Irish Pubs are everywhere. You find them in the most unlikely places and are always surprised at how easy it is to find a bar drenched in green colours, serving up a drop of Guinness with a “wee bit of Irish craic” inside. From the USA to Australia, China to Brazil, there certainly isn’t a shortage of traditional Irish Pubs, so how can someone even compile a “Top 11 Irish Pubs in the world?” We’ve looked for pubs that have their own unique twang that stand out from the rest. As they say in the Emerald Isle, Sláinte!
In the lofty city of La Paz sits what is often regarded as “the world’s highest Irish Pub,” and for that very reason, it’s a great place to go for bragging rights. Not only is The Wild Rover in one of the world’s highest cities, but it’s on the second floor of one of the city’s backpacker hostels. Expect wild parties, genuine Irish staff (often backpackers themselves), bottles of Guinness and nightly events.
One of the best Irish Pubs in Asia, Delaney’s sits in the heart of Kowloon’s “Golden Mile” on Peking Street off Nathan Road. From the outside you see just a narrow door, but once inside it is a large basement room with a bar in the middle. The venue doesn’t have windows, meaning you can relax without a care. The food menu is excellent and has many typical Irish meals. Guinness and Kilkenny are served on tap and the staff are extremely friendly. The venue shows live sports daily and the manager, Colin, is always very accommodating.
In downtown Ulaan Baatar, capital of Mongolia just a short walk from Sukhbaatar square, there is a huge Irish Pub called the Grand Khaan. Here they serve Guinness in cans, which must make it one of the most remote Irish Pubs in the world selling the black stuff. The venue is stylish and swanky with great staff and a mix of Irish and Mongolian culture. St. Patrick’s Day here is a feast of a celebration across the venue’s two floors.
No list of the world’s best or coolest Irish pubs should neglect the Crown Bar in Belfast. Tourists from far and wide flock to this venue, which is on Great Victoria Street in the heart of the Northern Irish capital. The Crown Bar hasn’t changed in years, and while the Hotel and Opera House opposite were bombed many times during the “troubles,” the Crown remained intact and continued to serve pints long into the night. It’s still an official listed building, owned by the National Trust. The traditional downstairs booths and interior design make this one of the coolest places in the world to sip an Irish beer.
Owning the title of “The World’s Southernmost Irish Pub,” the Bar Irlandes Dublin is on a street in Ushuaia, Argentina. Ushuaia is where many Antarctica cruises leave from, and it is a great place to stop for a pint. The venue serves a special, locally produced, green beer. Here you can truly enjoy Irish hospitality at the end of the world; in fact, the nearest Irish Pub to the South Pole.
The number of Irish Pubs in Australia is overwhelming, so finding the best one (or ones) can be hard. Thankfully, PJ’s fits the niche with aplomb. In terms of what an Irish Pub should have, it ticks all the boxes. It’s a cafe, a bar, a pub, a restaurant, a nightclub and a sports venue all in one. The Pub has two floors with a range of rooms and a massive outdoor beer garden with a tree in the middle. As well as Irish beer and food, there is a great cocktail menu and promotions including Happy Hour drinks and $15 meal deals.
Poland’s “Lake District” of Mazury is a breathtaking region in terms of scenery. With forests and lakes a plenty, it’s a breath of fresh air for nature lovers. The biggest surprise though could be your night in Olsztyn on route to or from the lakes. This quaint and well-designed Irish Pub is a perfect place to relax and enjoy a drop of Guinness in one of Poland’s coolest, yet less frequented cities. The Carpenter Inn sits right in Olsztyn’s Old Town and has a distinctive green colour. It has won the hearts of so many, that it has been recognized as one of the best bars in Olsztyn and one of the best Irish Pubs in Poland.
Named after Belfast’s most famous footballer, George Best, and run by a Northern Irish family, this slice of Ireland in Slovenia is a treat. The bar sits in the beautiful town of Bled just a few minutes walk from the lake. Nearby there is a famous island on the lake, complete with Bled Castle on top. The pub helps organise hiking, canoeing and white water rafting. Inside, live sports are shown on TV screens and a good drop of Irish whiskey is never far away.
Probably the saddest Irish Pub on this list due to its torn history, O’Hara’s sits on a Manhattan corner opposite where the twin towers stood before the September 11th terrorist attacks. These days it welcomes a lively crowd of locals and tourists and serves up hearty Irish and American dishes with as good a Guinness you can get on tap in New York City.
In the tranquil lake side town of Taupo in New Zealand, you will find Mulligan’s. It’s an Irish Pub that attracts different visitors every night and runs a famous pub quiz with games and challenges. Their hearty food menu includes Irish Stew, Prime NZ Steak, Stout Pie and Fish & Chips with a good range of New Zealand beer and wine with, of course, Irish beer and whiskey.
To finish off the list, let’s head to the highest pub in Ireland – the lonely and lofty Ponderosa! This legendary pub sits on its own just off the Glenshane Pass in the Sperrin Mountains of Northern Ireland and is a truly tranquil and cosy little pub miles from anywhere. Since its opening in the 1850s, the pub has gone through many changes, including electricity issues and sheep taking up residence, but through it all one thing remained constant: it has always been a great place to have a pint of Guinness and share crazy stories. You’re miles from any big town or city here, so make sure you know the way home!