The Irish are known for their musicality, and in some circles, a ‘session’ – aka a night out – isn’t fully complete until there’s been a singalong. If you’re looking for somewhere to break into song with friends in Dublin city, these are its best karaoke locations.
The Workman’s Club
Bar, Contemporary, Irish, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, $$$
The Workman’s Club, Dublin | Courtesy of The Workman's Club
Situated on the fringes of Dublin’s famous Temple Bar area, the popular multi-storey Workman’s Club is generally thought of as a mecca for hipsters of the most earnest variety. But every Sunday night, they devote their 300-capacity main room and its state-of-the-art PA system to the effervescent The Workman’s Karaoke Club, encouraging any and all wannabe Whitney Houstons to don their finest and belt out some guilty pleasures from the 80s, 90s and 00s.
An Asian restaurant and bar close to the busy Grafton Street shopping district, Ukiyo boasts three air-conditioned, soundproofed karaoke booths, each accommodating between ten and 20 people. Staying open until the wee hours on weekends, their impressively comprehensive song list includes everyone from Bruce Springsteen to The Spice Girls to Sia. It’s worth noting that they prioritise dinner customers, so making a meal reservation will make it easier to get a booking in one of their sought-after booths.
Cocktail Bar, Gay Bar, LGBTQ Bar, Nightclub, Irish, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, $$$
The George – Dublin’s favourite gay bar – runs a raucous weekly karaoke contest every Saturday, hosted by the vibrant drag queens Veda and Davina Devine. This one comes with a clear warning for nervous performers, as apparently ‘Veda and Davina delight the audience as they jokingly tease the often terrified singers who take the stage.’ But if the idea of a little teasing doesn’t put you off, you’re also invited to let loose after the show with a pop-tactic DJ set.
Bar, Pub, Nightclub, Irish, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, $$$
Though this one requires a small journey outside the city, Morton’s Pub in Firhouse is worth the short trip on the 49 bus for true karaoke lovers, as their songbook includes over 500,000 songs. Kicking off every Saturday night at 10pm, their karaoke nights regularly involve party promotions and spot prizes. And in celebration of their 50th anniversary this year, they’re currently giving away a free pint to anyone with a story to tell of having their first legal pint in Morton’s.
If you want your karaoke with a little bit of Irish charm, just across the road from the historic Trinity College, Club Nassau’s Blarney Inn hosts their own Karaoke Time on Friday night from 9pm – one with an enviable prize. Every week, the lucky winner of their karaoke competition takes home €1,000 for their musical efforts. Groups can call ahead and reserve an area and finger food in the bar, and afterwards head into the adjoining nightclub to dance their socks off.
Another well-liked Asian restaurant in Dublin, King 7 on Capel Street has a downstairs karaoke bar that is a much-in-demand venue for private parties. They offer an all-you-can-eat menu, and an evening of in-tune or otherwise singing with your friends will set you back just €35 for ten people. With tasty food and a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere, this is a perfect place to warm up before a night on the town.