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3 Harry Street, Dublin, Ireland
+353 1 679 4395
Review Highlights
Good for a pit stop - very small establishment with a clique clientèle

I heard so much about this legendary place, finally I get to visit. First off it is a very small... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Patrick O
via mobile
I love this pub

if you love guinness you will love mcdaids, the best pint in the whole world possibly, although... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Burton upon Trent, United Kingdom
Read all 103 reviews
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' I am a drinker with a writing problem'...the words of one infamous McDaids patron, Brendan Behan, and if ever there was a quote to raise an ironic smile then this was it. McDaids is now considered one of the most iconic Literary Pubs of Dublin not least thanks to Brendan, but it wasn't always so. In fact McDaids only became established as a true haunt for literary types after John Ryan, editor of the now defunct, Envoy magazine, began to attract all manner of writers and journalists here back in the late 1930's. The building that houses McDaids can be traced back to the late 18th century and is reputed to have housed the City Morgue. It took on it's more ecclesiastical features when it was taken over by the Moravian Brothers some time later. They developed the practice of standing their corpses in a vertical position and it's suggested this may be the reason for the very high ceilings in the pub. It went through a litany of owners and was known as William Daly's Bar before John McDaid purchased the pub in 1936. Paddy O'Brien, one of the most famous bartenders, not just in McDaids, but in the whole of Dublin, worked here from 1937 until 1972, and was quoted as saying that 'Davy Byrnes was the one truly literary pub back then, McDaids in fact was nothing at all. It was a dreadful place, just an ordinary pub with snugs, stained glass partitions, spittoons and sawdust' John Ryan was equally harsh in his assessment saying that McDaids was a dowdy little pub, the plainest possible but that was one of the things I liked. 90% of people were working class" Thanks to some well intentioned advice to the owner from Paddy, the interior was torn out, the place brightened up a bit and thanks to a little help from Mr Ryan, the rest as they say is history. Many literary greats have frequented here over the years but the 50's and 60's were the decades when the pub truly established it's now famous reputation. Brendan Behan, Paddy Kavanagh, Brian O'Nolan, Austin Clarke, Anthony Cronin, J.P. Donleavy and Liam O'Flaherty are just a handful of the famous writers that have graced the floors, quenched their thirsts and sought their inspiration in McDaids over the years and some of their portraits adorn the walls and look down now, perhaps in judgement, of the rather more sedate clientele that drink here these days. In the early 1980's the bar was relocated from left as you walk in, to it's now familiar position on the right. Whether that was to confuse patrons into not knowing whether they were coming or going, one can only summise. Whilst the walls may not be able to tell any stories from the bygone days, the latest generation of bartenders in McDaids are equally skilled in pouring pints of the black stuff and well versed in the history of this quite magnificent pub. So why not pop in, have a chat, a pint or two of Porter, and get a feel of what inspired those literary greats.
  • Excellent51%
  • Very good25%
  • Average7%
  • Poor5%
  • Terrible12%
Travellers talk about
“dublin pub” (11 reviews)
“grafton street” (13 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:30 AM - 11:30 PM
3 Harry Street, Dublin, Ireland
South City Centre
+353 1 679 4395
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Reviews (103)
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1 - 10 of 98 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I heard so much about this legendary place, finally I get to visit. First off it is a very small set up with what appears to be a couple of ancient bar flies judging all who enter. Not the kind of place to have a...More

Thank Patrick O
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

if you love guinness you will love mcdaids, the best pint in the whole world possibly, although Mulligans is pretty close. The armosphere here is brilliant, the service slick and the craic mighty. If you only go to one pub in dublin go here, you...More

Thank Samandann
Reviewed 10 September 2017

This is a small pub. After a busy day, I would have liked to have sat down. There were no seats available. There was the charm of a popular place to be!

Thank Maureen E
Reviewed 17 August 2017

I popped in here recently and ordered my pint of Guinness. I seated myself outside to watch the world go by. Within a couple of minutes 4 people at tables beside me lit up their cigarettes which left me with no option but to go...More

Thank Ciaran B
Reviewed 14 August 2017 via mobile

Visit McDaids in Harry St off Grafton Rd. Always a great pint to be had. A real character of a pub within easy reach of most attractions.

Thank Chucklelee
Reviewed 12 July 2017

Have been going here for years. Hasn't changed The Guiness is always a good pint. The barmen at times can be "unhelpful" in their manner but that adds to the attraction. Have brought many friends and colleagues to McDaids who were visitors to Ireland and...More

Reviewed 8 July 2017 via mobile

McDaids is a great spot for post work pints or perhaps even a pit stop from a Grafton Street shopping spree. Located just off the hussle that it Grafton Street, McDaids is a traditional style Dublin pub that serves a decent pint. Seating space is...More

Thank Kavo85
Reviewed 28 June 2017 via mobile

This is a great old unchanged Dublin pub in the heart of the city. Great assortment of beers. Totally basic furniture. Toilets mikes upstairs. You couldn't make it up but it's a great pub. The pub opposite is called Bruxelles and I remember drinking in...More

Thank keithcairns
Reviewed 28 June 2017

Went in to this well known Dublin establishment just as it opened on Friday June 16th.The Guinness was perfectly fine and it is a lovely looking historic pub.However I am giving it a low rating due to the rude,surly man who served me.His demeanour was...More

2  Thank Paul O
Reviewed 24 June 2017 via mobile

Myself and a couple of friends thought we would call into this bar while we waited for the pride parade to start. We noticed the bar was fairly empty and thought it would be a good choice to get a seat in and what not....More

Thank Levi G
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