amongst Galwegians. The pub dominates the corner of Cross St and Middle St with a beautiful public clock located above the main entrance. Featuring such traditional Irish pub features like dark wood and ornate bar details, the Dáil Bar is another great spot disappear in to and to share a tipple with friends and family.
A short stroll from Eyre Square will take you to Woodquay where you’ll find McSwiggans Pub. A venue featured on our Whiskey Trail! Perhaps one of the most beautiful pub interiors in not only Galway, but Ireland itself! McSwiggans opened its doors in 1986, but a pub has existed on the location since the early 20th century. We love nothing better than pulling up at the long and winding bar to enjoy a drop of the good stuff while chatting to the friendly staff. McSwiggans also has a wonderful food menu which is evident in the scramble for tables come lunch and dinner time!
Nestled in the Latin Quarter you’ll find the 1520 bar. A step away from the more traditional style of Irish pub this eclectic venue boasts one of the most comprehensive spirit collections in Galway. Drop in for a few lively whiskies while enjoying the live music on offer. If you don’t fancy that, you can always drop in to the Penney Bar at the back of the venue where you’ll find big comfortable seats and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Enjoy the amazing the pub grub before trying your hand at the whiskey in this contemporary pub.
A bit of a twist on the traditional format of a pub that serves food, Blake’s Bar is a brasserie that happens to have a small bar! Pull up a seat at the bar and prepare for inevitability of chatting to a few strangers, such is the size of the bar! Despite having only opened in 2012, you could easily believe the bar has existed for centuries. Dark wooden furnishings, a beautiful tiled floor and comfortable leather backed bar stools that are hard to get back out of. Behind the bar whiskey bottles are stacked in close proximity, you will want to try them all!