That first whiff of summer has hit and I think we’re all hoping for a repeat of last summers seemingly never-ending run of sunshine. So with fingers crossed and all those long, hopefully, balmy evenings stretched ahead I’ve put together a list of places to enjoy such weather. With a drink of course. I’m looking for beer gardens or terraces that hit that sweet spot of a decent drinks list, actual seats to be had and of course, the option of some sun if it happens to be shining.
Bonobo, 119-121 Church Street Upper, Smithfield, Dublin 7
One of the hottest new openings, Bonobo in Smithfield is garnering plenty of attention for its massive new beer garden out the back of the pub. Brought to you by the brilliant team behind Caribou in Galway, expect more of the same here — a stellar drinks list with plenty of craft drinks to choose from and a fun attitude. The beer garden has ample seating; just add sun.
The Marker Rooftop Bar & Terrace
This stunning rooftop bar offers some of the best views in the city and can be worth a wait on a sunny day. The Marker rooftop bar works on a first come, first up basis. Ascend the hotel lift to take in unparalleled views of Dublin, showing off the mountains, the sea and the city while you order from an extensive cocktail list. For the ultimate summer holiday vibes order the Solero, a vanilla and passionfruit vodka concoction. Food is limited to sharing boards, but they are good and will keep you going while you wait for the perfect sunset photo.
Rascals Brewing Company, Inchicore, Dublin 8
Irish craft brewers Rascals recently set up a home for themselves in an industrial estate in Inchicore. OK, it doesn’t sound like the summer destination of dreams but think more Brooklyn and less The Baleriacs and you get the idea. The taproom bar, as you’d expect, has an extensive craft beer menu - with loads of options, not just Rascals. They also serve nice wood-fired pizza and of course the important bit, they have a spacious outdoor space with lots of seating.
Ely Bar & Grill, CHQ Building, IFSC, Dublin 1
You may not stumble upon Ely’s CHQ outpost unless you have reason to be in the IFSC, but it’s worth seeking out for their buzzy, sprawling outdoor terrace. It helps that the food and drinks are great too. They offer probably the most extensive wine list in the city so you won’t be stuck with the token bottle of rosé. There’s a great selection of beers, gins and cocktails. You can choose to tuck into a full-blown meal or lighter sharing bites, all with admirable Irish sourcing.
The Belfry, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7
Stoneybatter comes alive in the sun, with people spilling out on to the streets from the great selection of pubs around. The Belfry stands out for having a sun trap seating area outside and a rotating street food menu. They’ve welcomed some great food trucks to the yard on the side of the pub. A strong drinks list features plenty of craft beers and ciders. They are also known for being dog-friendly too, a bonus for many on a summer walk.
L'Gueuleton, 1 Fade St, Dublin 2
A small but well formed outdoor area, all rustic wooden chic, offers up some of the most coveted streetside seats in the city. The restaurant side of L’Gueuleton is well known for superb French bistro-style fare and the busy bar for its buzzing Parisian vibe. The drinks list offers good cocktails, wines by the glass and beers. The bar snacks are a must, in particular chips with bearnaise. Perfect fuel for Fade Street people watching.
Eatyard, 9-10 South Richmond Street, Dublin 2
This bustling, street food market and bar really come alive when the sun shines. There are plenty of eating options; Handsome Burger from Galway is always a big draw, as is Vish Shop, doling out an all-vegan menu. The bar in the yard and the Bernard Shaw right next to it offer a great selection of drinks, with plenty of low and no-abv beers and cocktails, ideal for day drinking. For the braver, check out the new slushie machines full of ‘Frosé’ — a very summery slushie rosé and gin concoction.
Sophie's Rooftop, 33 Harcourt St, Dublin 2
Head to Sophie's for a slick version of summer in the city. The rooftop of this handsome Harcourt Street Georgian building has plenty of seating, table service and is always decked out for summer, they’ve even got some sun loungers for kicking back on. The drinks list, as with all the Press Up venues, has some great options. There are fun cocktails, Italian style aperitivos, signature gin serves and some good low abv options. Rosé fans should try their Château La Coste rosé, it’s pretty much summer in a glass.
Lucky's, 78 Meath St, Dublin 8
To the rear of this cool, pared-back boozer on Meath Street, you'll find a fun, sometimes sunny, beer garden with plenty going on. Pizza purveyors Coke Lane pizza are based there and the bar has considerable drinks list, plenty of craft beers on draught and in cans and usually a few spritzes. They often have markets or exhibitions and the music is always spot on. A great spot for a sunny day in the Liberties.
On the top floor of this busy restaurant sits a splendid New York-style cocktail bar and cosy rooftop terrace for sipping your drinks. The cocktail list has plenty of thought gone into it, with drinks inspired by infamous Dubliners — make sure to have a read, there are some great stories in there. The cocktails themselves are spot on too and if you’re peckish, you can order from a concise flatbread and small bites menu.